Eating with the seasons: Late summer
Late summer, also referred to as ‘Indian Summer’, is correlated with Earth element. This is the time when often the weather gets very warm and sunny, there is abundance of ripe vegetables and fruit and we are getting ready to get back to work or school and make new plans. Although it’s a short season, it brings metamorphosis in both nature and ourselves, it is a time of transition.
EARTH ELEMENT CHARACTERISTICS:
Organs: Stomach and Spleen
Tissue: Soft tissues/Muscles
ORGANS AT PEAK:
Indian summer is the peak time for stomach and spleen, both responsible for digestion and distribution of nutrients and energy.
CHANGES IN EXERCISE:
Focus on toning up and building strength. Try to spend as much time outdoors as possible and introduce weights to your training programme. Allow for sufficient time-off, relaxation and breathing deep.
LATE SUMMER NUTRITION:
It is time to shift from light meals to a bit more density to provide more fuel and energy supply. This way we can feel more energised and ready to take on new tasks. Include more protein and sources of fat, whole grains, seeds, nuts and beans. However, keep a good amount of fresh vegetables and fruit to sustain the alkaline balance.
VEG AND FRUIT IN SEASON:
Fruit: apples, grapes, sweetcorn, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, rhubarb.
Veg: tomatoes, beans, peas, courgettes, salad potatoes, mixed salad leaves, aubergines, beetroot, peppers, spinach, summer squash, wild mushrooms.
- Use more seeds and nuts, as well as nut and seed-based milks.
- Combine beans and lentils with whole grains, such as millet, rice, quinoa, buckwheat.
- Increase consumption of protein-rich foods – fish, eggs, meat, poultry, tofu.
- Consider 2-3 days of juice cleanse.
- Introduce more vegetable soups with beans.
- Avoid sugar, excess dairy and alcohol.
- Use plenty of fresh and dried herbs.
- Steam, stir-fry and boil vegetables.
- Cook with a lid on or half-way on.