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Cool food, cool and relieve heat

By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asia Weekly

Do you prefer cold weather or hot weather?

In the past few days, you and I may not vote for summer. If you were one of my employees, you would hate the heat. In order to escape the torture, she booked a hotel room for two nights last Monday in order to survive the “horrible heat of a 100-degree oven”.

“It’s already very hot in my apartment on Saturday, like a steam room,” she emailed me. “Because of the hot weather, my skin has a rash. Not only that, but my laptop is heating up frantically. I think if it keeps heating up like this, it won’t turn on.”

The temperature in Everett is 116°F.

I grew up in Hong Kong during a very hot and sweaty summer. I hate it. Every summer, I have many sleepless nights, because the weather is so hot, the bed is like a burning stove. Sometimes I prefer to sleep on the floor with a straw mat. Nevertheless, it did not help much. I remember we have fans all night. Of course, the fan is useless, blowing hot air. The only way to use air conditioning is to go to a restaurant, theater or department store.

When I decided to live in the United States, Seattle was my choice. Its summer is lovely and cool. My mother always said that Seattle has the best summer, the weather is good, and there are trees everywhere. no longer.

In June of this year, the high temperature came early. How will we deal with the rest of the summer in July and August?

With global warming, Seattle has become more like Hong Kong. According to data from the National Weather Service, Seattle’s temperature reached 100 degrees for three consecutive days (last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday), breaking records. Incredibly, the temperatures in Hong Kong and Hawaii are both over 80 degrees, lower than the temperature in Seattle last Saturday.

I collected advice on how to protect myself from high temperatures from friends and colleagues in Northwest Asia Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post. Eating the right food is not enough. We need to plan our day so that the impact of calories on you and your family will be less.


For the sweetest watermelon, the stem should be as small as possible, and the green pattern on the skin should be clear. (Photo: Assunta Ng)

I started my day with a large slice of watermelon for breakfast. Watermelon cools down your body throughout the day and contributes to your overall health.

In Asian supermarkets, there are yellow and red watermelons, choose red ones. Eat watermelon in the morning to cool off. More than 70% of watermelons contain water. It will keep you hydrated and feel great. Don’t eat watermelon at night. This will affect my sleep because I have to go to the toilet in the middle of the night.

Cucumber water with mint and lime

My friend mixed cucumber water with mint and lime, and it felt refreshed and moisturized. The combined ingredients have a cleansing effect. Health experts usually recommend drinking this mixture for detoxification purposes.

Coconut water

Add coconut water to the fruit to create a healthy and fresh drink. (Photo by Han Bei)

Buy coconut water instead of beer and ice cream. Coconut water is very suitable for people who sweat a lot. It also contains electrolytes (minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium), and the content of cholesterol and antioxidants is also very low. But don’t drink it at night, because you may have to go to the bathroom all night.

Add coconut water to the fruit to create a healthy and fresh drink. (Photo by Han Bei)

No beer or ice cream

Some people think that these foods can cool them down. In fact, it has the opposite effect. The first few mouthfuls and a spoonful may be cold. However, these foods are high in calories and will soon be converted into heat in your body, making you feel very hot.

Eat more vegetables and fruits

Salad (photo by Han Bei)

Forget the steak. Think green.

Meat is suitable for winter, but not for summer. Its calorie content tends to be higher, thereby increasing body calories. The most unpalatable meat in summer is lamb.

Fill your stomach with vegetables and fruits when you are hungry.

Cool behavior

What to do when going out?

In addition to wearing a hat, I also brought an umbrella to keep my mind cool. If I don’t have an umbrella, I might get a terrible headache afterwards.

Another colleague said that wrapping a heat dissipation cloth around the head and neck is another way to prevent heat from entering the system.

My son John said: “We use spray bottles and spray ourselves with cold water every hour.” I like this idea. But often forget to do so.

The editor of Northwest Asia Weekly said, take a cold bath or go swimming.

Cook in the morning

A colleague said, turn off your stove at night. Cook all the meals in the morning. Even better, let the restaurant take out. Order enough dinner so that you can avoid using the stove as much as possible.

Your attitude

There is a Chinese proverb that says: “When you calm down, you will feel cool.” Don’t get upset so easily, because it will heat your body temperature. Face the hot days with peace and tranquility.

No matter what happens, remember to face the challenge with a smile. In addition, stay away from electronic products as much as possible, including watching less TV and staying away from computers or mobile phones to calm your mind. Electronic products can generate a lot of energy in the home.

Ceiling fan and air conditioner

Twenty years ago, when we moved into a new home for the first time, a friend said: “You need to install a ceiling fan, and it will make a difference.” I am very happy to hear. The purpose of my ceiling fan is to circulate the air, not to cool the room. It rotates at a speed of about 60 revolutions per minute and consumes very little power. I wear it day and night.

If you have installed an air conditioner (AC) and a fan, here is how I alternate between the two to improve energy efficiency. On Monday morning, the temperature in my living room was 82 degrees. At 6:30 in the morning, I turned on the air conditioner. When the temperature in the room dropped to 73 degrees, I turned off the air conditioner. Then I will turn on the air conditioner every 40 minutes for 8 minutes. This is how I keep my home cool.

If you have a vertical fan, a colleague of mine suggested that you put an ice pack in front of the fan-it will blow air in the room.

If your vertical fan has been with you for more than ten years, maybe you should buy a newer model. Compared with older models, they are more innovative in design, energy saving and powerful.

“We bought an air conditioner in 2014,” said an employee who lives in an apartment in Chinatown. “We noticed that Seattle is getting hotter not long ago. Now, we recently bought two more apartments from Amazon for each of my adult children’s rooms. The new ones can be moved around the apartment.”

Bed sheet

If you have the same bed sheets in winter and summer, you need to change them. Cotton sheets make your bed cooler, while sheets made with a certain percentage of wool can keep you warm in winter.

The same goes for your pajamas. Cotton and silk pajamas are more breathable.

If you don’t have air conditioning

If you don’t have an air conditioner, it may be too late to buy now, because it is almost everywhere. Or, if you can find one available, rent a portable air conditioning unit.

You can consider installing central air conditioning later. A few years ago a friend asked me if he should install air conditioning. “Do it,” I urged him. Unfortunately, the hot summer may become a reality in Seattle.

Your window

Another staff member opened the window of her house in the morning to let the breeze in. Then, she closed the window with blinds and curtains so that the hot sun would not shine in in the future.

Curtains or curtains

It’s too hot in Seattle now, so it’s best to have light curtains or curtains. The dark color absorbs heat. If you have dark curtains, you may only want to change the curtains in summer. Using curtains and curtains at the same time can prevent hot air from entering your room.air
There is no need to keep conditioning.

Set up a chair in a cool place

Find the coolest place in your apartment or house. My staff put the chairs in a cool corner of her house so that the family can sit down. I remember a few decades ago, on some hot summer nights, my family moved dinner to the basement because it was the coolest place in the house.

With a fan

My friend wrote that in the past, there were no electric fans or air conditioners, and people held paper fans. My house doesn’t even have a paper fan. Sounds like a joke!

I used to like the summer in Seattle and boasted to my friends living in Southern California, the Midwest and the East Coast. Now I can hardly bear it. This is not the summer I have ever known and loved.

WFH (working in Hawaii) sounds like a good idea. (Photo by Ruth Bayang)

However, I am grateful that I can find a solution to cool our home. Compared with other cities, our summer is still very comfortable. Other cities are close to where the forest fire broke out, or there are fewer trees. Seattle is tree-lined and adjacent to water such as Puget Sound, Lake Washington and Lake Union. Without these, our climate could be worse.

“I fled to Hawaii,” my editor said. If you can travel now, this sounds like a good choice.

Assunta can be reached

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