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Embracing Summer's Energy: Aligning Nutrition and Lifestyle with Nature's Rhythms




This month at HartsSpace, we are leaning into flow and trust, exploring ways to transform fear and control. At our upcoming 2024 Summer Day Retreat, we will dive into a full-immersion body trust practice with returning guest favorite, Lindsay the Wedding Choreographer. We will explore what it feels like to experience belonging and connection, both to self and others. In the spirit of connection and deep belonging, Karin will teach about ancestral eating in the Pacific Northwest, offering another food paradigm rooted in rich practice rather than driven by aesthetics. Read on for a sneak peek into ancestral eating and summer nourishment.


Seasonal Insights for Health


As summer unfolds, it brings a surge of vibrant energy and invites us outdoors for new adventures. Amidst this exhilaration, it's vital to align our health practices with the seasonal shifts that influence our overall well-being.


Summer amplifies social interactions and travel, heightening the risk of seasonal illnesses such as flu and allergies. Dr. Deanna Minich, renowned in nutrition and functional medicine, emphasizes the importance of adapting our routines to maximize the benefits of summer. While sunlight boosts vitamin D levels, crucial for immune support and bone health, longer daylight hours can disrupt sleep patterns due to altered melatonin production. Personalized nutrition, adequate sun exposure for vitamin D synthesis, and maintaining good sleep hygiene help navigate these seasonal nuances effectively.


Nutritional Strategies for Summer Wellness


Incorporating seasonal, hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, and leafy greens not only provides essential nutrients but also helps cool and hydrate our bodies. Local farmers' markets brim with fresh produce such as tomatoes, berries, and peppers, offering delightful ways to embrace summer's bounty. Hydration remains crucial, with infused water offering a flavorful twist to staying hydrated.


Exploring Pacific Northwest Summer Nutrition


Many of the foods found at local farmers' markets or farm stands are native to the Pacific Northwest. Choosing these plants reconnects us with our heritage through the consumption of natural, whole foods that nourished our ancestors. This approach values health beyond physical appearance, emphasizing a compassionate understanding of nutrition's role in overall well-being. By embracing our cultural and ancestral roots, we deepen our appreciation of how food choices impact our health and vitality. This connection fosters informed decision-making grounded in meaningful connection, promoting a lifestyle centered on health and vitality rather than shame or external pressures.


In the lush Pacific Northwest, the traditional diets of the Coast Salish Tribes celebrated fresh, local foods perfectly attuned to seasonal rhythms. Staples like juicy salmon, sweet huckleberries, and hearty greens not only provided sustenance but also honored a culinary heritage deeply rooted in the natural cycles of the region.


Ideas for Enjoying Local, Seasonal Food


  1. Visit Farmers' Markets: Explore local markets to discover fresh produce, seafood, and artisanal goods like berries and leafy greens.

  2. Join a CSA Program: Support local farms and enjoy a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs through a Community Supported Agriculture share.

  3. Forage for Wild Edibles: Safely gather wild foods abundant in the Pacific Northwest during summer, such as berries and mushrooms.

  4. Cook with Seasonal Ingredients: Create culinary delights with Pacific salmon, grilled vegetables, and fresh local greens.

  5. Preserve Summer Bounty: Extend the season's flavors through canning, freezing, or drying methods like making jams or pickling vegetables.

  6. Support Local Seafood: Indulge in sustainable Pacific Northwest seafood offerings like salmon and Dungeness crab, plentiful during summer.

  7. Attend Local Food Events: Engage in food festivals and farm-to-table dinners celebrating seasonal ingredients and local cuisine.


Embracing local, seasonal foods not only supports the community but also enriches your health and culinary experiences with the freshest flavors the Pacific Northwest offers.


Balancing Energy and Rest


Functional Medicine believes that nourishing the whole person involves more than just balanced eating. It includes the ways we move, connect, and sleep as well. While summer encourages outdoor activities and socializing, achieving balance between activity and rest is paramount. Early mornings and late evenings provide quieter moments ideal for reflection, meditation, or gentle yoga, complementing summer's dynamic pace and nurturing inner harmony.


Deepening Connections


Warm summer evenings set the stage for meaningful connections with loved ones. Sharing meals, laughter, and stories under the stars nourishes both body and soul, making these gatherings cherished highlights of the season.


Conclusion


As you embrace the vitality and expansive energy of summer, remember to honor your body's needs by aligning with nature's rhythms. Integrating insights on seasonal health and adopting nourishing practices can help you cultivate a summer filled with vitality, connection, and deep harmony with the world around you.

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3 Comments


Lovely blog thank you!

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A lovely and warming message. Thank you!


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katiehart
katiehart
Jun 15

I love this

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