The Long Awaited GREENS Experiment...DO Try this at Home, Folks!
Is this another shameless plug to try to get you to eat more greens?
Many of you know I’ve been trying the whole “local eating” thing this past year. While it is turning into a huge international movement born out of the need to eat more sustainably, it fits perfectly in with ancient Chinese Medicine eating philosophy.
Each season correlates with specific organ systems in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), and the food that grows each season is naturally the food that will balance the organs related to that season.
But about a month ago, I reached a conundrum…here we were passing through spring, and because of our geographical location, nothing was ready to harvest yet (except the wild greens like dandelion which would be what our ancestors ate I’m sure…and which, by the way, are powerfully medicinal for detoxifying, invigorating, and cleansing the liver). Gone was the winter farmer’s market with its hardy root veggies that survive the winter with almost all their nutrients intact. (And thank goodness anyway…I was so full of winter squash and roasted root vegetables that the thought of turning on the oven for one more dish of oven roasted winter veggies made me want to swear off food forever!). So I decided to just give in and buy a trucked-in load of greens at Whole Foods for the first time since Spring of LAST year. My liver was virtually screaming for fresh leaves, and I happily sauntered home with my frilly bouquets, eager to conduct another Greens Experiment!
The Greens Experiment…
Now some of you already know the story of my experience with greens which is inspiring this week’s Wisdom. But for those of you who don’t: One day last year I had just eaten dinner and was cleaning up afterwards when the strangest feeling started sweeping through me. I couldn’t quite name it, but I was curious enough that I decided to just sit for a moment in silence and listen to what my body was telling me. After a few moments, it was clear. “I know what this feeling is…it’s EUPHORIA!”. I thought back to the last time I’d felt that, and sure enough, it was after eating a huge pile of steamed greens, just as I had that night. So I decided to start paying attention to how I felt after experimenting with eating large amounts of dark leafy greens, and each time, it had an undeniable effect on altering and calming my mood.
This makes sense from a TCM perspective, because greens balance the liver, and just in case you’re not sick enough of hearing me say it, the liver is related to stress. That’s why most of us need constant work on our liver…after all, who’s not under a great deal of stress these days!? And that’s also why eating the food that balanced the liver brought the opposite of stress: euphoria.
So this is sadly my last pitch to inspire you to dose up on your greens, as we are headed out of Wood season and into Fire. (Don’t quote me on that…even if summer isn’t related to our liver, I’m sure we’ll all still have plenty of opportunities to get stressed out and therefore need to coddle that organ some more) **But try your own greens experiment at home! And then email me with your success story so I can share it with others! If you find you’re feeling down or stressed out one night, reach for a bunch of kale or chard in your fridge and steam up about 5 huge leaves (don’t worry…they’ll cook way down, and I’ve found I need to eat a lot for the desired effect). And then sit back and enjoy the peaceful ride…