Surviving the Summer Months with Chinese Medicine

Summer has begun and the temps in the Valley are on the rise. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, summer correlates to the Fire element and pertains to the paired Heart and Small Intestine organ/meridian complex. It is a time where great joy, activity, and action can effortlessly flow but also a time where we are more prone to anxiety, overexertion, and overwhelm. With these energies in play summer is a wonderful time to go on retreat and learn how to meditate or enhance your meditation practice. The stillness created is the Yin balance to all the Yang activity inherent in summer.

Eating a lighter diet with a ratio higher in fruits and vegetables and lower in grains and meats is also beneficial. Some foods to incorporate into your spectrum this summer are apricots, strawberries, beets, seaweed, kale, mustard greens, and dandelion. It is also important to cut down caffeine and increase water intake to a gallon a day.

Summer is also a fantastic time to reconnect with friends and family. Pick a night to invite some people over and cook them a fresh farm style meal- grilling fresh wild caught salmon alongside zucchini and corn with a nice fresh salad and refreshing drink. Below is one of my favorite summer salads.

Russian Beet Salad from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen

Photo by Mollie Katzen

Photo by Mollie Katzen

8 healthy (2 ½ inch diameter) beets
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 medium clove garlic crushed

2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup minced red onion

2 green onions minced

1 medium cucumber seeded and finely chopped

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh dill, minced

2 cups yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the beets, whole for about 20-25 minutes. Rinse under running water as you rub off the skins. Chop into 1/2 inch bits, and while they are still warm, marinate them in vinegar, garlic and honey. Let stand for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well, and chill until very cold.