Your Spring Guide to a Health Refresh
Winter is officially over and it's time to start considering what your intentions are for spring and summer. What do you want to see in the mirror? How do you want to feel? What do you want your relationship with food to look like? A new season means a fresh opportunity for change. This spring is your chance to come alive again and find a renewed sense of well-being.
Follow this guide for easy at-home health fixes, herbs you can grow indoors year-round, a surplus of fresh seasonal foods, and a few healthy recipes.
Choose cleansing foods
Drink pure filtered water or choose a beverage that supports liver function, such as lemon water or dandelion root tea. Making your own juice blends at home is also an excellent way to detox. Juice or blend veggies such as celery, kale or parsley. To enhance flavor and sweetness to a detox drink, add some fruit, such as an apple or pineapple.
Detox your liver
The liver serves as a main blood purifier in the body. Neglect your liver and it can result in a slew of issues, such as acne, eczema, and allergies to food and your surrounding environment. What's an easy way to lighten your liver? Drink lemon water each morning and eat your greens. Asparagus, spinach, and sprouts are all ideal choices.
Toxins can be found in everything from food, prescription drugs, personal care items, and our environment. Don't fret! The most effective way to detox and reduce your intake of toxins is to limit your consumption of processed and pesticide-ridden foods.
The sun is shining! Bring warmth into your home by buying new plants and flowers. Growing your own seeds and watching flowers develop and bloom can be a very exciting experience. Get your kids involved and teach them about growing their own herbs and how to keep them watered and healthy. It's a small responsibility that can reap big rewards.
The more you cook vegetables, the less nutrients you get out of them. Eat more raw vegetables as a snack and focus on cooking methods that prevent you from browning or burning your foods, such as lightly steaming them. You can also blanch or sauté vegetables with water or broth to save calories and help your body with digestion.
Throw it out
Set aside time for a "spring cleaning" of your fridge and pantry. Throw away old food or any items that will hold you back from hitting the refresh button on your spring eating intentions.
Herbs you can grow inside year-round
Basil - Basil likes a lot of sun and warmth, plus ample water.
Great for: pizza, sauces and salads.
Bay - Grow bay leaves in a pot in a window facing east or west with full or partial sun.
Great for: stews, soups and sauces.
Chives - Plant in a container with full sun.
Great for: soups, salads, eggs, and potatoes.
Oregano - Start with a tip from an outdoor oregano plant. Place in a pot in a south-facing window.
Great for: pizza, pasta, sauces and soups.
Parsley - Begin with seeds or a clump from your garden. Parsley likes full sun.
Great for: rice, steak, lamb and potatoes.
Your Spring Grocery Basket
Food is your friend and if chosen wisely, has the powerful ability to cleanse, heal, and repair your body in multiple ways. Add these 10 items to your grocery list for foods that are fresh, green, light, and packed with natural detox abilities.
Artichokes are high in fiber, which makes it a very cleansing food. It also supports both liver and gallbladder health. Artichokes stimulate bile production in the liver, which aids in detox and the digestion of fats. They help prevent bloating and aid in digestion, making them a great choice for easing stomach issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A few stalks contains about 15 percent of your daily iron. Asparagus has high levels of glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidant defenders for anti-aging. As we age, our glutathione levels decline, so it's important to incorporate foods with this antioxidant into your diet. For the biggest health benefit, eat asparagus raw or lightly steamed.
Garlic works wonders with its anti-inflammatory properties, which aids in disease prevention. Garlic contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which help to keep your intestinal flora balanced. Garlic boosts circulation and promotes anti-aging defenses. After you crush your garlic, let it sit for 15 minutes. This ensures it has time to activate and work its beneficial magic.
Green beans strengthen connective tissue and keep your skin, hair, and nails strong and pliable. They also contain hair and nail building minerals such as iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Overall, green beans are great for building bones and connective tissue.
Lemons are one fruit you should always have on hand. They can be found the freshest in early spring. Lemons are packed with vitamin C. They strengthen blood vessels, which can help prevent varicose veins. They have a diuretic and laxative effect, which helps keep your belly feeling and looking flat throughout the day.
Strawberries are an ideal spring pick. They contain anti-inflammatory properties that protect you from stress and aging. One handful of strawberries has more vitamin C than an entire orange. Strawberries also help with blood sugar balance and contribute to your cells staying youthful.
Looking for a good source of vegetable protein? Peas are a great source of protein and have about 10 g in a small bowl. They help build strong hair, nails, and collagen. They prevent DNA damage and boost your body's immunity defenses. You can even eat peas raw! Buy them in the spring and you'll discover they are crisp and sweet.
Low in calories, but high in nutrients, this lettuce should be one of your top choices. A hearty handful of romaine lettuce contains more than 80% of your daily vitamin A needs. Romaine is a good source of folate and silicon, so not only does it promote healthy cell repair, but strong hair, nails, and skin as well.
Rhubarb is a vegetable and helps to protect your skin from sun damage. It supports liver health and strong digestion. A good-sized stalk will provide you with about 10 percent of your daily calcium. You can simply chop rhubarb, toss with a little salt and oil and top on a salad.
This leafy veggie is powerful enough to repair DNA damage. Watercress helps to defend against free-radical damage to DNA. It also reduces redness from sun exposure and reduces inflammation. Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, watercress is your go-to choice to keep your skin, hair, nails, and vision healthy.