In This Article
Are you in the Southern Hemisphere? See the October Guide here.
Welcome to April!
Let’s reconnect to the natural cycles of nature this April. As we discussed a bit in the March Guide, spring is the kapha time of year that the earth holds onto more water. Previously bone-dry earth begins to swell and, as a result, sprouts start popping up, flowers bloom, and leaves slowly begin to make their annual debut.
A similar process happens within our bodies. We begin to hold onto more water, but with more sunshine and new life happening all around us, a new vibrant energy sparkles within.
Why Bitter is Better in the Spring
To ensure that the spring surge of new life is as healthy as possible in our guts, we must make sure that we have been following the rules. In nature, as I briefly discussed last month, the deer dig up bitter roots as the ground thaws. Digging up dandelion, burdock, Oregon grape, turmeric, ginger, and berberines has been a standard practice for thousands, if not millions, of years.
These bitter roots help the liver do some spring cleaning, as well as scrub and scrape the villi and lymphatic lacteals of the intestinal skin. This is nature’s second major step in preparing the intestines for a new stable of beneficial spring microbes.
The first step, which we spoke about last month, was laying down a layer of soluble fiber, with seeds like chia, flax, slippery elm, marshmallow, and licorice. Then, when the spring microbial surge takes place in the soil, spring-harvested foods are loaded with a new population of the new year’s bugs.
But before this can effectively happen, we must make sure we scrub the intestinal villi, the liver and gallbladder, the intestinal lymphatic-collecting ducts, and the lymphatic system itself.
Making sure you have gotten medicinal dosages of the bitter roots in early spring is a critical piece of the circadian medicine puzzle.
Once we have cleansed with these bitter roots, we can enjoy the early spring greens, loaded with chlorophyll that finishes the job of preparing our intestinal skin to support a new population of beneficial microbes.
To make sure this happens and that we prepare for nature’s new year each spring, we offer our 2-week Colorado Ayurvedic Cleanse, which includes all the digestive reset and liver- and lymph-cleansing herbs needed to ensure we have made a healthy and successful transition from winter into spring.
We all engage in some type of spring cleaning in our homes, gardens, yards, and cars, but most importantly, we have to make sure we get the internal mind-body spring cleaning we need now to enjoy a healthy summer, fall, and winter ahead.
In Ayurveda, spring presents the perfect opportunity to cleanse and rejuvenate the body. You may have noticed that science is just now beginning to understand this, through all the studies coming out about the importance and influence that the microbiome has on almost every aspect of life.
Within our bodies, those winter microbes that are geared for keeping the body warm and digesting heavier foods are transitioning to spring microbes that have a new purpose: fat burning, natural weight loss, stable mood, and renewed energy for the full year ahead.
What to Focus on in April
1. Tune into your body’s natural desire to eat less and become a better fat burner. Here are some simple strategies:
- Eat More Good Fiber: Greens, beans, and sprouts
- Relax when you eat
- Drink water between meals
- Move your body: Try my 12-Minute Workout.
- Read my Ayurvedic Weight Balancing eBook, where I coach you into a safe time-restricted eating and weight-balancing plan. Start with fasting for 13 hours between supper and breakfast.
2. Reset your digestive strength with a cleanse or detox. Here are a few ideas:
- The 4-Day Short Home Cleanse: download the free eBook and get started!
- The 2-Week Colorado Ayurvedic Cleanse. We do a guided group cleanse with folks all over the country each spring and fall, or you can do the cleanse on your own anytime.
3. After you do a cleanse, ramp up your good microbes with a quality probiotic. There are three types of bacteria within us: good, bad, and those that do nothing but take up space. To stay healthy, you need more good microbes than bad microbes. So, how do you make that happen? Knock out those microbes that are just taking up space, and make some room for the good microbes to thrive! You can do this with a good colonizing probiotic with strains that have been shown to survive the digestive tract, not just be swept right through the body.
Look for these strains: Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14, and Bifidobacterium longum B1-05. Read more about these strains and what they do in the body here.
LifeSpa carries multiple probiotic formulas. Here are two I would like to highlight:
- Gut Revival: a high-potency probiotic ideal for individuals seeking a comprehensive revival and restoration of healthy intestinal microecology, while neutralizing proliferation of bacterial toxins. Try this for one month and follow up with Flora Restore for one month.
- Flora Restore: the beneficial bacteria in this formula have been shown to survive the digestive tract, adhere to the gut wall, and proliferate new and permanent residents in the gut.
4. Live in sync with the natural cycles of the day. Follow your circadian rhythms. Eat during the day and sleep at night. If you’re living against the grain, traveling a lot, or under a lot of stress, your genetic signals become overruled by “gene noise.” This gene noise interferes with circadian rhythms and disturbs the microbiome. Reduce stress. Stress is perhaps the most well-documented mechanism linked to accelerated degeneration of the body. To learn how you can do this, check out my article Live with the Natural Cycles.
5. Check out the 28-Day Ayurveda Challenge. Each day for 28 days, you will receive a new Ayurvedic routine to implement. This is a life-changing challenge!
6. Start meditating. Check these out:
- One-Minute Meditation
- Free 3-Tiered Meditation Training
- 6-Week Meditation eCourse: Transformational Awareness Technique
My favorite food in spring: turmeric!
Turmeric is a spring- and fall-harvested root that provides heating action to balance spring’s major microbial surge. It’s just warm enough to take the spring chill out of the air and thin mucus that can be produced in excess in April. Learn more about turmeric here.
Prebiotics that Balance Kapha
Garlic | Harvested Spring or Fall: Balances Kapha
Garlic is high in the prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharide (FOS). Garlic has been found to increase proliferation of bifidobacteria in the gut, which supports gut health immunity.9
Onions | Spring or Fall: Balances Kapha
Like garlic, onions are high in inulin and FOS, which support healthy gut bacteria, break down fats, and boost the immune system by increasing nitric oxide production in cells.10
Leeks | Harvested Spring or Fall: Balances Kapha
Leeks, onions, and garlic all come from the same family and deliver inulin and FOS as their source of prebiotics. Like onions and garlic, they also support proliferation of good gut bacteria and gut immunity.
Seaweed | Harvested Spring: Balances Kapha
Seaweed is a powerful prebiotic. However, it is rarely consumed outside of Japan and other Asian countries. It is a natural prebiotic soluble fiber rich in minerals like iodine. Seaweed has been studied to support growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.11
To see all prebiotic recommendations, read Nourish Your Microbiome: Seasonal Prebiotics for Your Ayurvedic Body Type.
Seasonal Grocery Lists
Depending on how the weather is shifting where you are located, you may be ready for more springy foods. On colder days of April, eat more foods off of the Winter Grocery List, and on warmer days, eat more foods off of the Spring Grocery List.
By Emma Frisch
Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) is one of Ayurveda’s most popular blood-purifying herbs and is used for lymphatic and liver support. The incredibly important role of the lymphatic system is often overlooked in Western medicine. Your lymph system drains the wastes from your body and controls and regulates your immune system. It is pumped through muscular contractions, so if one is sedentary, the lymphatic system will eventually become sedentary and will create toxicity in lymph tissues all over the body, such as the breasts, skin, joints, and muscles.
Let us and your fellow Challengers know why you are looking forward to the next year of living and eating with the seasons. Post your inspiration, photos, recipe ideas, and more to your social media with the hashtag #3SeasonDiet. Grab your copy of the 3 Season Diet book today.