I hope you are enjoying the 5 Seasons Diet! Each week I will provide support to you through a Nutrition Newsletter. In this week’s newsletter, I will share some nutritional guidelines and recommendations for the spring season that will help you best support your body's natural rhythms and dietary needs for this time of year. These guidelines are what the majority of your current June meal plan is based on. Since June straddles both spring and early summer, late June will transition into early summer nutrition guidelines, which I will outline in a later newsletter.
The spring season brings warmth, rejuvenation, creation, and growth. Spring brings the perfect opportunity to create goals and develop a plan, including those related to health and diet.
Spring is the perfect time of the year to jump-start a cleansing whole foods diet, detox, or lose weight. Your body is energized, wants to move around, and wants to start fresh.
My favorite detoxification program is a sugar detox combined with liver supporting foods. Today, added sugar is found in 70-80% of grocery store food items and is extremely hard to avoid! Many leading health experts now classify sugar as an addictive poison because it has been linked to hundreds of chronic diseases, ailments, and health issues. If you suffer from inflammation, diabetes, brain fog, excess body weight, mood swings, anxiety, acne, thyroid problems, or high blood pressure (just to name a few!), added sugar from processed and packaged foods, fast food, and restaurants may be to blame.
If you would like to feel and look your best while avoiding all of the negative health effects of sugar, I highly recommend reducing or eliminating the consumption of added sugar in your diet. If this week has been a considerable dietary change for you thus far, you may be noticing a few symptoms of sugar detoxification already. Getting the sugar monkey off of your back can cause you to feel worse (headaches, low energy, fatigue, brain fog), before feeling better. Once you get over this hump, the benefits are astronomical (including but not limited to increased energy, mental clarity and focus, elimination of sugar cravings, and reduction of mood swings). Be warned, once you eliminate or reduce added sugar from your diet, you will probably notice just how much it affects you if you reintroduce sugary foods that may not have bothered you before. For me, this is an even greater motivation to habitually avoid added sugar in my diet.
With the 5 Seasons Diet program that you have already begun, you are allowing your body to detoxify from added sugar through the adoption of a whole foods based diet. By “whole foods” I mean the foods that do not require a food label or an ingredient list. They are single ingredient foods. Examples include fresh vegetables, eggs, fish, meat, olive oil, and nuts. These foods are pure and simple, they do not contain added sugar or ingredients created in a laboratory. These foods are what nature produces for us, and are exactly what we need to thrive.
Depending on your personal health goals and where you were nutritionally before beginning this meal plan, you have the choice to eliminate added sugar all together, or to enjoy natural sweeteners in moderation, while still experiencing all of the health benefits of completely eliminating refined sugar from your diet. Our dessert recipes utilize good for you foods, superfoods, and natural sweeteners such as fruit, raw honey, and pure maple syrup that contain the health benefits of fiber, vitamins, and/or minerals. These recipes are healthier ways to enjoy dessert, without any refined sugar.
Your June meal plan also includes liver supporting foods. The liver is one of the organs that is most closely associated with spring. The liver aids in digestion and filters out toxins from your blood. It is very important to support the liver, especially when making dietary changes that may result in an increased amount of toxins being filtered out of your body, such as a cleanse or with weight loss.
Liver supporting foods include dandelion greens, beets, chlorophyll, garlic, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, onion, cabbage, cauliflower), and lemon. If you are in need of additional liver support, consider taking a Milk Thistle supplement, in tea or capsule form.
To best support the needs of your body during spring, you will see that your June menu utilizes:
- Lighter cooking techniques
- Decreased animal meat, fat, and dairy
- Decreased grains
- Increased fish consumption
- Increased raw foods
- Increased leafy greens and spring vegetables
Your June meal plan has been uniquely crafted to allow you to enjoy a whole foods diet that meets the nutritional needs and energy of spring. Your body needs the proper nutrients to build a healthy immune system and a strong body, mind, and spirit. Keep up the good work! We are grateful to be on this healthy journey with you.