After a very long winter, Spring is finally here. This is the season where I want to eat more salads, drink fresh juices, and generally eat lighter. Have you heard about the Seasonal Diet? The Seasonal Diet theory is that it is best to eat according to the season. Why? Eating according to the season is highly therapeutic for a variety of food-generated health issues, and also assists in addressing digestive problems, normalizing weight, and reducing food reactions or allergies. Eating seasonally keeps us attuned to Earth, and the cycles of Nature. This practice also aligns with Traditional Chinese Medicine and other healing practices which looks at temperature as it relates to health conditions – the Yin and Yang philosophy.
Yin are the cooling foods which are damp and represented by the shady, cooler side of the Mountain. These foods help to clear heat and toxins, which correlate to Spring and Summer.
Yang are the warming foods which tend to be drying and help raise the energy of the body by improving circulation and bring heat to the organs, blood and cells. These foods generally take longer to grow which correlates to Fall and Winter.
Seasonal eating consists of four rotation plans, revolving around the four seasons- Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Seasonal eating means building meals around foods that are at their peak for that season. Foods harvested at their peak generally have more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they are ripe to be shipped long distances.
Spring is a time of purification, healing and rejuvenation. It is a time of growth and it is a time to focus on chlorophyll-rich foods, and take in more liquids. It is a good time to lighten the diet. Chlorophyll is ‘the blood of plants’, and it assists us in detoxifying and cleansing our bodies. Foods rich in chlorophyll in this season are cool weather young greens such as Swiss chard, kale, spinach, Romaine lettuce, fresh parsley and basil, sprouts, asparagus, fiddlehead greens, and limited use of whole grains, starches and legumes. Salads, berries and leafy greens are emphasized. Heavy meats and fatty foods should be limited.
Here is an easy Spring Salad recipe.
Make a simple salad as a main course or a side: Use a variety of greens, chopped, fresh parsley or basil, sprouts, lightly steamed asparagus, cucumber, celery, radish, fresh berries.
Dressing: 2T extra virgin olive oil, 1 T red wine vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice, pinch of sea salt, ground pepper. Add fresh or dried herbs of choice.