Traditional Chinese Medicine: Spring's Wood Element

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is governed by the wood element. It is a time of rising and expanding energies like daffodils pushing their way up through the earth and trees growing higher and wider. Physically it is a period of physical and emotional cleansing as we break out of winter's indoor mode by cleaning house in all areas of our life and making room for where we want to grow during the light half of the year. Traditional Chinese Medicine encourages this is the season to heal the liver and gall bladder by eating lighter meals. It is also a time to remember to rest and exercise as life speeds up.

Eating fresh greens and fruits helps inner cleansing and healing. To make sure you eat plenty of fruits, I recommend making fruit smoothies in the morning. Perhaps as a late afternoon snack or as dessert. I like using strawberries, blueberries, bananas, almond or soy milk, nuts and adding dried figs is blissful. Since berries go bad quickly, I buy frozen berries and use them when I'm out of fresh fruit. What I've noticed is a smoothie fills you up and packs in the nutrition giving you more of the good stuff to digest. This makes it less desirable to consume what isn't the best for us.

Sliced strawberries, bananas, almonds, figs and almond milk.

Now that the weather is warming up, eating a salad is a refreshing way to get your greens in. However there are some veggies that need to be cooked to taste less bitter and be easier to digest like kale, eggplant, baby bok choy, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms. Stir frying, where you cook your food for short times at a high temperature keeps your veggies spring like and alive. The next time you cook dinner try stir frying sliced up heat friendly veggies like shown in the photo below in a dash of vegetable oil. Splash in soy sauce and fresh squeezed lemon juice for more flavor. Mix with protein like tofu, fish or poultry that you cooked in a separate pan. Serve over brown rice and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sliced eggplant, mushrooms and spinach leaves.

During spring's season of growth invitations to be out and about to do business or socialize are plentiful. Dive in and celebrate with what the sunny time of the year has to offer. However in the spirit of good health seek balance by making time to rest, exercise mindfully by not over doing it with spring training and don't let go of the vision of where you aim to grow.

Interlaced hands in a standing forward bend is a great yoga pose to practice anytime to feel relief in your back body and shoulders as well as ground your mind. Be sure to bend your knees a little.

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