Claire Ragozzino | Vidya Nourishing Spring Cleaning

I find it only fitting to introduce you all to Claire right before the weekend so that you have a full three days to soak up her deeply inspiring piece, recipe and video. I find this holistic coach and yoga instructor to be one of the most beautiful, rustic and and magical of our generation. She serves as one with the earth, her community and has so much to teach us on mind, body, spirit and well-being—a true holistic guru. (Her Instagram is one to be reckoned with.) If you’re in need of a cleanse, private coaching or lifestyle plan, this is your girl. Without further introduction, meet Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Cleanse.


NOURISHING SPRING CLEANING

with VIDYA CLEANSE

Spring has finally sprung, with warm sunny days beckoning outside my window and little buds popping up from the earth promising beautiful blooms.  But the swift change in nature is a reminder that my body, which has done its job keeping me warm and grounded through winter, now feels heavy and dull. It’s time to shed the layers of winter and bring my body into harmony with this seasonal change. Physically, emotionally and energetically, it’s time to lighten up!

In March, we are still emerging from the Kapha season of late winter/early spring – a time in Ayurveda characterized by the water and earth element.  In our bodies, the kapha dosha governs strength, immunity, structure & lubrication in our bodies, with properties that are oily, slimy, cool, moist, sticky, heavy, stable, strong and soft. As kapha slowly accumulates through winter, a result usually of heavier holiday eating, improper digestion & slow elimination, congestive disturbances develop in the body and create an excess of ama (toxins) in the system.  Signs of spring signal a time where we can begin to release these stagnated toxins in our system.

To align with the springtime energy, adding in more cleansing foods and stimulating spices will help to release the dullness of winter from our bodies and minds. Pungent, warming and drying spices such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, cumin, fennel work to eliminate the mucous forming aspects of the watery kapha.

Spring bounty offers naturally cleansing bitter and astringent greens, like nettle, dandelion, arugula, watercress and mustard greens, to purify and detoxify our tissues. With spring cleaning in mind, I’ve created a refreshing and alkalizing watercress & asparagus soup using vibrant bitter greens, garlic scapes, and citrus to support gentle cleansing. The lemon, watercress and parsley in this recipe aid in improving liver function, while the asparagus promotes circulation to the kidneys. A fresh avocado provides a creamy, rich texture to the soup, and healthy fats for optimal brain function and nutrient absorption to the body, and a spoonful of ghee provides a grounding quality to this enlightening recipe. This mineral-rich soup is perfect for those crisp early spring evenings!

Watercress & Asparagus Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch asparagus, chopped

5 garlic scapes, chopped

1 shallot, sliced

1 bunch watercress

1 tbsp ghee

1 avocado

½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 cups hot water

2 tbsp lemon juice

Himalayan pink salt, tt

Pepper, tt

PROCESS | In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic scapes and asparagus to the pot, sautée a few minutes until the asparagus is tender.  Reduce to low heat, add the watercress and ghee, stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Transfer mix to a high-speed blender, add the avocado, fresh parsley, lemon juice, and water. Purée until creamy. Taste and season with salt & pepper. 

To serve, pour into individual bowls and garnish with chopped avocado, asparagus tops, and baby watercress leaves. Sliced radishes also make a lovely garnish, I dehydrated mine overnight to make crispy radish chips as a topping. For a heartier meal, pour soup over a large scoop of cooked quinoa. Top with a little dallop of fresh garlic crème.

Serves 3-4

Garlic Crème

½ cup pine nuts, soaked 2-3 hours

½ cup water

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

¾ tsp Himalayan pink salt

PROCESS | Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. If too thick, add more water to reach desired consistency.

Yields roughly 1 cup