Eating with the Seasons: PART THREE
Allie Dusome is back this week with a take on detoxing your body with the seasons! Enjoy part three of her Eating with the Seasons series.
As we move through spring, into the summer, our bodies naturally start to crave different foods. I’m sure you notice in the hot months you’re not sipping on a warm herbal tea to quench your thirst, but rather a delicious, icy cold beverage. This is what eating with the seasons means: the foods we eat and the way we live our lives change as the seasons change.
In traditional medicine practices like Chinese and Ayurveda medicine, “food energetics” have an important part in restoring our health. Various foods are recognized as having warming or cooling properties. For example; apples, strawberries, celery and spinach are cooling foods, whereas cayenne pepper, onion, and ginger are warming foods. In cold weather (like winter), it’s considered important to consume more warm-natured foods to preserve the body’s optimal metabolic state. This idea translates into detoxifying the body and ensuring you’re doing the right type of detox for your body – and for the season – in order to restore health balance. When we think about the foods we crave and eat in warmer months (raw, fresh fruit and vegetables), it makes sense that this would be the perfect time to detox. Not only are raw, leafy greens and fresh herbs detoxifying foods, but our bodies naturally want them this time of year.
In the winter months, I’m sure I’m not the only one who spends more time curled up on the couch, avoiding the elements, than running around in the snow. And while this is relaxing, the lack of movement is not necessarily beneficial for the body and can lead to toxic build-up.
Signs you might be ready for a detox:
- White or yellow coated tongue
- Cravings for sugar (including cravings for refined foods)
- Abdominal bloating
- Increased belly or visceral fat
This is why springtime is great! It’s the perfect time of year to detox and reset the body. The idea is that as the warmer weather arrives, we can start to shed those winter toxins that have accumulated over the past few months. This detoxification process allows us to feel lighter, healthier and more energetic as we welcome the warmer season with open arms.
Here are a few of my favourite detox tips when it comes to shedding the winter toxins:
- Drink plenty of water Starting your day with a glass of room temperature water with lemon will not only kick-start the digestive system, but it will gently help detoxify your liver (a power-house organ in your body!)
- Eat your greens – the more bitter, the better Dark leafy greens are wonderful foods as they are rich in chlorophyll – a chemical substance in plants that helps wound healing, hormonal balance, promotes digestive health AND helps detoxify the body. If you can incorporate more bitter greens such as arugula, dandelion greens, endive, broccoli, frisee, and kale, you’ll be stimulating detoxifying the liver which regulates cholesterol, balances hormones, metabolizes fats and helps detoxify your blood.
- Give your digestive system a break! Try replacing your morning oatmeal or eggs with a smoothie. This helps give your digestive system a bit of a break and allows your body to focus its attention elsewhere to restore balance. I’m a fan of green smoothies, but if you’re a smoothie virgin, fruit smoothies are a great starting point.
- Get an ample amount of sleep Most people start detoxing and think it’s also the perfect time to run a marathon – false. During detox, your body needs rest. Our bodies repair overnight, so ensuring you’re getting ample sleep will make a big difference in how you feel.
- Cut out the gunk During your detox, get rid of sugar, dairy, gluten, processed foods and stimulants like coffee and alcohol. These foods are hard to digest, can be stressful on the adrenal system, and will take the attention of your immune system and other body systems needed for detoxing.
- There’s no official length of a detox – however I recommend anywhere from 10-21 days to really feel the effects of your hard work. It usually takes upwards of three weeks to really get a particular food out of your diet, so 21 days is optimal if you’re trying to see the affects of cutting out specific foods.
If you’re looking for a personalized detox plan, book an appointment with me and we can talk more about your health goals and how we can reach them together!
Next week we’ll be talking about the buzz over organic and non-gmo food, and why it’s so important to eat organic when you can!