Blog Post

How To Eat Move & Sleep In Summer

“There we go again, 2 months of hell.”

Is what a friend said when temperatures reached 38 degrees Celsius in Madrid.
(I know there will be someone reading this with a blanket on the couch after a week of non-stop rain and 10 degrees. If that’s you: I’m sorry)

I always forget how bad it is, summer in Madrid. I used to ignore everything ayurveda said about summer, because I could get away with it in 15 degrees and sun every other week.

Turns out I never knew what a real summer felt like.


It is hot. It makes you angry. It makes you want to sit in the freezer with your bikini on, eating an entire watermelon at once.


So. How do you survive 2 months of 35 degrees or higher?

These 3 tips are holy for me and make hell a bit more like earth. If you are blessed with what I consider to be a normal summer (30 degrees, mostly sunny, a bit of cooling rain), these tips are going to make summer heaven for you. Lucky you : )

#1 stay away from sour, salty, sharp foods

Are french fries with salt, curry or brie your favourite foods on a hot summer day? Not a great idea.

The tastes sour, salty and spicy (or pungent) will increase the heat in your body. Test it yourself: have a spicy curry in the hottest time of the day (10-14 h) in summer and notice how you feel.

Instead, choose cooling tastes: sweet, bitter & astringent.


So a great summer meal would be something like leafy greens with summer vegetables, cooked beans and some sweet fruit.


It doesn’t mean you can never ever have cheese, salty stuff or curries in summer. But try to always have all the cooling tastes as well. So make your curry with lots of coconut milk and cooling cardamom and choose for fresh cottage cheese instead of brie, as cottage cheese is cooling on hot days.


#2 walk

Why is it that we always seem to think the more complicated or more expensive something is, the more it will do for us? Sometimes the cheapest is the best : )


Walking is THE BEST way to exercise for every body type as it’s both energising and grounding. It will not only get you fit, it is a great release for the mind.


Summer is associated with the body type pitta, which is the one who analyses everything and likes to control things and people.

We all have a bit of that in summer. Even more if your constitution is pitta too.

How does walking help? Walking releases stress. It makes us aware again of our bodies and the mind doesn’t need to analyse what we’d doing while we walk. I find it the easiest way to come back to myself after a day of being in my head too much.


If you want an even more healing walk, walk in nature!


Looking at green leafs and trees is always important, but especially in summer. Go to a park, a lake or a forest. Your eyes will also love you for this as green is a calming colour to look at and it relaxed the eyes who are working harder with all the summer light.

#3 follow the sun

With all the extra light, it’s tempting to stay up super late. And yes, in summer we can go to bed a little later than in winter.

But try to be in bed no later than 2 hours after sunset.


Otherwise your body & especially your mind will wake up again (this happens between 10 pm and 2 am) and it will be hard to fall asleep.


Enjoy this calming & cooling ritual before going to bed if the heat is keeping you from sound sleep.

Practice mild restorative yoga like the vid below or meditation to calm the mind, have a luke warm shower with an olive oil massage (add a few drops of essential lavender oil for an even deeper chill mode) and make a deal with yourself to switch off all devices at least 1 hour before bed time.

Wake up as close to sunrise as you can & practice energising yoga or exercise: falling asleep easily at night starts in the morning!

That’s all folks! Hope this helps you. It works wonders in 40 degrees Madrid!

Let me know in the comments below which tip you like most & are going to start using this summer.


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  • Reply Katie @ Whole Nourishment September 10, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I loved this post, Eliza! Ayurveda has such important wisdom for us. The best thing is that a lot of it is intuitive and practical, but we need these reminders and nudges from time to time as well. Just found your yoga classes on Meetup. I’ll be coming tomorrow (Sunday) to Retiro. Please consider this my RSVP, as I’m having technical difficulties logging into my Meetup account right now.

  • Reply Carolina July 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks a lot for this post Eliza!
    Very interesting as always!
    Let’s enjoy summer time now!!!
    Big hugs :)

    • Reply Eliza Coolsma July 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      great to hear Carolina! yes let’s : )) xo

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