How to Eat as the Seasons Change
Do you know how your body naturally starts craving different foods as the seasons change? Throughout this cold, interminable winter, we were all reaching for more warming, protein-rich, heartier foods that insulate us (both physically and emotionally) against the cold. These foods comfort us and provide us with an additional boost to our immunity to keep us healthy.
Often times, these heavier foods cause us to gain a bit of winter weight, which is totally normal, and can even be healthy!). The body is an amazing thing, and totally has our best interests at heart. So come spring, our bodies naturally want to shed that weight, detoxify the organs from the heavier winter diet, and get light and healthy for spring.
Spring’s harvest provides us with all of the foods to start making this happen: astringent bitter greens and roots, antioxidant berries, and super nutrient-rich sprouts, which all serve as an antidote to the heavier vegetables, grains, and in some cases meat and diary that we’ve been consuming all winter. The spring is a time of rejuvenation and cleansing in nature, and it has the same purpose for the human body: to detoxify the system and to reset our ability to burn fat. Pretty awesome, right?
Our bodies really do know best. All we have to do is learn to listen! All it takes to hop on board this train of spring cleansing is to eat super seasonally this time of year, with a focus on increasing a few specific foods, and decreasing a few others. Follow the five steps below to naturally slim down and energize this spring, without needing to resort to a juice cleanse or another crash diet (never again!!!):
Lay off the dairy, fried foods, refined sugar and processed foods: The whole theme in your body at the beginning of the spring season is detoxification and flushing out mucous, so you’ll want to avoid any toxic and mucous producing foods right now. Keeping these bad boys to a minimum is important for your health year-round, but it’s crucial especially at this time of year.
Rock some bitter roots: Spring root veggies like celeriac, beets, new potatoes, radishes, turnips, jicama, and fennel are awesome foods to help you transition out of winter in early spring, and provide amazing cleansing benefits to the body. They break down the mucous that has been building up in your intestinal tracts all winter long, and support your system in flushing out toxins.
Fertilize your gut with healthy bacteria: As you are clearing out your intestines and organs of built up mucous and toxins, you’ll want to rebuild the good bacteria in your gut to promote good elimination and digestion. This step is what will make your occasional summer ice cream cone or BBQ not wreak havoc on your energy, digestion, and waistline! As you move into April and early May, try to comprise as much of your diet as possible of probiotic greens like watercress, baby spinach, dandelion greens, chicory and endive, as well as bean and alfalfa sprouts which are all super high in nutrients and full of healthy flora. Stocking up on these nutritional powerhouses will decrease bloat, allergies, and headaches, and will help keep detoxifying your system throughout this amazing season. Have a big green salad for dinner every night to get the most energizing and noticeable results!
Drink up! As you’re detoxifying your organs, it is super crucial to stay super well hydrated, so that all the bad stuff can get flushed out. Opt for half your body weight in ounces of fresh, filtered water every day. And for added detoxifying benefits, skip that morning coffee and drink a cup of dandelion tea instead! It is very cleansing for the liver, and aids your body in shedding excess weight and toxins.
Bone up on berries! The last step in your body’s natural spring detoxification process is flushing out and destagnating the lymphs. Lymphatic stagnation is something that effects a lot of people year round, but can have the most profoundly negative effects as we come out of the winter months. Chronic colds, weak immunity, sore joints, weight gain, headaches, depression, and low energy are all symptoms that can be due to our impaired ability to flush out toxins and fat through our lymphatic system. Late spring provides us with the perfect harvest of yummy berries to get our lymphatic system moving again, and flush out all the toxins we have dislodged from our intestines and internal organs. Once the weather begins to warm and the berry season starts, we can start eating tons of seasonal cherries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries to flush out our newly balanced intestines destagnate our lymph. As this flushing occurs, you’ll notice your energy levels soar, your immune system strengthen, and your skin glow.