Moms In Charge

"ONE bite at a time!" ~Organic~Nourishing~Energizing~

Spring Renewal

on April 19, 2013

Special Guest Post by Eric Carlisle L. Ac. of The Giving Chi

Growth concept

Each season of the year brings change in the weather as well as shifts and changes in our bodies. This is part 1 in a series of living in harmony with the seasons, which is an essential part of Chinese medicine. Our energy, lifestyles and eating habits should naturally reflect the energies of each season. Spring is the time of renewal, growth and outward expansion. With this new spring energy we move away from the storage, and hibernation of winter and start stretching out and being more active again, expressing our own self-renewal. The time spent in winter recharging our batteries is required to spring forth with renewed life and vitality in the spring.

This renewed energy often manifests as “Spring Cleaning” in our society, out with the old and in with the new. The same goes for our bodies. In Chinese medicine, Spring is the best time to do your cleansing, especially cleansing of the Liver and Gallbladder organ systems. The energy of our body that has been nourished stored and kept idle for these past winter months. Now that energy is beginning to course from deep within our roots and out to our branches, stems and leaves of our bodies.

If you’re like me, you feel this shift in your body by the food cravings you are experiencing. The cravings move from hearty, meaty stews, soups and slow-cooked meals to light, quickly cooked meals with tons and tons of fresh greens and possibly sour foods like sauerkraut, pickles, or other fermented foods.

A great springtime meal you can implement into your family’s diet is Green Soup or Bieler’s Broth. I want to thank my friend Emily Bartlett of The Holistic Squid for these wonderful recipes and her ever inspiring work with her kids and families.

For some of us it may not exactly feel these cravings or like you’re exploding or “springing to life” with this kind of energy but I can safely say we all notice the changes in nature and the same thing is happening in your own body.

Patients often ask me around this time of year if they or their children should cleanse to help their overall health and wellness. Many questions arise about all the different ways you can cleanse your body and my answer to them is this…

What are you trying to achieve with the cleansing for yourself or your children? They typically say, “So I/my kids can feel better.”

Then they may talk about some type of juice cleanse or raw food cleanse they’re looking to do.Salad with Fork

I am by no means opposed to cleansing the body. In Chinese medicine, it’s been known for centuries that the elements of cleansing (i.e. clearing heat, draining dampness, and eliminating toxins) has been used in moderation to help heal and restore balance in both adults as well as children. In small amounts or done seasonally, raw smoothies, green juices, and raw salads can have a beneficial effect in their proper medicinal role.

That last line is where I have begun to notice that most of my patients falter. In our society if a 1 is good then 100 must be even better. I have noticed in my practice that when people are changing their lives for the better by adding in green juices and more fruits and vegetables, in general, they do so in an excessive manner, meaning 365 days a year.

For some people a diet that is raw vegan, 80% raw and with daily green smoothie/juices may for a time seem to be the panacea for all your ills and chronic disease and for a portion of the population this can be true. However, for many people with a pre-existing digestive weakness this type of diet will ultimately lead to a depletion of one’s health.

Too many raw fruits and veggies will damage the digestion, creating symptoms of gas, bloating, poor absorption, depression, fatigue and more. When the digestion is weakened over time this adversely affects the nervous system, immune system, and adrenals.

Our little ones are especially susceptible to digestive disorders so we need to pay special attention to this fact. As I have mentioned before in previous talks, a child’s body is still developing and learning how to process physically, mentally and emotionally in this world, so we don’t need to burden them anymore than we need to

Ideally, a balance of cooked and raw vegetables consumed with a fat will be best to for your nutrition. (Source)

Which brings me to my next point with the juicing and smoothie movements.

Your body needs the fats in order to absorb the nutrients.

Make sure that when you’re making your green juices and smoothies add some form of saturated fats (coconut oil, coconut cream, full-fat yogurt, etc.). If you’re going to have a raw salad add avocado and full-fat dressing. (Source)

Ginger teaAnother great way to balance the cold raw nature of your salads is to drink hot ginger tea. Ginger naturally balances and warms the cold raw nature of the vegetables and keeps your digestive health strong.

Here is what I would recommend to those of you who either are new to the green smoothie, raw green juice movement or those of you who may be finding that it doesn’t seem to be yielding the results you thought it would.

First, listen to your body and the bodies of your children. If raw juicing and consuming green smoothies on a daily basis seems to have reached it’s maximum impact for you then modify to a few times a week or seasonally. The key is to listen to your body. No one is built exactly the same.

The Bieler’s Broth and Green Soup I mentioned above is a great way to cleanse the body for a one or two week period for those of use with a pre-existing weakness in our digestive system.

The season of spring can truly be a transformative time of the year if we listen to our body’s subtle hints and move with the expansive energy in a harmonious way.

Peace, good health and happy springtime!


About Eric Carlisle L. Ac.

Co-Founder of The Giving Chi 

Eric has been helping residents of Southern California for over 7 years now. His background in martial arts led him to study acupuncture and classical Chinese medicine after having a crisis of the heart while working and studying in the graphic design world. Turned off from the advertising world’s manipulative and harmful ways he decided to follow his heart and study medicine.

His approach to health and wellness is one of balance, teaching his patients how to maintain a clear and healthy approach in all aspects of their lives.

  • Licensed by the California State Board of Acupuncture and Nationally Certified by the NCCAOM as a Diplomat of Acupuncture.
  • Masters Degree in acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine from Emperor’s College.
  • Certified in Esoteric Acupuncture by Dr. Mikio Sankey.
  • Certified Massage Technician in Seifuku Restorative Massage.
  • Certified Instructor in Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu – Sandan (3rd degree black belt)


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