• Erin Dietz, L.Ac.

Summertime foods

As the weather grows warmer we often become more active and participate in a variety of outdoor activities. An ideal summer diet is light and filled with fresh foods with high water content. Foods that have a bitter taste are good to consume because of their healing effect upon the heart.

Raw fruits, fresh salads, cool soups and light meals consisting of grains and vegetables are adequate this time of year for healthy, vigorous adults. Sprouted vegetables and grains can also be mixed in with your foods or a variety of dishes to help maintain a cool body temperature.

For better digestion and assimilation of nutrients, avoid mixing too many foods together at one sitting. Fruits and juicier foods are best eaten alone or between meals. As a rule of thumb, eat heavier meals in the morning or evening. This type of summer diet can help you feel lighter in the heat of the day, maintain your energy, and aid in weight loss.

Each organ has a specific flavor that affects it. Foods with a bitter taste stimulate the function of the heart. These include green leafy vegetables such as endive, escarole, lettuce, and watercress. Coffee, tea, and chocolate. These foods can nourish the heart, but consumed in excess do more harm than good.

Summer invites us to become more active. Just be sure to stay hydrated by consuming enough water, juices, and herbal teas.

Get Up-n-Go Shake

2 large frozen bananas

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

2 1/2 cups rice milk

1/2 tsp. mint extract

1 tbsp. almond butter

• Peel bananas and freeze them overnight.

• Place all ingredients in a blender and pureé.

Cool-Out Summer Salad

6 medium tomatoes

2 small cucumbers

4 radishes, sliced

2 scallions, minced

1 large dill or sour pickle, minced

1 bell pepper, minced

1/2 cup green olives, sliced

1/2 cup red onion, minced

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 - 2 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

• Allow salad to marinate for 1 hour.

• Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out and discard seeds. Then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

• Toss all ingredients together. Serve cool or room temperature.

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