Spring is magic. Nature is waking up and everywhere life is accelerating. After the cold, wet and dark winter comes spring, warmer, softer and liquid. The earth is warming up. Winter ice has melt. Gentle rains soak the earth, that is now moist. Life is resurfacing everywhere. The seeds germinate, the flowers bud, the insects buzz, the leaves unfold. Despite our separation from nature, we are deeply affected by this gentle agitation around us. Spring is a season of birth, renewal and growth, a time when the earth manifests latent potential in all things. Our physiology feels this natural opportunity for a new beginning, for a great cleaning of accumulated imbalances, and a rejuvenation of our tissues. We emerge from a long winter sleep with a renewed sense of joy and inspiration.
In Ayurveda, spring is a season characterized by heat (or at least less cold versus winter), moisture and softness. Moisture increases and makes us slower. Kapha in Sanskrit means "what blooms in water"; it looks like spring no? Thus, Spring tends to increase kapha. With the end of winter, a little kapha buildup is somewhat normal for most of us. Spring to crown everything can increase even more kapha. But in the same way that persistent ice and snow melt in the spring, the accumulated kapha liquefies. This process can be either a revitalizing event or trigger a number of health problems (allergies, sinusitis, cold, slow lymphatic circulation ...). With a seasonal diet and lifestyle balancing for Kapha, enhancing lightness, sharpness, dryness and warmth in our lives, we can support our physiology in its natural process of spring renewal and revitalization. However, spring is a transition season and therefore changing, so a spring routine is not meant to be rigid. Indeed, the local spring climate tends to fluctuate between a cold and dry winter weather and warmer and wetter conditions, which means that a given day could aggravate the kapha but also the vata. From mid-spring, temperatures rise, and the Pitta can also get worse. Obviously, these models vary depending on where you live and the nuances of your local climate. Adapting your daily spring routine is a great way to honor the subtle variations of the season.
5 good Ayurvedic reflexes for spring
1/ I eat light, simple and anti Kapha food
When the days warm up, your appetite diminishes and you look for more lightness in fruits, fresh vegetables and salads. It's the way your body tells you it's time for a spring cleanup. In fact, spring is a perfect time for cleaning with a monodiet or a detox. A monodiet of apple or pomegranate juice of 3 days is ideal for the season. You can also support your body's natural desire to purify smoother by promoting pungent, bitter and astringent tastes and by eating warm, light foods that are relatively easy to digest to stimulate digestive fire, maintain warmth, liquefy mucus and evacuate the excess moisture. Drink some hot drinks, with some honey in the day. Structure your diet by eating lots of fresh (but not necessarily raw) vegetables and a variety of legumes. These foods are astringent and often a bit bitter. Reduce heavy or liquid vegetables such as avocado, cucumber, olives, sweet potato, squash or zucchini. Start your day with a light breakfast of fresh fruit and tea. Light lunches and dinners of cereals and steamed vegetables and legumes are often perfect choices. Eat a lot of bitter green vegetables, cabbage family vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), and spicy foods like green peppers. Eat the young sprouts that grow all over the countryside (spinach, purslane, lamb's quarters, yarrow, wing, bear's garlic, nettle, mallow ...) in salad or pesto! Tofu and poached or hard eggs are also suitable in the spring. Use very little oil or ghee when cooking. Minimize your consumption of dairy products, especially in the morning. Rice milk and almond milk are good substitutes. Avoid excessive oilseeds, bread or fermented foods.
2/ I say yes to novelty
Breathe in something new in our life! The goal: get rid of your Kapha winter cocoon and reboost you. How? Start a new activity. Do not hesitate to embark on a crazy adventure. Want more spirituality in your life? Get into meditation or yoga. Rather attracted to manual activity? Full of DIY possibilities exist between cooking, baking, painting, drawing, scrapbooking or knitting that is 100% destress. If you have a few days in front of you and a little money aside, spring is also a fabulous time to afford a little trip. This allows a real break after the winter to rest and come back motivated and inspired.
3/ I take time outside & connect to nature
In spring, nature teems with life, buds and young shoots come out with the sun. At the time, the pagan holidays of the spring equinox were meant to connect us to nature and drive out the winter darkness. What does it mean for you? It is not a question of organizing a Sabbath and dancing naked around a bonfire but rather to ventilate your mind by spending time outdoors. After hibernation, go out and spend time in nature. You can organize a great picnic or hike a day. Do you have a garden? So why not plant a young tree with your child? Or go for a walk together to gather young shoots for a pesto. If there is no garden, you can always plant aromatic herbs in your kitchen or on your balcony.
4/ I'm sorting!
The famous spring cleaning is totally anti kapha! You get rid of everything that does not serve you or is too used, of all your accumulation. The goal? Find space to feel lighter emotionally. Collect these surpluses and donate them to associations or resource centers, the space for you to create is a renewal for another person. Also think about airing by opening your windows a few minutes every day. A bit of fresh air to purify your home from the heaviness of winter and bring the lightness and joy of spring.
5/ I'm boosting my liver
In spring, the energy is mobile, moving upward and outward, like the flowers that stretch toward the sun. In the body it's the same. Your organization is a real power station that is going at full speed to clean everything up. But the liver is the recycling plant of the body and therefore the main actor of the detox. It purifies the blood of many substances that could be toxic to it such as nitrogenous waste, alcohol and wastes related to the catabolism of red blood cells.
In short, with all the fuss in your body, it is good to give him a little help too. Drink 3 or 4 herbal teas from ginger, rosemary, turmeric or dandelion. For the more courageous, the infusion of artichoke is very effective but its taste can discourage the most reckless!
Today, we are going to be unconventional… On a Valentine day, as food bloggers, we are supposed to present some lovely meltingly chocolate cake or a fancy appetizer that puts you in a romantic mood.
But it doesn’t really feel like it. Right now, we are not looking for more candies and cakes but for some simple, tasty and regenerative food. A new approach to friendship and love?
The good news is the recipe that follows will probably be more useful to you than some glamorous Red Velvet Vanilla Cupcakes with a Poppy Frosting J
Inspiration for today’s recipe comes from the type of lunch Eloïse and I usually have during our working days. Every Wednesday, we meet to create new recipes. The day starts at the Edgar Quinet market where we can find very good quality products, sometimes organic, very often from the region. There, among fresh fruits and vegetables, we find inspiration for new savory and healthy recipes. Even if we like proposing easy recipes, food blogging requires creativity, sense of esthetics and originality. But what about unpretentious and genuine food?
This week, we decided to ignore rules J. Therefore, we are suggesting you a meal that we would typically eat in our day-to-day lives. A meal made of seasonal and affordable vegetables. But still, it is very poetic to us!
This bowl is made of beautiful Swiss chards cooked with ras-al-hanout, Moroccan style carrots (chermoula) and a delicious raïta sauce. Roasted sunflowers give this bowl a crunchy and tasty touch!
February Veggie Bowl
However, winter is also the celebration of Kapha in this season full of festivities to warm up the heart. The Kapha energy is in loving, meetings friends and family, sharing. Kapha is a wonderful force, especially in this season and in those moments when we all wish to find ourselves surrounded by our loved ones. Thus, the winter allow us to increase our Kapha energy. In Ayurveda, we talk about our Ojas. This is comparable to fuel our body and our heart need to live. Indeed, most of the autoimmune diseases comes from a deterioration of the Ojas.
Thus, sharing moments with people we love, receiving and giving, and opening our heart allows us to create Ojas. Only like this, once recharged, we can undertake the next year.
Happy New Year to everyone