April 3-Season Diet Guide

April 3-Season Diet Guide

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.

Spring Cleaning

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:

2. Reset your digestive strength with a cleanse or detox. Here are a few ideas:

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:

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.

Download Winter Grocery List
Download Spring Grocery List 

April Seasonal Recipes

These fantastic recipes are gifted to us by the lovely Emma Frisch, a cook, blogger, freelance food writer, and former farmer. She is Co-Founder and Director of Culinary Experience at Firelight Camps and was a top finalist on Food Network Star, Season 10. Emma’s recipes fall right into place with the rest of our diet and seasonal eating recommendations.

April 3-Season Diet Sales

Take 15% off Manjistha and The 3-Season Diet book through April 30.

Use coupon code 3SEASON at checkout.
Cannot be combined with other discounts.

Follow the #3SeasonDiet on Social Media

Introduce yourself to your new community! Let us and your fellow Challengers know why you are looking forward to the next year of harmonious living and eating with the seasons as nature intended.

Post your inspiration, photos, recipe ideas and more to your social media outlets using the hashtag #3SeasonDiet.

April Seasonal Posts

Why You Should Eat Kapha-Balancing Bitter, Astringent, and Pungent Foods This Spring: These natural tastes are part of seasonal eating, and easy to fold into your diet with the suggestions below.

Superfoods For Your Body Type: Spring Edition: Happy New Year! Spring is the start of nature’s annual nutritional cycle, where it takes one full year to get ones’ nutritional needs met. Spring is a heavy, wet, and warmer time that encourages seeds that have weathered a long winter to germinate and sprout, offering an abundance of nutrient-dense foods so desperately needed after a long sparse winter. For our ancestors, early spring was always a tough time in nature to get nourished, as the winter stores have likely run out and the spring harvest is still in its infancy.

10 Dietary Tips to Transition to a Spring Diet: In nature, the shift from winter (the end of the annual cycle) to spring (the beginning of the annual cycle) is perhaps the most important transition of the year. At this time, the weather, harvests, and microbes are making dramatic changes. For example, winter microbes that are geared for keeping the body warm and digesting heavier foods are transitioning to microbes that will facilitate fat burning, natural weight loss, stable mood, and renewed energy for the new year.

Spring Congestion & Sluggish Digestion Be Gone!: With spring right around the corner, there are a few precautions we can take to ensure a healthy and symptom-free spring and summer. You may have noticed the birds are back, scouting where on your home they will lease nest space. The crocus, which are nature’s cue to start spring, are just a few weeks away and the squirrels are running out of nuts, anxiously waiting for the first greens to sprout so they can finally eat a salad. Nature seems to have everything under control when it comes to adjusting for each seasonal change, while we don’t seem to do much. Maybe we take a sweater off or put one on, but in nature, survival depends on living in harmony with these cycles.

Not signed up for the 3-Season Diet Challenge yet? Do so here.

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Dr. John

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