Welcome to Spring,
Welcome to new beginnings and the clearing out of the old. An adventure awaits, it’s as though ones whole being can be cleansed and made fresh. My home is recently going through a “spring clean out”. In the last month of so I started doing the 5 Tibetan rites again, these are a simple group of exercises that I have been recommending to my clients as I have felt such benefit and they only take about 10 minutes each day. There will be a copy of the exercises on the web by next month, otherwise Google search them if you can’t wait.
I trust you have all enjoyed the winter I know many are wanting the warmth of summer and have headed north to get some sun.
Much has been happening at Utopia Health Care, more behind the scenes getting prepared for the spring and summer, so please excuse me not getting the last 2 seasonal newsletters out. We said good bye to Di Chanellor, who has moved into creating other things.
We would like to welcome Ilse Jamonts, who has come on board to share her skills as counsellor and facilitator in meditation. The Meditation classes that she ran in July on stress received positive feedback. Her next Meditation workshop will start after the Spring Equinox Sept 22. For more details please click here.
Spring is always a favourite time of year for me, as I love the fragrance of budding flowers and the blossoms. Spring is associated with the Wood element think Green, the new shoots budding and if you wish to read more about the 5 Elements of Emotions then please click here.
The hint of warmer weather tempting us to expose a bit more skin, but be careful as once the sun goes down the cold is still there and able to enter into the body via the skin, which is why so many of us come down with a cold. Remember this is also the time of windy weather to help spread all the pollen around.
Spring is also the time for allergies and those who suffer from hay fever often, this is the most distressing time of year. Acupuncture can help immediately in the acute phase (on the day) and Chinese herbs are a great way to get relief and to start building up the immune system. Consider avoiding some of the common foods that may contribute to these seasonal allergies, dairy, wheat, chocolate eggs, and nuts. Try stopping these for 3 months to give the body time to rest and repair.
This is also the time of year to pay attention to the liver and gall bladder – cleansing the body of the fats and heavy foods of winter. Try adding fresh herbs such as basil, fennel, marjoram, dill to your meals these are pungent herbs to help raise the yang energy (after the descending winter). Now is a good time of year to start sprouting some grains or seeds, these are a great addition to salads.
Now is also a good time of year to abstain from alcohol for a few weeks (or months). Try adding chlorophyll rich foods e.g. wheat or barley grass juice/powder. Lacking inspiration try a massage to get things physically moving.
Click here for a full range of health treatments available from Utopia Health Care.
Waking early and being at your most creative in this phase of the day, means the wood aspect of you is healthy and your energy balanced. If you are the type of person that has difficulty waking up or getting motivated in the morning, Wood could be stressed and in need of some support. How is your appetite in the morning? Try starting the day with hot water and lemon to start cleansing the body, stretching before breakfast and get the body in motion.
The wood element governs muscles and tendons, which bring grace and flexibility, so if one is suffering from muscle, knee and elbow issues this may indicate poor wood circulation. Having a Massage is a great way to improve circulation. Wood reflects beginnings, birth and Spring. It is a bursting forth of new ideas, new vitality and new beginnings. Wood Qi is spontaneity, flexibility and activity. Wood is strong and flexible like bamboo, and associated with warmth, generosity and co-operation. Wood can be wide and outgoing, always seeking to grow and expand.
Emotions of Wood
Anger is the emotion related to Wood. When all is in balance, a person can move forward with plans, even when there are bumps in the road they will have the ability to deal with changes. When out of balance, anger results from being thwarted in planning and execution. This Anger can become the primary emotion, with a person interpreting that his way, the right way, is blocked. ‘Shout’ is the sound associated with Wood, this can be heard in the tone of someone’s speech and not necessarily in anger, try listen to friends when in conversation to guess their element type.
If one has rested and stored their energy in the winter, one will have the strength to move forward with new plans and projects in the spring. As with plants bursting through the ground and growing up toward the sunlight, we will also feel the urge to be outside as the weather warms up, to garden or build or begin new activities.
Spring Recipes for a more Healthier Lifestyle
Broad Bean Dip
Broad beans are sweet in nature and have the ability to strengthen the spleen and defending itself from and over excited liver. Broad beans can help reduce excess fluid from the body so can be helpful clearing runny nose especially in kids and may benefit those wanting to lose weight.
500 gms broad beans.
1 teas fresh marjoram,
1 teas ground cumin
40-60 mls extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
Place beans in saucepan and bring to boil, cook about 10 mins or until soft, drain off water, but keep some in reserve. Place beans in a blender (Thermomix is great for this if you’re lucky enough to have one) with a small amount of water, blend until smooth; now add all other ingredients and blend, if it is too thick the left over water maybe added. Place in serving bowl. As a garnish or added flavour blend some paprika, cumin and oil and drizzle over the top. Enjoy as a snack great for kinder or school with flat bread and biscuits.
Salad with a difference
50 gm dried aduki beans
75 g millet
60 g broad beans
50 g fresh peas
50 g Lebanese cucumber
6 sun dried tomatoes chopped (preserved in oil)
2 spring onions chopped
15g/1cup mixed herb leaves basil, dill, chervil oregano, parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp or balsamic vinegar
25g parmesan, pecorino, or hard sheep s ‘cheese shaved
Salt and pepper.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add aduki beans, simmer 45-60 mins until beans are almost tender, about 10 mins before the end of cooking scatter in the millet and continue boiling until beans and millet are cooked.
In another saucepan bring water to boil and add a pinch of salt, add the broad beans and simmer 1 min, remove with slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Dice Lebanese cucumber.
Peel the broad beans.
In a large bowl combine broad beans, Lebanese cucumber, uncooked peas, tomatoes, spring onions, herb leaves, aduki beans and millet.
Toss to combine add in the oil from the tomatoes and other oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving toss in the shaved cheese.
If you are interested in learning more about cooking with grains I came across this great book a few years back, “A Cook’s guide to Grains” by Jenni Muir.
The team at Utopia Health Care wishes you a great Spring and look forward to continuing in supporting you.
Mychelle and the Team at Utopia Health Care