Enjoying mornings and/or evenings out on the porch, deck, or patio? I am. My favorite reading chair sits on the front porch. I get the morning sun as I sip my tea and take in the scents and colors of the flowers in my garden and delight in the songs of the birds. And my family has been enjoying supper on the deck under the shade of the wisteria.

Do you want to stay healthy and feel cool during the warm summer months? One way to do so is to select a diet to help you stay cool and light.

1.  Eat mostly fruits and vegetables. These are high water content foods so they’ll keep you hydrated. Nature isn’t giving us this bounty of produce for nothing. She’s saying fill up on it while we’ve got the chance–luscious cherries, berries, grapes, and peaches; savory green beans; peppery arugula; crunchy lettuce and radishes; delectable tomatoes and basil; and refreshing cucumbers and watermelon.


2.  Eat cooling grains such as millet (see below)Try a vegetable and grain salad with millet or quinoa rather than pasta, and go heavy on the vegetables. See if you notice a difference in how you feel.

3. Cut back on dairy products and meat. These foods can contribute to a feeling of heaviness in the heat.


4. Eat your heavier/larger meals in the cooler part of the day. This way you burn off some of the calories before the day heats up and the heaviness bogs you down.

Click here for more information on living healthfully in the summer.

How to Cook Millet:  Soak 1 cup of millet in water for an hour or so. Rinse and drain.

Bring 2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp. salt to a full boil. Stir in millet and 1 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

How to Cook Quinoa:  Soak 1 cup of quinoa in water for 6+ hours. (I usually put it on to soak in the morning, and it’s ready to cook for dinner when I get home.) Rinse and drain thoroughly.

Bring 1 1/4 cups of water and 1/4 tsp. salt to a full boil. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer 30-35 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.