Are You Ready for the Fifth Season?
Nature’s four seasons bring order (somewhat) to our daily routines, but are you familiar with the fifth season? Our crazy Colorado Summer got a late start due to a mid-June snowstorm, and I’m not quite ready to see it come to a close.
Classic Chinese Medicine adds Late Summer to the four familiar seasons to give us time to pause, shift and prepare for the upcoming longer, often harsher seasons of Autumn and Winter.
This fleeting season is tucked between Summer and Autumn and brings a powerful time of transition. It seems to say, “Get ready, get ready, get ready!” This brief time allows us to rejuvenate our health, energy and well-being as we begin a new season.
You’ve probably already noticed the cooler morning air and later sunrise. Soon we’ll end Daylight Saving Time (November 3, 2019), and experience darkness earlier in the day!
How do you prepare for this seasonal shift? Do you have seasonal rituals or traditions? As we savor these last days of Summer, and near the end pickings of the garden, I’m curious, “How did you grow this summer?” What new things did you try? I received several notes from some of you with summer produce recipes that you tried. Several of you shared your amazing travels and the new foods you tried.
As much as I enjoy planting my garden in the spring, I also enjoy putting it to rest. That “clearing out” time is approaching. I do have a few Winter Squash that will take my gardening into late Fall.
The end of season green beans, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers keep my diet fresh for a few more weeks. I hope you savor these fleeting days of Late Summer, and all the flavors that it brings. Change is in the air. Are you “in balance” for change?
There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.
~Celia Thaxter, 1835-1894, American writer, poet
Cucumber: Fun Facts to Keep You Healthy (and Cool)
• Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
• For that tired feeling in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. *** Add a few slices of fresh cucumber to a pitcher of purified water; let flavors infuse for about an hour; add ice and serve. Enjoy! Use cucumber water as a great cooling beverage in your water bottle during your work-out or hiking activity.
• To avoid a post summer B-B-Q hangover/headache, eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost from taking in excessive alcohol, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
Cucumbers are commonly paired with cold salmon and are a key ingredient in many Greek (tzatziki) and Indian (raitas) dishes. Cucumbers can be sliced or grated onto salads or sandwiches for a cooling summer lunch.
Many keys to wellness are within our reach––in the refrigerator or pantry! Let Nature’s seasonal foods keep you healthy in all seasons!
2 medium tomatoes, cut into cubed pieces
3 small cucumbers, cut lengthwise in fourths then sliced
1 small green bell pepper, remove seeds and chop into small pieces
1 small white onion, finely chopped
Fresh basil or parsley finely snipped
Place all the above vegetables in a salad bowl.
Make a dressing of red wine vinegar OR balsamic vinegar and olive oil and toss on the vegetables.
Enjoy the salad with a warm whole grain baguette.