It’s that time of year again – time to clear out the cobwebs and dust bunnies in our body, mind and home!


Winter is the time for consolidating our energy by eating nurturing foods such roasted meats and root vegetables as well as getting rest and catching up on books and movies. In springtime, just like the buds on the trees, we are bursting to get out with renewed vigor. We tend to get outside more, eat light cleansing foods and shed that extra winter insulation.


According to Oriental Medicine, Spring is associated with the Wood element, the Liver and Gallbladder organs and growth and activity.


When the Wood element is healthy, the body and mind run smoothly. Congestion of the Liver and Gallbladder may cause symptoms such as irritability and anger, tendonitis, and digestive problems such as abdominal distension, constipation, or flatulence.


Spring is the best time of year to cleanse the Liver and Gallbladder of the congestion that accumulates due to the intake of rich foods, toxins, and intoxicants as well as stress and lack of relaxation. Eat simply. Avoid rich foods that congest the Liver and Gallbladder. Cook vegetables for a short time. Try a quick sauté on high heat or steamed vegetables.


Fasting on water, juice or only raw vegetables can be detrimental to someone with a deficient constitution. Due to overwork, insufficient rest, poor nutrition and the intake of draining substances such as coffee and intoxicants, few people are without deficiency. A cleanse can benefit the congestion, but one needs to take care to not damage the digestive function and deplete the body.


The Spleen-pancreas is very important, as it is responsible for optimal digestion and assimilation. The Spleen is damaged by overeating, emotional turmoil, stress, extreme hunger, cold and iced foods, and excessive intake of sweet and sugary foods. The Spleen likes cooked foods because they are easier to digest and not as cold in nature as raw foods. Although it is said that there are more nutrients in raw foods, the nutrients are more easily assimilated when the food is cooked.


Instead of fasting completely, try a cleansing diet for one day a week for a month, for a long weekend, or both. You can take this to whatever level you are comfortable with. Start small and build up. Don’t make it too hard for yourself or you may find yourself bingeing afterwards and hence erasing all the good you’ve done for yourself.


This spring, choose one day a week to cut out all of the stuff you know isn’t good for you – coffee, sugar, baked goods and refined foods, dairy, tobacco and intoxicants. Eat fresh organic foods such as cooked vegetables (boiled beets, sautéed greens, baked squash, steamed zucchini), well-cooked grains, soups, apples, pears or other fruits, some raw vegetables and sprouts (radish, diakon, mung bean sprouts), and optionally some almonds, eggs or meat. Season your foods minimally, but enough to make them appetizing.


Take it to the next level by eating only lightly cooked vegetables, some raw vegetables and sprouts, fresh fruit and optionally some well-cooked grains and legumes. Extend your cleanse for up to a month – adding in some nuts and possibly organic meat to make it sustainable. Retreat from the busy-ness and do some meditation, deep breathing and relaxing exercise such as yoga, tai chi, or walking.


Feel good about yourself this spring. Start fresh with a light cleanse and see how you feel physically and mental-emotionally. Let this spill over into your regular diet. Be moderate with the less healthy foods and beverages and experiment with yummy new vegetable recipes.


Use this list as a guide to cleansing.

Work your way down the list, eliminating the more toxic and congesting items from the top of the list and eating lots of draining/cleansing foods at the bottom. Eat lightly from the consolidating/nourishing in the middle section.






Sugar and sweets

Sweetened fruit juice

Baked goods

Refined foods


Soy products

Dairy products




Fermented foods









Cooked vegetables

Raw vegetables



Vegetable juice



This entry was posted in Healthful Eating and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.