Spring is the time of year where flowers start to bloom, trees begin to grow leaves and all creatures great and small come out of hibernation. The winter is all about cosy warm fires, blankets and taking a slower pace in response to the cold weather and lack of sunlight, whereas the move into spring brings a sense of energy, vitality and joie de vivre! Here are some of my simple tips on how to bring nourishment to body and mind for the coming season…
Put a ‘spring’ in your step
Get outside to make the most of the extra daylight. Daylight boosts production of vitamin D which, amongst many other processes, is important for our immune system, bone health and mood. Consider taking your lunch outside a few times a week and eat it without distraction in a quiet park or your back garden. It can also be really liberating to purposefully leave your phone at home when you go out for a walk. This means you can make the most of the beautiful springtime scenery and take it all in rather than being tempted to check your emails, media feeds and messages.
Spring clean your social media
This can also be a good time of the year to go through your social media channels and unfollow those accounts that don’t enrich or nourish you mentally. This can provide a much more positive experience when you do go back onto these platforms, greatly benefitting your mindset and self-chat. Plus, it may also help to free your mind so you can spend time with real friends and family rather than engaging too much with the digital world.
Make the most of the seasonal produce
I reckon spring is the one of my favourite months for the abundance and variety of produce. In contrast to the somewhat muted tones of winter root vegetables, spring comes with an array of vibrant hues – think artichoke, radishes, rocket, watercress, purple sprouting broccoli, asparagus, peppers and later in the season raspberries and strawberries. There is natural freshness and vitality to the fruit and veg at this time. Why not experience seasonality up close and personal by taking a trip to a local farmer’s market. It is also great news for your gut microbiota since this rainbow of colours and variety naturally brings a diversity of fibre and a rich intake of polyphenols which help to nourish it. And, after all, a happy gut supports a happy mind.
Give your kitchen cupboards an overhaul
Ok ok, so I know the ‘spring clean’ is a bit cliched but hear me out on this. Having a bit of a kitchen cupboard sort out reminds you of food that you have forgotten about, so will prevent any undue waste, and also give you the opportunity to enrich your cupboard with nutritious staples that have longevity like healthy whole grains (spelt, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, oats for example) and nuts & seeds. It also allows you to evaluate some of the items in your cupboard and prioritise the ones that you use the most so that you have a more efficient way of accessing those foods. You don’t need to have fancy storage pots but doing some labelling can help you remember what’s what. There is also something really quite mentally satisfying after you have done a bit of an overhaul. It might inspire you to cook new dishes and/or experiment with those foods that were previously hidden from sight which is another added bonus.
Bring extra joy to your gut microbiota
As nature reawakens we can extend that by bringing extra love and life to the trillions of microbes that live in our gut, collectively known as the gut microbiota. We can add to the gut microbe party with fermented foods such as natural live yogurt, traditional cheese, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Here’s hoping that you and your gut can bounce into the new season, quite literally, full of the joys of spring!