Spring is here. Nature is working it's magic as it transforms and awakens from the winter months. Trees are blooming, grass is covering the yards and birds are back singing their tunes of joy and excitement. We are provided with fresh greens, sprouts and a few berries at this time, allowing for a lighter diet that focuses on bitter and astringent tastes. These foods and their tastes have their own intelligence; focusing on cleansing, repairing, and toning the internal organs in order to leave the body lighter and brighter as the weather becomes warmer.
In the spring time we are looking at kapha time because of the earth and water elements that dominate this time. Which usually shows up in our own bodies as the heaviness from the winter foods start to melt. With this can come spring allergies, digestive disruptions, skin issues and sinus and lung congestion. We cleanse in order to clean out the channels of the body so that nutrients, waste and energy can all flow freely and optimally.
What to do: Once you decide to start, take 3-5 days to start to cut back on sugars, starches, dairy, animal protein and alcohol. This allows for a gradual switch in order to not stress the body. After this time period start to focus on a fat free (or low fat) diet for the next 5-7 days. Eat fresh vegetables that are slightly cooked along with fresh fruits and grains like millet, buckwheat and corn, as these are drying and will help lighten the mucus in the body. Instead of animal protein cook beans and legumes, which have a drying quality as well. Cook with light oil like sunflower or coconut oil. Eat three meals a day. Eat a large enough breakfast and lunch to carry you through to the next meal. Eat a light dinner. Try not to snack. If you get really hungry snack on fruit or vegetables. If you starve yourself you will only hold on to weight or gain weight. If you are satisfied and provide proper energy, your body will melt fat and come into a steady weight for your constitution.
Drink: plenty of water, cooling teas with cumin, fennel and coriander, peppermint, ginger and/or rose. Water with fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp raw sugar or maple syrup is great for rehydration. Stay away from ice water.
Along with aligning your diet with the seasons, aligning the body and mind is also a good idea. Add morning meditation every day for 5-10 minutes. If you are a long time meditator add a second time to meditate, either late afternoon or before you go to bed. This will help the mind to become more clear and focus on creating and expanding, which are qualities of spring. Make sure you are moving your body to help urge the release of toxins and ama (food stuff left over in the body). Yoga, walking, jogging, biking, hiking or swimming are good activities. Don't put too much stress on the body, just enough to get a light sweat going and to get your heart rate slightly elevated for at least 30 minutes.
Elimination: take some sort of herb during this time that will help cleanse and nourish the intestines and colon in order to make sure you expel the toxic waste from the winter. Options I suggest are Organic Digest Tone or Elim-Tox or Elim-Tox-O (more for pitta person). These are all non-habit forming. Take for 1-3 months. If you like discounts use staraya10 for 10% off your order :)
Afterwards: slowly add back foods one at a time (give 24 hours per food group). Do this mindfully to test yourself for food sensitivities. Try to focus on seasonal foods in order to get a full range of vitamins and minerals. Spring and summer foods that are in season will create lighter fair for your digestion and keep you energized as you are active and play in the sun!
Enjoy the summer with family and loved ones with a balanced body, mind and heart.