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Food Rules for Spring

March 2010 metroSPIRIT: Use food for transformation

 

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At long last, March arrives. March is my favorite month of the year because it contains the spring equinox. I have long celebrated the spring equinox as my personal New Year's.

 


 

Spring is a great time to rethink food choices. Farmers' markets and more fresh vegetables are right around the corner.

I am so glad to see more and more literature on the benefits of eating healthy. Most of us know how to eat healthy. Many of us don't necessarily do it. It seems that everything I read on food lately makes it clear that the Western diet with lots of processed foods, sugar, meats and added fats correlates to a high rate of Western diseases.

There are some great books out there giving us great information about transforming our perspective on food. Some of my current favorites include Food Matters, The Food Mood Connection, and Food Rules: The Eater's Manual. I like this quote from a recent article by Jane Brody on food: "In addition to all the physical and emotional benefits of eating healthy, our economy simply cannot afford to continue to patch up the millions of people who each year develop a diet related ailment, and our planetary resources simply cannot sustain our eating style."

"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food"

-Hippocrates

Many years ago, I started to write myself a contract containing food rules. I used to update it annually. More recently, I have learned the importance of reviewing food rules with each season. The following is a list of some "food rules" to consider for the spring:

  • Eat fresh and locally grown. Consider growing your own. Know your grower.
  • Avoid sugar.
  • Cook for yourself. Cooking for yourself is the sure way to be in control of what you put in.
  • Eat whole foods. The temptation to eat "lowfat" is the belief that we can eat more. If we eat whole foods, we are more likely to feel satisfied.
  • Refuse to add fat.
  • Close the kitchen at seven p.m. daily. Turn off the lights. Close the door. Be done with eating
  • for the day.
  • Eat at a table and focus on eating. Turn off the television. Put down the paper and pay attention to what you are eating.
  • Stop eating before you are full. Eat to the point of satiation, not fullness.
  • Remember that every body is unique but consider trying some of the super foods identified in Food Matters:  wakame, kombu, echinacea, bee pollen, ginger, raw cacao, coconut, wheatgrass, and goji.
  • Use safe cleaning and cooking practices.
  • Check out sustainabletable.org
  • Try new recipes.

Remember that as spring arrives, consider a cleanse. I'm not a big advocate of some of the dramatic cleanses that I hear about. I simply advocate taking a few days now and then to take a break from proteins, fats, and sweets. Switch to soups, whole grains, and veggies for a few days.

Try a food meditation this spring. Different foods have different effects on everyone. One summer, I took some real time off and did a food meditation. I would eat one food at a time and totally experienced the food. I learned quickly what foods my body wanted. I was surprised to find that some foods that are considered healthy were not foods that were good for me.

As we move into spring, lighten up eating generally. Use less oil and quicker cooking styles. Focus on fresh, green, upward growing vegetables and light grains. Get outdoors and connect with the universe at every opportunity.

Drink lots of water. Keep moving! And remember that you really are what you eat!

-end- metroMAGAZINE

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