The diet in the spring should be light, and emphasize the ascending yang energy of the season. Young vegetables, sprouted grains, and fresh greens reinforce this energy. Limiting salt is also suggested due to its descending nature. It is also advisable to limit fatty foots that take a lot of energy for the Liver and Gallbladder to digest. Spring is the season of Wood (Liver and Gallbladder) so we support those organs by limiting greasy food.
Raw food can be difficult to digest, so Chinese Medicine theory suggests we limit our intake of raw food except in the spring. This is the time of year to prepare foods simply, eating things raw or spouted. These foods are typically cleansing and cooling and therefore appropriate only when the body can handle them.
Cooking for a shorter time at a higher heat like a sauté is appropriate for spring, with a little oil. If only water is used, a light steaming or minimal simmering is recommended to keep with the energy of the season.
A Word on Liver Detox
Many people eat unhealthy foods, so detoxing can be appropriate for them, but others are deficient with weak digestion and should avoid detoxing. It's important to know what is right for your body and when. It's always best to consult a practitioner to asses you personally. As a general guideline detoxing and eating raw food is most appropriate in the spring, and some raw foods can be fine in the summer as well.
But What About Salads
Raw food can be great for people who run hot or live in a warm climate, but a raw salad isn't always the best option. Although raw veggies can help the liver cleanse, they can be hard on the spleen and stomach - organs that don't perform as well when they're too cold. I recommend big salads with lots of vegges in the spring, and bitter greens like dandelion to tolerance. For the rest of the year keep salads in moderation but make sure to get your vegetables in by sautéing, stir frying, or roasting.
Photo credit cover