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By Katie Jenson-Hull / The Radiant Nutritionist
I don’t know about you, but the seasons are galloping by this year. The last few months have been very busy over here @theradiantnutritionist. Within the space of a week I had graduated as a Nutritional Therapist, moved home, settled my family into new routines, started a new career and taken on more studies. When life becomes like this it is all the more reason to be fully rooted in the present moment.
Now in May we are in the final chapter of spring. Nature has done its thing. Shoots have sprouted, the days have become longer and brighter and there is a sense of optimism in the air for what is to come. Summer is knocking at the door ready to bloom in all its glory. The sun is finally shining. We had our first BBQ the other day, shared a rose in the garden after dark and stuffed a wicker basket full of treats to have as a picnic. My linen dresses are washed and my toes are pedicured ready for sandal season.
Even with all the loveliness that summer brings, seasonal shifts can still often affect our mental, emotional and physical state. This can make us feel unbalanced and out of sorts. If we haven’t done any groundwork in spring and planted our own personal metaphorical seeds of healthy nutrition and lifestyle, the transition may not come easily. We may not be as fully energised internally to be our optimal self.
To make this time a little easier I have 3 simple habits I like to take on during the transition of spring to summer. These help to cultivate a summer full of energy and vibrance.
I transition with cooling whole foods, and incorporate seasonal fruits, leafy greens, fish and avocados as a way of replenishing and hydrating the body. Other seasonal cooling foods include:
I like to make a big beautiful nutrient-dense green salad full of fresh seasonal ingredients to enjoy before meals. I simply dress my salad leaves with lemon juice and olive oil. Super simple and ever so delicious.
Choosing organic foods and personal care products where possible helps to support the liver with the change of the seasons. I reduce processed foods and oils, refined sugar and caffeine. Reducing our intake of these foods can help us to feel calmer with the transition. It isn't just nature that responds with the change in the season, so do we. We can feel out of sorts and lack focus and clarity. Choosing an anti-inflammatory diet rich in nutrients can help the body and mind ease into summer.
Moving outside in nature in a way that mindfully serves your body well is always a good idea. Summertime is connected to the heart in Traditional Chinese Medicine, therefore I like to do activities that support my cardiovascular system. For example, riding my bike through the park, organising an evening “walk and talk” walk with friends or taking an exercise class out in nature.
I also like to walk barefoot around my garden at this time especially after dinner to aid my digestive system. Feeling the green grass beneath your toes is a wonderful mindful way to help ground you in the seasonal transition period.
Summer can actually be a time that is stressful to some. For many of us it means the prospect of wearing less clothes and showing more of yourself to the world. Working on a positive mindset, one that shows self love and compassion for yourself can really help. You may feel your body is not in the place you would like it to be in. But every fine line, stretch mark and scar tells a story about you. It is what makes you you. I remember last year on holiday I had a freeing feeling. I had been working on my mindset prior and turning 40 had given me a new sense of confidence. I no longer worried what people thought, nor cared what they were saying (probably nothing). I was healthy, happy and glowing in my own way. That’s what mattered.
Harness the energy of summer and form a routine of daily positive talk and positive affirmations. Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. When you have a negative thought about yourself, question where this could be coming from? The more you give yourself self love and smile at yourself in the mirror the more you will begin to feel yourself gathering the energy and vibrancy of the season. Your radiance will shine out from within for all to see, including yourself.
I hope that the transition to summer arrives with a renewed sense of self. For you to embrace the joy and energy of summer. Staying in tune with the seasons in my opinion can lead to a healthier and happier life.