Photo from TheDailyMail.com
Spring is here! The cold and dark winter months are now drawing to a close, bringing longer days and warmer nights. The birds are outside right now chirping away and it feels like Spring. It feels as if life is blossoming all around me, and the joy I feel inside compares to no other feeling that accompanies any other season.
What are your favorite spring memories? Mine would have to be the time around Easter. Coloring eggs, putting “grass” inside my Easter basket and awaiting the Easter bunny (I love that guy!). I would always leave out carrots or nuts for the bunny, knowing that he had a lot of hopping to do that night. It never grew tiresome, waking up in the cool-warm morning, going to the kitchen and seeing my basket filled with an array of colors.
The Easter basket I–I mean The Easter Bunny–Put Together
I did receive chocolate bunnies, chocolate candy and the oh-so bad stuff that I definitely stay away from these days. However I did always spread out the consumption of these things, when I was young, for months, never eating a whole Easter bunny in one, two or three days–but having it last for weeks, if not months, on end. I guess I got down that whole ‘moderation is key’ thing even back then.
By the way, I made some sugar free, completely natural homemade candies for Easter, just so I wouldn’t feel left out! The whole family enjoyed them as well. I will post the recipes in a following post.
Making my sugar free Easter candy
In Chinese medicine, Spring is associated with the liver, the organ that helps detoxify and cleanse our body of impurities. After the long winter months, our eating may have been focused more on heavier, denser foods to help warm our bodies. During the warmer months, it is time for the body to crave more light foods filled with water and moisture.
Keeping our liver clean will help us detoxify the buildup of toxins that have developed over the past few months, and it will also help us burn fat more efficiently. Since the liver is our main fat burning organ, it is imperative that you do what you can to make it healthy and clean. There are a number of ways to do this, and all of them are quite simple, yet hold a powerful impact on your body.
#1 – Listen to Your Body
This is a fairly simple rule, that I am sure all of you have heard before. However, there is a bit of a twist when it comes to it. During the spring, and the warmer months, our bodies will require and crave more water and moisture. If we don’t supply this through our diet (water and food), we will die within a short time. Listening to your body enables you to know when to need water and when to eat foods that are rich in moisture.
Our diet in the spring should usually be different than in the winter, because in the winter you are wanting warmer, denser foods to provide your body with heat. However, in the spring and summer months, your body needs lighter foods that won’t weigh you down, that won’t produce too much heat or cause you to become dehydrated. Choosing the right vegetables and fruits that are in season should help provide you with the water you need, along with a good does of pure, clean water every day.
#2 – Tonify the Liver
Spring, like I mentioned earlier, is associated with our fat burning organ, the liver. Help out this organ this spring so it can help release toxins in the body. Choosing the right foods will do the trick. Lemons and limes are amazingly beneficial for the liver, and will help support bile formation (helps digestion).
Dandelion greens are also amazing for detoxifying our bodies through the liver. I bet you were surprised to find that you could actually consume this plant, just as I was when I discovered it a few years ago! Nevertheless, it is a very good green to throw into your salads, green smoothies or to be dried and made into a tea. The leaves are quite bitter, so be aware of this before you ingest them. They may be available in your local health food store this spring, or at your local farmer’s market.
There are also yoga moves you can do that correspond with a health liver (to see all poses, click here
). One is a simple forward fold.
Photo from YogaJournal.com
Another is downward facing dog.
Photo from YogaJournal.com
Try these poses for about five minutes every day, or as long as you can stand it, building up to the five minutes. These poses help stimulate the liver in a healthy, natural way.
#3 – Eat with the Season
Photo from SummerTomato.com
Staying healthy doesn’t always have to be difficult. We don’t always have to look feverishly thorugh the supermarket shelves, trying to find the right item that says it will support our health. Simply going to your farmer’s market, or going to your local produce section will give you the items you need.
Eating local is important, but so is eating vegetables and fruits that are in season. Most of the time, if they are in season in our part of the country, than they’re local. Even if it means the next state over, it’s still better than eating a vegetable or fruit shipped from Australia that has already lost most of its nutritional value.
Eating in season will help your body detoxify more fully, no matter what season, because you will have more available nutrients being taken into your body to assist with a multitude of metabolic functions. T
he vegetables that will be in season this spring, and more than likely be local as well, will be artichokes, arugula, asparagus, chard, mustard greens, spinach, parsley and watercress.
#4 – Meditate!
Photo from EpicSelf.com
Meditation is a fantastic tool for preparing your mind and body for the outside world, and is an incredible way to relax. But did you know that it offers your body much more?
This fantastic tool has been shown to assist in digestion, which can also assist in detoxifying your body. When our minds and bodies are at ease as the result of deep breathing and/or visualization exercises/techniques, our digestion becomes much easier, helping us release and burn more fat in the long run.
So not only can meditation help calm the mind and ease digestion, it can help keep us slim as well! It’s completely free and only requires 10-30 minutes of your time. Start out with deep breathing exercise and then looking into some visualization exercise, such as imagining yourself in a place that makes you feel completely comfortable and serene–like a forest, a brook or any other favorite setting.
There you go! Four simple steps to now implement into this spring. I bet you were already going to do these anyway; hopefully I was just a “push” in the right direction! Feeling great, cool and confident during these warmer months is what you body wants, and the way to do that is to detoxify. Keep your body clean!
For now, this is The Healthy Advocate.