Lifestyle Tips As We Come To the End of Summer
It’s very common for our bodies to accumulate heat during the summer months, especially if we haven’t taken previous measures to counteract the heat and dryness inherent in our Colorado summers…
Don’t despair, these tips may help:
· Hydrate! And eat cooling, moist foods (cucumbers, watermelon, fennel, yogurt, avocado). This will counteract the heat of summer that has accumulated in our bodies and may be waking you up at 2 am in the morning…
· Massage your body with oil each day. New research suggests that massaging the body with oils may support the health and diversity of the skins microbes as well as the health and radiance of the skin (from Lifespa.com). With our cool nights, you may occasionally want to transition from Coconut to Sunflower or Avocado oil now, or even begin add in some sesame oil to your blend. I custom make calming blends of massage oils tailored just for you. Just ask…
· Slow, steady efforts combined with conscious breathing are appropriate now – you’re best working at a pace that allows you to breathe smoothly when engaged in activities such as gardening, hiking, bicycling, and even or swimming, as well as when practicing yoga at this time of year. This will help to keep you from taking on unnecessary heat now.
Would you like a fun way to add more cucumbers to your diet?
Try this yummy recipe for Cucumber Salad from my friend Ilona Steur-Smith.
2 English Cucumbers (without seeds); or if using regular cucumbers, scoop out seeds
4 T Safflower or Grape Seed Oil (avoid Canola Oil: it is hard to digest, and most are GMO; and Olive Oil is too strong a flavor for this dish)
The juice of 1 lemon
1 T Apple Cider vinegar
1/2 - 1 t Salt (to taste, use less with Pitta Provocation)
1/4 t White Pepper
1 T Dried Dill Weed
2 T Agave Syrup
1. Slice cucumber & place in glass bowl.
2. Mix all dressing ingredients and whisk for 1 minute. Pour over sliced cucumber.
3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hr.
4. Enjoy! Bon appetite!
These tips are offered out of love, to support you in feeling your best as we come to the end of the summer season. Please contact me with any questions, or share comments here.
Namaste, Sharon Harvey-Alexander, E-RYT
Yoga Therapist, Wellness Consultant, and Public Speaker
Tropical Wonder Fruit Brings Relief
Even if we don’t live in the tropics, we can experience the benefits of coconut. Whether you’re prone to debating whether the coconut is a fruit, a nut or a seed, you might like to know that botanists call the coconut a one-seeded drupe (aka: dry drupe.) A drupe is a fruit with a hard stony covering surrounding the seed (Peaches and olives are other examples of drupe, a term which actually means over-ripe olive).
The coconut, like all drupes, has three layers - the exocarp (outer layer); the mesocarp (fleshy middle layer) and the endocarp (hard, woody layer that surrounds the seed deep inside.) Thus, it’s possible to consider a coconut to be fruit, nut, and/or seed. While this may seem interesting to some, what’s important to know is that there are numerous benefits to consuming coconut, in any of its forms.
What are the benefits, you ask? Well, for starters, coconut oil is considered to be a cooling oil by practitioners of Ayurveda (Ayurveda is the medical arm of yoga). This can be a great antidote to the hot, dry weather inherent in Colorado summers. Slathering the oil all over your body before a shower can do wonders for the skin, cooling the effects of summer heat, and cooling the mind, as well. For additional benefit, try dry brushing your skin first, and then let the oil soak in for 10-20 minutes before you shower. No need to use soap, which can dry out your skin. Simply begin with comfortably warm water in your shower, to open the pores of the skin, supporting the body’s absorption of this wonderful oil, and then end with a cool rinse to close the pores up again before you get out. According to John Douillard, Ayurvedic Practitioner, the oil will combine with the water and cleanse without soap.
Adding a drop of peppermint essential oil to some coconut oil can offer some cool relief. Rub this on the bottoms of your feet before bed and relax into a refreshing sleep.
Ever heard of oil pulling? This is another wonderful way to use Coconut oil. Simply take a spoonful into your mouth, alone or mixed with a tiny bit of sesame oil, and swish it around. Hold it in there for 20 minutes or so first thing in the morning to pull toxins from the body. Additionally, this remedy helps keep the teeth clean and nourishes the gums. At a recent dental checkup, the hygienist commented on my pink, healthy gums so I asked her if she’d heard of oil pulling. Yes, she had and it’s something she recommends to her clients for all those reasons listed above. Great to know that what I’ve been doing for many months is a familiar practice to many.
According to the website coconutoil.com “Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the modern diseases of western nations where coconut oil is seldom consumed anymore.” The site goes on to list many more benefits than the ones I’ve included here. Check it out. And if you decide to add more of this oil to your diet, or to try the practices mentioned above, please let me know what results you experience. If you’re like me, your skin will be smoother, your head will be cooler, and your teeth will feel cleaner. If all that’s happening on the outside, imagine what good things are happening on the inside of your body, too! Hope you enjoy it!
Namaste, Sharon Harvey Alexander
p.s. - check out the website coconutoil.com to learn more about benefits including effects on Alzheimers, Heart Disease, Diabetis, and more... I think that, like me, you will be amazed!
Check out this website for an evidence based article about the benefits of coconut oil: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/