This week we celebrate the onset of spring and foods that help to cleanse the body of "build ups" that have accumulated during the many months of winter.

Spring is a time of transition. A time for preparing the body for the long summer months lying ahead. A time for replacing heavy winter meals with lighter foods better suited for warmer months. 'Tis the time to replace oily, heavy, sour and sweet diets with foods that are more astringent, pungent and bitter, making conscious note to reduce the intake of heavy dairy products like cheese and yoghurt, sweets, fried and fermented foods.

Here are a few pointers to help you reorient your approach this spring. Go for warm, light cooked meals. Replace wheat dominant foods with lighter grains like millets (such as the trusty bajra and ragi). On the front of vegetables, it’s rewarding to create your own combinations and to experiment with recipes to increase your repertoire. Keep in mind gourds and pumpkins like bottlegourd, snakegourd and red pumpkin. I prefer to cook with vegetables that are easy to digest. Bitter foods especially are highly effective in cleansing the body in the season of spring. As are fruits – copious amounts of them!

It would be a great idea to maintain an Eating In Season diary and there can be no better time to start with it than spring. It’s our chance to start again each year. It's no coincidence the term "spring cleaning" was coined! "And spring cleansing ... the time of rapid change and new beginnings."