While dining out one night at Mario Batali’s Babbo, he said to me the pearl “Crostada is Love”. Yes, my friends, food is love, so serve it up!!
Summer love can be found everywhere; in the flowers, in the air, in the water, all the elements. We are particularly lucky to be served up love by the earth with the bounty of food Mother Nature provides.
In preparing for summer, I love planting with my children. We plant fresh herbs (although my sage is the lone survivor) and flowers (my sunflowers are late bloomers). With each dig into the soil, I’m more amazed at how it all works. We put a seed into soil, add water, sunshine and it grows into something we can eat.
That’s a simple recipe for success.
Somewhere food got complicated. We know it’s vital to our health and necessary for survival but we’ve become very disconnected from the process of how we harness that natural power, put it on the table and into our family’s bodies. Summer is a perfect time to re-connect and appreciate the intimacy of that process.
Summertime is filled with adventures. Food is a stand-alone adventure. The key is to enjoy each seasonal ride! Our tastes change throughout the year and when the mercury rises, I naturally crave lighter and more refreshing foods.
Holistic Nutritionist, Laurie Borenstein, follows Aurvedic principals and believes the key to reconnecting with our natural appetite is to eat seasonally and locally. What grows naturally in your region is in season and meant to be eaten when it ripens. During the summer, opt for foods that are cooling and have a high water content.
Cool foods include: yogurt, fresh fruits (e.g. watermelon, plums, grapes, peaches) and summer vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash). Cooling foods can be identified by their blue, green or purple color and also by what grows the fastest like lettuce, celery and squash.
Take your meals outside. Whether a picnic lunch, quick stop on a park bench or a full-fledged Al Fresco dinner for 12, set yourself up outside.
We have regular lawn parties and love dining outside (sans bug bites). Enjoying the summer air, catching the summer breeze, first glimpses of fireflies and the stars are all magical elements. Dining Al Fresco evokes an unspoken feeling that this is what life is for.
Honor the Elements
You are feasting on nature. Look around and soak it in. Whether you are in the suburbs or the city, take in your scenery and company and notice what is on your plate. Enjoy it, honor it, sample it and infuse it with love.
Summer feasts are about barbecues and beyond. They are for simplifying the palette and sampling the freshest seasonal ingredients, herbs and fruits.
I take food seriously, that’s just how I was raised – in a family of foodies.
Food is a serious subject and there’s controversy around family mealtimes, or lack thereof. As we continue to tip the scales and more diseases are being systemically linked to what we eat, we can all breathe easier in the summer and explore ways to lighten up our family’s palette and get outdoors for some much needed activity.
Return to Liquid, Hydration is Key
I drink lots of water but sometimes I feel water is not enough, particularly as you sweat it out during the summer months.
My son saw the ‘Fresh Beat Band’ on Nick Jr. and they were making smoothies, and he is now into and open to experimenting with different fruit smoothie combinations. You can try any number of freshly made drink combinations. Get what fruit looks good and in season, cut it up, toss it into the blender and add fresh mint, grated ginger, some flax seed or a vitamin boost. Serve it up with a crazy straw.
Tip: Overbuy your fruit at the peak of the season and freeze. Smoothies are the best when you use real fruit ice cubes!
So I say, when in doubt, liquefy it.
Call over some family and friends, soak in the summer and make it a feast!!
About the Author
Cynthia Litman is a working modern mom with a classic twist. She has two delicious children and is the spiritual and visionary guide of Mommas Pearls. Cynthia began Momma’s Pearls in 2009 when her grandparents passed away as an outlet to remember and pass down their wisdom and integrate it into the quickly passing moments with her young family. Mommas Pearls provides insight and support to other everyday busy parents. Mommas Pearls has since dovetailed into the Mommas Pearls blog, talk radio show and M’S Gems – a blog written by her BFF Melissa who brings the practical, give it to you straight side of Mommas Pearls. Cynthia is also an entertainment lawyer with a niche in spiritual entertainment. Her firm Cynthia R. Litman, Esq., PLLC caters to the spiritual entertainment market. She is a founding partner of The Spiritual Cinema Circle (www.spiritualcinemacircle.com), a DVD club for spiritual films, Executive Producer of the Independent films “Lost In Sunshine” and “Boost”, production attorney for “Conversations With God” (film based upon the books by Neale Donald Walsch) and distribution attorney for Debbie Ford’s documentary film “The Shadow Effect” and Nicole Clark’s documentary film “Cover Girl Culture”. Cynthia is a contributing writer for the online magazine Bella Life and a Lifestyle expert for Skimbaco Lifestyle.