in pursuit of more

living with just a little less

My Top 5 Favorite Tricks for a Gentle Spring Re-Set

Let’s face it. There’s a boatload of dietary info out there. But don’t worry! I’m not about dive too deep into all the directions one can be pulled when looking for an accessible, sustainable way to feel better from the inside out, but rest assured we can all safely say the info is out there. And it’s plentiful, and (maybe just a little) overwhelming. I know many of you (me included) have tapped into what generally works for us by now, and from time to time might need to re-connnect with a few of our ‘tried and true’ personal truths.

I’ll be the first to admit that though I eat well, exercise regularly, and generally strive to live a balanced healthy lifestyle, there are times when I need to re-set. Part of my re-set structure is already built in to my everyday life. I fast regularly and do my best to avoid eating when I’m not hungry (as a rule).

Gently Re-setting | In Pursuit Of More
Gently Re-setting | In Pursuit Of More
But I’ve got to be truthful here. Food blogging gets the juices flowing in more ways than one – starting from the creative brain and ending with our well-fed and contented bellies (lucky us). From creating recipes and planning them and shopping for them, to actually making them, photographing them, editing them, and then consuming them means this blogger has a lot of time to think about food. And that is a very, very good thing!
Gently Re-setting | In Pursuit Of More
But as I strive to stay balanced and moderate (a hard thing for a self-confessed obsessive like me), I must keep myself honest by knowing when I’ve had enough of a good thing. So it’s time for a gentle springtime re-set. It won’t be long, but it will be good. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and whether you are a spring cleaner or not.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

1. Eating Clean

I know I know, this sounds weird borderline crazy. ‘But all she eats is kale!’ you are thinking. It’s true, I eat a lot of kale. But with that kale comes yummy homemade salad dressings, roasted nuts, maybe dried cranberries or currants. It also sometimes comes with cooked grains and hard-boiled eggs (my favourite). I think food should taste good, and always choose less of something tasty than more of something bland. Unless my body craves bland like it is now. So I’ve been drastically reducing & sometimes cutting out salt, oil, dairy, or anything sweet other than gentle fruits like apples and pears. Just to give my system a little rest. The hardcore chocoholic in me can get a little (well, a lot depending on the day) pouty when I do this, but it’s just for a short time. If it hits really hard, I’ll still have some, but just the tiniest bit.

2. Leaning Buddhist

Of all the things I love to eat but have to avoid, garlic ranks in the top. As a teen, I read a lot of books on Buddhist teachings, and know that some believe garlic & onions to be ‘un-pure’ foods to the system and they are believed to cause fiery tempers when eaten raw. Crazy, crazy, crazy, I know as garlic is a super health food and an immune booster! Then you might find it crazy that my body doesn’t like it, and though I sneak some in here and there, I really feel better, clearer, and less cloudy when I steer clear. Anyone else out there with a similar sensitivity?

3. Steaming Rules

In the winter, nothing pleases me more than pulling out a pan of hot roasted potatoes, or a wonderful tray of mixed veggies with rosemary and olive oil. On the other side of that coin, is my love for raw salads. As I said earlier though, a typical meal salad consists of usually a few tasty additions and truthfully sometimes I just need a break not only from the actual eating of it but also the thought process that goes into it. So my fave way to reset is by getting back to basics in the most straight-forward way I know. Simple steamed veggies with nothing added. Tasting the food for what it is. Squash, kale, zucchini, sweet potatoes, bok choy. They are all so different and so gentle and nourishing on their own. It re-connects me to the food and reminds me that nourishment is easily at our fingertips without over-thinking or over-doing. And yes, I have steamed vegetables for breakfast sometimes too.It’s okay, I know it’s a bit odd ; )

4. Being Mindful of Food Combinations

Now, of course, this is a touchy one, and certainly not something I do religiously. In fact, I rarely practice what might be considered proper food combining. But if any of you have ever studied this very interesting topic, you might be with me in accepting its validity. Such popular and nourishing foods such as avocado, for instance, are believed best when eaten without proteins, and the one rule I do tend to follow always is no fruit after a meal. For a fantastic post on food combining explained beautifully, check out Sarah’s post over at My New Roots. Also be sure to check out Natalia Rose and her raw food philosophy – you’ll be glad you did. So for a while, it’s few foods together, in ‘good’ combinations. Easy, seamless digestion.

5. Upping The Healthy Liquid Intake

Now really, this is one should be easy, yes?! How many of you get enough clean water in your system every day? It seems crazy that we can so easily ignore our body’s cries for water. Just ate but feel hungry? Drink water. Feeling tired? Drink water! For some reason, there are times when the last thing I reach for is water when I’m struggling, which is crazy downright silly. Water is energizing, cleansing works as an appetite suppressant, lubricates our digestive tracts, and is free. Free! In addition to making a concerted effort to take in liquids, I’ve cut back the coffee to 2 a day in the morning (hey I work for an amazing coffee roaster and that’s a big cut) and have increased the herbal teas, green tea, hot water with a squeeze of lemon, a green juice,  and always never-ending ginger tea.

Of course, there are other things I’ll be doing too and maintaining daily physical activity is a given, but these are my top 5 for an easy transition to increasing overall water consumption, upping intake of gently cooked hydrating vegetables, and consuming foods that are simple and easy for my body to recognize and assimilate.

I’m a huge fan of the re-set, or as the French refer to theirs – a re-casting – just like our blankets need a shake-out, and the corners of our rooms need a sweep, every once in a while I’ve got to let my body dig deep into the corners. Open those windows wide and let the fresh air in!

Gently Re-setting | In Pursuit Of More
Gently Re-setting | In Pursuit Of More

29 responses to “My Top 5 Favorite Tricks for a Gentle Spring Re-Set

  1. Fabulous tips, Shira – I totally agree, however healthy/balanced our diet/lifestyle, we ALL need to re-set at some stage 😉 I work at a Hare Krishna cafe, and I totally understand what you mean about onions/garlic…. even though I love to eat these, they are FAR too stimulating for me, and I recognize the difference immediately. Beautiful photos as ALWAYS 🙂

    1. Thanks Lou! Amazing! I’d love to come visit you at the cafe – it sounds cool. When I talk about the garlic thing most peeps just look at me funny…great to hear someone else who gets it! 🙂

  2. I am loving the idea of a reset. Even though I eat a vegan diet, I notice when I am eating too many carbs and not enough fruit. I know I need more carbs to fuel my runs, but if I am not running I do not need all that bread!! I have actually been cutting back on the grains and upping my fruits/veggies. I eat a lotttt of grains! Time to up the water too!

    1. Yes Britt! Water is a must and even though you are active it’s so good to tap in to the body’s rhythms and know when to make adjustments – hard to do but makes such a difference, especially when we are less active.

  3. Hey lovely Shira – completely with you on eating clean, particularly cutting out all the processed junk that is so accessible to us all in the western world. Horrified to think that garlic may inflame my system (GASP!)
    I’m trying to guzzle down more bone broths (made by yours truly on a lazy Sunday). I’ve even got the teenager onto them… 🙂

    1. Great J! I love that you guys are SO into getting to the bottom of things….though I must ask, is bone broth slang for something? Dying to know what that is!

  4. It was so timely reading this, because I have been doing very similar things! Eating clean, more steaming (in fact I had a big bowl of steamed kale for breakfast the other day- so funny you mentioned that!) and practicing some proper food combining. I’ve also lowered my grain intake which I think has really helped with that last part.

    I have a garlic and onion sensitivity as well but I’ve been finding they have been worming their way into my cooking a lot lately. I think I should try and give them a rest too, at least for a while.

    Lovely post my dear! xox

    1. Gabby – I am so happy to find someone that has the same odd garlic sensitivity. We should share notes! I am with you on the grain thing too – I start to feel a little clearer after a few days of avoiding them, or at least one small serving once a day can work wonders too. Love being on the same page 🙂 Thanks for the lovely note! xo

    1. Agreed Liz! I am not much of a dramatic cleanse type of gal and prefer the more approachable plans that don’t make too many hard and fast rules – it’s just too difficult and plus, I get moody and nobody needs that 🙂 Especially me!

  5. I’d love to throw the windows open…but the snow and cold air might not be appreciated by everyone else in the house. 🙂 I did get lots of fresh air while shoveling twice yesterday and once this morning, though.

    Life without garlic would be sad; life without tea, worse. I’m thankful to have a good source (and just found another) for hibiscus–just hibiscus with nothing added or not added to some other tea–to make hibiscus tea, which is supposed to be good for lowering blood pressure, something my husband can use.

    If I’m on my own for a meal, I often have a plate of fruit, veggies and some sort of whole grain. SO good!


    1. Janet – fantastic! I hope it warms up soon though 🙂
      You’ve reminded me about how much I love hibiscus tea…I LOVE this! I used to drink it all the time – you’ve reminded me just how much I love it!

  6. If these tips are ones you have found work best for you, that’s fantastic – half the battle is working out what works for us! Post some updates of recipes and things you’re eating on your reset; I’d love to see!

    1. Hey Anna! I think you’ve made a great suggestion and I will try to post one of my fave re-set meals soon – if you are on instagram, you could check me out there @shiramcd ! I agree – half the battle is the learning..and even then it can change any time!

  7. I love your re-set tips Shira!! So important to do – we get on to auto pilot and need the re-set every now and then! My best re-set is drinking green smoothies and exchanging some of my meals with delicious green raw food. I will add your tips to my list Shira and also join you fasting once a week.
    Thank you friend!

    1. Anne – fantastic! Do you have experience fasting as well? I’d love to hear more..feel free to drop me a line or I might write you as well. I am with you on the raw food, as soon as this weather sticks around! xo

  8. I just love your comment about food blogging giving you lots of time to think about food. Just the other day my boyfriend asked me if I ever think about anything but food. After thinking about it for a moment I told him that I also think about him on occasion.

    1. I am glad I make sense to someone Rachel! LOL – you can do it, just be gentle on yourself…I should include that as step number 1. Always! XO

  9. I love these thoughts about a re-set. Of course you know about my green smoothie challenge. I do it quarterly to re-set, since I can’t seem to stay out of the chocolate or the vegan cookie jar during the interims…. Interesting thoughts on garlic. I’ve read similar things about the allium family. I do well with it, but has a sister who doesn’t. Man that would be tough.

    1. Your green smoothie challenge is so admirable Somer and you are so amazing with it! Love that you are so committed to all you do as well! XO

  10. I always forget to drink water too. It’s strange because I know how good it is for me, but when I’m tired or hungry, I forget to drink water first. I did add warm lemon water to my morning routine and quit caffeine (gasp!!!), but I’m feeling much better for it. 🙂

    Love these tips- heading over now to check out My New Roots’ post on food combining! 🙂

    1. Thanks Kristy! I’m with you on the water – always room to improve! BIG points for giving up caffeine – that’s amazing! If it wasn’t my job I might consider that too – for now I try to keep it moderate as I’ve become sensitive to caffeine in my 30’s. Enjoy the read at My New Roots!

  11. Resetting is so good for us! Sometimes I just feel like I need a break from food – I tend to fall back on juicing and blended soups (avocado sweet potato chipotle is my go too!) when I feel like I need to re-set. For the past month I have considerbly increased my water intake with fresh lemon and 100% pure cranberry Juice and have noticed a huge impact on this one little adjustment -I had not realized how little water I was drinking and how dehydration was impacting my overall energy. Your list is clean eating at its best – thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Heather! I’m with you and need lots of breaks from food – I find fasting to be a fantastic practice that allows my body to ‘use it all up’ – but it is SO important to stay hydrated during those times. I love the love the sounds of your soup and would love that recipe!

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