Eating with the Seasons

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Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine are both based on the principle that humans are an inherent part of nature. One way to align with nature is by eating according to the seasons. As the natural world fluctuates with seasonal changes, so do we. Spring is the time for growth, revival, and renewal. Nature has a game plan—a strategy to remove winter weight come spring. Eating seasonal foods helps to support our body’s natural cleansing and healing abilities.

lemon_green_onion_cucumber_picVegetables and fruits are beginning to play a bigger role in your meals. Juices and smoothies are making a big splash, and water dense vegetables are filling your plates. It’s only natural that when the weather gets warm we start to crave foods that will cool us off. Lighter cooking methods like steaming, blanching, and raw foods are more appropriate for spring weather. Instead of oil sauté, try sautéing in water or broth, so they retain the most nutrients and are easier to digest. This will help you feel lighter and more energized.

For example, spring weather offers many tasty leafy greens and vegetables like dandelion greens, spring onions, and spring garlic which are great healing foods for helping detoxify your liver and cleanse your blood. Bitter greens and pungent, spicy foods (like chili peppers) will help clear out the mucus and dry things up.

As spring approaches, we should consume foods that help transition into this season. These foods are filled with the energy of spring and particularly useful as we enter this season. All of these foods help to lighten, cleanse, and renew our bodies and get them ready for the warm summer months.

Foods to favor for spring:

1) Leafy green vegetables: Swiss chard, spinach, romaine, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnips, bok choy, edible weeds

2) Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes, chicory, peas, cabbage, rhubarb, leeks, spinach, spring onions, purple-sprouting broccoli, new potatoes, cauliflower, radishes, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, watercress

3) Herbs: chervil, chives, dill, horseradish root, mint, oregano, cilantro, parsley, tarragon

green_apple_blossoms_pic4) Fruits: (lower sugar varieties) apricots, granny smith apples, pears, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, rhubarb (not technically a fruit), strawberries, grapefruit, lemons, limes

5) Nuts and seeds: go easy on the nuts and lean more towards seeds such as raw sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, and chia for your healthy fat source

6) Grains: barley, wheat, miller, corn, quinoa, rye

7) Beans and pulse: green lentils, split peas, black-eye peas, mung beans, lima beans, fava beans

It also is appropriate during spring to avoid heavy foods since they tend to bring the body into a sinking, passive, inward-moving state.

Foods to avoid in Spring:

  • Heavy or fatty meats
  • Greasy or oily foods
  • Foods high in salt
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and such.
  • Dairy products—big inflammation triggers, creating mucous and allergic responses. Opt for seed milks such as sunflower, hemp, and pumpkin seed milks. They are so easy to make yourself.
  • Iced or cold food or drinks
  • Refined sugars

Violets (leaves and flowers), dandelions, chickweed, and plantain, just to name a few, are bountiful right now, freshly emerging with vibrant green leaves that are probably right next to your door and in your yard. These wild, edible weeds are loaded with minerals and vitamins, especially A and C. Both of these important vitamins are associated with increased immune function and wound healing.

The most important thing to remember is that if you’re going to start eating wild weeds (or anything for that matter), please make sure that wherever you harvest them they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals or by the family dog. Seek them out and you will be delightfully rewarded with nutrition and healing medicine straight from Mother Nature herself.

spring greens protein smoothie

Spring Greens Protein smoothie

This light nutrition-packed smoothie filled with spring's freshly emerging harvest is low in fruit sugar, highly alkaline, and rich in healthy plant protein. It puts a SPRING into my step after drinking.

Ingredients

  • 1 small organic pear
  • 1 small organic granny smith apple
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled and most seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup organic parsley leaves
  • 4 cups organic spinach, kale, Swiss chard (or combination of all)
  • 1/2 cup fresh violet leaves (toss in some flowers too!) or dandelion greens
  • 1 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein
  • 2 cups water
  • sweetener of choice (I used liquid stevia)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend till smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add toppings of choice—I used fresh, local bee pollen and a few violet flowers (they are edible and very nutritious). Serves 2. Enjoy!

Get your SPRING greens on!

Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Sunwarrior’s awesome expert writers do not replace doctors and don’t always cite studies, so do your research, as is wise. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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