I recently received a scholarship to attend Ted Med. One theme this year was looking at the body as a whole versus by isolated organ, symptom or problem. While this may seem obvious, it’s not how Western medicine is practiced.
A psychiatrist stood on stage and stated that psychiatry’s “smoking gun” may very well be the immune system (I’ll add that 70% of the immune system is in the digestive tract, you get the idea. . .). He then referenced Benedict Spinoza, the Dutch philosopher, who suggested “the body created the mind.” To me, he was like a riveting Baptist preacher giving a Sunday sermon. The best minds in Western medicine are open to treating the whole person. I had come home.
But you don’t need Dutch philosophers or the vanguards of Western Medicine to tell you that the various systems in your body work together. On a hot summer night, observe the pitchers of sugary fruity cocktails perched on sidewalk tables, the lines for ice cream, frozen yogurt and other cold treats. In the summer, we naturally try to cool off our bodies through our taste buds.
And for many, summer is one of the most challenging food times. The heat compounded with an overbooked schedule and body dissatisfaction send many straight to the temporarily cooling and soothing nature of frozen sugar and alcohol concoctions. The ice cream and margarita cravings (as opposed to watermelon, cucumber and ice water cravings) are symptoms that you need to cool down from the intensity of your life.
This is where incorporating more raw foods can help to air-condition your body and cool off your mind. The high nutrient and water content will help to energize you, control your weight and make your summer skin on display glow.
Here are some recipes designed to keep you cool, hydrated and calm during intense summer months:
Most importantly, cooling down your body and mind helps to prevent the feelings that your body is unacceptable. For many women, these feelings lead to extreme detoxes, cleanses, and over-exercising that cause muscle and water loss. With a highly connected body and mind, these abusive feelings and actions towards the body lead to the compulsion to do “unacceptable” things—like bingeing or cooling off in a pool of alcohol or ice cream.
I know that being and appreciating where you are is easier said than done. It took me 18 years to implement this simple idea! Next month I have a fun challenge to help with this key emotional piece.
To keepin’ it cool in mind, body and science,