Your Tasty Summer Grocery List
When you hear “grocery list,” what comes to mind first? For me, it is more than just items. It is about the experience and what I receive from it. Creating a grocery list is about how the experience is delivered and how much pleasure and joy I can find in the process.
Every season has its benefits. It is up to us to be consciously aware of them and to choose to align with nature so we can enjoy those benefits. We choose our clothing depending on the season and the current weather. In the same way, we can be conscious of how we choose our food, and only select food that delivers optimal well-being and enjoyment.
When eating, it is essential to pay attention to the experience of how you feel. Observe yourself and notice what truly brings enjoyment. Knowing yourself includes knowing your constitution and current state of balance.
Choosing summer foods that are appropriate for your unique physiology is an important part of maintaining your health throughout the summer.
You can eat the most beneficial summer food, but if you are tense, stressed, worried, nervous, or anxious, all the goodness from the food will not be used properly because of the fight, flight, or freeze response of your body. The released stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, during these states flood your body and turn into an added ingredient that blocks you from receiving any benefits from even the best foods.
It is much better to choose to pause, relax, breathe, and enjoy yourself, aligning with a powerful state of equanimity instead of rushing to find and make exactly what is on the list. Make conscious choices and keep raising your awareness. The more aware you are, the more powerful and successful you are in every area and aspect of your life, and the more your whole being is harmonized.
In Ayurveda, summer is associated with hot, light, and dry qualities, and there is an obvious influence from pitta dosha. Summer is the time to favor foods that are sweet, cool, fresh, and hydrating.
An Ayurvedic Summer Grocery List
Fruits: Apricots, avocados, berries, cherries, cantaloupe, grapes, honeydew melon, peaches, pineapple, coconut, plums, watermelon.
Veggies: Asparagus, celery, cucumber, lettuce, kale, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, turnips, spinach, watercress, squash, okra.
Spices: Anise, fennel, cumin, coriander, basil, mint, cilantro, parsley.
Mint: Spearmint, peppermint. Fresh mint is a great addition to many summer dishes. Mint is naturally cooling, tasty, and beautifully aromatic and it supports healthy digestion. You can choose your favorite kind of mint—spearmint, peppermint, lemon mint. There are infinite options! Invite your creative energies to play with it: from chutneys to adding it to salads, from enjoying it with fruits to serving a mint tea in the afternoon, or adding a fresh leaf to your water.
Water: Lemon, lime, mint. Hydrate by enjoying fresh, clean water. You can add fresh lemon, lime, and mint to your water if this makes it more enjoyable and tastier for you.
Organic, Local, and Picked Ripe
I wholeheartedly recommend choosing organic, local fresh foods. Whenever possible, favor fruits and veggies that are grown organically, locally, and are picked ripe.
Organically grown means more valuable nutrients are available. It also means that the natural integrity of the food is whole and delivers synergistic effects to all levels including a naturally enhanced taste and a potent nutritional content. Being organic also means that it has not been genetically modified.
Choosing local produce guarantees freshness and more nutrient value. Nutrition is being lost from the moment of harvest. The shorter the time between harvest and consuming, the more valuable nutrition and nourishment will be delivered, and it will taste better too.
Freshness affects the content, potency, value, and availability of the food’s nutrition. When produce ripens on the root, the way it is naturally created to be, its taste and nutrient content are exponentially enhanced making it more beneficial for your health, well-being, and enjoyment.
It can even make a difference when some herbs and spices are picked. The time of day and weather conditions of harvesting can bring increased benefits. It’s often best if they are harvested at noon on a sunny day. They are charged with the sun’s omnipotent energy and their innate power is activated and increased so you can benefit more from them.
Consider this big picture when you eat so you can benefit optimally from your food choices. Feeling relaxed, rested, happy, and joyful from within is essential to getting maximum benefits from the foods you choose. Also, when you are in a state of equanimity, you innately know what to choose and what is beneficial for you because you are in alignment and harmony within yourself.