Blustery Boulder winds are ushering in beautiful warming spring days, replete with apple buds swelling, crocuses up, and daffodils on the cusp of blooming. As an enthusiastic but impatient gardener, I’ve often planted bulbs in too shallow holes, resulting in their shooting prematurely up to the surface during the winter months.
Similarly, we humans tend to transition too quickly from the cold of winter into springtime.
How can we be in prime form and optimize our health during the spring, even if we weren’t able to take advantage of the winter season for building our energy stores? First it is important to understand the seasonal rhythms of the body.
In Eastern medicine, Liver and Gall Bladder energies represent the springtime organs, and if strengthened and balanced throughout the season, the entire body benefits with a strong foundation.
The liver’s jobs include supporting optimal heart function, detoxification, and providing a source of smooth calm energy for body and mind. A harmonized liver function supports us to get more done, be productive, more organized, less bossy, and have fewer emotional swings. Healthy liver function helps the eyes, finger and toenails, and blood sugar balance. Not getting enough sleep burdens the liver, as well as overeating, too much alcohol and sugar consumption.
The gall bladder’s primary job is to break down and digest fats. Additionally, it helps in decision making, planning, being assertive, and feeling inspired. Eating greasy, fatty, rich foods burdens gall bladder function often resulting in indigestion, flatulence, and sour.
Best practices for being kind to the liver and gall bladder and hence for optimal springtime health?
- Yield to the natural easing of appetite as the need to store extra energy from the cold in winter diminishes. For those wanting to lose weight, spring is the ideal time to do more and eat less
- Eat plenty of veggies and especially the bright green young shoots of plants, like pea sprouts. We have these growing in flats on our kitchen table! Eat sprouts and micro greens raw, best to eat veggies steamed.
- Include sour foods such as lemons, limes, and pickles.
- Drink plenty of water for detoxing. For gentle detoxing, first thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with 1 TB of raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg) with drops of lemon stevia. Tastes like a refreshing kombucha.
- Get to bed and wake up earlier.
- Spend time outdoors daily for sunshine and walks
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s party!” — Robin Williams