I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that we will have a lovely summer in London (the wonderful weather we had in April and May doesn’t count, that was spring!). Many people are taking a well-deserved break away during this time. If you’re going to be staying in the city, take advantage of the (slightly) quieter days before everyone comes back for September.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) summer is the season of the big yang and is characterized by the fire phase and summer-heat. While the British summer doesn’t immediately bring to mind images of sweltering heat, you can still take advantage of TCM nutrition and dietetics. Cold, raw food is typically not approved of in TCM due to the Spleen’s function of transformation and transportation of qi. The Spleen functions best when it’s given warm, nourishing food that’s easily digested.
However it is summer and warm stews and soups aren’t particularly appetizing. TCM also recognizes that your body’s relationship to the environment is paramount and whilst certain cooling foods would be too harsh in the winter, in the summer months it is needed to help disperse heat and build up body fluids and yin.
This is the time of salad (I like mine served at room temperature) with plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach. Avoid ice-cold food and beverages and ice-cream because they can damage the stomach’s digestive energy. Treat yourself but don’t be excessive. At the same time, avoid hot foods such as coffee and acrid, pungent spices as they are too warming. Save those for the colder months later on in the year. And no, a cold coffee frappuccino does not make it neutral, but good try! If you like the taste of liquorice, fennel tea is great.
Photo credit: Andrew Storms via flickr
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