Friday, April 22, 2011
There may be no better time than spring to heed the maxim of eating seasonally. Did you know that spring is an ideal season to experiment with a RAW vegan diet? The first thing that nature provides us with: the first shoots of life, light leafy greens and herbs, bitters and tart flowers all seem so masterfully designed to help us reduce winter burden, detoxify the tissues, re-calibrate our digestive systems, and do a little "spring cleaning". While high-fashion magazines and the culture of consumption would have us believe that our body weight should remain steady, most women will notice that their bodies change, at least a bit, from season to season. And some may notice that when they keep eating the same dense wintertime foods such as sweets, dairy, heavy carbohydrates and proteins, spring can become a time of pure misery as allergies begin to flare and winter weight becomes less than cozy. We want to fly in spring but our winter bodies keep us tied to earth.
In this Kapha (water+earth) season of heavy wetness we want to purify as much as we can. In fact, many Ayurvedic practioners recommend a specific cleansing routine and re-calibration at the junction of every season.
Even those who are already eating a vegan diet can begin to cut back on winter staples such as faux meats, root vegetables, fried foods, and other hearty fare. Increasing lettuces, watery vegetables, light grains such as quinoa and millet and favoring seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower over heavier nuts is wise. Farmer's Markets are brimming with radishes, pea shoots, sprouts, mandarins, asparagus and other seasonal delights that will heal and nourish us down to the core. Green vegetable juices feel more at home in my body now than at any other time of year and I'm starting every day with a green smoothie.
The lightness of body that comes from this transition into spring is about much more than regaining bikini weight (if my body-enlightened readers would even qualify such a statement). Toxins are notoriously good at hiding in the lipid (read: fatty)tissues of the body, so using this time to clean the tissues of the body is more than superficial, it's a way to clear out the toxins of modern life both chemical and emotional.
Spring cleansing marks the gateway to the succulent summer adventures that are awaiting the clean boldness of our wild spirits.