1. Feel the NEW ENERGY of Spring. This is the season of re-birth. Take a deep look at where you are and feel what you no longer need in your life, what no longer serves who you want to be. This is the season to plan your new year, for the new YOU. Creativity is the word for Spring, as are new beginnings. And don?t forget, with enthusiasm! We are naturally creative beings, but we can easily get blocked. We do that with our minds and attitudes, fears and doubts, with our foods and toxins, and by other stresses and resistances to life and life force.
2. Commit to CLEANSING YOUR LIFE and your home – think Purification. Avoid drugs and excesses. Protect your liver. Take a break from alcohol and avoid chemical exposures wherever possible. What type of Spring Cleansing is right for you?a juice cleanse, a detox diet, two weeks off sugar and caffeine, conquering your nicotine habit? Nutritional medicine can help you reduce your cravings and habits, and this enhances your potential for life, vitality, and creativity.
3. Update or begin an EXERCISE program. First, stretch out; awaken your body. Yoga stretching and Chi-gong are great for maintaining your youthfulness and flexibility. Then, tone up with some weights, and do some aerobic activity for heart strength and for building endurance. The entire program helps to relax and revitalize you, as well as providing a rush of those feel good brain endorphins. Most people experience a great increase in their energy level, which grows as they exercise regularly. (Certain illnesses and viral problems don?t allow people to regenerate their energies properly with physical activity.) Walk outside and breathe the trees, the breeze, and the seas (or the water energy like rivers or lakes near you), and the many birds singing. Notice the differences in Nature and the greater harmony of which we are all an important part.
4. Enjoy NATURE’S BOUNTY – fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their organic best. Spring greens are also wonderful; look for miner’s lettuce, chickweed, some cleavers and dandelion greens, and put some on these in your mixed lettuce salad. Fresh organic spinach is tasty in salads with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (added feta or other goat cheese as a treat). Gather your greens and other veggies as they grow. Fruits that come into Spring meals include oranges and lemons, strawberries (organic please), and dates, plus avocado, which I really put into the nut family because of their high oil content (but these are good oils).
5. Spring is the season of the LIVER and GALL BLADDER. If you have any weakness in these organs, they may be stressed in this season. Take care of your liver by avoiding chemicals in your diet and environment. Also, avoid junky fats; these include fried oils, hydrogenated fats, and the low-quality oils commonly used in most restaurants. Our bodies need the good oils to keep us lubricated and loose. The liver oversees the ligaments, tendons, and joints, which do not want to get rusty and old. We need to stay flexible and well-oiled, and we do this by consuming the right fats. The ideal oils to use are cold-pressed organic, virgin olive oil and the natural essential fatty acids (essential means your body needs them) found in nuts and seeds. It is also important to consume fresh, raw, organic nuts and seed. A handful or two of these Nature foods daily is helpful and healthful for just about everyone, but don’t overdo it. That?s a good message for Spring: “A little is good, but watch our for excesses; or if a little is good, a lot is not necessarily better.”
6. SPROUTS are likely the highest quality and most vital foods we can eat in that they contain high amounts of many vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. When you think that sprouts are live growing plants, even at the moment we eat them, they contain live nutrition and are part of most healthy diets. People eating a raw foods diet consume sprout salads with olive oil, fresh lemon, and even some added seaweed; this is high-level nutrition. My favorite sprouts are red lentils, mung, and garbanzo beans. I might add a handful of these to a bowl of hot rice, a few slices of avocado, a splash of olive oil, and a little gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and sea salt). Yum! You can read about sprouting in my Staying Healthy with Nutrition and Seasons books.
7. NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS can support you with a greater amount of physical energy, enhancing your Spring and Summer activities. The B-complex vitamins are calming to the nervous system and are helpful for cellular energy production, and their taste on your skin may even help keep the bugs from biting you. Vitamin C and the other antioxidants protect your body from stress, chemical pollutants, and the biochemical by-products of exercise. During detoxification you’ll want more antioxidants, especially vitamin E (400-800 IUs) and selenium (200-300 mcg) for detoxifying chemicals. Also, the carotenes with some straight vitamin A and zinc will round out the antioxidant regimen. Alpha-lipoic acid has gotten much press lately as a good antioxidant and liver protector; during detox we are supported by 50-100 mg once or twice daily. Calcium and magnesium can be used during periods of anxiety or insomnia to calm the body’s nervous system and muscles.
8. Many HERBS are useful during the spring season because they aid detoxification. Bowel cleansing herbs include senna leaf, cascara sagrada, and slippery elm bark. Dandelion and milk thistle leaves strengthen and protect the liver and help its healing. Licorice root will help energy balance and digestion, as well as support the adrenals for stress. You can also do an Herbal Steam Bath by placing some herbs in boiling water on the stove for a few minutes, quickly taking them off the heat. Let steep a few minutes, and then set the pot on a trivet on your table. Get a towel, cover your head, and uncover the pot, and let the herbal steam vapors cleanse your skin and sinuses. Herbs to use include peppermint or spearmint, rosemary or lavender, and rose petals are nice as well.
9. Use the spring months to CLARIFY YOUR PLANS and deepen the potential spiritual awakening or progress. Keep a journal to create the reflection and clarity that will serve your Spring enlightenment. Where and how are you now? Where do you wish to be in a couple months? What will it take for you to move in that direction? Change can be difficult, yet it doesn’t really have to be if you will allow the inspiration and motivation to arise from within and fill your cells and body, your brain and heart. Just make a start, and a space for your enlightenment!
10. Above all, give yourself the time to truly experience NATURE. Take some time to be outdoors and play. Enjoy the Spring winds and breezes. Rekindling your Earth connection has benefits that last beyond this season, continuing to enrich the whole of your life. This can happen, even in a city park, if you relax and let in your surroundings; surrender to Nature?s silence and embrace. Breathe in the life of Spring. Did you know that there is a consistent vibration that scientists call The Schumann Resonance? It is the vibration of the planet earth and is about eight cycles per second; that?s in the alpha rhythm of our brain waves. Connecting with the Earth?s vibration can help us relax, and when we relax and get out of the way, we can heal. And remember to smell the flowers.
Copyright Elson M. Haas, MD, 2002. All Rights Reserved. This content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Elson Haas is required.