I just returned home to full on spring. The transitions between the seasons remind me to pause and observe what shifts in my environment. It’s the time when I can still remember and even feel the last season, yet I get glimpses of what is around the corner. When I first moved to San Diego I loved the moderate climate and lack of seasons year round. But after a few years, I began to miss these transitions, these markers throughout the year. When I moved to Wyoming and experienced the annual cycle once again I was so drawn to the change that has a consistent feel to it as it circles around.
In Ayurveda it is believed that what is going on in the outer environment has an effect on our inner environment. We are a part of the world around us. One of the major tenants in Ayurveda is like increases like and opposites decrease. For example, if I am hot and I go into a hot room I will only get hotter, but if I am hot and put a cool towel on the back of my neck I will cool down. While this may seem obvious, it can be more subtle. If I feel spacey and ungrounded and eat light, airy foods such a popcorn or crackers that will increase the spacey airy qualities that I am feeling. Where as if I eat grounding, heavy foods such as roasted beets or avocado I will bring myself back into balance. Ignoring this fact will make life more challenging, as it can push people out of balance.
In todays modern world it is possible to get almost all types of food any time of the year, regardless if it is in season. For thousands of years humans were only able to eat that which was in season and mostly local. I think it’s so cool that nature offers us the foods that will help keep us in balance every season. In the summer, the hottest time the year, we have cooling foods such as berries, cucumbers, mint, greens and other wonderful vegetables. In the fall when the weather is dry and windy we have heavier root vegetables and squashes to help keep us grounded and prepare for the winter to come.
Growing up in Alaska, spring was not my favorite season. We called it breakup. When the snow and ice started to melt and breakup during the day and refreeze at night. This back and forth seemed to go on forever, and with it mixed the lovely odor of defrosting dog poop left out all winter. Spring wasn’t what I saw in pictures of the Lower 48 with flowers coming out and green grass.
But spring is a season of rebirth, renewal and growth, shaking off the heaviness of winter as all the birds return and leaves begin to bud. I wish to shed the layers that kept me cocooned throughout the darkest portion of the year and observe what is beginning to happen around me. This is the time of the year my taste buds crave the light, crisp and even bitter flavors of greens, and my new favorite, sprouts.
Sprouts, a seemingly simple food can have huge impacts on how I feel. Sprouts with their crunchy texture and plethora of flavors can be added to salads, on top of soups or in green smoothies. It’s super easy to sprout at home. When eating sprouts you are getting the full intelligence and life force of the entire plant in an easy to digest form. If you are growing them yourself you are saving on shipping and packing, and eating very locally. Sprouts are very alkalizing to your body, helping to reduce acidity which has been linked to illness and cancer. Sprouts have a very high fiber and vitamin content. When you sprout you take a small amount of seeds and create a huge amount of food in comparison. This means that sprouts are very inexpensive way to get some amazing nutrients.
There are lots of different ways to sprout, the simplest is a mason jar with a mesh lid screwed on top. You can also get a easy sprout sprourter from the folks at Sprout People.
I would love to hear from you, let me know if you have ever sprouted before and if so what was your favorite method.