At the beginning of last winter, I invited John Douillard to be the guest speaker for the Ayurvedic section of our YogaWorks teacher training.
Now I realize how lucky we were to have him spend part of the afternoon with us. After battling with intestinal dysfunction myself, and dealing with my children getting colds over and over again throughout the winter, I was fully absorbed by what he had to say. It’s been almost a full year cycle since his talk and his words have become a mantra I live by.
Have you ever noticed that with every season we get a new harvest? In the spring, we see a light harvest of bitter greens and vegetables (like kale and arugula). In the summer, there is an abundance of cooling fruits (like mango and watermelon). As we move towards winter, we see a heavier fall harvest of bananas, avocados, and root vegetables like beets.
Although many people may stick to the same diet all year round, nature is speaking to us with each harvest. And we need to perk up our ears (and tummies) and listen! Our nutritional cycle in nature is an annual cycle. It actually takes an entire year for all of our nutritional needs to be met. Holistic health is all about preventing illness and injury before they happen, contrary to typical Western medicine which prescribes to kill off symptoms. And prevention of our health issues takes weeks, months, even a season or two prior to the event. For instance, cold and flu season prevention can go all the way back to the beginning of summer.
Have you eaten enough berries and cherries this summer to cleanse your lymphatic system? If not, hurry up, you’re running out of time!
Spring is the time to cleanse our bodies of all the excess mucus we’ve produced during winter.
It’s the time to literally “clean out” and reset our metabolism so we’ll be able to burn fat for energy during the summer. We should be eating a low fat diet of spring harvested fruits and vegetables like grapefruits, sprouts, bitter greens and light grains.
As summer approaches, we need foods that give us energy for the longer days and longer nights. We also need foods that are capable of cooling down our body temperatures. Our diets during this season should be 80 percent carbohydrates. Berries and cherries are an optimal fruits in this season. These foods continue to scrape our intestinal walls and prepare us for the fall and winter.
If you missed the berries this summer, cherries are your last chance!
Cherries are the last cleansing food before the fall harvest. After the cherries, the lymphatic cleansing benefits of nature are over! Say good-bye to summer picks, we’re moving onto fall.
Fall is the time to flush our systems of the excess heat from summer. You’ll notice you see more apples, pomegranates, beets and cranberries in your local markets. As we move into fall, we also need to store up fats and eat more proteins in order to warm ourselves up for what lies ahead. The foods during the winter season are mucous producing foods so we don’t get so dried out in the winter.
Can you see the cycle? And more importantly, can you follow it?
Editor: Kate Bartolotta