New Strategies for Revitalizing Your Body and Mind
Did you know that changing seasons affect not only our moods but our bodies too? Did you know that adjusting your routine to help your body do what it naturally wants to do makes a difference in how you look and feel? Here are five easy adjustments to your routine that will make your spring even springier.
Many of us look to new seasons to take control of our health, by improving our energy, sleeping better or eating better. We wade through an overwhelming amount of information and select something we think will work best. Or we follow a recommendation from a friend or buy a promising product. Inevitably, we’re disappointed. The results aren’t what they should be, and we give up. Why? Because all that information and all those products won’t mean much without an understanding of the needs of your body.
Our bodies emerge from winter slumber just like plants. Within the first two weeks of the temperature rise, our bodies get signals to begin renewal. They need and want to lighten and cleanse, releasing residue in the form of mucus, dry skin, foggy minds, and even weight. They just need some help.
Where should we start? What should we do?
1. Offer your body easy digestible food.
Seasons naturally bring different cravings for different foods. Cravings are speaking to you. When the temperatures rise, they are telling you your body no longer needs winter comfort food. So lighten your menu. Start your day with a breakfast of fresh fruit and tea. Lunches and dinners of light, cooked grains, steamed vegetables, and legumes are often perfect choices. Foods like bitter greens, cabbage family vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), and spicy foods like green chilis are satisfying. Eaten in moderation, freshwater fish, tofu, and poached or hard boiled eggs are also perfect for the spring season. If that’s too bland and uninteresting, spice it up with onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, chili pepper, small amounts cayenne pepper, and an unlimited variety of herbs and spices. Spring is the time to enjoy dry and raw food. Back to salads and crackers!
2. Decrease dairy.
Dairy increases mucus production and it can be quite congesting—the exact opposite of what your body wants and needs to do. If you are keeping one thing, keep yogurt. The probiotics can help with digestion, which is usually sluggish or irregular during this transitional time of the year.
3. Boost your digestive power.
Unless you are among the few with strong digestion no matter what, this is the time when our digestive fire is at the lowest level. This miraculous mixture will aid your digestive power. Make a bunch of it in a small jar and consume it for two-three weeks before every meal-- or at least the biggest/most complex meal of your day. You can certainly continue throughout the year once you notice its benefits.
The digestive aid recipe:
● Squeeze few drops of ginger (garlic press works just fine)
● Pinch of Himalayan salt
● Few drops of lemon
● Little honey.
4. Cleanse with a mono diet.
Cleansing is another area where the information is overwhelming. For those who want something less intense, a mono diet for one day each week (for two or three weeks) can give you a really good boost. Mono means you’re eating the same thing for every meal, with different flavorings perhaps, but the same thing.
If you are not sure which food will give the best results, here are some great options:
● Basmati rice alone or with lentils - this is traditional spring cleansing food with powerful internal cleansing effect. Eating this three times a day will take the hunger away and give your digestive system a rest.
● Juice - highly recommended for individuals experiencing heaviness, lazy digestion, low energy, and foggy, uncleared mind. These are typical signs of poorly digested food accumulation over a prolonged period of time. Vegetables like celery, beets, spinach, carrots are good choices and you can either mix them together or drink them individually throughout the day.
● Your favorite easy digestible food - you can pick your favorite food keeping in mind the easily digested food requirement. Then eat it with different spices for every meal. An avocado, say, could work—breakfast with lemon, lunch with salt and pepper, dinner with chili flakes and a rice cake.
5. Do not forget to start something new.
It is not the New Year when we need to establish the change and have resolutions - it is spring! The change in nature will support your efforts. Pick something meaningful, that will improve the quality of your life, time or relationships. It may be reading this article and creating a new relationship with your body; through understanding, listening, adapting and responding. After all, change and adaptability keeps you young!
Tanya runs a yoga and meditation studio for all ages in New York City, www.yogee.me, leads yoga retreats in the US and Europe, lectures on health issues, and teaches her students how to improve their physical, emotional and mental well being.