delicious transition

Tree

After spending a few years living in Texas, where it was typically hot during majority of the year, then mildly cold for a few weeks before starting to get hot again, I’ve learned to truly appreciate the distinct seasons we experience here on the East coast. The extreme temperatures of Winter and Summer, the colors and smells of Spring and Fall, the slow transition between each one; it can’t be faked, there’s really no comparison.

Flower

I can’t point a finger at one time of year and call it my favorite, however the transition from Spring into Summer would be close to the top of the list. We’ve officially put away our winter clothes, save for a light jacket for the occasional cool night. The garden is in full bloom and busy with butterflies and bees visiting the newly-opened flower heads. Heavy rains are no longer constant, switching the conversations from “when will it stop raining,” to “when on earth will it rain?!”

Our bodies go through a seasonal transition as well. Congestion from the Spring begins to clear up and is replaced by a more dry, sharp scratchiness in the throat and eyes. Our skin turns a couple shades darker, feels warmer to the touch and if we aren’t careful, gets a painfully sharp burn from the sun. We crave lighter, cooler foods, and keep the fridge stocked with fruits and berries to snack on.  On a hot day nothing compares to the feeling of cool water on your skin at a local pool or body of water. It might seem like just obvious Summer behavior; this is Ayurveda.

It isn’t always so easy to follow our intuition to stay healthy.  This could be partially because certain “fad diets” have led us to believe in one solution for every body all the time, and it could be because we simply don’t recognize an imbalance until it is pointed out to us as one.  I’ve found in my personal experience that one area that must have constant attention called to it is digestion.

Spring months bring excess moisture and heaviness to the body and the mind.  In turn, our digestion can become a bit sluggish.  To clear out some of that extra earth and water element, a tea made from Cumin, Coriander and Fennel seeds (CCF Tea) is ideal.  Cumin is a slightly warming spice which fuels agni, the digestive fire and acts as anti-inflammatory to calm down many skin irritations. Fennel is more cooling for the body and soothes abdominal pain and flatulence. Coriander is a stimulant spice, which increases the benefits of the other 2 while it also aids the digestive process and builds the body’s vitality. Together these spices create a delicious tea which can be sipped warm before or after a meal, or cooled to room temperature and sipped on as a refreshing beverage throughout the day.

To make CCF tea, combine ½ tsp of each spice seed with 2 cups hot water, let steep about 10 minutes.  I like to combine equal parts in bulk, and either spoon into disposable tea bags for portability or keep in a jar as a loose-leaf tea. The flavor is deliciously satisfying and you’ll notice its effect on your body almost immediately.  A bonus benefit: CCF tea is a diuretic, and will help prevent UTI. You really can’t go wrong with this Summer-balancing spice tea.

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