After a long, drawn out winter many of us are ready to get out of hibernation and celebrate everything that the springtime has to offer – including the blooming of tulips, the blossoming of trees, the greening of the grass, little hatchlings and newness of life, and even spring cleaning! Spring is such a beautiful time of year, and with the days lengthening and the sun seeming to shine new purpose and inspiration into us, it’s high time to start on those New Year’s resolutions we made back in January. For many of us, that includes… weight loss.
Though spring hasn’t hit yet (its official arrival is March 20, 2013 at 7:02 am EDT, but who’s counting?), now is a perfect time to look forward to what it will bring. There’s nothing like having something to look forward to to provide excitement and anticipation. What will your meals and menus bring this spring?
First Do a Spring Detox
First of all, spring is a great time for detoxification. While during the winter we typically eat heavier, warming, and more high-calorie foods, to prep ourselves for spring and the new type of nourishment and invigorating foods we will introduce into our diet, a spring detox is in order. One of the fastest and safest ways to detoxify your organs and body systems is by participating in a juice fast. Reference Hip Urban Girl for a nice and easy way for a prepared-in-advance “cornucopia” of juices that are uniquely designed for a specific purpose, and in all to flush the toxins from your body. Be forewarned, though, that you may have a detox headache, which comes as a natural result of letting go of toxins you’ve built up in your body with your winter eating habits. If you’d like to juice your own concoctions, here are some recipes to do just that.
Now that you flushed out of your system what was bogging you down and making you feel sluggish, it’s time to introduce some great energizing, healthful “spring foods”. In doing this, one of the best methods is to shop locally at farmers markets and co-ops. This assures that you are eating what is in season where you live. Among the traditionally great spring produce are strawberries, apricots, asparagus, spinach, beets, sweet peas, and onions. If you need a little bit of inspiration on great meals for springtime, here is a collection of 10 spring dinner recipes that take less than 30 minutes each to prepare.
Spring and TCM
According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) 5 Element Theory, spring is represented by the element of wood, and includes the liver and gallbladder (many of the above foods and juices are aimed at the detoxification and renewal of the liver and gallbladder). Naturally, the color of spring and the wood element is green, and the nature of it is Yang (the active principle of the universe). The emotion of the Liver is anger – have any of that left over that you need to get rid of this spring?
Hopefully you’re looking forward to not only the newness of life that spring has to offer, but also the inspiration it seems to hold for change, and that your diet will reflect this as well. Happy and healthy spring menus!