I love juice. I love fruit juices, veggie juices, you name it! It's so funny to me, how as the temperature changes and it gets hotter outside, my cravings switch. Our body is so amazing in how it naturally reacts and adjusts with our external environment.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, summer time is the perfect for raw foods. Hot temperature outside naturally creates an increase in the pitta dosha in the body. And, when pitta increases, the desire for lighter foods increases.
This makes summer the best time to enjoy the salads and juices. Below, I've listed 3 great juice combinations to enjoy whether at home or at your local juicery.
One thing to note is that if you feel as though your digestion is a little low, it's important to add in a few warming spices to ensure proper digestion. Raw foods (juices included) can be hard for the GI tract to process (contrary to popular belief), leading to indigestion, bloating, and gas. Adding a little ginger or turmeric is a great way to combat those effects.
Celery, Cucumber, Lime, Mint, Fresh Ginger
Benefits: HYDRATION! Cucumber is a GREAT way to stay hydrated all summer long. Heat can be drying to our systems, even if we live in a humid environment. If we don't have proper hydration, then our internal systems don't have what they need to function appropriately. It's easy to say, but hard to remember--our bodies are 70%+ water! It needs water--not sodas or coffee. The other benefit to this one is that it chalk-full of cooling veggies. Ice isn't the answer to cooling our systems down. Using food and drinks that are cooling in nature are.
Beets, Carrots, Apples, Turmeric
Benefits: All 4 of these plants work directly on the liver to help cleanse and detox it. In Ayurveda, the liver is the seat of pitta. Remember, pitta is the energy of the summer. We need to help our liver (who, by the way does SO. MUCH. for our bodies), by helping release the heat and get things moving. One really easy rule in Ayurveda to remember, is if the color matches it, more than likely it will help that thing in your body. So, beets=red, blood=red, thus beets=blood. Easy!
Papaya, Mango, Carrot, Turmeric, Fresh Ginger
Benefits: papaya is a great fruit known for its digestive enzymes, This juice comes out a little thick, so it can be a little heavier than the other ones. Be aware that it can be slightly on the heating side, but the taste will be second to none. Mango is a great fruit for its mineral content (including zinc, magnesium, and potassium). All of the ingredients are a great source of beta-carotene, which is a great antioxidant for the body. This juice really can be great as a breakfast or dessert replacement!
A few notes before we leave:
Happy Summer Juicing Everyone!
Dates. I'm not talking about the activity you go on Saturday nights with your lover. I'm talking about the sweet, juicy, unctuous little fruits that are to die for.
Let me keep it real, real quick. I used to not like dates. I thought they were weird and didn't taste so good. Until Ayurveda. I just realized I was eating the wrong kinds! Anyway, let's get back to the dates.
Dates. They are revered in Ayurveda to be filled with ojas. Ojas? Well, ojas is the subtle essence of kapha. Ojas is what gives us our immunity, and keeps our bodies healthy and vibrant. It gives us suppleness, the ability to be tender and loving. It makes sure that all the moving parts in our body are a well-oiled machine.
It's important to nourish our ojas. There are different ways to do this. Food, being one of them. Dates are a great way to do this, because it has many of the same qualities as ojas--sweet, juicy, etc. Dates are also great for reducing vata and pitta. This shake is my go-to smoothie replacement. It's filling, nutritious, and I promise you a treat everyone will love.
Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on medium speed, until all ingredients have been processed completely, and you are left with a smooth and creamy shake.
Alternatively, you can warm the milk, dates, and figs on the stove to soften them up a little for approximately 7 minutes. Then, combine all ingredients including the warm milk with dates in the blender, and blend until all the ingredients have been well incorporated.
*Note: If possible, try to use organic, non-homogenized milk for the date shake. Also, you can switch out the dates for dried figs every now and then for some variety. Both are great ojas-promoters. You can also add in ½ -1 tbsp of Spirulina/Blue-Green Algae. The color will change to a pretty green, but you won’t be able to taste it at all.
I've spoken about the health benefits more than once on the blog and the newsletters. How it's important to get 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily, how you should drink room temperature water and not freezing ice cold. We've talked how hydration is key for so many normal functions of the body such as proper digestion, hydration of the skin, and lubrication of the joints.
It's no mystery that water--the substance that is 75% of our bodies and 75% of our planet--is crucial to our over health and well-being. Unfortunately though, it is still so hard for many to have the right amount of intake every day. And I get it, to some it's not the tastiest thing. Some can't stomach the idea of drinking room temperature water. I've heard a million different reasons in my practice and with my friends and family.
With that said, there are always solutions! Fruit infusion water bottles are all over the place these days. When I walk into work I can count at least 7-10 people who have some sort of fancy bottle that allows for them to infuse fruit to help with their water intake. And when I ask them if it works, they are so quick to say that yes, in fact it does. So, I thought, why don't I try it as well?
I happened to be at Target, and found the Define Bottle. It's a beautiful double walled glass bottle with a bamboo top. It comes with a little cage for loose teas that separates if you want to put in just water and fruit.
I'm not going to lie, I probably drank at least 4 bottles of my infused water and tea, plus the other plain water I was drinking. People are definitely onto something.
Below are my top 5 fruit and tea infusions that I made. Try them out! Tell me what you think! I've also posted what the ingredients are good for from an Ayurvedic perspective. If you're curious to see what ingredients would
*Quick note: when I say mashed blue berries, I just barely squeezed the berries in my fingers so that the juice can slightly be released into the water to obtain the flavor. They weren't completely mashed into a mush.
Try these out and let me know what you think.
Here's to healthy hydration! Cheers!