Can you feel the Spring getting closer? I’m so excited that the new season is officially just one day away, because this is my favorite time of the year. Birds chirping, people smiling, the first few visits to the park, longer strolls by the river, fresh air, cherry blossoms…any blossom for that matter! It’s just a fun and happy time, and still not hot enough to start wishing it was fall already.
Here in NYC some days are still cold, but then others come with brighter sunshine than before, and slightly warmer temperatures that feel amazing to the skin after a winter in this refrigerator of a city. Ahhhh! Spring. I’m sure as hell glad you’re here.
One of my most favorite things about this time, other than everything else I already mentioned, is visiting the farmers market, which starts looking like a bright Kandinsky painting with all the colorful produce that is in season. I love the farmers market year round, but there is certainly a difference between how stimulating it is during the winter, and during the spring and summer.
So today I just want to talk a little about the Spring produce. If you take your health and happiness seriously, it is of the utmost importance that you start getting in the habit of buying seasonal produce. Yes, a papaya salad in the middle of the winter can be fun in rare occasions, but your everyday meals should consist of mostly seasonal foods.
Why is that?
I won’t go into detail about it right now, because I do want to touch this subject in depth in another blog post, but to make a long story short, whenever we flow with nature we will be healthier, and happier, and our lives will be all around more harmonious. Our bodies are made to eat what’s in season each season. There’s a reason for a fruit or a vegetable to be in season at a particular time of the year. The reason is that its nutrients are exactly what our bodies need to thrive at that time.
So what’s in season in the Spring?
Here’s the list:
Fruits: Strawberries, rhubarb, pineapples, avocados, mangoes, apricots.
Vegetables: Peas, fava beans, pea greens, asparagus, potatoes, morel mushrooms, onions, beets, carrots, garlic, leeks, scallions, ramps, nettles, fiddlehead ferns, spinach, watercress, fennel, herbs, salad greens, bok choy, arugula, artichokes, and radishes.
*There may be a few things I’m leaving out of this list depending on where you live, but these are the most common and the ones you will probably see the most of.
Do you see anything in common between them?
I do. I see that most of the veggies are bitter veggies (artichokes, arugula, radishes, watercress…), and there is a very good reason for that.
Let me explain. In the Spring many people get the urge to do a Spring cleanse of their houses, get rid of everything they don’t need anymore, and clean every last corner. This tendency is also taking place inside our bodies (in a way, wanting to clean the house is an outward expression of what’s going on inside), as the liver is more active at this time of the year, and it’s going through some heavy duty detoxification process. Bitter veggies are the most detoxifying ones, and great tonics for the liver (in Peru they even recommend you drink the water in which you cook your artichokes if you have liver problems -I have done this a few times in the past to try to bring my liver back to balance after a killer hangover!).
So you can go for a full on juice cleanse during this time of the year (I will also write more about this in another blog post), but know that simply by eating what’s seasonal, you’re already helping your body greatly in its natural detoxification process.
Whenever you have time, try visiting your local farmers market, check out what’s there, and start buying more of what you see the most of. Then run to the internet or your favorite cookbooks (or just to your mind, if you’re a creative cook), and find all the recipes you would like to try using those seasonal ingredients. I promise you will feel better than ever if you do this, and your food will taste fantastic too.
Wishing you health and happiness,