Summer may well be the most naturally balancing season for you. This is the time of year to root out any lingering winter lethargy by taking full advantage of the light, sharp, dry, expansive, and mobile qualities of the summer season. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not getting too much of a good thing, but this is really a perfect time to celebrate your potential—get fit, tackle goals, stretch outside your comfort zone, and maybe even lose a few pounds!
Foods to Favor
A diet dominated by fresh fruits and vegetables is ideal for kapha types. The best fruits for you will be those with an astringent quality like apples, berries, cherries, pears, dried fruits, apricots, peaches, and pomegranate.1 As for vegetables: eat your fill! You can also favor amaranth, barley, quinoa, basmati rice, rice cakes, most beans, cottage cheese and goat’s milk.1 Enjoy making your summer meals exciting and flavorful with a variety of spices, and lean on the cooling spices we’ve mentioned to help you beat the heat.
Acceptable Seasonal Indulgences
Because of the lightness and heat of the summer season, this is one time of year when you might be able to get away with a very occasional delectable sweet treat. Focus on light choices in small portions, and don’t overdo frozen foods and drinks—even though you may love them. Especially favorable choices would include a tapioca or basmati rice pudding, spiced milk, spiced chai, or a lassi (sweet or spiced yogurt drink).
Foods to Minimize
You’ll want to be careful not to over-indulge on heavy, nourishing or exceptionally watery fruits and veggies like avocado, banana, coconut, dates, figs, watermelon, cucumber, olives, parsnips, summer squash, and zucchini.1 Minimize heavy carbohydrates like cooked oats, pastas, and wheat.1 Because everyone is different, try to develop an awareness of your eating habits and how you feel after eating. Pay attention to subtle signs of increased heaviness or lethargy.
Kapha tends to be a bit static by nature, so summertime offers a great opportunity to overcome your internal sense of inertia with the light, bright, sharp and mobile attributes of the season. Embrace a new level of activity and engagement with life and you’ll find that your mind and body will thank you. You can tolerate a bit more heat than pitta types, but too much can be suffocating. You’ll do better if you’re active during the cooler times of day. Start your day early (before 6am) and do something active in the early morning—a jog or a bike ride, an active and invigorating yoga practice, or a challenging swim. You have natural strength and stamina and will benefit from pushing yourself a bit, physically. Guard against being overly sedentary, minimize daytime naps, and break out of your self-imposed limitations to embrace a new level of health.
1 Lad, Vasant. Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing. The Ayurvedic Press, 2006. 232-238.