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Summer Cleansing and Cooling Foods

Summer can be a good time to change your eating habits. You can begin by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding all foods that can make you sick by raising your blood pressure, triggering headaches and migraines, or add extra pounds. Summer is also a good time to spend more time outdoors to burn calories and get your heart rate up! Consider starting some enjoyable physical activities which you can turn into healthy habits – hiking, biking, running? Or working out with me a few times each week! But when it’s hot and humid outside, we all want to be cool, so here are some food for summer ideas that might help you feel and look better in the heat.

The best hydration for summer is FRUIT! It will keep your insides cool. Try to eat fruits grown in season, such as melons, apples, grapes, pears, cherries, apricots, berries, plums, peaches, mangos, papaya, tomatoes as well as all citrus fruits. Go for organic whenever you can. Fruit is both cooling and can act as a laxative, which can not only help your body to cool off, but also help with your summer detox and weight loss.

Leafy GREEN vegetables can also have a cooling effect on the body. You can make refreshing and cooling summer salads with slightly bitter-tasting, cleansing greens, such as dandelion greens, watercress and endive. Other cooling vegetables include: asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini. As for roots vegetables, you can eat daikon and beets when you are hot.
La Jolla Fruit stand
Turmeric Detox Dressing is perfect match for your summer salads because it contains turmeric and avocado – two cooling foods. Recipe below . . . . :

Have you tried sea vegetables? Summer may be the right time to experiment with them (kelp, spirulina, kombu, hiziki, arame, dulse) because they ALL can help you feel cooler in the heat.

When you exercise more, you need extra protein. Healthy sources of protein that have a cooling effect on the body are: mung beans, grains such as black or brown rice, quinoa, millet, and (my new favorite) kaniwa . . . plus tempeh, soy milk and fish are all great protein.

Finally, herbs and spices such as peppermint, nettles, red clover, lemon balm, cilantro, marjoram can be a perfect addition to your cooling meals. They can also help simple detox of your body and boost your immune system.

Tumeric Detox Dressing
Ingredients:
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice + zest of 2 Lemons
¼ avocado
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. raw local honey — if not vegan
Pinch of iodized salt (to taste)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Add more avocado if you desire a thicker consistency.

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Spring is in the Air!

If you’re trying to shed a few winter pounds, load up on the veggies of the season. And fresh spring produce is great from a Farmer’s Market, but if you can only make it to your local grocery store, try eating the following seasonal produce:

1. Rhubarb is the first harvest of the spring

and consists of heavy stalks and shiny skin.

2. Artichokes, shown above, grow largest in the spring.

Good signs are compact leaves and

stems that are freshly cut.

3. Radishes grow sweet and crunchy.

4. Mint flourishes best in the spring.

5. Asparagus season is from March through June.

Please note that thickness is not related to tenderness. Tenderness is related to how it’s grown and

how soon it’s consumed.

6. Peas mature in the spring and progress

into the summer.

7. Strawberries are local and are at their juiciest from April through June.

Now that the weather is improving and the sun is extending it’s stay for the northern hemisphere, get outdoors and get exercising! No more excuses.Image

Sieze the Summer at Farmers Markets

La Jolla Fruit standWith an abundance of fresh local produce at our local Summer fruit stands and farmer’s markets, now is the time to take advantage of the summer. July in particular offers us the following:

  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

While the U.S. has over $14 trillion in debt, shopping local is more important than ever, rather than buying kiwis from New Zealand for example. At Certified Farmers Markets you work against the debt in some small way. Every little bit counts. If you’re in California, this list leads you to the Farmers market in your neighborhood. Also, if you’re consuming more fruits and raw vegetables chances are you’ll stay more hydrated. Keeping active during the summer months, it’s easy to get overheated. Drinking eight glasses of water each day in addition to eating juicy fruits and vegetables prevents dehydration. Furthermore, taking your multi-vitamins from natural sources has proven to charge up your immune system in ways a pill can only dream of!

Try my “California Caprese Salad” with 1 cup chopped green beans, 1 large tomato diced, 1 avocado diced, 2/3 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil. Mix them together and add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice and 1/4 cup of local Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season the salad with sea salt and pepper.

Take Advantage of the Season

It’s nearing the summer solstice June 21, the longest day of sunlight for the whole year. How does this affect you? Is your sleep disrupted because that darn sun is shining in your window so early? The season of summer comes once a year and it’s time to come alive! Time to get outside early and stay active until late in the day outside. Take life by the reigns and get your favorite activities going! If you make excuses and put it off, time will pass you by and soon it will be fall or even dark un-motivating winter. What are your activity plans for this summer? How about going on a weekly hike or a long bike-ride. Skip the indoor spinning classes, get outdoors and get a routine going.
Another exciting event in summer is the true season of local produce bursting off the aisles at the grocery store! Keep in mind all those super foods that are packed with anti-oxidants that we need to eat to stay healthy and free of disease and illness. Depending on where you live here’s a list of June produce that you may like to eat and share with friends & family:
Apricots
Blueberries *
Cantaloupe
Cherries
Corn
Lettuce
Peaches
Strawberries
Watermelon
* Superfood
Try visiting your local farmer’s market instead of the typical grocery store. Eating local is crucial this time of year, since most other seasons it’s more challenging to eat completely from local produce. But you may be impressed by the variety of delicious summer produce you can get from the farmer’s markets. Buying local cuts down on transportation costs, and ultimately green-house emissions; it pumps up the local economy . . . and it’s just natural! Have a great week and keep it healthy! Because being healthy means being happy.

A list of superfoods from Super Foods RX website:
Apples
Avocado
Beans
Blueberries
Broccoli
Cinnamon
Dark Chocolate
Dried SuperFruits
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic
Honey
Kiwi
Low Fat Yogurt
Oats
Onions
Oranges
Pomegranates
Pumpkin
Soy
Spinach
Tea
Tomatoes
Turkey
Walnuts
Wild Salmon

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