Summer is almost here and on the solstice, the sun appears to “pause” in the sky when it reaches its northernmost point on June 21st. Throughout time, this day has been marked as the longest span of daylight and is celebrated in many cultures. This is a great time to take advantage of the beautiful weather, extended daylight and abundance of food this season has to offer! Alternatively, with summer, comes heat and excessive heat can bring about fatigue both mentally and physically. When we are fatigued our immune system can become compromised, so it’s vital we provide our bodies with the proper nutrients, hydration and activities to stay healthy!
We are in luck… as the abundance of plant foods available during the summer have a healthy alkalizing and cooling effect on your body. Knowing which fruits and vegetables are packed with the most phytonutrients and micronutrients allows us to have quality control over quantity control. The next time you visit your local market, look for the vegetables that are darker color greens or those with some red, purple or reddish brown coloration, be sure to select whole, unpackaged greens that have more loosely wrapped leaves. Choose the rare varieties (dandelions vs. spinach, purslane vs. lettuce, arugula, radicchio), select bitter greens (higher calcium content in bitter greens) and tart/sour greens. Eat more scallions (green onions (scallions) are over 100 times higher in phytonutrients as white onions). Consume shallots, leeks (with greens), garlic and onion chives. When consuming garlic, slice/mince/press and let sit for 10 minutes prior to cooking as it activates the allicin (proven to be effective against disease). When choosing fruits, pick the less common and the deeper color fruits (all berries, blood oranges, cherries, black/red plums, etc). Summer also offers a variety of fresh herbs which are great to add to your dishes, salads, etc., as they also offer an abundance of phytonutrients and nutrients (Robinson. 2014).
Take a “pause” this summer from the more acidic foods (processed food, white flour, refined sugar, dairy, meats, caffeine and alcohol). Our bodies innate wisdom is to strive to maintain a balance between an alkaline and acidic state and to sustain good health, our bodies prefer a more alkaline climate. Make 80% your food alkaline and 20% acidic for optimum health. Summer is a perfect time to implement new and interesting plant foods into your diet!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates
Robinson, J. (2014). Eating on the Wild Side. The Missing Link to Optimum Health. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
Written by Jennifer Pitman
Integrative Nutritionist & Food Enthusiast
E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher
Jennifer is a recent transplant to the Bay Area by way of Los Angeles. Jennifer discovered the healing power of yoga after a car crash in Boulder, Colorado and from that point decided she wanted to share with others the healing pathway that yoga can offer.
In 2000, Jennifer discovered the refined teaching skills of Annie Carpenter and has been following her teachings ever since. Jennifer achieved her 500 hours of training through Annie Carpenter’s SmartFLOW teacher trainings in Los Angeles and has been a member of the Yoga Alliance since 2012. Jennifer also has been influenced by the teachings of; Richard Freeman, Jasmine Lieb, Natasha Rizopoulos and Daniel Stewart.
Jennifer brings her grounded spirit, her heart and east coast humor into her teachings and invites her students to close their eyes as a means to tap into their internal space, to pause and observe. Jennifer’s sequences are carefully thought out, where the flow of the asanas and the breath are seamlessly intertwined as a moving meditation. In addition to teaching yoga, Jennifer is a mother, Integrative Health Coach, Plant food enthusiast and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science Degree in Clinical Nutrition.
Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org