Spring Cleaning

With the first day of spring in our sights, we begin to think about detoxing the stagnant accumulations of winter through dietary changes.

As weather warms and light lengthens, we no longer need to stick to warming, well-cooked foods in order to eat with the season.  To harmonize with the shift and eat with the energetics of spring, it is time to add sprouts, shoots and young greens into the mix.

Sprouts represent the greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant and we can benefit from the surge of vitamin and enzyme content that occurs at this stage.  Eating sprouts regularly in spring can have an energizing effect.

They are cooling to the digestive system, so only people with hearty constitutions can eat them raw.  Folks prone to feeling cold, with weak digestion should saute, simmer or steam them to benefit most from their energizing qualities.

Alfalfa and wheatgrass are very detoxifying to the body and are a great way to chase out the winter blahs.  While alfalfa sprouts can be eaten hot or cold, wheatgrass shoots need to be juiced.   To maximize the juices from wheatgrass, a special grinder is required, but those who don’t own one can simply clip the wheatgrass shoots with scissors and barely cover with water in the blender.  Wheatgrass is especially beneficial to those working to purge heavy toxicity such as chemo treatment or long-term substance abuse.

Margie and David Blum of Elderflower Farm sell a wide range of sprouts at the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market from traditional favourites such as mung bean and sunflower, to more eclectic options like pea shoots and lentil.  They also sell flats of wheatgrass. At the Summerside Farmers’ Market  you’ll find kits to sprout your own, as well as some fresh varieties from Crystal Green Farms.

So as the snow melts and the world starts to come alive, so do we. Spring is a time when the body wants to clean out the stagnation of winter and sprouts can help do just that.

About Harmony Wagner

Harmony Wagner began training with the North American Tang Shou Tao Association and her teacher Vince Black in 1996. She underwent a formal apprenticeship with the Four Winds Health Center and was licensed as a Registered Acupuncturist through the CTCMA of British Columbia in 2001. She practices Traditional Chinese Medicine and teaches NATSTA gongfu and qigong in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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