Spring is the most natural time of year to begin making significant changes to our health. The body is ready and eager to make dietary and activity changes this time of year. This year, use the momentum of spring and commit to making the changes to your health and wellness that will leave you feeling great.
I always begin by considering my diet first. For many people, winter often means more cooked and heavier foods. Now that spring has arrived, reflect on how you’d like your eating patterns to change. What do you want more of? What do you want less of? Consider your dietary choices not just in terms of food but also in terms of how you feel and the energy you want to bring to each day. Here are some of the things that occurred to me when I considered what I want more of and less of in my life this spring:
- more greens and raw foods
- less processed and packaged foods
- lighter meals
- more local food
- more colorful foods
- more energy
- more joy
- more outdoor fitness
- less worry
- less feeling bogged down
At this time of year, I adopt a raw until dinner approach to eating. Breakfast, snacks and lunch are raw vegetables, fruit and protein such as hemp hearts or chia seeds. Dinner is a lightly cooked meal.
Breakfast: green smoothie
Mid-morning snack: large organic apple with a few soaked almonds
Lunch: large salad with a variety of vegetables, topped with nuts such as almonds or seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower
Dinner: steamed or sautéed vegetables with a gluten-free grain and another steamed green such as spinach or kale
Eating this way provides plenty of phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also very detoxifying and helps the digestive system remove toxins from the body, leaving you feeling lighter. It can serve as a gentle way to transition the body into eating an all-raw diet when the even warmer weather arrives. And, when you don’t need as much energy to digest food, you have more energy for fun and fitness.
After two or three weeks of eating this way, you may be ready for a cleanse or detox. There are a variety of ways of doing cleanses and they generally leave you feeling energized and vibrant. Cleanses are beneficial in the spring, but they’re not absolutely necessary. The most important thing is that you lighten the load on your digestive system and start to eat cleaner, and lighter. Your body naturally cleanses and detoxifies everyday. When you lighten the requirements for digestion placed on your body, it’s able to engage its natural detoxifying pathways much more efficiently.
The greatest thing about eating a healthier, plant-based, whole-foods diet is that you'll see significant changes in how your body looks and feels, you’ll be providing your body with all the nutrients it needs to thrive, and your body won’t want the heavy processed foods you may have been eating before. You’ll crave greens, healthy protein, and whole foods.
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