It’s time to practise for the season ahead! Working at a desk under a blanket is soon something of the past. Let’s lighten up our bodies with foods that’ll get us movin’ and avoid typical spring health issues, like allergies and joint aches.
We can transition our diets from winter to spring for high energy and overall well-being. Two things to keep in mind during spring meal prepping:
One: Keep spring foods cooler, greener and lighter, as it will cool and cleanse your energy, body functions and mood.
Two: Spring foods should create a balance between digestion and elimination. Incorporate sour, pungent, and bitter cleansing foods such as lemon, leafy greens, and ginger lemon green tea in your diet.
10 foods to activate light & action this spring
- Berries: A delicious source of iron for improving blood circulation. The antioxidants in dark, rich pigment red berries, blueberries and cherries boost energy and immunity and fight free radical damage.
- Teas: Teas encourage prolonged focus and energy. White, green, or black teas improve digestion and mood through antioxidants and other natural chemicals such as L-theanine, which slows caffeine absorption.
- Grains: Whole grains, such as quinoa and oats, are a good source of nutrition and balance blood sugar levels. Tip: Soak the grains in water and add 1 tsp lemon juice for at least 5 hours to remove irritating acids.
- Greens: Cabbage, kale, parsley, spinach, and zucchini help cleanse, cool, and detoxify the liver. Bitter green foods may also reduce allergies and harmful cholesterol. Here is a list of good spring vegetables and fruits available in South Africa to consume the following months. For example, celery as cruciferous veg aids good digestion.
Try the following recipe –
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups thinly sliced Honey Crisp apple
- 2 cups sliced celery
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ⅓ cup sliced red onion
- Combine the first 4 ingredients. Add apple and remaining ingredients, toss.
- Protein: Opt for lighter or plant-based proteins in place of red meat, which may be hard to digest and heavy on the stomach. Tofu, chia seeds, or eggs provide a healthy dose of protein and fat.
- Cool proteins moistened: Fish and lean white meat such as chicken can be steamed or sautéed to keep moist and not dried out as when broiled or roasted.
- Tofu & tempeh: These foods contain protein, support calcium needs, and are very easy to prepare.
- Sprouts: Bean sprouts are the perfect addition to any meal. It contains all the necessary nutrition for growth and must be a spring essential when prepping food. “Eat mung bean sprouts in spring and summer and live a long time.” – a Chinese saying.
- Bee pollen: If you’re a victim of allergies, eat 1 tsp of bee pollen daily. 40% of its profile is protein which provides all the necessary amino acids.
- Detoxifying herbs: Include the following herbs and spices for natural detoxification – cilantro, milk thistle, turmeric, ginger, or aloe vera.
We hope you find inspiration in cooking with something new this season! Wave the winter goodbye with us.