Spring is almost here, and even though it's still raining in Portland, it's time to get ready for summer. Spring is the time of the year for new beginnings, rebirth, and for cleaning out what you don’t need any more. When spring arrives, our bodies want to shed “winter” weight and our energy levels rise. This is why spring is the best time to do a Liver cleanse. In Traditional Chinese medicine, Spring is the season of the Liver, which makes it the perfect time to clean up your dietary habits and give it a break. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of energy in our body, and needs to be unclogged to function properly. This important organ is where the body stores waste products and processes the toxins that we put into our bodies.

Here are a few recommendations I give my patients when they ask about doing a Spring cleanse:

-       Organic Only Make sure your sources of proteins and fats are organic. This includes nuts, oils, poultry and fish.

-       Be Gluten-Free Products that contain wheat and gluten can wreak havoc on the body, so try not to eat either.

-       Eating green fresh spring foods help cleanse the Liver and aid in detoxification of the body. Eat plenty of fresh greens, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, dandelion greens, and lettuce.

-       Avoid white flour and sugar, caffeine, and dairy, red meat, soy, and peanuts. These are considered inflammatory to your body.

-       Make a list of things you can eat, instead of focusing on what you can’t. It will make your life and the pleasure of eating a lot easier during these weeks.

Acupuncture treatments throughout the cleanse will help move the stagnate qi, help with headaches from caffeine and sugar withdrawal, and keep you motivated. Plan for at least one acupuncture treatment a week while you are following a cleanse.

Keep in mind that there are deeper levels of why a cleanse or detox might be a good idea for you, such as a serious allergy or the need for a complete diet change. For this reason, I recommend patients come in to my clinic so we can work together on a cleanse that is tailored to their specific needs.

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