The temps are heating up and you are ready to drop from heat exhaustion! Keep cool this summer with these clever tips to beat the heat.
Today’s guest blog post is from Randi Ragan. Randi is a holistic well-being expert and owner of the award-winning GreenBliss EcoSpa, named one of Los Angeles’ Top 10 Holistic Spas in 2006. You may have seen Randi’s previous guest post on Springtime health. Today, she shares easy summertime health tips to keep cool on the hottest summer day.
Visit Randi at www.randiragan.com.
We do love the summer release from school and work, to get outside and away from concrete jungles and play in oceans, lakes and rivers. I was born in the summer in a seaside city in southern Texas; it’s probably imprinted in my DNA that I station myself near water during summertime.
Texas is populated with a lot of lakes (just like MN!), which makes it fairly easy to fulfill the common imperative in the blistering hot summers there to seek out a body of water in which to park oneself for the duration.
One of the finest is to recline in the middle of a large inner tube and spend as much time as possible floating down a creek or river or bobbing on top of a placid lake.
But not every summer day is a day of vacation idle like we see our children enjoy, and that we remember from our own childhoods. Many summer days are filled with work obligations, fighting traffic on the sweltering asphalt, and contending with overheated tempers from our boss, our partners, and our children, not to mention our panting pets, making us angry that we’re not on a beach lounger in St. Bart’s waiting for our next massage.
But instead of drowning your summer sorrows in a bucket of ice cream, why not try some of these rescue remedies that are sure to help you beat the heat in a healthy, gentle and soothing way?
Easy on the waistline, easy on the wallet, and easy on the spirit, these are my ‘summer-easy-does-it’ tips for holistic health.
Continuing with our theme of enjoying water in the summer, consider making a ritual bath for yourself at least once a week. The Japanese have an entire culture around ritual bathing, and the sacred time it affords one to heal and re-set the nerves at the end of a long hot day.
They consider the bath the place not to just cleanse the body, but to cleanse the soul, and the time preparing and engaging in it akin to preparing and cooking a special meal.
They save their baths for the end of the day, to act as a transition between work and leisure, between public and private time, and only after their bath do they then sit down to dinner.
For your bath consider components the Japanese have in theirs: soft sounds (wind chimes, tabletop water fountains, crickets chirping); dim lighting (candles over harsh fluorescents) inviting textures (natural fibers, soft cottons, bamboo mats, natural fiber exfoliating brushes), and nature-based aromas (cedar, pine and cypress are said to clear the mind fogginess and induce tranquility).
DIY Spa Soak
- Mix 1 cup of Dead Sea salts with 7 drops each of Lavender and Chamomile essential oils
- Drop into lukewarm or cool water for a relaxing aromatherapeutic bath
For tired and swollen feet
- Mix 1 cup of Dead Sea salts with 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil
Hibiscus-Pomegranate-Mint Summer Cooler Tea
Hibiscus has long been a summer favorite in countries where heat can be oppressive. Ayurveda (the sister science of Yoga), describes hibiscus as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and skin and hair tonic. It supports proper kidney and liver function.
Its sweet and astringent taste has a cooling effect on the body making it ideal for the warm days of summer. Paired with the powerful pomegranate, this antioxidant filled beverage will soon be your summer favorite. This recipe comes from my friend and Ayurvedic Practitioner, Teri Ortt, AHP, M.A., M.S.
- Fill a glass jar with 12 hibiscus tea bags and 8 cups of cold water
- Place in full sun and allow the heat of the day (about 4 – 6 hours) to brew the tea
- Mix with 1 cup of unsweetened pomegranate juice. Adjust to taste with a teaspoon or two of melted honey
- Serve over ice.
Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 6 – 8 servings.
This tea is sure to keep you cool this summer! Did you know you can also cool down with food?
Chilled Watermelon Beet Soup
If the astonishing color alone in this recipe doesn’t win you over, then the tangy earthiness of its flavors and soft velvety texture should do the trick.
The beets and watermelon are superstars of nutrition, twin powerhouses of anti-oxidants, iron, and fiber which inundate the body with energy. The longer you can chill this dish, the better the flavors will meld, and the more delightful the texture will feel as you slurp it down. No cooking required – truly a remedy to beat the heat and keep cool.
Blend these ingredients together in a blender until very smooth
- 3 or 4 beets, peeled and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 a small, seedless watermelon, chopped
- ½ cup of orange juice
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- 1 cup water (optional)
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill (chopped plus more for garnish)
Chill for at least four hours. Garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and chopped dill. Makes 3-4 servings.
Cool Down Breathing Exercise (Shitali Pranayama)
Much like animals instinctively pant to cool themselves off, humans have the same ability through this Yogic breath exercise to achieve the same thing.Try this on a hot, humid, frustrating day when your last nerve is frayed @randiragan Click To Tweet
As with most timed breathing exercises from the Yoga playbook, part of their uncanniness at achieving results is because they divert the mind from agitations so that it can concentrate on the counting and rhythm of the exercise in front of it. Overheated emotions are soon calmed and restored to a workable balance.
- Roll the tongue into a tube (as best as you can) and stick the tip of the tongue out of the mouth.
- Inhale through the tongue and hold the breath in to a slow count of 5, with the chin pressed against the chest.
- Exhale all air forcibly through the nose.
- Repeat 5-10 times
Remember, taking the time to stop and fill yourself up with the love and self-care you deserve is the only sustainable way to give continuously. May your summer be beautiful and filled with fireflies, fireworks and, okay, a popsicle or two!
For even more tips to keep cool this summer, read this article on Medicinenet.