Ah, yes, it’s that time of year – spring – where nature comes alive again and so do our bodies. The time for “hygge” is over. We want to go outside and feel the fresh air; we want to feel renewed, fresh and vibrant. In Chinese medicine, spring is “liver time,” meaning vibrancy, rejuvenation and energy. It also means more greens. Our digestive systems need to take a break from the heavy, dense comfort foods of winter. If we just slow down and take in what surrounds us, nature will guide us and provide us with what we need.
To detox and cleanse without excessive dieting, fasting and juicing, we must integrate more greens into our daily meals. One way to feel lighter and wake up from winter is to intake more sweet or savory green juices and smoothies.
While we want to lighten up and refresh our bodies, we also want to simplify things. Simplicity comes down to the foods and the food preparation. Choosing top quality ingredients makes simple tasty, and we can enjoy the nourishment of a meal without working hard to create it.
To prepare your meals in the spirit of spring, re-proportion your plate. Combine meals differently than during winter – perhaps with less starch and more green vegetables with high fiber content. This will help cleanse the digestive system, as well as energize and detox the liver.
Perhaps the most important and accessible tool that could help us feel better every day is adding clean water. We most often overlook the simplest things, but this small detail can make the biggest difference in how we feel every day. Add lemon for an extra liver boost.
While there are many meditation methods out there, I prefer to just call it mindful practices. While taking a stroll, pay close attention to the little things that pop up in nature. Feel your feet on the ground and breathe so that you feel the breath all the way in your belly.
Spring provides us the opportunity to be more mindful of taking deeper breaths. Ensuring that our lungs are filled with fresh air helps to calm and center our whole being. When we focus on our breath, we reconnect with ourselves, and when we breath mindfully while outside, we connect with nature.
WATERMELON AND FENNEL SMOOTHIE
We often overlook fennel, though we shouldn’t as it is a superfood. It helps remove toxins from the colon, boosts the immune system, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Watermelon – another superfood – has multiple benefits as well. It helps prevent cellular damage, while boosting muscle relaxation and cardio vascular health. It is high in natural electrolytes and boosts the immune system.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
4 cups of watermelon
2 cups of cucumbers
1 cup of basil leaves
1 teaspoon of red peppercorn
1 teaspoon of garlic sea salt
1/2 cup of scallion or spring onion
Mix everything in a blender. Chill before serving or use chilled ingredients before making the smoothie. If you’re not eating the smoothie immediately, place it in a lidded container as the watermelon oxidizes quickly.
SPRING PEA AND CUCUMBER SMOOTHIE
Cucumbers are a kidney tonic, making it great for detoxing. Peas are lovely to eat in the spring and are easy to store in the freezer. Both cucumbers and peas are high in phytonutrients and contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
3 cups of cubed cucumbers
1 cup of frozen organic sweet peas
1 apple (optional)
1/2 cup of leek or sweet onion
1 teaspoon of garlic sea salt or 1 roasted garlic clove
1 handful of mint leaves and lemon verbena
Mix everything in a blender. If you’re not eating the smoothie immediately, place it in a lidded container as it oxidizes quickly.
CUCUMBER AND FENNEL SMOOTHIE
Ingredients for 2 servings:
1 cup of cucumber
1 cup of fennel
1 cup of apple
1 and 1/2 cup of coconut water or water
Juice from 1/2 lime
Dash of sea salt
Chop the cucumber, fennel and apple, all with the skins on. The size of the chunks depends on your blender. Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Put everything in the blender. Squeeze in the lime juice and add a large dash of the sea salt. (The sea salt is not used for taste, but to bring out the taste of the smoothie.) You can add one or two ice cubes instead of water if you’d like, or if you prefer a lighter smoothie, use 2 cups of coconut water or water.
Substitute your normal pastas with zucchini to get a lighter, more vibrant spring meal. It provides the fiber and fat that helps you feel full.
Ingredients for 1-2 servings:
1 summer squash or zucchini
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
microgreens or other fresh spring greens
Spiralize the zucchini. One zucchini gives you one to two portions depending on the size. Drizzle with sea salt and massage lightly. Mix with herbs of choice. Add preferred oil, such as olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, flax or hemp. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (to your taste) and freshly ground pepper. Top it off with slightly roasted or raw pine nuts. If you are roasting the pine nuts, put them in a dry sauté pan on medium heat and stir. Babysit them closely because they turn black quickly.
Use a water purifying filter instead of buying bottled water. It’s better for you and the environment. Add nourishment into your daily lives.
Jeanette Bronée founded Path for Life in 2004 in hopes of bringing awareness to the healing power of learning how our choices affect us. She established the nine-step online Path for Life Self-Nourishment Program based on her integrative, mind-body approach to nourishment, which she developed over the course of a decade by helping clients transform their relationships with food. In addition to her private coaching practice, Bronée is a writer, recipe developer and motivational speaker with a specialty in emotional eating.
PHOTOGRAPHY | TORKIL STAVDAL
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