Friday, September 9, 2011

It's TOO Hot

Much to everyone’s delight the summer heat has arrived in Portland. I hate it. 90+ degrees is just too hot when homes don’t have air conditioning or pools. If you are like me and find yourself maxed out and miserable here are a few things I have been doing to try to survive this oppressive heat.

All things Mexican seem to make eating in the heat slighting more appealing. Even better most of it requires very little cooking. I have been living off guacamole and black bean tacos for almost a week straight now. Black beans can be made in a crock pot which hardly omits any heat and can be used while away at work, so you don’t have to be home for the actual cooking process. Black beans are also a great low fat, vegan protein source. Healthy Healthy!

In the past I have gotten a lot of flak for my avocado habits. True the fruit (commonly thought of as a veggie but it’s a fruit) is high in fat. But what people don’t know is that is it one of the most commonly prescribed foods for people suffering from high cholesterol. The fruit contains oleic acid which helps the body regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also an amazing source of potassium, which is also helpful in guarding again circulatory disease and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Plus its chock-o-block full of vitamin E, K, B6, C, copper, folic acid and fiber. So just because something is high in fat doesn’t mean it should be avoided especially when that high fat item is a plant.

My Guacamole recipe:
1 avocado
1 lime
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup cilantro
chili powder
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Peel, chop and mash the avocado. Add as much lime juice as can be squeezed from the lime, mash more. Chop shallots, garlic and cilantro, add to mashed mess. Add chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Done and delicious.

I love Mexican food…..LIKE LOVE Mexican food. The only thing I missed (other than friends and family) when I studied aboard in Austria was Mexican food. But if you don’t get as excited about it as me, other good things to eat when it’s too hot to cook are cold veggies. It may sound uninspiring but salad, fresh cut cold veggies and chilled fruits will do a lot of help cool your core body temperature while also delivering much needed nutrients to help restore damage done by overheating and sun exposure.  You can also try making your own popsicles from fruit juices frozen in plastic containers with tongue depressors set in for holders. Just try to avoid juices from concentrate and those high in sugar.

Another great heat reliever is cold showers. They are incredibly refreshing and soaking your head (especially if you have long thick hair) in cold water it will lower your body temperature quickly. They are also great for your circulatory system as well as being good for the shine and tensile strength of hair follicles. Taking cold showers have also been known to help boost your immune system and metabolism, detoxify your body, fight fatigue, reduce swelling, improve kidney function, and normalize your blood pressure. Plus it reduces the amount of electricity you are using which will save you a few dollars at the end of the month.

Also don’t forget to drink plenty of water and avoid things that dehydrate you like sugars, alcohol and caffeine. Wear at hat or head covering when in direct sunlight and don’t get sun burned.

Happy weekend all!

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