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5 Spring Health Tips

Dear Friends,

 

If you’ve come to see me in clinic recently, there’s a good chance we’ve talked about ways to support your body and spirit as we transition from winter to spring.

 

With Chinese New Year behind us, yang energy is starting to move up and out more strongly now. We’re seeing the effects of this expansion in nature as the trees start to bud and flowers start to bloom.


But just as the weather can be fickle this time of year, sometimes it takes our bodies a little time to acclimate as well, which is why it can be helpful to make a few small tweaks to your diet and lifestyle to help you adjust.




Some signs that your system could use some extra support in spring include: 

•   Loss of appetite

•   Gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, or irregular bowel movements

•   Sinus or chest congestion

•   Seasonal allergies

•   Excessive fatigue, lethargy, exhaustion

•   Feelings of stuck-ness

•   Lack of motivation

•   Increased frustration

 

If any of these symptoms show up for you in the next couple months—or are already showing up for you!—it’s your body’s way of telling you to pay attention and take action.

 

Here are 5 ways you can support yourself as we move through spring:


1. Book a monthly acupuncture session.

Nip any symptoms that crop up in the bud before they grow into something bigger. If you’re already experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, book weekly or bi-weekly visits now to get yourself back on track.


2. Open your pores and sweat.

Exercise daily, head to a sauna if you can, and use a dry brush before bathing.


3. Use a neti pot.

With so much pollen in the air, it's helpful to irrigate your nasal passages with a neti pot in the morning, or twice a day if you are prone to allergies.


You can also try nasya oil from Banyan Botanicals to help keep sinuses clear, (use the code Katerina15 for 15% off at checkout.)


4. Support your natural sleep cycle.

Go to bed within 3-4 hours of sunset and wake at or before sunrise. Heading outside into fresh air for at least 10 minutes of sun exposure before 9 am will also help to regulate your hormones and feel better.


5. Adjust your diet.

 

Spring is when you want to let go of winter stagnation and allow yourself to blossom right along with nature, and one of the best ways to help yourself do that is by shifting your diet.


Physiologically, spring-supporting foods will help your body function better this time of year, and when your body is supported, your emotions benefit as well.

 

One of the best things you can do for yourself this time of year is to plan a gentle, nourishing cleanse for 3-7 days.


A healthy cleanse is not meant to leave you hungry. Instead, it allows you to give your body everything it needs without anything that it doesn’t.

 

Traditionally, Ayurveda recommends eating a mono-diet of kitchari, or, if you eat meat you could try congee (so long as the animal sources are pasture-raised/sustainable/humane.)


But you can also just simplify your diet, favoring whole grains, legumes, steamed or lightly sautéed vegetables, tofu, wild freshwater fish, and some eggs.

 

Pro tip: whole grains and legumes are usually best when rinsed, soaked for 12+ hours, and then rinsed again to reduce the phytic acid, which inhibits your body’s ability to absorb some nutrients.

 

In the spring you can also help your body clear out winter heaviness by adding more pungent, bitter, and astringent flavors to your meals, including onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, chilis, and lots of fresh herbs and spices.

 

And finally, reduce or avoid heavy, cloying, and cold food and drink, including:

-    Fried foods

-    Dairy products

-    Sweet sticky fruits (like dates, figs, and bananas)

-    Wheat

-    Sweeteners (except raw honey)

-    Fatty meats/red meat

-    Roasted nuts

-    Excess salt

-    Iced foods and drinks

 

If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to check out the Banyan Botanicals website, and Kate O’Donnell’s work, including The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook (from which I learned a lot of these recommendations).

 

But of course, every person is different, and different foods and strategies are going to be healthy for different people at different times in their lives.

 

If you’d like to talk more about the foods, herbs, and strategies that are going to be most supportive for you given your current symptoms and circumstances, book an appointment now so you can get personalized recommendations.

  

Warmly,


Katerina

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