Summer is on it's way! For most of us in Michigan, that means lakes, pools, BBQs, camping, hiking and just being outside and on the GO! How do we stay on top of our health during these months, where temptation is around every corner? What are some easy and delicious go to snacks we can grab and go? How do we know what to eat to boost our body?
Doctrine of Signatures
First, let’s talk for a moment about the Doctrine of Signatures. This basically means that the appearance of food can resemble the body part it is good for. For example, grapes are good for the lungs (hold a bunch of grapes by the stem, and they look like the lungs), walnuts are good for the brain, citrus fruits are good for the mammary glands, kidney beans are good for the kidneys, and on and on. Knowing this information may help you to make better decisions this summer season.
Adding the Doctrine of Signature information to the minerals and vitamins we know are prevalent in foods, we can really adapt our eating to our needs. During the summer, many of us are out in the sunshine more than any other time of year. This exposure to the sun can impact our skin as well as our eyes.
Vitamins and Minerals and Body Systems
Our eyes can benefit from: Apricots, Blueberries, Broccoli, Carrots, Eggs, Goji Berries, Mangoes, Melons and Mulberries. Our skin really likes: Apricots, Blackberries, Dandelions (yes, you CAN eat them - as long as they’re not fertilized), Peaches, Nectarines, Mangoes and Sweet Potatoes. Boosting our intake of these yummy fruits and veggies can help support two of our most exposed body parts.
Hitchhikers of the Bacteria Variety
Summertime brings with it a lot more barefoot time and time spent in water. These are two of my FAVORITE THINGS! They are also good places to pick up hitchhikers of the bacteria and parasite families. Don’t fret - we have solutions to these also! I do not recommend anti-bacterial agents as those can be: 1) drying to the skin, 2) toxic to the body, and 3) contributors to the SUPER bugs we are now experiencing. Instead, use a good organic soap when washing off after these excursions. Some foods that are anti-parasitic (intestinal parasites) are cabbage, carrots, cucumbers and papayas. Those are also ‘on the go’ ready foods. Cabbage can be made into sauerkraut in a variety of ways! Check out our upcoming classes for more on how to make your own.
Foods that support the immune system are also great. Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium are tools the immune system needs readily available to work properly. A great way to get Vitamin C is via citrus fruits. Immune supporting foods include: Asparagus, broccoli, chocolate (dark, organic, whenever possible), dandelion (there’s that pesky dandelion again!), fermented foods (kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.), garlic, kiwi fruit, mangoes, and yogurt.
Our brains NEED good fats to function. When we are on the go, it can be harder to intake as much as we need. Avocados, Olive Oil and Coconut Oil can be great ways to boost our good fat - sometimes alleviating the ‘foggy’ brain feeling. I LOVE tomatoes mixed with fresh mozzarella, basil, sea salt, pepper and olive oil. YUMMY. While this definitely should be kept cool, because of the dairy component, tomatoes with herbs and oils can be delicious also.
Many people enjoy some adult beverages more during the summer than any other time. The Liver is our biggest internal detoxing organ and it is a good idea to support the liver when we’re imbibing. The liver can be supported via many foods: beetroot, cabbage, lemons, dandelion, plumbs, radishes, etc.as well as a variety of herbs. Parsley is a good liver supporting herb and can be added to most dishes without significantly altering the flavor. Adding lemons to your water during the summer can be a wonderful way to add support to the body. Using refillable water bottles instead of single use plastic bottles is great for the environment too!
Simple Recipes to Get You By
Bean salsa can be a great alternative to salsa, and has tons of protein. Simply mix up your favorite brands of beans (after rinsing them off, of course), in a bowl and add your favorite veggies and seasonings. I like to use kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans with some cilantro, red and green peppers, lime juice, salt and pepper. Dipping corn chips in this is a great additional snack with protein.
Adding fruits to your water can be a delicious way to mix things up also. Watermelon, lemon, lime, berries - there is no limit to what you can add! I always make sure to buy the non-GMO variety, with seeds, so there are more nutrients in them. Sometimes, I’ll go crazy and add some ginger too!
A lovely fruit salad is easy to travel with and roasting veggies like sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots on the grill with some seasonings and olive oil marinade can be a great side dish!
Summertime snacking can contribute to a healthier you!