The other day, my shopping cart was full of greens, mostly leafy greens. Actually, it wasn’t only full, it was overflowing. Cucumbers, kale, dandelion greens, sunflower sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, swiss chard, mustard greens, celery, spirulina, nettles. A green delight for the eyes, for sure.
I picked them based on intuition. That’s pretty much how I do all my shopping. I ask my body “What do you need this week” and it tells me. It provides for a very easeful shopping experience. There is no “humming and haaaing” about whether I should buy something or not. It works for me because I have spent the last 15 years purifying my body and educating myself about what’s good for me. So I don’t buy junk. I have arrived at this intuition via a combo of education, body centered practices and deep self care.
Now, you might wonder, why in the world would she want to eat so many greens? And what did she do with them. Here goes the why, then comes the what.
1. Spring adores greens
First thing, I think of is the season. It’s spring right now where I live which means it is Kapha season. Kapha is comprised of earth and water, which means there is more heaviness, dense, grounding and stable energy present in nature. In order to stay balanced we need to feed our body foods that are light, uplifting and more airy. Leafy greens are exactly that – light, uplifting, airy.
Spring is also a great time to cleanse; seasonal junctures are in general. Bitters help to cleanse the blood and they give us tons of prana to get through the dense energy of the Kapha season.
Our Agni (digestive fire) is naturally low during spring as well which means we want to stay away from heavy stews and soups and make our food choices easy to digest and light. We also need to give our Agni a hand. Most leafy greens have a pungent post digestive effect (vipak) which means, after we digest the food it will raise Agni. Mighty good for avoiding gas, bloating, heartburn, sluggish digestion and such.
2. The liver worships greens
The second thing my mind goes to is the liver. The liver loves greens as they are mostly bitter and astringent in taste. The liver being a fire organ wants to be cooled down so it does not overheat. Both bitter and astringent are cooling by nature.
The liver does so much for us. And like the name suggests we can’t live(-r) without her. She has over 500 functions. One of her major tasks is to detoxify the body and shed material we no longer need in our system. This includes harmful substances from internal sources such as burning sugars, fats, protein, or from external sources like medications, drugs, hormone enhancers, food additives, preservatives, food coloring, flavor enhancers, chemicals, air pollution and many other substances.
Bitter greens support the livers natural detoxification process.
3. Greens put out the fire
The third thing my mind goes to is fire. Excess fire, to be precise. If I am drawn to greens, I know it my body is trying to shed heat.
Excess fire can be easily seen in your poop (as loose stools, diarrhea or more frequent elimination than usual), your mind as in anger, frustration and resentment, your digestive tract as in heart burn and acid reflux, and your body temperature. (hot flashes or feeling too warm). Inflammation is also excess fire.
Most leafy greens are cooling which is like putting water on the blazing fire. That’s great. My body loves that because I have been feeling these subtle signs of excess fire already. For me that is in the form of feeling warmer than I should and having too many fiery emotions. If I weren’t doing anything about this now, you would not want to cross my path come the summer. I’d be boiling and soooo intense. My body wisdom is guiding me wisely towards those greens. I am shedding heat, I am cleansing myself to prep for bearable summer months.
Now comes the What.….. what exactly did I do with all these greens in my shopping cart. Many things of course given the cart was overflowing. But one thing I want to share with you – The Ultimate Liver Cleanse smoothie.