Day 5 and warming things up...


Breakfast: Strawberry, spinach, and macadamia butter with some grated ginger

Lunch: romaine salad with tomato, cucumber, sunflower sprouts, chickpeas, grilled prawns w/minted herb vinaigrette

Dinner: Baked salmon w/ steamed zucchini and broccoli

Many people do detoxes in the spring as a kind of “spring cleaning”. I actually prefer to revise my diet in summer usually. There is an abundance of fresh produce and farmer’s markets to support the endeavour, and it is always more appealing to me to eat lots of fresh veg when it’s hot and sunny outside. But for me, it might also have something to do with living in Victoria. As an island city, Victoria (although temperate) can be cold and damp. The strong wind that blows year round can make the temperate climate feel cooler than it is. It also doesn’t help that we are on a small piece of land floating in the ocean. Summer comes late, and without much heat. So I like to follow some of the Traditional Chinese Medicine principles when I eat for optimum digestion- and believe it or not, this involves taking note of the weather to make some changes here and there.

In TCM, certain constitutions are better suited to eating raw foods, while others should steam/bake/roast and add warming spices to improve the digestability of certain foods. All foods are categorized by their temperature properties. For example, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tofu are considered cold. Turmeric, cinnamon, and lamb are considered hot in property. Also, in TCM, temperature is used in eating seasonally. Eating cold, raw foods is more appropriate for Summer, whereas eating warm, cooked food is more appropriate in the Winter.

I like to incorporate these adjustments into my diet to optimize my digestion. I always start detoxes in early Summer, because Spring in Victoria tends to be on the cool and damp side. I know I will be eating more cold raw foods so I want to moderate those properties with the season, and also by adding warming spices. Smoothies can be quite cold, and can actually dampen digestion so I always add grated ginger or a dash of cinnamon to the mix. If I don’t do that, I will just have some hot water with fresh ginger either before or after the smoothie. Think about that the next time you have a salad or a smoothie and incorporate some warming spices to improve the digestion of these cold foods.

Turmeric, paprika, chile, ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon, cardamom

Since I didn’t take any pictures of my meals today, I decided instead to include a picture of Cherry on our walk. It’s been really great incorporating gentle excerise while my caloric intake is reduced. If you have a high level of activity, make sure you increase caloric intake, even on a detox!

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