Have you spent days trying to force down yet another green juice just in the hopes of helping your body detox? Gets old real quick, right? Truth is, there is an easier way to detox your body that doesn't involve dieting and allows you to eat real food- really!
Just start eating seasonally as well as locally and let the changes in your body occur naturally. Nature has a profound way to offer us just the right food we need at the right time. It's true - hang with me while I explain.
We are all aware that certain foods grow at particular times of the year. But in this modern age when nearly every vegetable and fruit is available at the local market year round, we've forgotten what it means to eat seasonal goods. Think about tomatoes - when a tomato is plucked right off the vine in late Summer or early Fall, it is a succulent, sweet and mind-blowing delicious. Now compare that to one purchased out of season, say in January, which is tasteless, mealy and less nutritious. And we have to wonder where these came from since it's not tomato season anywhere in the US. There is a good chance your winter tomato was shipped up from Mexico or maybe down from a hothouse in Canada leaving quite a carbon footprint in the process. Florida does grow quite a few winter tomatoes too, but since their conditions are not exactly ripe for the fruit, they end up spraying their crops with some seriously deadly pesticides.
Besides the fact that out-of-season crops lack taste, sit on trucks or ships for weeks getting to us while they loose their nutritional value and continue to increase their carbon footprint, but those goods are not helping our bodies run at their maximum capacity.
You've heard me say before that no one diet is right for everyone for a myriad of reasons. One of them being that it's rare to find a diet that follows seasonal food, so you won't be getting the right nutrients for the current season.
Lets break this down by season:
Spring is the first harvest; consist mainly of roots, sprouts and bitter greens. These foods are essentially low fat and low calorie to help us detox from the heavy winter months. Typically from March -May.
Summer brings cooling and high-energy foods like fruits and vegetables (high carbs- the good carbs!) to deal with the long, hot days. Roughly June- October.
Winter foods consist of high fat and protein foods such as meat, fish, nuts and grains. November - February-ish.
Keep in mind the months noted above may change slightly depending on where you live. Also note that fall is considered a dormant season (the foods we do get in the fall we preserve and eat in winter), so the months are split between 3 growing seasons rather than the 4 seasons we are accustomed too.
Because it's April, let's look at spring foods which are based on low-fat, low-mucus foods like sprouts, leafy greens, berries and roots. Much in the way we spring clean our house, these foods force the body to clean out toxins and burn fat for energy.
Fill your meals with sprouts, leafy greens, green beans, asparagus, spinach, kale, Swiss Chard and mustard greens. Search out bitter tastes such as garlic, burdock root and chicory during this time of year to help break up mucus and clear your liver. Try to avoid, or cut back on, heavy proteins, nuts, breads, oils and dairy during this time of year.
Over time, as you continue to eat seasonal foods, your body will continue to crave these foods at the right time and you'll find more balance in your body. And you won't feel the need to rely on quick fix detoxes as often.
Knowing this, what spring foods are you going to add to your plate?