Hit Your “Reset” Button as We Bloom Into Spring
Luckily for those of us that live in California, we haven’t experienced the frigid winter condition that most of the country has been hit with. As the fragrant jasmine starts to bloom, those of us who live in a warmer client can start thinking about a strategy to change up our diet for spring, sort of like a spring clean for our body, which influences our mind and spirit as well – remember – everything is connected! (If you live in true winter conditions, wait another 4-6 weeks, until the evidence of spring starts appearing.)
As I come across enormous amounts of fur in my house and one-acre mini ranch from my shedding pets, horse included, it reminds me that as the days grow longer, it’s almost time for us humans to start shedding our winter layer as well! By doing so, we prepare are systems to stay in tune with the change of season, and as a consequence, are much less likely to deal with allergies, a seasonal cold or digestive disturbances. Plus, you’ll feel more energetic.
The qualities that are most present in the spring time are “Kapha” in nature (heavy, cold and moist) and in order to balance these qualities we choose the opposite, not only in our food, but other lifestyle choices as well.
In Ayurveda, the traditional way to shed that winter layer is through eating a lighter, simpler diet, choosing the bountiful produce that is available in the spring. Instead of fasting, or going on the latest fad diet, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend eating a kichadi diet for anywhere from three days to a week, then go on a lighter, detox diet for a couple more weeks. Kichadi consists of split mung beans, rice and spices (recipe here).
I’m giving an afternoon workshop at Smiling Dog Yoga in San Luis Obispo on Sunday, March 22 called “Spring Cleaning Your Body, Mind and Spirit,” and will go into detail on how to shift with the season. It will be Spring Equinox, and the ideal time to push the reset button! I will also be offering a 5-week Intro to Ayurveda Series (On Mondays from March 30 – April 27) where I will go into these details and much more.
Meanwhile, here are a few tips to consider as we approach a new season:
- Choose produce that is in season – look no further than your local Farmer’s Market
- Eat more cooked veggies, including leafy greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Choose cooked vegies over salads this time of year. (Don’t worry, you can enjoy lots of salads in the summer!)
- Choose grains such as quinoa, barley, amaranth and millet, while decreasing or even eliminating wheat as it is considered heavy in nature.
- Avoid cold foods and drinks as they dampen the digestion and can create toxins in the body.
- Always favor fresh, organic foods over processed, canned, frozen or packaged items.
- Sleep during the hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the time when your body can best go to work to burn away “ama” or toxins.
- Get moving! Best time to exercise is between 6-10 a.m. and late afternoon.
Please come to my workshop, or attend my 5-week series to really get the lowdown on resetting for spring.