My 5-year old came running inside this morning with a handful of dandelions happily exclaiming, “Mommy, our first flowers are here. Spring is on its way!” As I walked back outside with her I noticed the tiny buds on my hydrangeas, the sturdy leaves on my poppies….and, alas, all the weeds I will need to pull in my garden beds 🙂 Ah yes, Spring IS in the air…..
Spring is cleansing—both external and internal. It is the time when we go through the “stuff” that has accumulated in our house: old papers, clothes, dust—and make a clean, new start. Spring is also the time when our bodies release the “stuff” they no longer need. You may naturally shed some excess weight you held to warm you in the winter. Your body may begin to feel lighter, more energetic, and start to crave more refreshing foods.
Your body knows when Spring is here. Observe and listen. What have you been craving lately? As spring arrives, you will no longer crave hearty soups or baked casseroles. Those foods are warming—they help your body feel heated and protected in the cold winter months. Now, how about some lightly steamed vegetables? A salad? A cold noodle dish? In the warmer months, our bodies crave lighter foods that will help us stay cool and provide us with increased energy. Observe in your own life this wonder of Mother Nature. Eating with the seasons will allow your body to reach a state of natural harmony.
Spring cleansing for your body
Our bodies function much like the seasons. They shift in cycles like the rhythm of the sun, moon, and earth. In Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the liver. Your liver is your body’s largest internal organ. The job of the liver is to transform toxic substances into harmless materials, which can then be excreted by the organs of elimination. Eating foods that support liver function will help your body cleanse and renew. The best foods for the liver are fresh green vegetables, preferably those with a slightly bitter taste. Dandelion greens, mustard greens, watercress, arugula, collard greens, kale, parsley, and romaine lettuce are bitter greens that stimulate bile flow and help to cleanse the liver. Other beneficial foods for the liver include beets, carrots, endive, grapefruit, lemon, and lime.
Spring cleansing for your mind
Just as our bodies want to be lighter in the spring, so do our minds. What has been weighing on you mentally? Can you identify those things that are bringing you down? Take the change of the season as a time to make change in your life. I do an exercise with my clients called “The Wheel of Life.” Each spoke on the wheel represents a different aspect of life—finances, career, relationships, physical activity, etc. Pick one spoke on your wheel. Although they might seem unrelated, I assure you they are. As one aspect of your life improves, another will follow. You must start the process somewhere though!
Spring cleansing for your spirit
As I am sure you have noticed, the days are getting longer and longer. As the sun changes her relationship with the earth, we are blessed with more light. These extra hours of daylight are a gift of opportunity. In the darkness of winter, our bodies tend to hibernate. We come home from work and curl up in our cave of blankets alongside the fireplace. Take advantage of these glorious long days by going on a hike after work, meeting a friend for some late afternoon tea, or cooking dinner for someone special—and eat outdoors!
Our Spring into Spring Cleanse & Educational Program begins April 19th (with discounted early enrollment pricing before April 8th). If you would like to start your Spring with a little extra “spring in your step”, come and join us!