Finally, our weeks are interspersed with warm, mid-60 days. Spring is right around the corner. And springtime is synonymous with vitality, color, and new life. It’s a season of rebirth. When it comes to our grocery basket, it’s time to give (some) winter staples the boot. As spring fruits and veggies come into season, we can take advantage of diversifying our plates and supporting local farmers. Today, we’re diving into how to eat seasonally in the spring. Consider this your seasonal eating cheat sheet—complete with spring’s nutritious bounty and the best seasonal eating cookbooks.
Mother Nature knows best
With March underway, the weather, harvests, and microbes are making dramatic changes. Transition is happening. Winter microbes that were geared for digesting heavier foods are transitioning to microbes that will facilitate fat burning, natural weight loss, stable mood, and renewed energy. Mother Nature knows best. To make the most of this transition, consider everything from how you can detox your home to where you are in your menstrual cycle. Establishing a connection to nature’s powerful cycles begins within you. What can you upcycle, recycle, or change in your life to welcome spring’s renewal? As you navigate this transition—from a dietary perspective—opt for switching up your grocery basket. Said differently: eat with the seasons. Before uncovering tips for how to eat seasonally in the spring, let’s begin with the basics.
WHAT IS SEASONAL EATING?
It’s a sustainable way of eating—with a variety of health benefits. This lifestyle encourages you to focus on fruits and vegetables in season (for your geographic area, specifically). There are many reasons to eat with the seasons. After all, when foods are grown out of season, they can’t follow their natural growing and ripening rhythms. In order for certain fruits and vegetables to be available year-round, ripening agents are used. These include chemicals, gases, and heat processes. If you want berries in the winter, instead of opting for conventional berries (sprayed with pesticides), grab a bag of frozen organic berries instead! Mix them into yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or make homemade berry jam.
Food in season tastes better. And it’s cheaper. Citrus hits different in the winter. Juicy tomatoes are summer’s candy. You get the gist. Naturally-ripened fruits and vegetables—grown and picked in season—are typically full of flavor and nutrients. Additionally, eating with the seasons is better for the environment. Most of us give little thought to the environmental impact of traveling produce. However, so much of our produce is imported.
how to eat seasonally in the spring
Hello, leafy greens, cilantro, radishes, asparagus, cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower. Spring eating never tasted so good.
go with the ebb and flow
No matter where you live, spring’s arrival is typically sporadic. A few days of warm spring air may be followed by a week of cold winter weather. In the early transition from winter to spring weather, follow the natural desire and to eat warmer soups and stews, root veggies and heavier foods during the cold spells, and switch to spinach salads and lighter fare like veggie broth soups and cooked veggies during the days of spring weather.
focus on transitional foods
The best way to create a grocery list for the winter-spring transition is to cross reference these two grocery lists. Any foods that are on both of those lists make great transitional foods. Do your best to load up on these foods.
cook your greens
If you aren’t accustomed to eating many greens, be sure to cook them! For greens like bok choy, spinach, kale, etc., either sauté or roast them. Just like fruit, whole vegetables have a lot of fiber. Once they’re cooked, the fiber will be partially broken down and easier to digest—this is helpful for vegetable-eating newbies.
drink ginger tea
swap out hearty grains
Spring is naturally a grain-free season, as these foods are traditionally not harvested until fall. If you feel inclined, reduce your portions of hearty grains, like oats and pastas. These can be nourishing foods, but in terms of how to eat seasonally in the spring, swap hearty grains with other complex carbohydrates, like beans, beets, and carrots.
Opt for raw honey
Focus on lower-glycemic sugar (or unrefined sugar, like this raw honey). In the spirit of taking a lighter approach—that will also help balance blood sugar—be mindful of your sugar intake. Spring is a great time to take a step back from heavy winter desserts and opt for more refreshing, lower-sugar options (like my lemon poppyseed bread!).
understand the kapha body type
Know your body type. If you are a kapha body type, spring is the most important time of year to watch your diet. Eating seasonally in the spring can reset digestion, stimulate fat burning, and build stable energy for the year ahead.
honor your appetite
Honor your appetite. The appetite naturally begins to wane during the spring months. Unlike winter, where the hunger may have been incessant, spring boosts natural fat metabolism that decreases cravings, hunger, and appetite. Tune into your true hunger to help you feel energized, satiated, and vibrant.
keep up your supplement routine
support your gut
Gut health is key. Many bitter roots (harvested in the spring) help to boost liver function, scrub the intestinal villi, strengthen immunity, and create a healthy environment for new spring microbes to proliferate. Baby microgreens—like sprouts—are loaded with nutrients, feeding intestinal microbes and supporting healthy gut bacteria. Last but not least, spring fruits are incredible nourishing. Berries and cherries are rich in antioxidants, helping transform the gut.
THE 7 BEST SEASONAL EATING COOKBOOKS
Below are the best seasonal eating cookbooks!
Images courtesy of Unsplash.
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider.