Summertime & Living Easy
Summertime is amazing to revitalize the mind, body, and soul. After our long Northern NY Winters, we intuitively know this and feel it right down into our bones.
With Summer Solstice just behind us, I invite you to indulge in all Summer has to offer to recharge your human batteries:
- The sun shining brightly on our skin stimulates the production of Hormone D (AKA Vitamin D). We need ample levels of this hormone as all hormones work in synergy. In Northern hemisphere states and countries, exposed skin has less than 6 months each year to produce and store Hormone D. Daily sunshine, on skin not slathered with sunscreen, is a health-promoting habit.
- Get out and walk in the woods as frequently as you can. The benefits of being in the beautiful forests of Northern NY, forests everywhere, are well documented.
Check out this article, complete with references to studies, on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website: https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html.
The benefits listed in this article, to tempt you to dive into reading it, are:
- Boosts the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Increases the ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
- Increases energy level
- Improves sleep
Will this info have you tying up your hiking shoes and heading out… OR how about…
- Going barefoot and reaping the benefits of the Earth’s negative ions to stabilize our human body systems, balance our biological clocks – circadian rhythm, and impact hormonal and overall health and vitality. Dr. Laura Koniver is an MD, Intuition Physician, who teaches her patients about the importance of daily barefoot connections with the earth.
- An informative “barefoot on the earth” article from the National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
More Amazing Benefits And Gifts Of Summertime:
- Birds singing, frogs and crickets chirping, fireflies blinking at night: the sounds of summer relax the nervous system and help keep us in parasympathetic nervous system dominance, think rest & digest mode – peaceful mode.
- The local, organic produce pouring off the farm stands that nourish body cells better because the food gets to our tables faster and fresher.
- Green grass and wild flowers coloring our world happy: the colors and beauty of Nature also calm our nervous system… another form of rest & digest mode “push-ups.”
- The sultry, warm nights swimming in the starlight and moonlight… yes, there are also circadian rhythm and glandular benefits to this summertime magic.
I gently urge you to research this Nature Connection, we ARE Nature. Better yet, get out there and do some research of your own. When you start feeling better in body-mind-spirit, and I am certain you will, is that not sufficient proof?
To better reap the outside benefits of Summertime, enjoy simple cooking & eating habits. Produce is abundant everywhere. Whether you are growing your own or buying from your local, organic farmer; fresh, summer bounty enjoyment needs simple preparations so we can get back outside ASAP. Quick chopping or grating and then stir-frying veggies is easy and a speedy way to get dinner on the table and our bare feet back outside.
Summer Eve Quicky, Get Back Outside Dinner
- 1 medium yellow and/or zucchini squash
- 1/2 large red or yellow onion
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, or plenty of garlic scapes, or garlic – onion chives
- Goat’s milk cheddar or your favorite cheddar, preferably from pasture-raised animals to reap the benefits of balanced fatty acids and the deeper nourishment that comes from well-fed and cared for animal’s milk
- Any fresh herbs from your garden or a local farmer: basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon balm… use your imagination here to mix and match fun flavors into your summertime meals
- Butter from pasture-raised animals
- Heat an appropriately sized pan for the volume of veggies you are chopping or grating
- Add butter to the pan
- Chop the onion into any size or shape you desire and sauté
- While the onion is gently cooking, chop or grate your summer squash choices
- Sauté veggies, adding other veggies as you like
- Grate cheese
- Peel garlic or chop scapes/chives
- Fine chop the fresh herbs
- Spread the cooking veggie mix into an even layer in the pan
- Sprinkle garlic & chopped herbs across the top of the veggies
- Top with cheese
- Cover the pan and turn off the stove’s heat; you want the cheese to melt but probably do not want mushy, over-cooked veggies
- In 5 minutes or so, uncover the pan and place appropriate amounts of food onto the plates of the crew gracing your table
- Have unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper handy for table use
- Maybe serve with bread and butter and a fresh summer salad and then…
- Head outside for an evening barefoot walk
Options To Play & Change Up the Flavor Daily:
- Use different seasonally & locally available produce: tomatoes, carrots, various greens, peas, etc.
- Try different types of cheese
- Add scrambled eggs
- Add chickpeas, lentils, or whatever bean you crave
- Add chunks of chicken, sausage, bacon, or animal protein of choice
- Toss some raw nuts or seeds on top of your veggies
- Add chopped olives or roasted red pepper chunks
Here’s to longer days, firefly and star-filled nights, the sun’s warmth, earthy smells, happy summertime memories, and creating lasting health and vitality.
Find more of Paula’s articles here.
The information in my articles is from my wisdom and experience from training in western medicine (RN) and holistic modalities. My views are not necessarily the views of the Potsdam Food Co-op. When we make choices about our health, use others’ advice, and make choices based upon that advice; we are taking our health into our own hands. Our choices, and any actions that result from said choices, are our own responsibility. Yes, this is my disclaimer.