Finally, It's Spring!! Or Is It?


In Michigan, Winter stubbornly continues to hold court, while spring teases its way to its rightful place, sometimes, giving Winter another go before it settles in. After snow and ice, green leaves, tiny buds with the promise of fragrant bloom, are welcome signs that warmer days, and more sunshine are finally here. When we are in tune with nature, we can also feel this energy of rebirth and restoration, our bodies responding by turning dormant energy into renewed vitality. Spring is our opportunity to plant seeds, both in our gardens as well as in our mental, physical and spiritual bodies. Many of us continue the tradition of spring cleaning, passed down from generations, opening windows, getting rid of clutter, and fastidiously cleaning corners of dust and dirt, while ushering in new energy as we purge the old. Each season is associated with an internal organ, and springtime is ruled by the liver, the largest organ in the body. The liver provides many vital functions in the body, carrying rich blood supply and an important organ for total body metabolism. The liver also processes harmful substances, and a spring cleanse is a great way to assist in its optimal function of this major organ with a intentional detoxification.

Fasting in the colder months can be daunting, but spring encourages us to lighten up and a spring fast can do the trick, especially with the addition of plenty of alkaline water and green juices. Lemons are also beneficial, and drinking warm lemon water upon waking is a great way to encourage the liver to rid itself of toxins. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, especially water, when cleansing the liver. There is a danger of the liver excreting excess toxins, wastes and medication into the blood stream, which if not removed, can create blood toxicity. Its not even necessary to do a long fast to get the benefits. A day or even a weekend fast, followed by light eating of mostly green leafy vegetables and herbal teas, can be just as effective as a prolonged fast. Check in with your health care provider before attempting a long fast, to address any contraindications (conditions where a particular treatment or procedure is inadvisable) or complications from ongoing chronic illnesses.


Some great spring veggies and herbs to include in your diet are: asparagus, dandelion, chicory, watercress, green leafy veggies, spinach, stinging nettle, alfalfa, leeks, parsley, basil, mint, and spring onions.


Green vegetables contain an abundance of chlorophyll, a powerful blood cleanser and builder. They also contain a moderate amount of protein, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins such as B, C, E and A. These plants are loaded with phytochemicals, which are powerful antioxidants, and helps our bodies to prepare for the warmer, more active days of summer. Use locally grown seasonal produce by shopping at Farmers Markets or your urban farm in your area. Foods grown locally can often be more beneficial to your immune health. A great book packed with suggested nutrition and health information for each season is STAYING HEALTHY WITH THE SEASONS BY Dr. Eldon Haas.


Try this recipe and let me know what you think:


SPRING GREEN

Add the following to your blender:

1 green pear

1 cup packed spinach leaves

3 cups coconut water

1 tsp. Spirulina (Purchase at africanherbwoman.com)

Ice Cubes

BLEND THOROUGHLY AND ENJOY!!


-Chef Nezaa

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