During the warmer months, try incorporating cooling foods into your diet to improve metabolism and digestion.
Ayurvedic Principles of Cooling Foods
Last September, I was given a unique opportunity to provide fueling strategy and crew support for an athlete who finished an “Amazing Race Meets Ironman” adventure: The Epic5 Ultra Tri Challenge on five Hawaiian Islands. Read more about my adventure here. The athlete, Michele Santilhano, is the 3rd female finisher to finish the challenge, which includes completion of 5 consecutive days of 5 iron-distance triathlons.
The Ayurvedic Principles were incredibly beneficial for this event.
As part of my role as crew chief/nutrition consultant for this multi-day ultra-endurance event, a key objective was to provide fuel for Michele with whole foods, which provide necessary co-factors to digest and utilize nutrients.
Due to the high temperatures and humidity of the Hawaiian Islands, pure-water sourced hydration was important. But the game changer for Michele was a simple vegetable: the cucumber. This widely-available vegetable is incredibly important in terms of supplying natural hydration and also can be used topically to promote sunburn relief.
Cooling Foods + Their Uses
- “Cooling” herbs and spices: fennel, mint, and coriander. Add to beverages and dishes.
- “Cooling” produce: avocado, cucumber, dark leafy greens, peppers, berries, sea vegetables, watermelon, and kiwis. Eat whole or combine in dishes.
Note: Make sure to practice moderation when consuming fruit, as ingesting too much in a short period of time can significantly raise blood sugar levels. Keep energy levels steady by creating a leafy-green based smoothie – like this one!