Somehow, the Spring season always seems to sneak up on me. Right now, we are in that tweener part of the seasons, where we are shaking off the inward-looking energy of winter and moving into the outward-looking energy of spring. During this time, I start to notice patterns, which I have called the “turbulence” of seasonal change. We are in transition — and this particular one is like someone rousing you from a warm, cozy bed and a good dream. That moment of actually having to get out of bed, when you want to stay in, can feel excruciating. We are moving from the energy of hibernation to the energy of sudden growth, change and expansion. And we can then remind ourselves, this is only change. We are transitioning from restful hibernation to the energy of new beginnings. It’s only the transition that feels uncomfortable.
Transitions often bring emotion. We are wired to resist change. This is why we may feel turbulence right now. Perhaps fatigue, overwhelm, maybe even dissatisfaction, impatience… even anger. You may even feel like someone or something is pushing you or holding you back.
Interestingly, in Chinese medicine, the element of spring is Wood. While there are many positive emotions associated with wood element, the two uncomfortable emotions that can come up are anger and frustration. These emotions are often held in the corresponding organ meridians, liver meridian and gallbladder meridian. It is the perfect time to nurture these organs, allowing any emotional residue of anger and frustration to dissolve.
Some Foods to Focus On In the Spring Season
- Reduce heavy foods and move toward lighter foods – microgreens, sprouts, fresh green vegetables (like spring mix), cereal grasses, like wheatgrass and alfalfa.
- Other nice vegetables are young beets (and beet greens), carrots and sweet, starchy vegetables, like parsnips. The sweet flavor can be an antidote for anger and frustration.
- Sulfur-rich vegetables like onions and garlic can be very cleansing for the gut. Some people like to enjoy them raw, for greater cleansing qualities.
- Focus on lighter broths and soups. If you like bone broth, chicken broth is wonderful in spring because of it’s upward moving energy.
- Teas, like mint tea, milk thistle tea, dandelion tea and chamomile tea.
- Herbs and spices, like basil, dill, bay leaf, fennel, marjoram, caraway and rosemary.
- Healthy sweet treats and fruit, rather than excessive sugar. Here are some recipes.
Cooking Techniques Also Tend to Change in Spring
- We move from slow, long-cooked meals to raw vegetables (like salads and smoothies) or quick-cooked meals, like sauteeing, steaming or stir frying. In Chinese medicine, the recommendation is cooking for shorter times and at higher temperatures. This might be a great time to try out your pressure cooker if you are a broth lover and want your broth in 45 minutes!
- If you find that you cannot shake emotions of anger, frustration, irritability, resentment, belligerence, rude outbursts, edginess, stubbornness, aggression, bottling things up or feeling like you want to explode — or if you find you can’t make decisions or follow through on plans — it may be helpful to focus on cleansing your liver and gallbladder. The foods and herbs above can be very helpful!
- If you have symptoms like swelling, abdominal pain or bloating after meals, goiter (or any swelling or thyroid challenges), lumps, tumors or growths, eye symptoms, skin challenges (acne, psoriasis, eczema, hives, rashes, etc.), joint pain or issues with tendons, headache, tinnitus, dizziness or spasms, it can be a sign that it’s time to focus on your liver, gallbladder, and even your spleen.
Gentle Detox Tips
I have a free Gentle Tips for Detox podcast that you receive with other gifts when you sign up for my newsletter. This podcast teaches you how to gently approach cleansing, so that you can use nutrition and lifestyle habits to encourage your body’s natural ability to cleanse. This is the perfect time of year to do it!
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