Spring has sprung and the warmer, longer days inspire us to emerge from our winter caves and refresh our homes, bodies and routines.
It’s a time of renewal, inspiration and motivation for us to grow and expand along with the flower buds and vegetation bursting with new life.
But, this time of year can also feel like a roller coaster, both in weather patterns and in our body.
One day hot and glorious, the next day cold and rainy. One week we’re jumping out of bed early to nail new fitness routines and the next a snotty flu or allergies have hit.
That’s why knowing how to create simple healthy habits aligned to seasonal wisdom can help you (and your family) navigate these transitions with ease.
For the Healthy Habits Spring Series we’ll show you how to enjoy an inspired Spring with healthy habits for eating, exercising and mindset based on Ayurvedic principles.
Ayurvedic Basics for Spring
According to Ayurveda, Spring is heavy with moisture and our body’s are also heavier from Winter. That means Spring can lead to Kapha imbalances — too much earth and water element.
We see it in the form of mucus and water build up like snotty noses, allergies, colds, extra winter weight and a lingering tiredness.
Ayurveda works on the principle that “like increases like, and opposites balance.”
So, in order to stay balanced we want to eat, exercise and organise our days in ways that bring in the opposite qualities of water and earth — that is heat, dry and lightness.
The aim is to burn up excess heaviness, toxicity and accumulated wastes from winter.
Let’s start with what we eat!
A Healthy Spring Diet
Shift to Lighter Eating
Eating lighter gives our metabolism more energy to burn through winter weight and toxicity. Notice if your eating winter foods only out of habit and consciously shift to a spring diet (see Spring Food List download).
Eat Fresh Greens, Veggies & Fruit
If you’re craving fresh fruit, vegetables, and salads this is your body telling you it’s time for spring-cleaning. You can’t really go wrong with fresh veggies, but because this season tends toward too much moisture we want to reduce (not avoid) heavy or watery veggies like avocado, cucumber, olives, sweet potato, squash or zucchini.
Eat Pungent, Bitter and Astringent Tastes
These tastes stimulate digestive heat, cut through mucus and open the channels of elimination critical for purification.
- Pungent means spicy like onion, chilli, garlic and spices.
- Bitter can be found in many greens as well as turmeric and sprouts.
- Astringent foods are drying like lentils, most raw veggies and grapefruit
Drink Room Temp, Warm or Hot Beverages
Cold drinks put out digestive fire and slow metabolism. Rather we want to stoke digestive fire with drinks like warm water and lemon or ginger tea. Try it first thing in the morning to kick start digestion!
Avoid or Reduce Dairy
Dairy increases mucus and heaviness, the exact qualities we’re trying to reduce. Rice milk and almond milk are good substitutes. If you do have cow’s milk, boil it first, take it warm, and consider adding a pinch of turmeric or ginger to make it less congesting.
Healthy habits in action
- Make a big salad full of fresh veggies and bitter greens that will last a few days. Add it to meals or eat it on it’s own as an easy way to get plenty of green and fresh veg.
- Make a pitcher full of lemon water with a pinch of chilli pepper and drink it throughout the day to simulate metabolism.
- Use almond, coconut or rice milk in cereals, coffees and teas.
Include the kids
Especially if runny noses are rampant try replacing dairy with alternatives in the kid’s diet through the Spring season.