Spring has finally arrived… full of new, boosting energy!
Even though the the official date for spring to start is March, you probably already felt the change since early February, with increased hours of sunlight, we can usually start to feel the energy change coming with the new season.
Nature begins to leave hibernation to regain its activity at a tremendous speed.
We can see how leaves start grow on trees, with an intense chlorophyll colour. We see fields turning green and the vegetables starting to shoot up in the green gardens. The grass will soon start growing relentlessly.
Our body also starts to open up, reactivated, leaving the stillness of winter. There is a need to clean, discharge and lighten the excess of winter.
Chinese medicine associates the spring to childhood, a period in which we grow faster, and with a higher flow of energy. Therefore, this season is the time of growth and expansion, time to create and develop.
Food wise, in spring, we need to cool slightly, open up, activate and refine our body, preparing it for the hot months.
We will begin to introduce raw or lightly blanched salads, reducing the amount of salt and oil. We will increase the amount of vegetables, which we can have steamed, quick sautéed, blanched …
Now it is the time to enjoy sprouts, one of the best examples of spring energy.
And of course…. green will be the colour at your table!
Use food with a refreshing energy and try to include touches of mild acid taste in your food. You can use umeboshi, rice vinegar or concentrated apple juice or you can add lemon or orange to your dressings.
Cereals: In spring you can reduce the amount of grain that is a more concentrated food. The ideal grain for this season is barley that helps dissolve and creates openness. We can also start increasing long brown rice, bulgur, couscous and pasta in your dishes.
Beans: Go for greens!! green lentils and green peas would make nice creams. Use beans on lighter dishes like salads and spreads.
Vegetable protein: They are ideal to give the body protein intake without overloading it. Tofu is a great idea now, more refreshing than tempeh and seitan, no cholesterol, and a great source of calcium!
Vegetables: Use light and refreshing vegetables that will help you detox: artichokes, parsley, watercress, leeks and scallions, asparagus, dandelion leaves… Green is the colour of spring vegetables!
Mushrooms, radish, turnips, celery… are also detoxing and cooling, and very handy to use.
Sprouts: This is the best time of year to enjoy sprouts. They are the best example of spring energy! They provide you with many vitamins and are easy to digest.
Seaweed: They are ideal for detoxing winter excess. They help mobilize fat and eliminate toxicity accumulated in our body.
You can use the light ones daily: wakame, arame and dulse. Agar-agar is also ideal for season. It has a light laxative effect that could be very helpful.
Fruits: Now is the time to start enjoying fresh seasonal fruit!. Strawberries are at their best! With a slight acid taste they stimulate liver function. Soon all types all berries would be available. Gradually you can introduce some juices: apple-carrot and apple-carrot-celery are very purifying.
Seeds and Nuts: The most recommended for daily consumption are sesame and pumpkin seeds, which we can use in salads.
Condiments: Try to reduce the use of salt and salty seasoning as it has a warming and contractive effect that we don’t need now. It is time to open up and refresh our body. Go for seasonings with acid touches like umeboshi vinegar, rice vinegar, lemon juice. The cleaning effect of the acids help cool the body.
…. and of course, don’t forget you pickles!!