Seasonal Transitions | Cleanse the Body and Mind for a Fresh start March 24 2016
If you think of what is happening in nature this time of year, it provides a guideline for how you can adapt your lifestyle to reflect the season. Flowers and plants re-emerge after a dormant winter, colours burst, the weather becomes warmer, more moist, and sunlight lasts longer into the evening.
Spring is the season of beginning and creation. This is a time to be open to the new and to let go of any excess in your life that is no longer serving you. It's a time for us also to emerge from our a slower, more inward-looking term of the year. It's a great time to engage in more physical activity, get on your bike, or put on some hiking boots, and get outside for fresh air. Physical activity will help to clear and open the body and mind and get your body out of some stagnancy you may have experienced during the winter months.Shed anything that is weighing you down, physically and emotionally. Make a point of prioritizing self-expression and creativity.
Your diet will become lighter, with more raw foods like greens, sprouts, fruits, nuts and seeds. Some grains can remain, but fewer heavier foods like meat and dairy products. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good in the spring diet as you lighten up from the heavier diet of the winter season.Fresh local herbs, greens, and flowers surround us in the spring. Incorporating these into your diet at this time, along with in-season fruits and vegetables will help us to remain in harmony with Mother Nature.
Greens are associated with freshening, cleansing, and building the body. Chickweed, Dandelion, Nettle, are amazing this time of year. You can even grow your greens at home, like wheatgrass or alflafa sprouts. A particularly great springtime healer, is dandelion. Very nourishing and high in Vitamin A, are good in salads or used to make tea. The root is a blood and kidney cleanser, particularly a liver cleanser and tonic, as well as a diuretic.
To welcome Spring, try making this mineral-rich spring tonic. All you need to do is infuse beautiful spring greens and flower like dandelion, nettle, red clover into raw apple cider vinegar, and then you have a delicious and highly nutritious dressing for your salads. You can even take a spoonful on its own, or in a little water, before meals to get your digestion going and get some more vitamins and minerals into your day.
Spring Mineral-Rich Tonic
Nutrient-rich herbs like nettle, dandelion, red clover, red raspberry leaf, yellow dock, and chickweed are high in vitamins and minerals. All are great choices for infused vinegars and can be a way to get easily-assimilable vitamins and minerals into your daily diet.
Many of the above herbs are considered spring tonics–common springtime herbs that help support liver function and stimulate digestion. Since apple cider vinegar also promotes gut health, herb-infused vinegars are a perfect pairing if you struggle with sluggish digestion after a long winter of rich food and few leafy greens. (Crushed fennel seed can also be a nice addition to an infused vinegar meant for digestive support.)
What you'll need:
1. 4-5 herbs, flowers, or greens such as:
- Dandelion leaves
- Nettle Leaves
- Red Clover flower
- Calendula flower
2. Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar
3. A large jar or mason jar with tight-fitting lid
Place your herbs in a jar (about a cup full) and fill the rest of the jar with raw apple cider vinegar, seal with a tight-fitting lid, and set aside to let infuse until flavours blend for about 5 to 6 days. You can strain the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve into a decorative bottle.
xx Whitney, Holistic Nutritionist & Herbalist