Year after year, spring rains help to clear the air of dust, pollen, and pollution, however short-lived, and at the same time nourish the early blooms.  I always believe that as humans we should work in parallel with nature to detoxify and nourish our bodies come spring.  Spring is truly a time of cleansing and rebirth.  We want to lighten our food load in the spring, unlike winter where it is more natural to crave animal food to feel solid and insulated.

How do we go about cleansing our bodies?  Greens, especially dark and leafy, purify our bodies.  There are so many spring greens to choose from and eat each day for purification.  Sour flavors, especially help to stimulate our liver and promote detoxification.  Adding lemon juice to water is a simple way to stimulate the liver along with squeezing lemon on greens and fish dishes.  The bitter in greens also supports our heart.

One of my favorite bitter greens is broccoli rabe, which I like to steam and then mix with garlic browned in olive oil.  Broccoli rabe makes a great side for chicken and fish dishes.  Kale is another bitter green that can be served with olive and garlic.  It also mixes well with sweet potato and a light salad dressing to make a heartier meal.  Another green variation is steamed dandelions -a true bitter green- also served with olive oil and garlic.  Dandelions are seasonal and can be found in markets from April through June.

There is a host of bitter greens that help with spring cleaning our bodies.  Watercress and arugula are great foundations for salads, and mix well tomato and avocado for a hearty dish.  The point is to keep bitter greens as a central part of our spring diet to aid with detoxification.  All of these greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are nourishing.

Spring cleaning does not stop with our physical body and should extend to our psychic life.  Spring is a time to reflect upon our relationships and determine those that are toxic, which can mean either keeping those friends and acquaintances at a distance, or letting them ebb out to sea.  When we see good qualities in a person sprinkled with toxic elements, it is often harder to let these relationships go.

Along with detoxifying, we often have more energy in the spring to seek out new relationships and re-new old relationships.  We need to reflect on those relationships that might have fallen by the wayside, often for no good reason, and not to be afraid of taking the first step in reconnecting.  Healthy relationships are the non-food nourishment that we all deserve.  Feeling unworthy of a relationship should not be part of the equation.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Photo- June Rousso