I hope it’s gorgeous where you are! And I hope you’re enjoying warmer temperatures, beautiful flowers, the greening of the trees, and more lightness in your step.
Last week as I made my grocery list for the week, I suddenly wanted all of the veggies and salads. Not two weeks earlier my main purchase was 4 pounds of short ribs (yum!!). But this shift got me to thinkin’…
So many people make wellness goals (i.e., “eat right and exercise”) at the turn of the New Year — but this is not really in alignment with the cycles of nature. In fact, so much of what we do is not in alignment with nature and we suffer terribly for it.
During the depth of winter our bodies naturally want to put on some extra pounds, to stay warm and cozy, to nestle in. It’s not the best time for 30 day yoga challenges, starting a CrossFit program, and dietary detoxes. That doesn’t mean we just sit on the couch and eat boxes and boxes of Girl Scout cookies all winter (no judgement here if you did!), but doubling down our efforts to not gain a pound or two can mess with our natural rhythms quite a bit.
But now, now is….the transition from winter to spring is the time that your body is ready to lighten up, become more active, and be more productive.
So intelligent, right?
One of the things I talk about most with my clients is that your body is wise! It’s part of nature, and as such, it has its own intelligence and rhythm. You don’t really need to look to books and experts to tell you what and how often to eat. You need to learn the language that your body is speaking to you all the time and then give it what it wants.
If you learn how to pause, and to listen to your own body as it speaks to you, you’ll know. You’ll learn its cues, what it’s saying yes to and what it’s saying no to.
And then comes the perhaps more challenging part — to set up the practical aspects needed to give your body what it wants — to plan meals, to make time for the shopping and the cooking, and to deal with any mental drama your mind kicks up about what it wants to be eating — often based on out-dated habits and emotional cravings. This is where coaching can be extremely helpful, so feel free to reach out!
I have to be honest, I don’t love the words “cleanse” and “detox” because it sets us up for a lot of moralizing around our food choices. But if you are getting the sense that your body wants to simplify for a bit and could really benefit from this sort of nourishing support during this seasonal transition, there are a couple of good ways to go for a period of 3 – 7 days. It’s nice on the front and back ends to do a couple of days of whole, non-processed foods. Not sure if this is for you? Just get quiet and ask your body and see what your “gut feeling” is. That will also help you choose which to do.
- A mono-diet of kitchari for 3 – 7 days. Include some warming spices of ginger, turmeric, and cumin, and a well-cooked veggie like broccoli or spinach.
- Have a salad for lunch with a nice mix of greens and veggies with lean (or no) protein and a simple dressing of lemon juice, cumin, and olive oil. Parsley, celery, dandelion greens, raw or steamed beets are great salad inclusions for this time of year. Sip warm veggie or bone broth or a puréed vegetable soup for your other meals. Here’s a recipe for a great sweet potato and greens soup that fits the bill perfectly. Include healthy fat such as coconut oil or ghee if sticking to the veggies.
Make sure you feel well-nourished physically. The goal is to simplify your eating, not go hungry!!
As for movement, if you’ve not been very active and it’s time to get going again, ease into it with some nice walks in the sun, a little dancing or yoga, and stuff that simply feels like playing. You can turn this into more structured, rigorous activity as you feel led. Again, use this as a time to tune into what your body is saying to you!
And, if this is NOT a happy season for you because all of the pollen has your allergies going — we should also talk. Seasonal allergies are often a symptom of an immune system that is unable to keep up with less than stellar gut health and systemic inflammation. I have recommendations to help you with these, so do reach out to me at Laura@LauraJarrait.com.
Laura Jarrait, creator of Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well is an intuitive eating and movement coach for women. She is on a mission to help women end stressful thinking about food, eat with confidence and pleasure, and trust and love their bodies now. As a life-long fan of eating and a devoted student and teacher of alignment-based yoga and other somatic and mindfulness practices for over 20 years, she teaches women to end the war with their bodies and come into true respect, appreciation, and yes, even love, for their physicality. Be-friending your body in this way changes the game completely around how you nourish yourself and experience the joy and pleasure of being, which in turn frees you up to make your unique and powerful contributions to this world. You can read more about her story and work at www.LauraJarrait.com