Summer has just started and you will gradually notice a change in the energy around you, in how you feel … and … Well! you will have a new opportunity to change what you eat, making the most of the fresh foods that nature offers us in summer.
Some people say that the macrobiotic diet is monotonous: rice, rice and more rice … Nothing further from reality. One of the tools that the macrobiotic practice gives us is the ability to realize what it is that we need to eat at all times. The ability to adapt to the season and the surroundings. The ability to maximize the variety of foods found in each season.
A large majority of households eat exactly the same in winter and in summer … in spring and in autumn … and the same thing week after week. The advantage of a diet based on the energy of food is that with the arrival of each season we start using the new foods that nature offers us. Climate changes and this makes the conditions in which vegetables can grow to be different … and it is this difference in the conditions of growing of foods which will influence their energetic effects.
Nature is wise and always gives us what we need most. In summer, it supplies us with plenty of vegetables and fruits, foods with a yin energy: cooling and opening that give us liquids and help us relax. All this is what our body needs in summer: to open up the pores to help our sking breath … moisture to replace the fluids we lose with the sweat … freshness to balance the high summer temperatures and of course: relax!
In macrobiotics, we try to create balanced meals that provide what our body needs. This reduces the desire to consume extreme foods, which are not usually interesting for our health. For example, if instead of having a steak and fries in summer we had a salad of chickpeas or pasta, we will be reducing the desire to drink carbonated beverages or having a frozen yogurt, so much in fashion lately!!
If we listen to our bodies, we will realize that in summer we really crave for lighter foods and simple preparations. Give it a try and listen…
You can try replacing meat for grilled vegetables; preparing a salad of chickpeas that gives you good quality protein or a couscous salad with mint which is very refreshing. As a starter you can prepare a cold melon or cucumber soup which you can even prepare the day before. Or some chickpeas pate or guacamole … and finish with a refreshing fruit jelly … sounds good right? With this menu you will save on beers and you will gain health!
So, focus on fruits and vegetables in season, increase your consumption of salads and sauteed or blanched vegetables. Replaced bean stews for beans salads or pates. Use more pasta, couscous and bulgur. Introduce polenta in your menu, and start using fresh herbs, now is the time, you can even buy some small pots and leave them in the window sill to have them always at hand …
Interesting food for hot weather
Grains: Use the most refreshing: corn and polenta are easy and quick to prepare. Take advantage of quick-cooking couscous or bulgur to prepare refreshing salads.
Beans: You might not feel like eating beans in summer, but there are great salads and pates that you can prepare with them. Use especially chickpeas, with a more expansive and cooling effect than other beans. Try recipes like hummus or falafel.
Vegetables: You should increase the consumption of vegetables both raw and lightly cooked. The ones with a slightly bitter taste are very interesting in this season, they activate the digestion and circulation: radishes, arugula, watercress, lettuce, give variety to your salads. Enjoy now cucumbers or zucchinis and their cooling energy.
Sprouts: The expansive energy of the sprouts and their high amount of minerals and vitamins make them suitable for summer. You can use bean sprouts, alfalfa, watercress, lentils … in your salads or sandwiches.
Seaweed: You must not forget the seaweed, they provide minerals that help replece the ones that we lose with baths in swimming pools and sweating. Preparing gelatin with agar-agar will help cleanse and regenerate the intestinal mucosa in addition to freshen you up. Nori flakes are easy to add to salads or vegetable purees, very practical for this season.
Fruits: Enjoy all that nature gives you this season: melons, peaches, apricots, cherries, watermelons …
Pickles: Do not forget them, they will help your digestion and improve your intestinal flora. They are also excellent to mobilize fat deposits. You can buy sauerkraut already prepared … is a simple way to have them always on your plate.
Enjoy the summer!