Eating for the Seasons
Apr 06, 2011 09:59AM
Even in Florida we have seasons, although they are less dramatic than those experienced in the north. When we observe animals in nature, we witness an intrinsic harmony with the seasons. A squirrel knows what foods to store for the winter, just as a dog knows how to keep cool in the summer. We, as humans, are also linked to the cycles of nature and it serves us to change in accordance with the seasons as well.
Whether you think about it or not, you are probably already doing many things to keep yourself balanced during the seasons. Wearing shorts in the summer or eating warm foods in the winter are instinctive balancing measures.
Ayurveda, the ancient holistic healing system from India, teaches us that it is important to make changes in diet and lifestyle during each new season or run the risk of creating imbalances that become the basis for future diseases.
Spring is the natural time for cleansing the heaviness that has accumulated from eating more acidic grains, nuts and proteins during the winter. It is the season to eat lighter.
Ayurveda understands that our inner nature reflects what is going on outside in Nature. Our digestive tracts and mucus membranes become the home to the internal liquefaction of these heavier foods. By choosing appropriate low-fat and lower calorie foods we allow our bodies to initiate a reduction or cleansing response that will provide a gentle detoxification. If we don’t, we run the risk of our livers being overwhelmed with toxins as the excess fluids move through our systems creating a flushing effect.
So what should we be eating? Bitter greens, roots, sprouts of all kinds, astringent and pungent vegetables like onions, garlic, ginger, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, radishes, and parsley will scrape the mucus off the intestines and clean the blood while helping the liver do its spring cleaning job.
In the spring we favor fruits like berries, cherries, and dried fruits. It is recommended to reduce heavy grains such as wheat, rice and oats and replace them with barley, buckwheat, rye, corn and millet. Beans of all kinds are perfect for this time of the year. And honey is the preferred sweetener.
Amba Greene is a certified Ayurvedic consultant who has trained with the top teachers and doctors teaching in the West. Amba offers a once a month cooking class series at Wild Oats in Melbourne entitled “Cooking with the Seasons”. On March 24, you can learn how to create delicate and delicious Vietnamese Spring Rolls and dipping sauces. On April 7 you will learn how to prepare super-healthy, weight balancing, great tasting leafy greens in 4 different ways. Don’t miss her “What’s Your Dosha?” introductory talk on March 26 at Kashi Ashram in Sebastian where you will discover your unique mind-body type and begin to understand what balances you and what “throws you off.” She is also available for personal consultations. 772-589-9739.