Spring is Here
We’re well into spring at this point. Can you believe it’s almost May? I was in Utah last week hiking through the national parks. It was so amazingly beautiful. It was definitely spring. One day it rained like cats and dogs, then another day it was 85 degrees followed by a snow storm and 22 degrees the next. That’s exactly what spring is. We start to get short glimpses of warmth followed by reminders of winter’s passing.
The days become warmer and lighter as we approach summer. This is the time of the wood element. It’s the time when plants spring out of the ground and you can see new life all around you. Wood is the energy of growth and new beginnings.
The past winter, you should have been resting so you are now ready to spring into action. Most of my weekends through January and February were spent indoors getting “things” done around the house. Now, April and May, I hardly have an unscheduled weekend as my time is filled with events and travel. It’s the time to reconnect with friends and enjoy the warmer days.
The wood element represents the liver and the gall bladder in Chinese medicine. The liver helps with strategic planning and the gall bladder helps with the ability to make clear decisions and judgements. So, when the wood element is in balance, you are able to clearly make plans and move forward in your life.
The chilly winter months are behind us, along with the heavy, rich foods that are a staple of cold weather. Now that spring is here it is time to start thinking about incorporating the lighter foods into menu. Spring is the perfect time to think about doing a spring cleanse on your body. The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer and there are so many lighter spring foods to choose from when planning meals.
I don’t know about you, but spring also gets me thinking about wearing more revealing clothing like sundresses, shorts and swimwear. Naturally, many of us are conscious of our body appearance and want to look our best. This usually involves shedding some excess weight in the spring to accommodate our spring/summer look, not to mention trying to fit into clothing that fit last year, but now seems a bit snug.
Spring Foods and Diet
When you eat lighter foods, instead of the heavy foods that are appropriate in the colder, winter months, you tend to feel lighter. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables has never been easier when the spring and summer months roll around. Doing a gentle detox/cleanse is often helpful to get your digestive system back on track, especially if you’ve been splurging on less than healthy foods. Good digestion makes us happier as well. Did you know that 85% of our serotonin (happy hormone) is produced in the gut? So if your digestion is healthy you’re going to feel a lot happier.
You’ll start to notice local fruits and veggies making an appearance in the stores and farmer’s markets. Asparagus, lettuces, arugula, artichokes, beets, carrots, chard, fava beans, spring onions, garlic, mint and many other fruits and veggies are just a few of your choices. Meal planning is easy when you start with a garden salad made from fresh greens, roasted beets and beans, then follow with a lean protein and fresh roasted asparagus. We need less heavy foods as the weather warms and we become more active.
Exercise and Working Out
During the winter months when the cold chases us indoors, it is hard to get motivated to exercise. But in spring, when the temperature turns warmer outdoors, it is enjoyable to go for a brisk walk, hike or even a bicycle ride to get in shape or drop a few pounds.
In addition to the warmer weather, there is more daylight to work with, and lots more time to get outside and enjoy nature a bit more. It is also important to note that one does not have to spend hours every day sweating it out to lose weight. Current studies show that 4-6 workouts a week, lasting about 30 minutes, is optimal.
Getting out in nature is also a great way to help you feel happier. It is a scientific fact, that the presence of sunlight naturally boosts serotonin (happy hormone) levels in our body, causing our mood to lift and feel good.
Spending time outside, in nature, is not only good physical exercise but it also elevates our mood and general sense of well-being.
If you are the type of person who gets bored doing laps around the neighborhood block, there are some other great options you can try. Find out if there are any local parks that have trails for hiking or bicycling. It can be a fun event for the whole family, to enjoy the wildlife while learning to stay fit and healthy. When children learn good habits early in life, those habits carry through to adulthood.
So, I invite you to try some lighter spring cooking, consider a gentle cleanse and get the family out in nature.
How can you live in harmony with the spring season?
- Walk Daily
Get out in the sunshine as much as possible. Enjoy the spring flowers and new growth in nature all around you. Spend time in nature.
- Eat lighter foods
Check out the foods that arrive in spring such as asparagus. Maybe even consider a little cleanse with USANA shakes for breakfast or lunch and loads of veggies at each meal.
- Where is your opportunity for growth?
What is something new you would like to start? Have you been putting off something that has been nagging at you to start? How about simply spring cleaning and getting rid of things that no longer serve you or you no longer love them?
- What is it that you want to manifest this summer?
Spring is short so use the time wisely. What is it that you would like to harvest this summer? It can be in your work, your relationships, your health, or anything that you are focused on manifesting. Now is a good time to look at it and make plans, as spring brings the vision needed for the harvest.
Happy Spring Planning.