March 3-Season Diet Guide

March 3-Season Diet Guide

Are you in the Southern Hemisphere? See the September Guide here.

In This Article

Welcome to March!

In the northern hemisphere, March is certainly the beginning of the transition from winter to spring. Even in the South, this is nature’s New Year and it is time to wrap up winter and dive into spring. According to Ayurveda, spring lasts from March through June, so the window to cleanse, reset fat burning, lose some winter weight, and detox old emotions is wide open for the next four months. You may naturally be craving lighter foods already, but it’s also okay to bundle up with a hot soup during the chilly wet snow days of March.

Embrace Bitter Greens and Roots

After a cold, dry winter and months of feasting on foods higher in fat and protein, it is important we embrace spring’s harvest and remove any bogginess from our intestines.

As spring arrives, so do rains: snow melts and the earth gets muddy. The earth holds onto more water in spring and so do we, making congestion a problem for many. This is why we call spring allergy season. Fortunately, nature provides the perfect antidote to accumulation of water and congestion.

If we were truly living off the land, the only food nature would make available this time of year would be bitter roots (at least here in Colorado). In the coming months, spring’s harvest would provide microgreens followed by berries.

During early spring, our focus is on bitter roots, such as dandelion, burdock, chaparral, goldenseal, and Oregon grape. These roots help cleanse the liver, move bile, scrub our intestines with alkaloids, cleanse boggy mucus off the intestinal villi, and remove excess fat from the intestinal wall. Add these to lighter soups and make teas to sip with your meals.

Herbs to Supplement for Bitter Roots

If you are too busy planning your spring vacation to eat your fair share of bitter roots, sprouts, and berries, there are a few seasonal herbs you can take to make up for not getting enough of these fresh, harvested spring foods:

Herbs to Supplement for Leafy Greens and Sprouts

  • Amalaki | 2 caps, 2x/day after food
  • Chlorophyll | 1 Tbsp, 2x/day for 6 weeks with water
  • Freshly squeezed apple, carrot, and celery juice | not an herb, but just as powerful!

The Season for Detoxing and Burning Fat

Many spring foods are mucus-free, fat-free, and aimed at cleansing the body from heavy winter food.

Spring is nature’s fat-burning season, giving us the opportunity to make a dramatic shift in how we burn fat. As a culture, Americans have lost the ability to burn fat. Inundated with added sugars in almost every product on the shelves, our bodies have adapted to burn sugar as our energy supply, when fat is our body’s preferred energy source!

Of course, both carbohydrates and fat work as fuel, but fat is much more efficient and long-lasting. Carbs can be more quickly depleted, leaving you exhausted, craving, and carrying extra weight.

Keep in mind it’s not all about losing weight, but about burning fat instead of carbs and sugar each spring. There are receptors and microbes that get ready for fat in spring as a major source of fuel. Come summer, carbohydrate receptors and carb-eating microbes predominate.

Leafy greens, sprouts, berries, and cherries of spring are a lighter, more austere harvest. This is a little nudge from nature to lighten up. You may find that during this season, your appetite will naturally begin to lessen. Your body is naturally thinking about lighter vegetable soups rather than hearty stews.

Traditionally, March was the beginning of the season of famine and fasting. The diet by March would have exhausted the grains, nuts, and hunting reserves. With the very austere (if any) harvest in March, food was scare and intermittent fasting, time restricted eating, and longer fasts were the norm. We have genetically adapted to spring’s calorie restriction and now we have Noble Prize-winning science to help explain the benefits of fasting.

During a fast, the body engages in a process called autophagy, where the body “eats itself,” scrubbing, cleaning, repairing, and gobbling up toxins. During fasts of more than three days, the body releases a higher amount of stem cells that rebuild and repair the body.

During the four months of spring, I highly suggest an Ayurvedic cleanse like the 14-day Colorado Cleanse or 4-day Short Home Cleanse, both based on fasting and calorie restriction principles. In addition, I suggest a water fast for one to three days for each of the four months of spring.

My advice is to TUNE IN to this desire to eat less.

Make lunch the biggest meal of your day and supper smaller. If you are trying to lose weight, then skip supper once or twice a week. Check out my Weight Balancing eBook for more strategies where you will train your body to thrive on just two meals a day each spring, lose weight, and reset your fat burners.

Go With the Flow of Seasonal Food

Spring is also naturally a gluten- and dairy-free season. By this time of year, stores of wheat will have been eaten or gone rancid, and we would allow cows and goats to save milk for their young, and thus grow our herd. Now is a good time to temporarily switch to a diet low in gluten and dairy—or even avoid them altogether.

In most regions, spring can swing between cold, windy, and grey to warm and sunny. During colder days, focus more on heavier, cooked winter foods. When sunny, start eating lighter fare, such as spring soups, and berries. Depending on how warm and sunny it is in your area, it may be time to start eating more salads as well.

Herbs to Supplement for Berries and Cherries

  • Manjistha | 2 caps, 2x/day after food
  • Red Root | 30 drops in water, 2x/day
  • Sip plain hot water every 10-20 minutes for 1-2 weeks to cleanse lymph

Seasonal Grocery Lists

On cold days of March, eat more foods off of the Winter Grocery List, and on warmer days, eat more of the Spring Grocery List.

Download Winter Grocery List
Download Spring Grocery List

March Recipe

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. 

All photos and recipes by Emma Frisch.

Mushroom and Leek Croquette
Mushroom-Leek Croquette

 

 

 

March 3-Season-Diet Sale

Take 15% off Turmeric Plus and The 3-Season Diet book through March 31.

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

Follow #3SeasonDiet on Social Media

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 hashtag #3SeasonDiet.

Related March Posts

10 Dietary Tips To Transition into Spring: 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, weather, harvests, and microbes are making dramatic changes. For example, winter microbes 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.

Bitter Is Better: Did you know we have only one type of receptor for the sweet, sour, salty, and savory tastes, but a whopping 25 types of taste receptors to detect the bitter taste? What is up with bitter? Why so many bitter taste receptors? The answer will send you buying plenty of bitter greens on your next trip to the market.

How Much Protein Do You Need? (You’re Probably Not Getting Enough!): “Candice” joined me for one of my east coast weekend seminars in early November a handful of years ago. She had been dealing with lifelong insomnia, worry, and anxiety. She had been a strict vegetarian for 20 years, which initially helped her feel much better. Her digestion became stronger, elimination more consistent, and her energy and mental clarity were dramatically improved. I began discussing how the body has increased needs for protein in the fall and winter in an attempt to rebuild structure and provide more bulk and insulation. I told the group that, in early winter, the body will start scavenging for protein from other parts of the body to re-stock its protein reserves, and that this could destabilize blood sugar levels . . .

8 Tips For A Healthy Spring Diet: I’d like to share a story with you of a patient of mine, “Mary.” I had seen Mary a couple of times early in the year for some mood, energy, and sleep issues. That spring, she came in for her follow-up visit. She told me her previous issues were resolved, but was dealing with something different: she had recently lost her appetite. She told me that she wasn’t hungry for anything but salads. She reported that her energy was better, her sleep improved, and her mood was great. Her only complaint was her barely-there appetite . . .

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Gratefully,
Dr. John

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