Eat right, rejuvenate right!

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It’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot. Did we mention… it’s hot? We’re not just talking about the weather, but about the trending topic for this month – how to rejuvenate yourself, stay cool, no matter how high the sun climbs and how fierce it shines, and stay calm, no matter how crazy things get!

Rejuvenation is the natural process of all living creatures at this time of the year. After the lull of winter and the tentative stirring of spring, summer is when life everywhere, from the smallest bud growing close to the ground to the largest eagle soaring in the skies comes fully alive. Our energies peak, it is time to harness our fullest potential and sow the seeds of further growth in every level – be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Towards this end, we’ve looked at various ways to deal with the hectic, fun-filled, dehydrating  days ahead. Now it’s time to take another approach – from within.

In a two-part article, we will consider how to work on our diet, and on our mind – two important feeders for our overall well-being. Today, let’s look at our diet. Every one of us knows that we should eat cooling foods, avoid heat producing heavy eats, and for sure, put that extra-large watermelon on our shopping list. It’s not as simple as that though. Here are some other pointers we should keep in mind while planning our meals in the coming months.

Hydrate from every source: Hydration comes to us from many, many sources other than the glasses of water we down everyday. Vegetables such as cucumber naturally hydrate us and herbs like mint can naturally cool down our systems. Eat raw for maximum benefit. And remember, as water content goes, ashgourd (white pumpkin) are the best choice for hydrating vegetables. Dairy such as Yogurt has up to 85% water and can be a good source of water-replenishment.

Skimp on lunch: Try to avoid eating larger quantities when the day is hottest. Instead plan a heavy breakfast on cool summer mornings. Go light on what you consume for lunch before eating a slightly heavier meal in the evenings. Don’t have very heavy dinners, or you’ll find yourself feeling uncomfortable long in to the night.

Load up the spice: This counter-intuitive bit of advice works very well to keep heat away. When we eat super-spicy food, we immediately sweat from the top of our heads, and then our neck, face, ears. This gustatory sweating helps our body to lower its temperature and get cool from within.

And now that we know how to eat right, here are a couple of recipes that will help you with getting, and staying rejuvenated.

Spiced Summer Fruit Salad

Serves 4

¼ Pint blueberries

3 fresh nectarines, pitted and diced

1 ½ cups seedless red grapes, cut in half

1 apple, diced

1 ½ cups fresh black cherries, pitted and halved

3 kiwis, peeled, sliced and diced

Water

For the Dressing:

2 tsp honey

1 ½ ground ginger

1 ½ ground allspice

¼ tsp each of cardamom powder, and ground coriander

Combine fruit in a  large bowl. Add water to cover about ¼ of the fruit. Add dressing, toss lightly. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours or overnight to allow the flavors of fruits and spices to blend well together. Serve chilled.

Banana Date Porridge

Serves 4-6

6 bananas

½ cup grated coconut

3 tbsp honey

¼ cup water

½ cup soaked peanuts

3-5 dates, pitted and chopped

Puree all ingredients, adding water as needed for desired consistency.

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