Woodford Files – Love Your Local Farmer; Cool Down With Anti-Inflammatory Foods

This July/August issue has got to be one of Vitality Magazine’s most popular issues of the year. Now in its 10th year, our Annual Guide to Organics is a comprehensive directory of farms, markets, suppliers, and events in the province, and this year Victoria Moorshead has worked hard to make it our biggest Guide ever. It’s a wonderful testament to the growing strength of our local organic movement, which is so important now that nutrition is recognized as a critical factor in preventing and curing disease. In addition, the recent mass killing of bees caused by pesticides sprayed on crops is making us realize just how dangerous conventional agribusiness can be, so those who dare to make the switch to organic farming deserve all our praise and support.

Because we weren’t able to fit all 20 pounds of organic potatoes in our 10 pound bag, you will find an even bigger version of the Guide to Organics on our website, where it will continue to grow over the coming year as more farms, markets, restaurants, and suppliers are added. (If you wish to add your organic business to the Guide, send us an email at: editorial@vitalitymagazine.com.)

Meantime, I have to admit that summer is not my favourite time of year. Being raised in the north country, I’m more at home traipsing through snow in my mukluks than baking in the heat of a hot city. Thankfully, I have a few tricks to make the heat and humidity more tolerable, and some days I even find myself enjoying it:

1) Switch to a vegetarian diet. Since meat raises the body’s thermal temperature, consuming it makes the summer heat harder to tolerate. Symptoms of overheating include anger, short temper, insomnia, impatience, skin redness, and hot flashes. By switching to a plant-based diet, the body starts to feel cooler on the inside, thus increasing one’s tolerance for environmental heat.

This month, Julie Daniluk’s feature on food energetics explains in detail how some foods are energetically ‘heating’ to the body while others are ‘cooling’. Once you get the hang of using different foods to increase or decrease your body temperature, you can easily enhance your comfort level in any season.

2) Find ways to reduce inflammation, also known as “toxic heat.” Of great benefit are foods with a high chlorophyll content and ORAC value (leafy greens, superfoods, herbal teas), as well as bitter herbs and greens (which cool and tonify a hot/toxic liver, i.e. dandelion, andrographis, yarrow). The consumption of these has a side effect of naturally deodorizing the body so that you can sweat freely all summer without stinking up your surroundings. This in turn reduces the need for chemical deodorants and toxic perfumes. In addition to diet, other strategies can be used to extinguish the fires of inflammation in the body. These include: yoga and meditation (which cool the mind and emotions), spending time in nature, and most importantly – rest and relaxation (which nourishes your “yin” and cools your “yang”).

So that’s my prescription for a maximally enjoyable summer – slow down, quaff a cool herbal beverage, and take lots of deep breaths. That’s what we’re going to do. Have a good one. We’ll see you back here in September.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine

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