The Crestone Eagle • August, 2021

Remembering the Roots: Staying Cool – summertime

by Jessica Forman

While summer is the peak of blossoming, gardening and frolicking activity, it can also be exhausting and frustrating keeping up with the pace in the Colorado sun’s intensity. It is helpful to take good care of ourselves in terms of nourishment, hydration and the self management of ensuring at least some down time, shade and even a bit of silence in the bustling dance of the season.

Opuntia flowers are a moistening, wild treat to taste.

Adequate hydration is essential. Adding a tiny pinch of sea salt to your daily drinking water will add in trace minerals and help your body hold onto the water better. I often enjoy cold infusions in the summer, namely, infusing select plants in cold or room-temperature water. Marshmallow root or leaf—a moistening plant ally, with rose petals—which are cooling on many levels, make an earthy, hydrating beverage to sip on through the day. Another of my favorite warm season drinks is hibiscus limeade, a tart yet sweet and chilling delight. Cold infuse the hibiscus—which is high in vitamin C and has refrigerant, or cooling properties—for a few hours to overnight (2-3 TBS per quart of water) to which you add the juice of 1-2 limes and maple syrup or honey to taste. 

In this dry terrain we all need a little support on our skin. Coconut is a well known oil for firey constitutions and makes a lovely all-body moisturizer in the summertime. It has cooling properties and I find that working with body oiling regularly is a grounding, self sealing, hydrating practice that leaves you glowing with happy skin that is nourished by your own loving touch. 

In this abundant time of year, all the fresh fruits and salad greens we have been dreaming of all winter are here at our fingertips. Eating on the lighter side the fresh, local produce is a helpful way to also stay cool; letting our digestion not work as hard as it does in the heavier, cooler month fare. It is also a great time of year to enjoy smoothies and juicing, which can be a bit too cooling at other moments throughout the year. Other classic cooling foods include yogurt, cilantro, cucumbers, fresh fruits and bitter greens (which are also amazing for digestion and liver support). 

Taking insight from the animal kin around us, we can also adjust our daily rhythms to the best of our ability. Utilizing morning and evening for more rigorous activity, resting and laying low (dare I say, siesta) when the sun is at zenith. 

Taking a dip in the creeks is some of the best calming and cooling medicine around. 

Be well. Take care. Enjoy.