Spring Forward!

Let’s start at the very beginning. As the song says “it’s a very good place to start”

How are you feeling?  When you awaken in the morning, do you wish you could indulge in another 20 minutes of restful sleep? Shall we ‘SPRING FORWARD’ ?
Let’s repeat together:  Today is the day that I’m going to take better care of ME!

SPRING is THE ideal time to make a few simple changes to throw off that sleepy winter self; to step forward into a better lightness of being. New choices, specific foods and herbs, our green allies, can assist us in our quest for increased energy and vitality.

… Do you have any of the following 24 symptoms?  Be honest.  Take a moment to check out this list.

Signs of Toxic Overload

arthritis
bad breath
chronic bronchial or sinus congestion
chronic constipation
chronic diarrhea
dark circles under the eyes
depression
fatigue
food sensitivities
gas
hay fever
allergies

headaches
irritable bowel syndrome
leaky gut syndrome
low-back pain
memory impairment
poor complexion
poor digestion
cancer challenge
slow metabolism
ulcers
unpleasant body odour
weight gain

 

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In working with clients over the years, I’ve noticed that each has toxicity issues of some sort!  Some had numerous issues and were struggling to just ‘cope’ with everyday life. Is this you?
Mostly people move along, day after day and month after month, never stopping to realize that LIFE these days does…without any doubt, provide us with hundreds of toxicity challenges.

Herbalists work with clients, sharing lifestyle ideas and creating herbal formulas to address specific issues. We act as a sort of health coach, to offer a programme to SPRING FORWARD down that winding road towards better health. 

We are exposed to thousands of chemical substances that didn’t exist even 100 years ago: insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, air pollution, preservatives, artificial colours, artificial flavours and sweeteners, automobile exhaust, electromagnetic radiation fields, radioactivity, water pollution, toxic materials in the home and at work, alcohol and drug toxicity as well as cigarette or cigar smoke.

Sorry  for the gloom and doom ~ truly ~ I guess my point is this — We can make choices which are helpful and life-enhancing OR we can remain somewhat ‘clouded’ by busy lives, and continue along the same path.  Would you let your car go for 5 years without some sort of check up?  Our bodies can benefit greatly from ‘a shift in the toxic load’. SPRING is the PERFECT TIME for “lightening up”. SO ?? What to do?

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SPRING FORWARD Basics:
1. Buy ORGANIC food when possible or shop local and get to know farmers. 
    Learn about your food’s sources. Limit ‘packaged’ foods. Choose REAL food. Eat seasonally.

2. Drink a minimum of 1 liter of good quality water, daily. 
     Infuse water with fruit or veggies. Drink herbal teas. Stay tuned for some ideas below!

3.  Toss the chemicals!  Choose other ways to clean your body, your dishes, your clothes, your 
      home.  Lighten the toxic load in your home.

4. Take a moment for yourself and create the ritual of ‘detox bathing’. Here’s a post with ideas.

There are so many more ideas to share but these 4 will keep most people busy and are the basics.

sea salt bath with lavender on the table

 

In the meantime, I’d like so share some  recipes which I hope you’ll enjoy with a focus on SPRING plants — firing up our digestion and supporting our beloved LIVER!

BONUS TIP!

Sometimes, we feel better with a little stimulation for our metabolism, an inner “kick start”  that can clear out those residues. Have you tried Apple Cider Vinegar?
Rich in minerals and, of note potassium, it can be used to “flush out” uric acid crystals, the most prevalent metabolic waste substances with a tendency to accumulate in the joints. Made famous by Dr. D.C. Jarvis, apple cider vinegar has been used for a very long time for everything from weightloss to detoxification to chronic headaches and foot calluses!

USE 2 tsp of ACV with 2 tsp of local raw honey dissolved in a glass of good water every morning before eating your breakfast OR  
Upon rising and prior to meals, drink the juice of half of a lemon in water. Lemon is naturally alkalinizing. (a good thing!)

Learn about the plants in your area, which we call “Spring” plants. Dandelion is one of my own favourites. Dandelion grows all over the world. I’m hoping you have some growing near you!
I love to sauté Dandelion which is THE most fabulous veggie ‘side’ imaginable. Check out this post for the ‘how to’ info. For more, ideas re using dandelion click here. 

Choose WILD Food for Increased Vitality!

Choose WILD Food for Increased Vitality!

There are so many wonderful Spring greens ~ many are bitter and SO good for digestive system support! Here are some more ideas. 
Do you know Radicchio? Another fabulous detoxifying vegetable. NOT green in this case. Here’s a wonderful way to prepare this very delicious bitter digestive supporter!

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In fact there are so many delicious ways to incorporate bitter foods into our meals, and in so doing, improve our digestion, which includes ‘elimination’ and is a super way to help with Spring detoxification. Here’s a list for you in this post.

I make soups all winter long and do continue into the spring season, incorporating more bitter greens and lighter ingredients. Here’s one of my favourite Spring soup recipes.

For some “rise n’ shine”  Spring ritual ideas, check out this post.  
HERBS can help us to ‘rev’ up our digestion ability. Check out these ideas.    

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Include some delicious herbal teas to help stimulate better food assimilation and elimination!
This  post shares herbal teas which can help with the above and better digestion too!

“Good Vibration”  Muffins to promote healthy digestion

This recipe is extremely versatile. Try substituting applesauce or pumpkin purée for the mashed banana and carrots for the zucchini. Raisins and walnuts can be used instead of dates and pecans – it’s all up to you! I’ve made it into mini-loaves too for a change. They are delicious.

"Good Vibration" Muffins
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Ingredients
  1. Dry ingredients
  2. 2 cups (500 mL) spelt flour (or gluten free or your choice)
  3. 1 cup (250 mL) ground flaxseed, sunflower seed or hulled pumpkin seed.
  4. 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) baking soda
  6. 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp (5 mL) allspice
  8. 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg
  9. Wet ingredients
  10. 1/2 cup (125 mL) mashed banana
  11. 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated zucchini
  12. 1/3 cup (75 mL) grape seed oil (or coconut, avocado, light olive)
  13. 1 cup (250 mL) organic milk or milk substitute
  14. 1/4 cup (60 mL) blackstrap molasses
  15. 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup or honey
  16. 1/2 cup (125 mL) dates, finely chopped
  17. 1/2 cup to 1 cup (125 to 250 mL) pecans, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly oil a 12-muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir lightly until just blended. Do not over mix. Add dates and pecans, reserving some pecans for garnish. Pour batter into muffin pan, garnish with reserved pecans, and bake 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Makes 12 muffins.
Adapted from from Alive Magazine #269 March 2005
Adapted from from Alive Magazine #269 March 2005
Studio Botanica http://studiobotanica.com/
I realize that there are lots of ideas shared here. Just start where you are. Pick ONE new habit. See how it fits into your life. Try a tea. Try a new veggie ~ experiment!

Maybe you already practice a lot of these super healthy habits. BRAVO!! I know I’ve left out some, and will add as I remember — but please share with our community —
What are your favourite  SPRING FORWARD ideas for better days ahead? 

 

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6 Comments

  • Speaking of chronic bad breath…one of the ladies in my Whole 30 group had chronic bad breath for years and two weeks into Whole30 it disappeared! She was so happy. Great post Carol. As always!

  • This is a great post Carol. So many wonderful tips! It’s so true, we’re exposed to so many chemical substances – even ones that we can’t avoid like the heavy metals/chemicals being sprayed in the sky. I need to get into a better routine with drinking water – I have not been drinking enough. I’d like to get into a better routine with taking detox baths too. I often forget and just dry brush instead, but the bath is key. Thanks!

  • I’ve been making a point to drink sparkling water with ACV, lemon juice, and stevia to stay hydrated. And oolong tea w/ stevia is my new favorite thing! The time change really threw me off this year. I kept making our meals way later than usual because I just didn’t realize how late it was!

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