Spring is definitely my favorite season of the year. It’s arrival, though late this year, was especially wonderful after the most brutal winter in recent memory. It’s just so wonderful to go outside in sandals and with no coat!
I’m guessing that you may be feeling much the same – gearing up for more activity as we move into the warmer season. Let this newsletter and the next be an invitation to take a good look at your diet and lifestyle and pick a few areas to “tweak” to give you a good energy boost into Spring and Summer.
There are 12 Steps that I see for this discussion, in no particular hierarchy of importance.
Start anywhere with the 6 that I offer here. That’s the key. Just begin, and the rest will follow on naturally. In the next letter, I will give you the remaining 6.
1. Drink More Water.
This is very important as the temperatures rise. Our body systems need lots of water to keep our organs functioning well, our skin clear and hydrated, and the physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly.
Water first thing in the morning helps pull toxins left from the previous day, refreshes your system, and prepares it for the day. Keep some near you all day, and drink it!. Try to finish all drinking by early evening, so as not to disturb your sleep.
Questions arise sometimes about what kind of water is best to drink – bottled? Filtered? The main criterion is that it tastes good and agrees with your body. You can add mint leaves, lemon, parsley, cucumber, lime, or orange to vary the taste. Then add some extras like green or herbal tea and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which are high in water content.
2. Prepare More Food.
This may mean cooking, or, like me, preparing more raw food to eat. Make more salads and dressing frequently. Think creatively, outside your usual box and find new recipes, add new foods, enjoying all the fresh produce you can find Start from scratch and open. fewer packages. We’ll come back to that thought later. For now, fresh is definitely best!
3. Increase Dark Leafy Green Vegetables.
This means more than an occasional or even daily side salad. Dark leafy greens are the absolute most important food you can put in your body, and virtually everyone can benefit greatly by upping their intake of the. Click here for some valuable information about dark leafy greens and my recommendation for adding them in an easy, very effective way.
4. Increase Sweet Vegetables
After dark, leafy greens, the best color to make sure you get copious amounts of is orange – carrots, squashes, peppers. Then fill out the rest of the rainbow with beets, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, etc. They all have a variety of vitamins and minerals valuable to your health. Buy as much of your produce as possible organic, and eat as much as you can raw. Avoid overcooking the rest.
5. Increase Whole Grains
There has been considerable controversy in recent years about grains in general, and processed ones in particular. Whole grains have been a central element of the human diet since early civilization. When humans first figured out how to cultivate grain crops, -they ceased being hunter-gatherers and settled down into farming communities. People living in these communtities – on all continents – had lean, strong bodies.
In the Americas, corn was the staple grain.
In India and Asia, it was rice.
In the Middle East, they used what, making pita bread, tabouli, and couscous
In Europe, corn, millet, wheat, rice, pasta, dark breads, and even beer were considered health-providing foods.
In Scotland, Oats were a staple food.
In Russia, they ate buckwheat or kasha. Very few people were overweight, because they were eating WHOLE GRAINS, as opposed to the highly processed fare of today
Whole grains are a good source of nutrition, as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Because the body absorbs grains slowly, they provide sustained and high-quality energy.
Paleo diet notwithstanding, some people prefer to eat no or very few grains. If you eat them, eat them whole – rice, barley, quinoa, millet – there are several from which to choose. Avoid wheat, which is suspect, at best, in this country. Ground into flour it provides a sugar push higher than that of a Snickers bar, according to William Davis, author of Wheat Belly. Wheat is also associated with allergic conditions, including gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
6. Have Healthy Relationships.
Be attentive to how you feel when you are with certain people. Some relationships which were good for us a few years ago may be boring, or irrelevant, or even toxic now. Evaluate how much of your precious life energy you want to spend in unhealthy environments, and for what reasons. Sometimes it’s worth it to us to upset the relationship applecart and at other times it may not be. The point is to pay attention, stay alert and aware about who in your life is life-giving to you and who is life-draining.
Be sure to watch for Part II of Revving Up for Spring: 12 Easy Steps to Better Health in my next newsletter.