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Adapting to the Changing Seasons

Ayurveda teaches us to stay healthy through the seasonal shifts by adjusting our diets and daily routines. Spring is a movement out of the heaviness and darkness of winter into the new growth of springtime. Spring is a traditional time of gently cleansing to support our bodies releasing the excess of the winter and supporting digestion and immunity. As new shoots come up from the ground, we adjust our diets to include more of these lighter cleansing foods which support our liver function.

This seasonal sandhi, transition between spring and summer, is a good time to pay attention to your appetite and make adjustments in the quantity and timing of meals. Some people that are used to eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the winter and spring find they do better on a brunch, dinner schedule in the summer. If you're not hungry in the morning, try skipping your morning meal and replacing it with a heartier brunch around 10:30 or 11 am.

As the days heat up, make sure you are getting sufficient oil internally and externally. You can use ghee at high heat, and olive oil at lower heat. You can also rub oil into your skin before you shower. You can use organic sesame oil now, and as the weather heats up, you can shift to some coconut oil.

You can also stay hydrated by enjoying the juicy seasonal fruits as they become available but eat them separately or just before a bigger meal in order to digest them well.

You can adjust your exercise routine to take advantage of the coolness in the morning or late afternoon and avoid the mid-day sun as a general rule.

As we shift into summer, begin to phase out a lot of sour, salty, and pungent tastes (ferments, spicy foods, and extra salt) and add in more sweet, bitter and astringent tastes (fresh seasonal fruits eaten alone or before a meal, sauteed bitter greens and pomegranate and gr tea. We need all six tastes in our diet, but favor sweet, bitter, and astringent which will keep you cool.

Love, Shannon


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