Figuratively, the sun is at a stand still during the Summer solstice, and in the Northern Hemisphere, we are bathed in its potent and transforming energy. This is a time of peak fire and light energy. This phase is associated with the heart and therefore, is a
great time for transformation and devotion to sprouting creativity from within. Our inner fire pushes us to digest food (transform chemical information), process and assimilate this information into knowledge. This ability to interact and negotiate with our elemental environment nurtures the heart and keeps us in balance
through the ebb and flow of seasonal transitions.
This balance is crucial for maintaining order, beauty, wellbeing, wholeness and peacefulness of the mind, body and spirit.
Since our inner fire is responsible for our digestion it is important to pay attention and support this fire for inner balance and harmony. Here are some of the things to pay attention to daily;
1 - Love yourself and cultivate rituals to command order, beauty and peace in your heart and in your external surroundings. Spend time in nature to get inspired by summer's abundance and fashion your daily life around its vibes. Move as and with nature. Your plate should reflect nature's summer bounty because there is information/wisdom encoded in the seasonal food we eat that can help us stay in harmony. Be present and mitigate heat related situations such as heartburn and constipation that can disturb your balance. Cultivate harmony even in your external space so you can access inner freedom and creative expression.
2 - Eat light, fresh and easy to digest meals in order to maintain good energy levels. Seasonal and locally sourced foods are also shown to have optimal nutrition and are more sustainable and ethical to the health of our planet and ultimately to our individual health.
3 - Cook your meals lightly in order to predigest and unburden the digestive system functioning. This also makes their nutrients more bioavailable and speeds assimilation and therapeutic value utilization.
4 - Move in nature as nature and pay attention to the body’s digestive fire needs.
a) When overheated utilize cooling ingredients such a chamomile, rose water, cucumber, purslane (see recipe below), aloe juice.
b) When metabolism is sluggish, lightly fire it up with these warming spices such as coriander, saffron, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, to raise digestive heat and be vitalized.
Purslane Marigold \Pesto
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) has been shown to contain five times higher omega-3 fatty acids than spinach. Omega-3 fatty acid is a precursor for specific group of hormones that sponsor protection against cardiovascular diseases. It is also rich in minerals, vitamin E (81% DV) and vitamin A which is a natural antioxidant.
On marigolds, Culpepper says it is a: “herb of the Sun, and under Leo. They strengthen the heart exceedingly.” Research shows marigolds lower inflammation by lowering free radical damage.
This pesto is a healthy and a delicious accompaniment to all your summer cooking and a perfect sauce for fresh summer veggie salads and veggie pasta, roasted veggies and meats.
1½ cups purslane leaves & young stems
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped marigold leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lime juice and zest
½ cup spring onion, chopped
2-3 garlic scapes
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Simply combine all ingredients in a food blender. Blend until it matches your preferred texture and consistency. Adjust seasoning to your liking.
Summer Vegetables Pasta
Spiralizing vegetables not only turns them into beautiful pasta-like ribbons but it also increases theirs surface area allowing for more sauce to stick to them and therefore optimizes flavor and enjoyment. A vegetable spiralizer is the most efficient tool here, but you can also utilize a vegetable peeler, a julienne peeler or mandolin to thinly shave them lengthwise, then slice each shaving into long thin strips. Place processed "pasta" in a large strainer lined with paper towel. The paper towel will absorb all the excess moisture. Vegetable pasta can also be made ahead of time, drained and refrigerated for up to 4-5 days.