Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Staying Cool this Summer

It's HOT!

Yes, I realize it's August, and in the Midwest it's supposed to be hot and humid and miserable... but I don't have to like it!!

A few weeks ago we went on an awesome trip to Colorado.  Visited with family, did a bunch of hiking, ate good food, and just relaxed.   Oh - and Colorado has no humidity or bugs to speak of!  It was glorious.


Side note: P and I went to the Boulder Farmers market one morning (which was incredible, by the way) and while we were filling up our "all you can stuff in for $10" bag, we were talking to the woman there about the weather.  She mentioned how humid it was.  Uh, what?!?  I think it was 30% humidity, and apparently that was nearing unbearable for Colorado folk.  Crazy what you get used to, I guess.

Anyway, with the heat we're dealing with today, how do you cool down?
  • Sit in the pool or lake? 
  • Stay in the AC with your feet in a bucket of ice?
  • Eat ice cream? (well, yeah!)
All great solutions, of course, but if you're not in a place where you can do any of those things, you can practice "sheetali" or cooling yogic breathing.  It's easy and you can do it anywhere! 
  • Sit comfortably, take a few slow deep breaths through your nose to center yourself
  • Roll your tongue into a tube and begin breathing in through your mouth/tongue
    • Note: if you can't roll your tongue, just make your lips into a small "o" and breathe in
  • Exhale slowly through your nose
  • Repeat up to 10 times to feel the cooling effect   
(Source)

So if that's too weird for you to do when you're in the middle of the office, or at a party, whatever, no big deal (but give it a try sometime - I promise it works and is kinda fun!).

Here's another idea to help you keep your cool.   While on our trip to Colorado, we visited a cousin and her family and had a wonderful time catching up! When we arrived, she offered us this refreshing, delicious beverage (thanks, Katie!).  Since then, I've recreated this several times and am really enjoying the change from just plain old water.  And it's easy peasy to make!  Bonus!

Cucumber, Ginger, Mint Water

With a pitcher of fresh water (~2 quarts), mix:

  • Cucumber, 10 thin slices
  • Mint, a handful, rinsed and remove stems
  • Ginger, thumb sized knob, peeled and sliced or grated, you choose!

Stir it all up and leave in the fridge for easy access.  The water tastes more flavorful if left overnight at least, but a few hours will do the trick in a pinch.  Feel free to vary the amounts to your taste.

I like to keep it in a pretty pitcher - makes it more fun and feels special.  Enjoy and stay cool!

How do you stay cool in the summer?  Let me know in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!
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