You probably notice subconsciously - when it's warm, and you snack on an ice pop, and it cools your core, or when you sip on a hot coffee when already warm, and it makes you start to sweat. But there are other, subtler tricks and techniques, some that are ancient; because humans have been trying to cool their bodies since we first evolved. And air conditioners have only been around for a sec, you know?
There are some pretty great ideas in this fun vid Chef J got to make with the Humane League last year - let's recap!
We know, duh. But it's easy to forget! Instead of reaching for that starchy or fatty snack (hellloooo potato chips!) snag some grapes or grapefruit instead. The water content is great for hydration, and the fructose digests quickly, leaving you feeling light and energized.
Another duh! Less heat in the house if ya don't use the stove, right? And grilled everything is delicious. Seriously - have you tried grilling pizza yet?
As our resident RD would say, "we eat too much damn salt!" (love you Jess!) Sodium intake can increase your blood pressure, creating warmth in your body. Opt for lower sodium selections year round but for SURE during the summer!
This is a tough one. To a point, cold beverages assist your body in cooling - but overdoing it shocks your body, forcing it into panic/warm up mode. So tread lightly, and whenever you can, drink refrigerated water, rather than water loaded down with ice.
There's so much more to "salad" than potato, chef and caesar, right? Anything with at least some raw elements and "composed" counts in our books. So why not get adventurous this summer, and make something...new? Here! Start with Chef J's favey sprout salad, inspired by her trips to India last year. It's a good one!
We've mentioned Ayurveda a few times in this post. What is ayurveda, you ask? It is a good health practice from India that has been in use for over 5000 years. It is an ideology that focuses on prevention and supportive health through diet and exercise. And its so much more! If you're curious and want to pick up some reading to dive in, we recommend this lovely tome to start!
If you're looking for a group to try some of these changes out with in person, our pal Allison Modaferri leads a group called New Year (r)Evolution that focuses on the ayurvedic lifestyle and includes group meals, classes and more. It's a great way to dip your toe in with friends!
And last but not least - this week's South Indian Thali is composed of several recipes influenced by Chef J's time studying under an ayurvedic chef in India. You'll notice lighter sauces, lots of coconut, and spicy! All key elements of the South Indian palette. In such tropical climes, heavy cream sauces and simmered-way-down tomato pastes, along with the Tandoor (or oven) aren't used much - people there are trying to heat their kitchens and their bodies as minimally as possible, so dosa, quick rice fries and lots of raw elements are at play.
Enjoy, y'all. And stay cool this summer!