Food Rituals and Wellness

The tastes of summer are starting to appear!  I went to the farmers market Sunday expecting yet another week of pears and apples, and was delighted to find strawberries from Hayton Farms.  They are incredibly sweet and delicious - well worth the wait.  I decided years ago that grocery store berries from California, while available much earlier in the spring, just aren’t worth it.  

Another surprise was the first fava beans of the season from Nash’s Organic Produce. Every since I spent some time in Italy, I’ve been obsessed with spring fave, as they are know there.  I remember them appearing in April, around Easter.  We’d buy them buy the handfuls, bring them home, and toss them out on the table alongside fresh pecorino cheese (think soft, almost like a goat chèvre) and a bottle of Chianti Classico.  The fresh, almost squeaky, cheese perfectly compliments the fava beans, which we’d shuck right into our mouths and toss the pods back onto the table.  I readily adopted this food ritual into my own seasonal celebrations.  It makes an easy lunch at home with friends (add in an arugula and butter lettuce salad for some greens), or a fun picnic out in nature. 

These tastes - sweet strawberries and unsalted fresh sheep cheese, bitter greens, and astringent fava beans - are perfect for maintaining a healthy late spring and early summer diet.  We increase the taste of sweet as the weather heats up, and summer fruit is an ideal way to include this taste in your diet!  Fresh goat and sheep cheese are also pitta-pacifying, which means they helps reduce internal heat and aggravation. The idea, as I’ve discussed previously, is to keep cool inside our bodies while the weather heats up outside.

Want to learn more about Ayurvedic health?  Stay tuned for more details about my seasonal Accessible Ayurveda workshops out at Ecolibrium Farms this summer and fall, or schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss how this ancient wellness system can change your approach to health and wellbeing.  

Rebekah Papé is a writer, food and wellness consultant, yoga teacher, and The Riveter member.  She teaches breath, meditation, and yoga asana on Thursdays and Fridays at noon at the Capitol Hill studio.