MONO MEALS // Savoring summer

We love summer. Long sunny days are good for the soul.

The Balm was partially inspired by a winding road of coconuts that celebrated the beauty and simplicity of one ingredient that was great for everything. Our brand philosophy is founded on the idea that when possible, less is more.  Skincare products that are good for everyone and good for all. There is something so refreshing and liberating about a more simple perspective. 

We believe that summer is the perfect time to take this approach to food.

While we love recipes, and the variety and creativity that comes with crafting a delicious meal is satisfying, sometimes that can feel a little overwhelming. When it's hot outside we often just don't feel like cooking much of anything. Certainly standing over a hot stove loses its allure.

Enter the Mono Meal. I know this might sound a little fringe, and the idea feels absurd to many people, but summer is the perfect time to offer yourself the opportunity to introduce more cleansing foods into your diet, and embrace a more simplistic approach to food. 

When we eat a variety of foods at one sitting, the amount of digestive energy it takes to properly digest everything is tremendous. This is why so often people feel tired and sluggish after a meal. As our food choices get poorer, and we veer further and further away from traditional food combinations, the amount of digestive issues on the rise is staggering. Some studies show that over 16 percent of Americans are chronically constipated, and if you've ever truly been constipated you know - it's not fun! Not only is being constipated uncomfortable, it can also contribute to a variety of issues and inflammatory skin conditions including eczema, acne and psoriasis, as well as effecting mood and energy levels. Research is only starting to tap into all of the reasons having a happy gut is important. 

Eating mono meals helps eliminates fatigue from digestion, and helps your brain retrain when it is full. When we eat a meal that has a variety of tastes and textures we aren't truly tapping into that feeling of satiety. We might go from salty to sweet, smooth to crunchy, etc. And our tastebuds get ahead of our stomachs before it can say "we're full". If you look at children they will tend to eat one thing at a time, but as they grow older and adults intervene they grow out of it. We've all been long trained to believe that variety makes a meal complete, rather than getting the maximum benefit one ingredient at a time. 

So what does eating a mono meal look like? For most people the easiest meal to do this each day would be breakfast. Instead of breaking your fast with a bowl full of different ingredients you might find that you will feel satisfied, fully hydrated and thriving on a mono meal breakfast of fruit, or even a green salad. 

Here are some options for hydrating, beautifying and satisfying mono meals for summer. Best eaten in the sun. Naked if possible. 

1 - Melons. Our number one go-to, there are so many unique and interesting melons at the farmers market right now. Cantaloupes, muskmelons and watermelons come in endless variety. It is really fun to try different types. They each have unique flavor profiles and sugar levels.  Sit down with a spoon and a melon and enjoy the whole thing! 

2 - Papaya. Not a melon, but with a similar vibe, eating your fill of papaya is so delicious and amazing for digestion.

3 - Grapes. Don't forget grapes! Not basic at all, grapes are packed with nutrition and antioxidants. Many consider grapes to be one of the most cleansing foods on earth. Eating your fill is relatively easy because of the high water content, and although they have natural sugars, the water and fiber content is high. 

4 - Berries. A little less filling than a melon because the water content isn't high. Eating your fill of organic berries could get a little expensive, but is also delicious. Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries would all fall in the same meal to me because their digestive qualities are the same. They are also lower in sugar than many fruits. 

5 - Citrus. Ramping up the Vitamin C has always been a good idea, but 2020 calls for a significant amount. Although citrus isn't technically in season it is usually still readily available, and delicious. Grapefruit is a great choice because they are big and juicy! 

6 - Bananas. Easy to fill up on, higher in sugar, but also surprisingly packed with nutrition. Bananas are kind of a classic.

We encourage you to step into summer without overthinking it, and try this cleansing and simple way of enjoying earth's bounty!