As the days become brighter + longer and fresh new growth begins to pop out of the earth we may feel called to change up our daily routines, our skincare rituals + nutritional needs. As we leave the comfort of the slow winter months, jumping straight into a season filled with life + energy, we can easily feel overwhelmed and drained. Switching up our daily rituals not only has an affect on our mental state, but our body as a whole. Here at SS, we try to focus on simple rituals to gently carry us through this seasonal transition with skincare, holistic + nutritional adjustments.
When we think about spring cleaning, we usually think of our homes + living spaces. An act as simple as opening a window + breathing in fresh air can create a shift in your mental state. Close your eyes + take a moment to practice gratitude: think of 3 things that you are looking forward to in this new season of life. Maybe you want to start your very own garden, or you are excited to spend more time outside in nature. Find a couple items in your home that are no longer bringing you joy + donate them to your local community center - this action not only helps you clean out your space, but instills a sense of purpose + intention.
When thinking about spring cleaning, my mind immediately thinks of ginger root. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a beautiful herbal ally to incorporate into your spring rituals this coming season because it provides us with so many benefits both externally + internally. Internally, ginger can help to clear respiratory congestion, reduce inflammation, keep the body warm, soothe sore throats, calm upset stomachs... just to name a few. A simple cup of warm ginger tea to start your day will help you feel refreshed, light + vibrant! Some of my other favourite herbs to lean on in spring are: dandelion, turmeric, echinacea + peppermint.
Externally, ginger helps to boost circulation and ease inflammation + pain and is one of the star ingredients in our ARNICA + EUCALYPTUS salve! Apply this salve to sore joints + muscles, stiff neck + backs, bruises, temples to soothe headaches, on the lower abdomen to ease menstrual cramps… A truly hard working herb to help carry you through this season.
SWITCHING UP YOUR SKINCARE
As we transition in a slightly warmer season, you may find that your skin may feel a little oilier. Incorporating a clay mask into your weekly skincare rituals can help reduce excess sebum production, clean out clogged pores + help your skin look and feel its freshest. We love using our PINEAPPLE + WHITE WILLOW clay mask, crafted with exfoliating pineapple enzymes, brightening turmeric + detoxifying clays. Don’t forget to follow up with a toning mist + a serum to lock in essential moisture.
The temperature changes from cold to warm can leave your skin feeling dry + dehydrated, especially our delicate lips that are most exposed to these conditions. A nourishing LIP BUTTER is a must during the spring season to keep your pout supple + hydrated. The best part - when you are finished with your lip butter tubes they can be composted + turned into rich nutrients for your garden!
Q+A with The Dietitian Feed
EATING FOR THE SEASON
We spoke with Andrea, a registered dietitian and creator of The Dietitian Feed about some of her favourite spring meals, eating for the season + some nutritional tips to help guide us in the right direction for spring.
Q: During the winter, we tend to eat heavier, richer foods to help carry our bodies through the colder season. What are some nutritious foods that we should be incorporating more into our diets as we transition in to spring?
A: This change in season is the perfect time to think about adding variety and colour to your meal rotation. Variety is actually one of the pillars of healthy eating that is commonly overlooked! Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables, grains, and even protein sources help you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need, and actually has a positive impact on our gut microbiome. All the fresh foods that are available in the spring contain phytonutrients, which are the plant nutrients responsible for the beautiful, vibrant colours of fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients are known to reduce risk of chronic disease and promote healthy aging from the inside out.
Phytonutrient rich foods that are in season in Ontario this spring include beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, onions, peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Berries are also a wonderful source of these nutrients, and since they are in season for a very limited window I opt to buy them frozen to use them year round. Other sources of phytonutrients include coffee, tea, dark chocolate, and pantry staples like brown or wild rice, quinoa, whole wheat breads and cereals, nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, and legumes like black beans, lentils, soybeans and soy products like tofu.
Bitter foods like arugula, rapini, radicchio, turmeric, cocoa, cranberries, green tea, zest of citrus, and grapefruit are very nutrient dense. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, many of which are also high in fiber when eaten whole. For example, eating the whole grapefruit rather than just the juice. The bitter compounds in these foods are also known to help along the digestive process. However when it comes to digestion, do not underestimate the importance of getting adequate fiber and hydration daily!
Q: What vitamins/minerals/nutrients should we be focusing on adding in to our diets?
A: I would suggest focusing on getting enough fiber daily! The average person eats about 14 grams of fiber each day, however adult women should be getting 25 grams, and men 38 grams. It is important for healthy digestion, supports your “good” cholesterol and helps us to feel full for longer. Luckily, the fresh produce available in spring, whole grains, and legumes all mentioned above are great sources of fiber in addition to the other health benefits mentioned.
Q: What are some of your favourite recipes to eat/make in the spring time?
A: Some of my favourite recipes that I will be making all spring using many of the in season foods mentioned earlier! Like this Peanut Ginger Kale Cabbage Salad, Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad using tomatoes, spinach and lemon zest, and this Healthy Mac and Cheese using tofu as a base. (PS. all of these recipes can be made vegetarian + vegan!)
I also love a simple snack like fruit with a handful of nuts and dark chocolate, hummus with carrots and crackers, or my go-to breakfast which is rolled oats cooked with a little ground flax, topped with defrosted berries and nut butter.
Q: What are some healthy habits to implement this spring?
A: Here’s my Top 6 list of healthy habits to implement this spring to create sustainable, healthy changes!
- Drink an entire glass of water first thing in morning
- Try not to skip meals
- Include a vegetable in most meals and snacks
- Opt for smoothies over juices, as juices miss out on all the fiber
- Eat seasonally - Check the Food Availability Guide to see what’s in season in Ontario each month to naturally get variety
- Focus on including more whole foods, no supplement can beat the benefits of eating well!
Andrea is a dietitian who loves to share recipes and food photos to inspire you to get cooking. As a nutrition professional, she is an expert at combining evidence-based nutrition recommendations into a realistic & delicious way to eat - without all the food guilt & restriction. To learn more, visit www.thedietitianfeed.com