SPRING RESET your diet
Ah the Spring....time for a reset. Spring is a time of the year when buds are bursting, ground is sprouting with new life, tree branches are unfolding, everything is bursting with new energy. Many animals, insects and plans are waking from their winter slumber. We see daffodils and tulips blooming, markets are filled with fresh produce for our nourishment and everything seems to be alive. It's time to lighten up and shed our winter coat, take a break from heavy winter meals and get outside after months of cold temperatures. In the winter our digestive system slows and our stress response may be a bit more challenged, so ease your way into the early Spring by supporting your digestive track and adrenals with nourishing foods.
If you're considering starting new projects or adventures, spring is a perfect time for it. Exposure to more sunshine increases production of follicle-stimulating hormone, which helps stimulate ovulation. Even if fertility isn't your goal at this stage of life, Spring is a great time to rebalance hormones, revitalize, and shake off the winter blues. We're shifting from high-cortisol times of winter to low-cortisol summers, and our estrogen levels are increasing as we approach summer. We are mirror images of Mother Nature, yet we often forget that we are part of the bigger picture.
Steps to Spring reset your diet
Spring is the perfect time to cleanse your body and cut out foods that challenge liver such as sugar, processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine. In Spring, it's best to keep your meals simple and clean with less focus on fruits and grains, because they're not as readily available as they're at other times a year. Instead, focus on sprouts, microgreens and green leafy vegetables which are easier to find fresh and locally around Spring time, giving you nutritional boost for glowing skin and better mood.
To Spring reset your diet, start weaning yourself off winter produce like squash and root vegetables. Eating lighter rather than heavier meals is key to resetting your metabolism and hormones. In early spring, around March in northern hemisphere, September in southern hemisphere, if your environment still has cooler weather, the majority of your meals should ideally be at least lightly cooked or steamed so your body isn't too cold, and your digestion is not stressed.
Bitter greens like mustard greens, dandelion greens, swiss chard, and spinach will help stimulate digestion after the sluggish winter months. In terms of protein focus on legumes that are easier to digest such as fava beans and sugar-snap peas. For those who prefer grain-free diet, now is the time. Or, swap for lighter grains like amaranth and millet. To go completely grain-free, try quinoa which is not a grain (did you know that?); it's a seed. As the temperature warms up, enjoy fresh hydrating freshly pressed juices and more raw produce. Foods to avoid or minimize in spring are bananas, pineapples, melons, mangos, dates, coconuts, etc. When in doubt, ask yourself, "can I find this in nature at this time a year or has it traveled miles or kilometers to get here?" If it's in season, enjoy!
The same goes with any seasonal change; look to nature for guidance. Focus on foods found most abundantly in nature during Spring because these foods will be most nourishing and restorative for your body and hormones.
Produce that is most abundant during Spring:
Spring Fruits: apricots, cherries, grapefruit, guava, jackfruit, kumquats, lemons, lychee, strawberries.
Spring Vegetables: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, cabbage, collard greens, dandelions, fennel, kale, celery, sprouts, microgreens, mustard greens, baby potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spring onions, turnips, spinach.
Spring Plant Protein: green beans, fava beans, peas, sugar-snap peas, snow peas.
Spring Herbs: Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Green Garlic, Mint, Nettles, Parsley.
Always, choose organic and non GMO if possible and check what's in season near you for additional information.
To help kick start Spring Reset your diet, try my Kale and Quinoa Salad Recipe.