This Spring vegetable salad is the definition of fresh and crisp. It's full of all that new Spring goodness nature has to offer this time of year. And it's here just in time to help our bodies do their natural spring cleaning thing.
Spring is this beautiful time when everything around us springs to life so it can breathe new life into us.
Think about it, we just spent months bundled up, craving comfort foods and mostly trying to not to get the flu.
You probably had a little more fat and carbs than usual (read: craving comfort foods). And that's a good thing. Your body was craving those extra calories to help keep you warm.
All that may have added up to a few extra winter pounds but you know what, that's a good thing.
The problem with most diets is they assume you should follow a particular way of eating all year long. And that's just not realistic.
We're human and humans need change, variety, flexibility.... a freaking break.
So we're coming out of winter - we'll call them the building months. And now we're in Spring - the cleansing or renewal months.
And all we have to do is look to nature to know exactly what our bodies need to thrive, drop any excess winter weight and come out of hibernation, so to speak.
Spring is all about greens.
Spring vegetables like greens and sprouts literally bring life into he body. Plants produce oxygen and when we eat them, we take that oxygen in, into our cells, which really means ENERGY.
The light, airy, free flowing nature of greens can make us feel lighter too. And they can lift our spirits mentally and emotionally, make us feel happier, relieve depression, etc.
All greens are natural detoxifiers because they give our bodies the vitamins, minerals and phytochemical that get used in the process and also support the liver, kidneys and gall bladder - all essential organs for detoxification.
Greens also help clear mucus and congestion (hello, spring allergies!).
Spring allergy prevention.
Nature knows Spring is a naturally damp time of year (read: congestion) so it gives us extra drying foods like the greens and bitter roots like radish and fennel to help our bodies dry out too.
These drying foods literally help dry up mucus in the body (gross, I know) and keep the body from getting too "damp" like our environment which can make us more prone to allergies, sinus infections and colds.
Eating more of these foods and less mucus-forming foods (ie. dairy, sugar, refined carbs, red meat) can really help dampen, or I should say lessen, and prevent Spring allergies.
You'll also be supporting your body's natural detox process - something that happens everyday regardless of what we do. The difference is we can either enhance this process or hinder it with the choices we make.
So adding in more greens, bitter drying foods, and the foods Spring naturally offers will give you that detox boost so your body can get the most out of the season change.
And when it does - when you really take advantage of this time and do some "spring cleaning" you're setting yourself up for better health all year round.
Thing is, toxins build, mucus builds, and over time and that build up contributes to all sorts of problems large and small from allergies, brain fog and little headaches to the more serious stuff like autoimmune diseases and cancers.
The good news is that just by being a little more in tune with nature and eating along with it, you can dramatically improve your health for the long-term.
Here is an easy spring vegetable salad recipe to help get you started adding more Spring in your life.
Spring Vegetable Salad
kale, torn and roughly chopped into small pieces
radishes, sliced thin
fennel, sliced thin
green onions, chopped
carrots, sliced thin
apricots (fresh or dried*), chopped
fresh basil, torn
*look for dried unsulphured apricots
First wash your hands and prepare your kale. Remove leaves from stem and roughly chop with a knife into small pieces. Place kale in salad bowl and squeeze half a lemon over it. Drizzle with a little olive oil then use your hands to massage the kale for about a minute (this is the trick to making a delicious kale salad).
Set aside and prepare your vegetable toppings. Top kale with radish, fennel, green onions, carrots, apricots, avocado, pumpkin seeds and basil.
Dress with radish top pesto or a simple lemon vinaigrette (recipe below).
1 part lemon juice
2 parts extra-virgin olive oil
Combine lemon juice and EVOO, season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine well.
P.S. Want to make adding more greens and allergy detox foods to your life a whole lot easier and more fun? That’s what my [RE]NEW 4-week Spring wellness program is all about and it starts TODAY, May 7.
You’ve still got a few hours left before registration closes (5 p.m. Central) and this group jumpstart is no longer available.
We’re gonna spend four weeks focusing on adding in more of the good stuff that will help clear those sinuses. Then what usually happens is there’s less room for the not so good stuff that may be making seasonal allergies worse.
No strict rules. No don’t eat this or that. We focus on the GOOD - sneaking it in and learning more delicious ways to enjoy the best foods for you.
Registration closes TODAY, May 7, at 5 p.m. Central.
It’s an awesome group - I can’t wait to spend the next 4 weeks together. It’s gonna be a blast.
We’d LOVE for you to hop in!
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.