In many traditions, spring is known as the time for cleansing and renewal. This can be applied to several aspects of our lives, but it is especially good to be aware of in terms of our diets. During the winter, our body’s natural pull towards hibernation, grounding, and warm and heavy foods can leave us feeling a little sluggish as we move into the more fluid energy of spring. To cultivate a more graceful transition during the changing of the seasons we have to do our part in supporting the body while it adapts to the energetic shift.
The best way to lift the spirit is by lightening the load on our digestion. Juicing is the perfect tool for giving the digestive system a break, while supplying the body with a boost of newly available nutrients. Depending on the climate where you live, it’s possible that you’re starting to see many fruits and vegetables that have been out of season for several months. As these lighter greens, berries, and other fruits and veggies begin to show up at your local farmers’ market, you can easily come up with tasty combinations for juicing.
The main rule of thumb is to include both sweet elements like apple, beets, or carrots, together with astringent and bitter veggies like kale, dandelion greens, or parsley. A hint of tart lemon or lime and the sharp flavor of ginger help to brighten almost any juice combination. For a full list of fruits and vegetables that are most supportive during this characteristically kapha season, refer to the Spring Guide.
How deep you want to go with cleansing your body internally is entirely dependent on your needs, but extremes like several day long juice fasts are not necessary to reap great benefits.
For a light cleanse, follow these guidelines for 1 to 3 days:
- Drink juice in the morning.
- Enjoy a light lunch, such as a brothy vegetable soup or a salad.
- Avoid dairy or meat (not including bone broth).
- For snacks, eat fruit or sip on broth.
- Drink juice in the evening.
Another approach is to simply juice when you crave it! Veggie juice is a great way to start the day or to replenish after yoga or a workout. Here are a couple recipes to get you started, each yielding roughly 12 ounces of juice.
Classic Green Juice
- Roughly 2 cups kale (about 10 leaves lacinato kale)
- ¼ cup parsley
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 apple
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (about ½ inch)
Spice things up with this less common, festive, and deeply cleansing juice!
- 1 ½ cups organic strawberries, chopped
- 1 organic cucumber, chopped
- ¼ inch slice jalapeno chili (to taste)
- ½ cup dandelion greens
- 1 teaspoon raw honey dissolved in a dash of hot water, or 3 drops stevia
- Dash cinnamon (optional)
Juice all fruits and veggies. Add any spices like cinnamon to the serving glass and stir well. Sip slowly to allow for best assimilation and digestion. Juices are most nutritious consumed fresh, but leftovers can be stored in a sealed mason jar for up to 24 hours.