Join the Spring Cleansing Challenge!

Spring is the time for cleansing~!
As the temperature gradually goes up, muscle & tissue relaxes, and fat and other wastes accumulated inside our body during the cold winter start to melt and go back into the blood stream, just like snow melts into the mountain stream.
Now this muddied (acidic) blood may cause some uncomfortable symptoms while circulating all over the body, such as allergies, fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, pains, or even mental and emotional distress. 
This "impure blood" has to be detoxified by the liver, therefore this organ is particularly active and busy in this "cleansing season". 
But if your liver is overtaxed and not functioning optimally, the blood can't be cleansed thoroughly, and this acidic blood continues to circulate in your body, including the brain.
Now you can imagine how problematic it can be!
Therefore, the most important thing in terms of "detox" is to take care of your liver so that the clean and healthy blood can constantly nourish billions of your body cells. 
 *In Eastern medicine, liver is called "spring organ"

Signs of overtaxed liver

1 Eye-vision problems
  e.g. red eyes, yellow eyes, eye mucus, dry eyes, poor or cloudy vision, itchiness
2 Yellowed skin
3 Cramp, especially in the legs and feet
4 Strong crave for fatty foods (deep fried, pizza, nut butter, ice cream, etc), spice,
   and other stimulants
5 Vertical lines between eye brows
   *might indicate possible fatty liver
6 Irritability, impatience, anger, 
   *acidic blood my be affecting your brain. also a sign of excess bile in the blood

Spring Cleansing Challenge ------ Nourish your liver!

Here are two things you can do in this "Spring Challenge" to nourish your liver.

1 Stay away from "liver stressors" for 10 days

Give your liver a "spring break". 
No matter what the government's dietary guideline says, there are certain foods that put extra stress on this detox organ, especially fat & sugar. Yes, FAT. 
Pick at least one food from the list below (multiple if you can), and stay away from it for 10 days and see how you feel.
*It'd be more effective to choose food that you regularly consume. 

Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy (cheese, butter, yogurt, or that little milk in your morning coffee!)
Nuts, nut butter,
Fried food, oil dressing, and other oily food

Sugar and other sweeteners (including honey), sodas, fruits juice
Alcohol, unnecessary pills & supplements
Processed food, chemicals, additives (including "protein shake")
Baked fllour products (bread, pastries, cookies, chips, etc)

*10 days is the time frame when white blood cells are replaced by the new ones. 

2 Eat "liver friendly" foods

Some foods have been eaten for centuries around the world to nourish the liver.
Now include one or more from below in your regular diet and see how it helps you. 
You can google recipes with these food, or take my cooking lessons!

Green leafy greens 
  kale, broccoli rabe, arugula, collard green, turnip tops, radish tops, mustard greens,
  dandelion greens, napa cabbage, bok choy, mizuna, etc
  *don't over cook them. Quick steam, water saute or simple salad is the best.
Burdock root (gobo)
Daikon radish and its green
Whole barley
Roasted barley tea *warm
Dandelion tea

Also important for your liver is....
Eat less, don't eat at least 3 hour before bed, chew well.
Moderate and regular exercise, good sleep, managing stress.

*Green juice may work for some people temporarily,  but just a few glasses of juice won't solve the root problems, or cleanse your body or liver in a real sense. (sorry, human body is not that simple!). You may feel good at first because of a kind of "rush" or "high" this intense drink brings, but if you want more significant detox or change in your health, shift the focus to "taking care of your liver" instead of "quick solution".  

Please share your "Spring Detox Challenge" experience via email or Facebook with me. 
Some of you may win a special spring gift! 

*This spring, I'm going to start a workshop series on "Food is medicine and beyond", which covers a range of topics including "Spring Detox" (4/11 sat, in Brooklyn). Contact me for more info.