Written by John Immel,
It's the time of year to walk barefoot in the grass and soak in the endless blue skies. June is one of the most anticipated months of the year as schools finish and the summer stretch fills the evenings with light and warmth. The extra heat in the air encourages carefree spirits to drop work and go play outdoors at every opportunity. You may notice people are smiling more this month. The rain of May has transformed gardens into lush green havens, making them the perfect setting to enjoy some meals outside on a June afternoon.
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Do you live in the Southern Hemisphere? You may need the 15 Ayurvedic Recipes for December instead.
Make Peace with PittaAs things heat up, it's important not to overexert yourself. The enthusiasm to run, climb and bike can leave you feeling depleted, dehydrated and exhausted if you don't maintain proper nutrition. Not only this, but a whole raft of Pitta symptoms tend to flare up as we enter the summer months. Feeling stressed, irritable or tossing and turning at night? Heartburn, itchy eyes or skin irritations giving you grief? If so, it's likely you are overheating from the inside out.
This June, we at Joyful Belly have compiled a list of the top 10 recipes to help you beat the mounting heat. Not only will they leave you feeling cool, calm and collected, they also work to reduce an aggravation in Pitta dosha - the root cause of many summer ailments. Breeze through June feeling refreshed with these juicy, cooling, sweet and light recipes!
Rehydrate and ReplenishAs temperatures rise, you are at risk of dehydration if you don't adjust your liquid intake accordingly. A creative and colorful way to combat dehydration is to experiment with smoothies. Smoothies can be hit or miss for digestion. Many popular recipes contain bad food combinations that lead to the formation of digestive toxins known as ama. Most are also laden with ice which puts the digestive system under great strain.
A good smoothie is a light, nourishing and cooling option to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes. Enjoy the burst of blueberry in this Blueberry Mint Green Smoothieand pineapple splash in Pineapple Banana Kale Smoothie. Serve as a quick breakfast, light lunch or 'mocktail' at your next barbecue to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Feel your stress and tired eyes melt away.
Eat LightDespite the increase in Pitta, digestion is actually weaker in summer. The extra heat exhausts the body as it redirects blood flow to the skin in a bid to cool you down. This month, try some light and easy to digest salads like Seaweed & Baby Kale Taboulifor a refreshing crunch. Or, allow Spicy Pineapple Slawto brighten up your plate. Say goodbye to heavy meals, your digestive system and overworked liver will thank you for it.
Instead of rich, heating and gooey foods (such as red wine, red meat, egg yolks, soy products and wheat), favor easy to digest ingredients like the ones you'll find in Coconut Cilantro Savory Pancakes. Coconut, rice, mung beans and cilantro in particular will cool an aggravated Pitta and lighten the load on digestion too - enjoy freely at this time of year.
Get OutsideIn early June, the summer feels endless. But be warned, it will be gone in a flash. Dust off the barbecue and move the dining al fresco when you have the chance. Simply cook your favorite meat on the grill and team with some Corn on the Cob with Coriander Butter andBarbecue Portobello Mushrooms.
Kick Back & Cool OffA general rule of thumb in Ayurveda is to eat warm, cooked foods. Cold foods tend to shock the digestive system and hinder its efficiency. However, lucky for you, this rule is made to be broken in summer months. While eating below room temperature foods should not be a daily practice, sit back and enjoy some wholesome, homemade ice creams like Avocado & Coconut Milk Ice Creamthis month. This is a guilt free way to enjoy some creamy goodness without the heaviness of dairy or the high sugar content of most store bought ice creams. Plus, it will keep the kids happy after a long day in the garden!
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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