Friday, March 20, 2009

Rise early with the Sun - it's Spring!

Spring and the Wood Element

In Chinese Medicine there exist 5 elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element corresponds to a specific season. In this theory, there is the belief that the seasons have a deep cyclical effect on wellbeing; that we are influenced by the changes in season and can live harmoniously within them. For example, as Winter draws near a close and Spring sunshine prompts trees and flowers to sprout - we can consciouly prepare for this change in body and mind  by making gradual adjustments.  We can learn how to choose and prepare food according to the seasons.

Spring is the season to attend to the liver and gall bladder. The diet should be the lightest of the year and contain yang foods to emphasize the expansive qualities of Spring. This means young plants, fresh greens and sprouts. Salty Winter foods such as miso and meats should be limited. Too many heavy foods clog the liver and can make the seasonal transition difficult. Limit foods high in saturated fats, excesses of nuts and seeds and highly processed and refined foods. Alcohol should be limited as we know it taxes the liver. 
Sprouted grains, beans and seeds, fresh vegetables and fruits all stimulate the liver's flow. 

So, eat seasonally! In doing so, you not only help support our local farmers but help heal our own selves at the same time! 

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