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Ayurveda Tips for Spring

posted Apr 11, 2015, 4:45 PM by Susan Bernhardt   [ updated Apr 11, 2015, 4:45 PM ]
Even in dry Colorado, spring brings an increase in dampness and continued coolness. Signs of imbalance in the spring include allergies, spring colds, and feeling sluggish. In keeping with the Ayurvedic principle that like increases like and opposites lead to balance, spring is a time to move to a lighter diet and to engage in stimulating, healthy activities.

Counter the season's tendencies with a few adjustments to your daily routine and diet:
  • Favor light, warm, drying foods. Now is the time to move toward cooked greens (spinach, chard, kale, beet greens, dandelion greens, etc.), seeds, lentils, beans, and, as the weather warms up, leafy salads. Other good veggies include broccoli, asparagus, radishes, leeks, and artichokes. Among the grains, favor quinoa and millet. Both make a yummy breakfast porridge.  Buckwheat, corn, and oats also are good choices. Use warming spices, like ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, and chili pepper. For fruits, try apples, pears, plums, pomegranates, and rhubarb.

  • Stimulate the digestive fire. The digestive fire tends to be slower in the spring than the winter. Honor that by reducing the amount you eat. Eat only when hungry. To stimulate the appetite, drink a cup of warm lemon water, or eat a small piece of fresh ginger with a squeeze of lime juice, 20 to 30 minutes before a meal. Try a "juice fast" one day a week, with fresh veggies and fruits like parsley, carrots, beets, beet greens, broccoli, apples, or berries, and at night drink a cup of triphala tea (an Ayurvedic cleansing formula).

  • Limit heavy, cold, damp foods. Limit dairy generally, and especially avoid cold dairy such as ice cream. Also limit salty, sour, and sweet foods. Here's the good news: honey can be helpful; enjoy it stirred into a cup of herbal tea or warm water or your breakfast porridge after it has finished cooking.

  • Get moving. Now is the time to return to outdoor walks and other exercise. Get plenty of movement. Ayurveda recommends exercising to half your capacity every day. Help stimulate movement internally as well. Dry brushing with spa gloves or a loofah is a good way to move lymph and aid circulation. Work in the direction of lymph flow, from the hands and feet towards the heart. Use a neti pot to move mucus out of the nasal passages, helpful for preventing colds and allergies.