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Spring

4 Lifestyle Tweaks to Thrive this Spring

 

 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of the main principles for optimal health is to eat with the seasons. This means that the season will determine the lifestyle you adopt.

 

We are fortunate to have access to all sorts of fruits and vegetables all year round. We can eat mangoes in the winter, strawberries in the fall and cherimoya pretty much anytime we want. But in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that the best fruits and vegetables are those that grow naturally in your region. Your body is accustomed to a certain temperature and climate and the food you eat should also be reflected on the environment. This aligns us with the rhythms of the earth and brings us to a place of balance and harmony with the world around us. In addition to the metaphysical reason to eat locally, local fruits and vegetables just taste better. These fruits and vegetable didn’t have to travel far to get to you, so they are more likely to be fresher, plumper and juicier than imported produce.

 

In TCM, every season has a correlating organ of the body. For example. in the spring it is the liver. The liver supports other life-giving organs: the heart, the lungs, and circulation system. You can think of the liver like the grand central station of body processes as its job is to filter, renew and nourish other body systems. If the liver isn’t in top shape, it can’t do its job properly which can lead to other organs not being able to do their jobs properly which can lead to illness and disease. When the liver is functioning properly, the body is under less stress and can function with ease.

 

Spring is the perfect time to pay special attention to your liver. In fact, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s recommended to do a liver cleanse or a liver detox that will rid your liver of any toxins it may be carrying. But, you don’t need know how to do clean your liver to get that liver up and functioning again, just follow these 4 simple tips for a healthy spring:

 

Wake up Earlier

Try waking up earlier this spring. Waking up earlier will allow your body to settle in to the rhythms of the rising and setting sun. You may find your body is able to function better and you may also experience more energy!

 

Exercise More:

Movement is key in TCM. Letting your chi flow through qi gong, yoga or simply running can do wonders to your body and liver functions. Also consider getting an acupuncture treatment which will allow for maximum chi flow. Exercise is also a great way to combat depression which can be a symptom of an imbalanced liver.

 

Drink Lemon Water

Lemon water is amazing for your liver, especially early in the morning. Drinking it warm will also enhance the benefits.

 

Keep Breathing

The excitement of spring can have your heart beating more than it’s used to. Take time to do some deep breathing by yourself. Focus your breath on your liver and breathe, imagining your liver expanding. This practice will allow proper blood flow to your liver and other body organs.   

 

Healthy Food for Spring in San Diego

 

Spring is one of the best seasons to begin eating healthier. Whether it’s adopting a new diet regiment like a keto diet or trying a detox cleanse, there’s no better time than spring. In fact, some of the freshest produce, the most delicious food and the most potent herbs for healing are available at this time of year. One of the best ways to improve your healthy eating is through Traditional Chinese Medicine, this mode of healing accentuates the importance of consuming fruits, vegetables, and herbs that grow in and around where you live. In other words, the more local, the better.

 

Because spring will bring warmer temperatures, TCM suggests eating cooling foods to balance out your system. Not only is it important to choose the right foods to eat, but TCM teaches the principle of awareness while eating. Being mindful of your environment and chewing slowly while eating as well as taking long and deep breaths will improve your digestion and allow for overall health and well being.

 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, here are some foods that can support your health and wellbeing this spring:

 

Lemon:According to TCM, the season of spring is closely correlated with the liver. This is the reason why cleanses are usually done in the spring when an abundance of cleansing is available for consumption. Lemons and other sour foods are great for cleansing the liver. Lemon juice liver cleanses help keep the liver in tip-top condition, combatting against liver disease and liver dysfunction. Drinking lemon water every morning, or adding lemon juice to a smoothie is a great way to flush toxins and take great care of your liver.

 

Greens:

Fresh leafy greens are incredibly abundant during spring. These leafy vegetables are chockful of vitamins and minerals and are amazing for cleansing and building. Chlorophyl is the component responsible for that lush green color and is why these vegetables are so good for you. Choosing greens such as spinach, kale, dandelion greens or other wild greens are your best bet because they will have the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals. Try incorporating some greens into your meals or try a green smoothie on for size.

 

Asparagus:

The best growing season for asparagus is the spring. Asparagus is full of vitamin C, A, and K, folate and contains a good amount of fiber. Asparagus builds and maintains nourishing fluids in the body. It has properties that soothe irritation and promotes healthy fertility. It also supports lung function, clears congestions and helps respiratory conditions such as bronchitis. One of the best ways to eat asparagus is by lightly roasting it in the oven with salt and pepper. Remember to choose thinner asparagus as the thicker variety tends to be quite tough.

 

Fruits and vegetables: Spring symbolizes new beginnings and a fresh start. As soon as April hits, a myriad of fruits and vegetables begin their bloom. If you are looking to start eating more locally, you will no doubt be able to find produce during spring. Check out your local farmer’s market or look for local produce at your grocery store. There is bound to be some local produce you’ll be able to incorporate into your diet.

This spring salad is the ultimate spring meal. It incorporates seasonal spring veggies with an emphasis on greens and liver friendly foods.

 

Asparagus, snap pea and quinoa salad

 

Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup fresh snap peas, slices
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into small stalks
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • A variety of fresh mixed greens
  • Sliced avocado

Dressing:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Bring two cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  • In another pot, bring water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook the asparagus in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until tender. Drain asparagus and rinse with cold water.
  • In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cilantro. Then, mix in the snap peas, asparagus, chickpeas and mixed greens. Top with sliced avocado and serve.
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