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Seasonal Living - Summer

Summer is the season of expansion and ripening, the season of growth. The body’s yang energy is abundant and the season’s energy is associated with the heart and fire element. According to the 5 element theory, an overactive heart energy can affect the lung (fire overacting on metal). Therefore, it is advisable to eat less bitter foods and more pungent foods during the hot summer months. The bitter taste corresponds to the fire element and pungent flavor the metal element. Sweat is the fluid of the heart. Excessive sweating can damage heart qi leading to depletion of bodily fluids and weakens the mind and body. With symptoms of restlessness, insomnia, annoyance, and low energy.

The hot summer days can affect the fluid and electrolyte balance of the body. Here are some food recommendations to keep the body cool and balanced during summer:

  • Broccoli

  • Bamboo

  • Cucumber

  • Apricot

  • Watermelon

  • Lemon

  • Strawberries

  • Cantaloupe

  • Asparagus

  • Orange

  • Mung beans

  • Seaweed

  • Chinese cabbage

  • Peach

  • Tomatoes

  • Job’s tears (Pearl Barley)

  • Bitter melon

  • Wax gourd

  • Lotus seeds

  • Fish

Cold beverages are often consumed to combat the summer heat but this creates coldness in the abdomen. If the person has a weak digestive system, the internal cold can cause diarrhea further exhausting yin fluids of the body. Make soups that warm the stomach while clearing heat and drains dampness to aid in proper digestion.

Here’s a simple summer recipe that Clears heat, Detoxifies, Nourishes yin and Calms spirit

Mung Bean & Lily Bulb Soup


  1. Mung bean (Green bean) 150g.

  2. Lily bulbs (Bulbus lily) 50g.

  3. Rock sugar – according to taste preference


  1. Wash the mung beans and lily bulbs

  2. Add the mung bean and lily bulbs in a pot

  3. Add 5-6 cups of water

  4. Turn on stove at high heat until boil

  5. Simmer on low heat for approximately 30 minutes or when the mung bean’s skin is broken. Turn off heat and keep the cover on for a few minutes

  6. Add rock sugar

When you live in accordance with the seasonal energies, your body is healthy and vibrant. The ancient Chinese used foods and its healing properties to sustain and promote health. You can too.

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