Can we see how nature provides us with the necessary foods to help us make balance with each season of the year? Eating according to “natural laws”, i.e. local, organic and seasonal produce, it makes sense we will be much more in balance with the environment. Now, if we have tropical fruit, sugar, ice cream and other overly expansive or contractive products (deep fried/barbecued animal products, pizzas, smoked products, refined salt), it will be difficult for us to make balance with nature and body-mind will suffer the consequences.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are in the Summer time, which corresponds to the FIRE element, influencing the heart and small intestine. Later we will talk at length about this millenary cosmology that describes the “energetic” movements of nature throughout its different cycles. For the moment I want to talk to you about what we should eat in SUMMER to vibrate adequately with our surroundings.
It’s summer. What do we see? What do we feel? Sun, heat, light, long days, growth, profuse growth, bright colours, exuberance, celebration … all this reminds us of FIRE.
In many traditions fire has been associated with Love. When we like someone or something, the heart rate increases. This archetype has to do with the harmony we feel when enjoying something intensely, and likewise, with the power of enthusiasm, communication and modulating the rhythm of life. Therefore, the fire element, as an archetype, is related to passion. But be careful! Passion can be used for good (to communicate, excite, compassion, empathy) or negatively (occurrences, falsehoods, appearances, emotional manipulation).
We all have a heart and the power to use passion and empathy that often makes our eyes shine when we communicate something passionately.
Those with a balanced fire personality are generally people who are very good at “feeling the rhythm” of others, they know how to reach their heart, empathize. But they know how to do it from tranquility and stability and respect for the natural rhythm. It is the ability to be peaceful, conscious and to be “present” in the here and now. They are enthusiastic, good communicators and cheerful.
However, when a person with a “fire personality” gets out of balance (due to bad eating habits or other reasons) often have heart problems, arms hanging down, or otherwise become hysterical. You can find typical personality traits: agitated mind, do many things at once, too much “empty” talk, arrogance …
What pushes the Heart / Small intestine out of balance?
|YANG: They favor the hardening of the arteries, they block the functioning of the heart and circulation.||YIN: Stimulants, harm the heart and circulation. They also produce moisture, weakness, fluid accumulation.|
|Oven, barbecue, fried, iron...||Stimulants|
|Excess (or poor quality) of salt||Coffee|
|Tropical fruit and vegetables|
How can we balance the heart / small intestine through cooking?
Cooking for the FIRE element will enhance a light and active energy, refreshing and opening.
- Reduce cooking times
- Use less oil and we will avoid flours and baking.
- Avoid too contractive food
- Blanched, marinated, steamed, short sautéed, quick pressed and a little raw food.
- Toasted seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin). Nuts: nuts.
- Summer vegetables are more juicy and refreshing, something necessary to adapt to the heat of the moment. Salads and raw vegetables, for the same reason, should not be missing from our menu.
The bitter taste is provided by the bitter vegetables (artichokes, lettuce, endive, escarole, kale, Brussels sprouts, dandelion, chicory, mustard greens, okra, chive, chard, turnip greens, turnip greens, large green leaves.
- Seaweed: nori (benefit heart and circulation), wakame, dulse, agar-agar.
- Whole grains: Corn (and semolina), popcorn, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum. Seitan
- Other vegetables: asparagus, red peppers, tomato, beetroot
- Legumes: tofu, large beans, beans.
- Condiments: tamari, tekka
Some representative recipes:
Why not try these yummy recipes?
Last but not least… Can you think of a celebrity who meets the characteristics of an “unbalanced fire energy personality“? What do you think he or she should eat to behave in a more rational way? Do not forget to give us your opinion … and enjoy the recipes!