I have always been interested in the French Provence fields of lavender, in the same way I am fascinated by Chinese herbal fields. Now, here I am with my whole family in the Provence market smelling the herbs, tasting the olives, and watching the locals carry their baguettes in their baskets to go home as children play in the dirt playground. The whole experience brought back my childhood memories. I started telling my daughter about all the things I used to do as a child: catching fireflies in the fields, swimming in the pond, jumping from trees to grapevines.
I remember my summers as a child and how hot they were. We would use Lotus leaves as umbrellas for shade from the sun. At night, we always had to sleep outside because the house was too filled with heat. My family and I, along with the other people in our town, would go to outdoor movies with our bamboo beds and bare feet, and sometimes would even sleep right there in town. I have such fond memories of my summers growing up in the countryside, and my trip to France brought back my childhood. Our life today is certainly lived at a different pace than it was back then. We may not be able to change how things are today, but we can certainly choose to live a healthy way of life through everything we choose to eat and use.
You see, in traditional Chinese Medicine, Summer is seen as the apex of our bodies’ energy. We should be our most active in summer, full of life and able to reach our maximum potential. It’s a time for playing, enjoying nature and rediscovering your inner child. In terms of skincare, Summer’s hot weather means more humidity and so our skin needs less moisture than it does in the winter. I recommend switching to a lighter moisturizer to keep pores clear. And as we spend more time in the sun and sand, it’s best to exfoliate our face (and body) regularly to get a fresh, natural glow and prolong our Summer tan.
As for your summer diet, try to eat plenty of “cooling” foods like fruits (especially berries), vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts, and a small amount of lean meat, poultry or fish. The best Summer diet consists of fresh fruits in the morning and plenty of leafy, green vegetables later in the day. Minimize your intake of dairy, fried and processed foods.
Do’s in summer recipes (“cooling” foods)
Chinese wolfberry leaves
Don’ts in summer recipes:
stir fried peanuts
stir fried cucumber
cold rice crackers
We use chrysanthemum in many of our skincare products, but here is a recipe for those hot Summer day, refreshing and thirst quenching Chrysanthemum Tea.
Cold Chrysanthemum Tea
60 – 80 White Chrysanthemum Flowers
3 teaspoon of Jasmine Yinhao Green Tea
Rock sugar or honey
4 liters of water
1. Wash the chrysanthemum.
2. Put chrysanthemum and tea into a cooking pot.
3. Pour in 4 liters of water and bring it to boiling.
4. Reduce heat and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
5. Put in rock sugar or honey.
6. Remove pot from the heat and allow to cool till room temperature.
7. Strain the tea and put into refrigerator.
8. Serve the tea chilled and enjoy!