How to Shed the Winter Weight this Spring with Ayurveda

My previous article explored the basic fundamentals of the ancient Indian health science of Ayurveda. This included attitudes towards eating and thinking in order to create a strong mind-body connection, and thus, optimising longevity and quality of life.

There is no better time of year to get into Ayurvedic living than in the SPRING.

Many of us have experienced a long, cold, harsh winter (I’m glad that my Erasmus exchange in the south of France has happened this year), and so the period of eating heavier, richer foods has prolonged.
The temptation of ongoing indulgence to ease the never-ending frost bite never seems to meet an end.

Until finally, spring decides to awaken! (For the most part of Europe anyway…)

As the better weather finally begins to present itself, we can now gladly shed off the winter layers and begin to replenish our minds and bodies with what they deserve as life picks up and our true potential begins to unfold.

Spring is the time of year to DETOX and restore balance.

The flowers are blooming, animals conceiving, and all in all, nature proves its seasonal beauty once again.

If you follow Ayurvedic principles, the year truly begins now!

Time and time again we see so many crawling their way to the gym on cold, bitter, January mornings, beginning yet another “new year, new me” quest. Only to very shortly throw in the towel before the month’s even out…

However, when the temperatures begin to rise, hibernation ends, and colour works its way back into the world around us, it’s much easier to stay motivated and ambitious if the world around you is on the same level.

 

Ayurveda talks about ”agni” which is our digestive fire. It’s important to eat foods at the right time of day and year which are fresh, mostly cooked through, and contain spice. These ignite our agni and have a significant effect on how we process and metabolise what we’ve ingested.

Spring signifies the beginning of the Kapha dosha season. This means our digestive fire weakens and so its recommended to eat our biggest meal of the day when the sun is at its highest and keep breakfast and dinner portions smaller. Fasting for 12-14 hours from 7pm is most ideal in restoring metabolic rate and finally dropping that extra winter weight.

Kapha season looks at exploring astringent, bitter, and pungent foods. See my previous article for a list of the 6 flavours in Ayurveda.
We should mindfully include lots of different herbs and spices to help in boosting metabolism and restoring energy levels!

An example of a typical Ayurvedic detoxing meal is a mild curry called Kitchari. Traditionally, it is consumed at all 3 meals of the day over a 7 day period to amend metabolic levels for the new year.

Here is an example of my own creation of a Kitchari:

Lentil Kitchari served with Turmeric Cauliflower 

 

Here are foods to focus on including in your Spring diet 🙂
→ I’ve highlighted in bold the foods most optimal at this time of year.

FRUIT:

  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Dates
  • Peaches
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Pears 

VEG:

  • Root veggies – butternut squash, turnip, sweet potato
  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli & cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Greens – spinach, kale, dandelion
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Onion
  • Courgette
  • Celery
  • Horseradish
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Endive
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Mushrooms

GRAINS:

  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Millet

PROTEIN (including non-vegetarian/vegan options):

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Freshwater fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

HERBS N SPICES:

  • Mint
  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper
  • Onions
  • Chillies
  • Garlic

The last five below are the best digestive spices, tested throughout time:

  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel

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