Inspired by John Doulliard and Lifespa.com
With Spring approaching this month, people out working in and planting the garden, it is a good time to align with the Spring season, the most optimal for weight loss. As the weather warms and we no longer need our beloved winter insulation that has kept us warm through the cold months. It is a natural season for clearing and cleansing accumulation as people do spring cleaning in their homes.
The Ayurvedic approach to weight loss is not through fasting or extreme dieting which can stress the body more and move toxicity deeper into the tissues. Instead we look at the nature which gives us a perfect harvest for cleaning house with its bitter roots, leafy greens, sprouts and berries to clean our intestines, fertilize our friendly bacteria and de-stagnate our lymph.
If we were deer living in the forest, the early phase of spring we would be digging up and eating roots with bitter alkaloids to clean the microvilli in the inestines that get bogged down from the heavier, more congesting winter foods. Step 1 is to eat bitter foods and herbs like dandelion root, turmeric root, Oregon grape root or barberry, and ginger root.
Once you’ve cleared the excess mucous, you need good healthy bacteria in the gut. Instead of going to expensive probiotics, nature gives us spring greens and sprouts which are rich in chlorophyll, fertilizer for our friendly flora. Step 2 is to eat spring green foods, like green leafy vegetables, sprouts and microgreens.
Once the friendly bacteria are active it is time to de-stagnate the lymphatic tissue that surrounds the intestines and when congested can swell to be as big as the colon and add weight in the belly. We can do this through step 3, eating red berries like cherries, raspberries and pomegranates.
The fourth step is to open up the bile duct for the bile and pancreatic enzymes to flow. Beets and fenugreek are wonderful for this. If this duct is congested it turns off the stomach fire so the fifth step is to reignite the stomach fire with pungent digestive spices.
Once the digestive system has been reset we can safely begin the process of clearing out old garbage that has stored in the tissues. The digestive pathways are the detoxification pathways, which is why we have to strengthen these pathways and reset our gut in the first 5 steps.
Incidentally, it is in our gut that we process a lot of our emotion and stress. When we are fatigued and stressed and feel the pressures and struggles of life, the body’s impulse is to store fat and crave sugar and stimulants which destabilize our blood sugar and send us back into stress and fatigue. When the body feels that the war is over and life is no longer a struggle it will naturally burn fat more efficiently.
Nature wants us to thrive and gives us everything we need in each season to live balanced and healthy. Nature gives us a 3 season approach to diet. In the wintertime when fresh produce has gone dormant, we have the high protein and high fat to replenish our stores of nutrition and to keep us insulated. In the Spring we have the spring greens, bitter roots and berries to cleanse the heavier winter foods. In the late summer we have high carbohydrates fruits and vegetables like watermelons, apples and squash that cool the system and give sustained energy for the long daylight hours. As long as we eat our locally grown foods in season, we will be getting all the nutrition we need annually and helping our body to adapt through each changing season.
Ayurveda teaches us that the more we connect to our own environment and the cylces of nature, the more we increase our vitality and shine forth the light of who we truly are.
*You can find more information on this on John Doulliard’s website lifespot.com
5 Step Plan
- Step 1: Cleanse the micro-villi from mucous
(Turmeric, Ginger, Dandelion, Goldenseal, Barberry)
- Step 2: Fertilize the friendly bacteria
(microgreens, sprouts, cultured veggies, miso, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese)
- Step 3: De-stagnate the lymph
(cherries, pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries, red root)
- Step 4: Open the bile ducts
- Step 5: Turn on the digestive fire
(Trikatu-black pepper, long pepper, dry ginger, ghee, 19 part turmeric: 1 part
black pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, thyme,
Quotes By John Doulliard:
The weight fell after the nervous system became stable, the body became convinced the war is over, life was not an emergency, the body could burn its natural stabilizing nonemergency fuel which is your fat so you feel good.
Ayurveda is living in harmony with the natural cycle. Instead of struggling upstream and ending up exhausted at the end of the day. We must feel like “What an easy life I have, life is not a struggle anymore.”
Our survival depends on us being connected to these natural cycles. Big Cycles are the seasons. The harvest of each season is nature’s medicine.