Getting Into a Healthy Summer Routine
The sun is out, the days are long and the birds are singing - it's time to join the celebration and get the most out of your Summer!
We generally feel happier and healthier in the Summertime because the sunshine provides us with Vitamin D to boost our mood; fresh fruits and veggies provide us with the nutrients we need to feel alive and the great outdoors welcomes us to explore and exercise in the fresh air. Since we generally have more energy and motivation during the Summer, it's a good time to start a healthy routine to boost your vitality even more and to get you through the Fall and Winter months to come.
To do this, I recommend following your own ancient rhymth discovered by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM, every 2-hour interval represents a different organ system. These 2-hour intervals can show us if there are any problems within a particular organ system and also gives us an opportunity to strengthen our organ systems at certain times to gain vitality. Lets start when the sun comes up...
5:00-7:00am - Large Intestine
You may shudder at the idea of waking up at these "ungodly" hours, but I propose you try it for a week and see how you feel. The TCM Large Intestine is associated with detoxing the body and removing waste through the bowels. The TCM Large Intestine is about "letting go" both physically and emotionally. This is the best time to have your daily bowel movements and to drink lots of water to support waste elimination.
7:00-9:00am - Stomach
The TCM Stomach controls the digestion of food and the transportation of food Energy. Which means your Stomach is at it's height of digestive powers and it's the best time to eat your large wholesome breakfast!
9:00-11:00am - Spleen
The TCM Spleen is associated with mental processes, muscle strength, metabolism of food and converting nutrients into energy. The Spleen helps to digest your breakfast and provide energy for exercise, making this the best time for your morning work-out. It also enhances mental clarity so you can have a productive start to your workday.
11:00am-1:00pm - Heart
The TCM Heart is associated with joy and connection. This is the best time to take a break and have lunch with coworkers, friends or family where you can enjoy conversation, connect with others and nourish the body. The TCM Heart dislikes excess heat in the body so try to avoid heat producing habits like caffeine, high intensity exercise and spicy foods.
1:00-3:00pm - Small Intestine
The TCM Small Intestine is responsible for sorting and balancing your body fluids. It takes the "turbid" foods from breakfast and lunch and send them to the bladder for elimination. It's very important to stay hydrated throughout the day in order to properly flush out toxins accumulated during the day.
3:00-5:00pm - Bladder
The TCM Bladder is responsible for removing the fluid that the Small Intestine has provided. It is important to stay hydrated during this time as well to help you detox from breakfast and lunch. The Bladder likes salty foods so having a snack with miso, veggie broth or seaweed is ideal. It's also the best time for your afternoon tea!
5:00-7:00pm - Kidneys
The TCM Kidneys store our "essence" and governs birth, growth, reproduction and development. This is the best time to eat dinner to restore your energy from the day. Between the 2 kidneys lies the Gate of Vitality, which provides heat and energy for all body functions, including sexual activity, making this the best time to enjoy some personal time with your partner ;) and the best time to conceive.
7:00-9:00pm - Pericardium
The TCM Pericardium is associated with being the protector of the heart. This is the best time for personal time, to reflect on your day and to practice meditation or gentle stretching.
9:00-11:00pm - Tripple Warmer/San Jiao
The San Jiao is responsible for metabolism, detoxification, body fluid balance and the lymphatic system. This is the best time to go to sleep so the body is able to start detoxifying and regenerating for the next day.
11:00pm-1pm - Gallbladder
The TCM Gallbladder controls judgement and decision. When we stay up past 11:00pm, this often impairs our judgement, decisiveness and mental abilities for the next day.
1:00-3:00am - Lung
The TCM Lung helps to circulate Qi (Energy) throughout all the meridian systems. It is very important to be sleeping deeply during this time to enable the Qi to circulate and restore the other TCM organs.
3:00-5:00am - Liver
The TCM Liver ensures the smooth flow of Qi through the meridians to enhance energy, mental state and digestion. As with the TCM Lung, it is important to be sleeping soundly during this time to enable a smooth flow of Qi to optimize energy, mental clarity and digestion.
It can be difficult to follow this routine exactly with differing work schedules and responsibilities, but try to incorporate whatever you can into your daily routine see if you begin to feel more energized. Let me know how it goes!
Yours in Health,