Now that we’ve all “leapt forward” in time, having been robbed of a precious hour of sleep (thank you so much, daylight savings time), the pre-spring excitement has commenced. Even though the seasonal switcheroo isn’t quite calendar official, we’re all thinking of the best ways to avoid the colds and outfit confusion during the early days of spring.
According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, what happens with the changing seasons is aptly called a “glitch.” You can navigate it seamlessly with a cleanse of easily digested foods amplified by spring-specific vegetables and aromatic spices. (Pssst! If you cringed at the word “cleanse,” fear not. Think of this as more of a reset or a reboot. The dishes you eat during the glitch are more cozy and satisfying than, say, green juice.)
“We do these nutritive, light cleanses throughout the year in Ayurveda,” says Laura Coburn, certified Ayurveda yoga specialist and director of serenity at The Inns of Aurora in New York State. “The energy of spring will [soon] be upon us and this is a very verdant time. It’s very rich with moisture and growth, and there’s a heaviness to the air.” Since we’re all part of nature—it’s true!—Ayurveda teaches that we, too, have springtime blooming inside of us.
If we take the time to take care of our bodies properly throughout this inner and outer-metamorphosis, Coburn explains that we’re helping the “agni,” or the digestive fire of the bodies burn out what’s left of winter to prepare for the warm days just beyond the horizon. “Springtime is a time we really want to help this agni out, so it can clear out and burn off the excess, undigested stuff from the wintertime, when we maybe weren’t as active,” explains the Ayurvedic specialist.
So let’s talk about what’s on the glitch menu, shall we?
Breakfast: A bowl of something warm like hot oatmeal or grits doused with cinnamon.
Lunch: When lunchtime rolls around, prepare a pot of kitcheri, a hearty stew made with spices like asafoetida powder that get your digestive juices flowing. Since we’re talking about the winter to spring glitch, make sure to include plenty of spring fresh vegetables like asparagus and peas.
Dinner: You can have the kitcheri once more. Just make sure it’s a smaller serving than you had midday so your stomach won’t be too hard at work while you’re fast asleep. (For the record, alcohol and coffee aren’t technically permitted, but you can drink as much tea as you desire throughout the day.)
Depending solely on your preferences, you can stick to this glitch-specific eating plan anywhere between one day and a full week. Just be sure to listen to your body along the way. Whatever length you decide on, Coburn recommends filling your days with as much introspection as possible. Spend time considering what you want to transition in and out of your life during the current limbo. The glitch will soon pass and—with any luck—pure, unadulterated spring won’t feel as jarring as Sunday’s winter wake-up call.
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