Hong Kong has started to pull out of the winter season and the colder temperatures. So too have our bodies started to wake from its dormancy and increase our metabolism and activity. Spring is a season of renewal; a season of change and regeneration. Nutritionally, our demands change as the season turns to warmer weather. Generally speaking, when there’s colder weather, we reach for stews, soups, and heartier meals. In spring, we seek smaller, lighter, and more raw meals – like salads, fresh fruit, and aerial (greener) foods. As a naturopath, we’re fortunate to look at nutrition from different perspectives and different so called “diets” and hopefully facilitate in your education and awareness of what to eat to keep yourselves healthy.
In Spring, we would normally add seasonal foods such as berries, sprouted grains, nuts & seeds, fresh greens, cucumbers, freshly squeezed juices, and smoothies to our diet. Furthermore, lighter to no sauces for meats and fish, if you eat animal protein. Generally less cooking time, and more prep time and more raw food than in the winter months. Here are a 5 nutritional tips to add some ‘spring’ to your step:
- Lemon Water in the Morning. This helps kick start your day and get your liver metabolism up to help “detox” the body.
- Take out starchy foods – like potatoes and white rice
- Eliminate or minimise the amount of daily sugar intake.
- Adding a greens powder to your daily regimen
- ‘Dew Walking’ – In HK, this can be done in your bathtub or shower (not much ‘dew’ unless you live near the peak)…turn the tap on lukewarm to cold (colder the better) and walk on the spot!
As Easter is coming up, I have prepared for you some recipes for an easy and delicious Easter Brunch with the necessary nutrients for you and your family. Celebrate Easter with these healthy, fresh and easy spring recipes:
1. Warm Quinoa Cauliflower Salad
This warm salad is a great addition to your Easter Brunch. Quinoa is a great source of complete protein, low in carbs, low in fats, and gluten free. It is the *best protein source in my opinion. Cauliflower is high in potassium, magnesium, and has a compound in there called I-3-C (indole 3 carbinol) which has been clinically studied to help prevent breast cancer. Lastly, celery aids in the lowering of blood pressure – also high in potassium and magnesium, vitamin B6 and a good source of fibre.
- 150g Quinoa – Cooked
- 1 Head of Cauliflower
- 2 stalks of Celery
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp dried Tarragon
- Black Pepper – to taste
- Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt – to taste
Directions: 1) With a Food Processor, blend cauliflower until coarse fine and dice celery stalks. 2) Saute in pan with a little oil with minced garlic and tarragon. 3) Then add quinoa and mix. 4) Season to taste. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and serve.
2. Vegan Pancakes
Who doesn’t love pancakes? The flours chosen are healthier options than normal wheat flour and if you want to go gluten free you can (listed below). Using naturally sweet agave and applesauce. Flax is a good source of fibre that aids in blood sugar regulation and cholesterol management.
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 2 cups oat flour
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups bluberries
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla almond milk
**Gluten Free Option – 2 cups of Quinoa Flour, 2 cups of Buckwheat Flour
Directions: 1) Whisk spelt flour, oat flour, baking powder, flaxseed meal, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. 2) Stir almond milk, applesauce, agave nectar, and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl. 3) Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour almond milk mixture into the well. Stir until the ingredients are just moistened; set aside for 15 minutes. 4) Lightly oil and heat a griddle to medium heat. 5) Spoon batter onto hot griddle, sprinkle blueberries onto wet batter, and cook until bubbles form, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes more.
3. Acai Spinach Smoothie
Boost your immune system with this irresistible Acai Spinach Smoothie! Acai is a tarty berry that aids in boosting the immune system, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps in digestion and is a powerful antioxidant. Combined with spinach and berries, this smoothie is super healthy and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. To top it off, I have added some almonds that will improve your brain function as it is the number #1 nut for the brain. Try my favourite super food smoothie for Spring!
- 1 tbsp of Acai Powder
- 1 cup of Spinach leaves
- choice of almond, cashew, or hazelnut milk
- choice of plant based protein – or – whey isolate
- 1/4 cup of blueberries
- 1/4 cup of raspberries
- 1/4 cup of strawberries
- Can add ice
Directions: Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend!