A glance at any Facebook wall from Vermont will tell you that the Groundhog lied, or at the very least, groundhogs in Punxsutawney, do not speak the same language as woodchucks in Vermont. My favorite Vermont Facebook quote Monday was “Spring is right around which corner exactly?”. The latest blast of snow (in excess of 30 inches in many places) has people in Vermont celebrating on the slopes and/or cursing in their driveways…
In either case, the persistence of winter in Vermont can leave us with winter blues and a feeling of sluggishness. After the comforting heavy foods of winter and too much time spent indoors, early spring is a great time to lighten up with a cleansing change in your diet.
Here are some important additions to make to your diet this spring:
Water tops the list, of course. The human body is made up of anywhere from 55-78% water. Drink more of it. Water aids digestions, flushes out toxins, clears up your skin and keeps your heart healthy.
Garlic, as we know, is the super tuber. It contains antioxidants, antibiotics and anti-carcinogens. Garlic has also been shown to decrease the amount of heavy metals in our bodies (its effect on kryptonite has not yet been determined). It chelates heavy metals (keeps them dissolved in a solution) so that they can be removed from the body (see water notes above).
Lemon contains vitamins A, B, C and citric acid. The combination assists in flushing toxins out of your digestive system, detoxing your liver and cleansing your colon. And the scent of citrus oils are known for their ability to combat seasonal sadness.
Cayenne contains capsaicin, which gives peppers their wonderful heat and is used in topical creams to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Cayenne also contains vitamin A and beta-carotene. The Cayenne Pepper Diet even has its own Facebook page. This diet is popular with fans of the Master Cleanse, a liquid diet made popular in the 1940s for its ability to detox the body and aid in weight loss (the Master Cleanse people are pretty serious: they have an iPhone app).
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Mom was right. According to www.vegetarian-nutrition.info, dark green leafy veggies are “rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene”. And we all know that dark green leafy vegetables are high in fiber, which of course is good for elimination.
These diet changes are not too hard to make and can be very tasty. Start your day with water. Turn that water into a tonic by adding lemon juice and cayenne (and some maple syrup if you need to tone down the zippiness). Add crushed garlic to your dressing and green leafy vegetables to your salad at lunch time. With a little focus and determination you’ll feel lighter, healthier and happier.