Ingredients: 500ml or more of vegetable broth or miso broth, to support gut health-immunity. Bunch of spinach and other dark leafy greens: they’re high in Vitamin C and antioxidants to fight infections. Juice from 2 lemons: citrus fruit is high in...
Transition into Spring - Healthy Rituals from our Naturopath
Now that the trees are becoming greener, the flowers are blooming and the sun is making a more frequent appearance - our lives are starting to shift again. Temperatures are shifting from cold to comfortably warm. These are the perfect conditions for the Earth to soak up all the recent rainfall and moisture to create beautiful fields to blossom. This gentle stirring of nature all around us affects us deeply. Our bodies sense a new, fresh and clean start. The mood seems to lighten and our skin starts to glow again. After a long and dark winter season, most of us start to feel truly awake again when Spring arrives.
I like to share few tips with you on how to smoothly transition from Winter into Spring.
1. Rise with the Sun
As new life blooms all around us, it is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature as it flourishes. Aim to wake with the sunrise and spend a portion of the morning walking outside, breathing in the fresh air and exposing your eyes to the beneficial morning light.
If your question remains, why do I feel sleepier during the Spring season, this is a great way to relieve feelings of sluggishness, to boost energy levels and reset the body clock.
2. Eat Lighter Foods at Regular Intervals During the Day
Foods that are easy to digest will keep you energized, and make sure to wait at least 3 hours in between your meals! Oily and fried foods will make you feel heavier, so aim to keep these foods away from your diet this season. Many people tend to crave sweet, warm, comfort foods in the winter. But spring lends itself to lighter foods that usually have less fat and sweetness. Incorporate more pungent, bitter and astringent flavours and ingredients such as legumes, whole grains, raw greens, sprouts and clear broths and fresh green juices.
Here are some ways to lighten up your diet and body this Spring:
- Favour vegetables and small legumes, like red lentils and mung beans.
- Reduce intake of meat, wheat, dairy, and sugar, which are all difficult to digest.
- When choosing grains, swap out heavy wheat and oatmeal for lighter options like millet, quinoa and barley.
- Add a generous amount of spices to your dishes, including black pepper, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin and mustard seeds.
- Get outside and forage for fiddleheads, ramps, dandelions, and nettles.
- Eat green! Green everything. Your plate should be just as green as the fluorescent-green spring landscape. Try Jana's Spring green pesto recipe HERE.
- Eat with the season: Vegetables that are just sprouting, or that have been wintered over are in season right now
- Add herbs into your regime which boost the lymphatic system, clean your liver and help to clean your gut such as Triphala, Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Slippery elm or Burdock (consult with your local Naturopath for more information).
3. Connect to Nature
Spring is a beautiful season; everything is rebirthing around you. Make sure to be outside enough to witness and appreciate it. Practise regular exercise such as yoga, walking or swimming.
4. Practice Yoga and Breathwork
By circulating your breath (prana) properly, you will be able to strengthen your lungs and clear your head. Making time for this conscious relaxation practice will be incredibly fruitful all year round, but especially in Spring - when everything around you seems to transition.
5. Keep Your Nose Clear
Using a neti pot with a simple saline solution (available at most health stores and online) upon waking helps to clear and moisturize the sinuses from pollens and allergens that are so common during Springtime. This practice wards off illness and helps to boost immunity by clearing out germ-harboring mucus, allowing for deeper breathing. It also helps to improve our olfactory function too. Place a dab of sesame oil in each nostril after use to help keep the sinuses moisturised.
6. Body Brushing
A Spring tradition that enhances energy and blood flow, removes dead skin cells and improves circulation. It also detoxifies the lymphatic system and warms the body, while providing a variety of beauty benefits for the skin. You can purchase an ethically made body brush from Santos Organics in-stores or HERE.
7. Oil Pulling
This ancient Ayurvedic practice involves swishing oil through the teeth. When undertaken daily, it can strengthen the gums, whiten the teeth and help to remove plaque. It can also draw toxins out of the body.
I hope you can incorporate these Spring practices into your daily routine for a healthy and balanced Spring transition. Don’t forget to let nature be your guide as you discover what works for you. These practices should be enjoyable and fun, not just another thing to add to your to-do list.
Special thanks to Jana, one of our Naturopaths for this article @thesecret_kitchen.