Ideas for a Cool Summer

Circulate Cool Air

One negative aspect of our new home is that we are without an air conditioner.  Okay, this is probably a bit misleading.  There are a few window A/C’s that are available, but we would prefer not needing to use them.  We are lucky because our basement is cool and dark unfinished dirt and concrete room.  This makes for very cool air.

We’ve started using a fan to push the basement air throughout our house, which was actually an idea that I got from a great book entitled Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century.

Basically the idea is to utilize the cooler parts of your home, but don’t forget that at night you should utilize the cooler air outside.  Anytime it is cooler outside than in your home, use your windows!  This may seem like common sense, but sometimes we all could use reminders.

Cook Slower and Cooler

We finally got our slow cooker back from my mom about a month ago.  It took a long time because previously our small apartments had absolutely no room for the bulky thing.  Now we have counter space and storage space.  I’ve made a few bulk batches of things including french onion soup, some black beans & rice, and some chicken stock.  I totally noticed how much easier it was to add these ingredients to the slow cooker and then walk away and I didn’t notice that my kitchen was warmer than normal.

What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

Don’t Cook

I have eaten tomato soup out of the can before, but that is the closest I’ve gotten to the next tip.  Don’t cook.

I totally get this tip, because I eat salad quite a bit.  Our garden has proven to be an incredible place to harvest veggies that can be immediately washed, cut, and then eaten.  Salads can become boring and bland after a while though.

Enter Cold Soups and Gazpacho’s.

The idea is simple – fresh ingredients are blended together and then chilled.  Here are some recipe links:

New York Times – Cold Soups
Soup Song
Allrecipes Best Cold Soup Recipes

Have you ever tried a cold soup or gazpacho?  What is your favorite recipe?  Is there one you’d like to try?

Take a Cold Shower

Nope, I am not joking.  I have a group of ladies I am in a group with on Facebook who really made me consider this option.  A few of them said they couldn’t take really hot showers because they would overheat.  This is pretty crazy for a girl who grew up with those scalding types of showers, I just figured that was normal.

My little brother started suggesting gradually cooler showers after he watched an episode of Dr. Oz.

1. Supercharge Your Metabolism: 5-Minute Deep Freeze

By taking a cold shower anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, you can jumpstart your metabolism. That’s because cold temperature activates brown fat, the fat-burning fat tissue in your bodythat burns energy to keep you warm. When taking a cold shower, you may experience some shivering, which indicates that you’re using energy to keep your body temperature up.

Try taking a quick shower in the morning or night. Start with 2 minutes of warm water to get your body temperature up, then switch to cold and work toward keeping the water temperature under 60 degrees. Over time, your body will become less sensitive to this drop in temperature.

I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and it has been really amazing how good I feel after a shower now.  I used to damage my skin with hot showers.  I’d get out of the shower with hot spots all over my back and the bathroom would be muggy and warm.  Now my body feels cool when I leave the shower but there is no shock that used to come from leaving a hot shower into a cooler room.  I feel so much more temperate and alert.

What are your tips for maintaining a cooler home in the summer?

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One Response to Ideas for a Cool Summer

  1. Open windows at night. Shut them mid morning and close shades. Use a fan that recirculates the air. If you live in a single family home an attic fan is crucial. If you want to get real into it, there are books written in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s based on growing certain trees and foliage in certain areas of your homestead to provide proper shade during the summer, but let in the light for the colder winter months before there was efficient ways to heat and cool a house.

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