March into Spring with Good Health!

When the First Nations people speak of March as the month of “changeable moons”, they are talking about the weather and the change of seasons.  Whenever we deal with change it makes sense to be extra supportive of our bodies. Did you know that our gut microbiomes, and therefore our digestion, naturally fluctuate and change with the seasons?  Everyone has noticed preferences for comfort foods in winter and lighter foods in summer.  This is your gut microbiome speaking to you.  We produce different enzymes for the different seasons so it makes sense to eat seasonal foods in their time. Some foods that can boost the quality of your digestion and provide helpful nutrients as we transition from winter to spring are:  artichokes, cabbage, beets, brussels sprouts, carrots, garlic, grapefruit, greens (like kale and chard), maple syrup, onions, shallots, potatoes, squash, yams, and turnips. Roasting these vegetables in a pan sprinkled with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and rosemary herb is a quick, easy, delicious and colourful way to boost your nutrition and overall mood.  Not enough time to roast? Throw them in a crockpot in the morning with a little curry spice and organic broth and head off to work.  You will come home to something that will “warm the cockles of your heart” as my mother used to say. In this age of instant information, global news and tumultuous times, we are experiencing more changes faster than what just the weather can throw at us. What should we do about that?   If what you see on the news is more than you can “stomach”, then...

SEA SALT, NECTAR OF THE SOLE

With the recent heat wave people are concerned about water and hydration. Signs of dehydration include confusion, problems with walking or falling, dizziness or headaches, dry or sticky mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure that drops when changing from lying to standing, constipation or dark and decreased urine output. The effects of dehydration can be scary and life-threatening. (My mother suffered a stroke after becoming dehydrated while on fluid restriction for a medical test).   On the other hand, prevention is particularly easy and inexpensive. Drinking enough water is of course the first step; however it is not the only solution. Water intake should be instinctual yet we seem to be the only species so unaware of our bodies that we can create serious circumstances by either under or over drinking water. As with everything we need a balance of water for optimal function both outside and inside the cell. Drinking too much plain water dilutes the extracellular (outside the cell) fluid which creates a stress response and the release of adrenaline. The best way to hydrate the inside of the cell is to eat foods high in water content — raw vegetables and fruits (watermelon, cucumbers, celery, apples…). Isn’t it interesting that nature provides us with loads of vegetables and fruits during the heat of summer when we most need to hydrate? In addition, vegetables and fruits are mineral rich. What do minerals have to do with it?   Most gardeners know that plants need a balance of minerals in the soil to grow and thrive. It’s no different...