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 10 Tips for Staying Healthy in Spring 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by . View all columns in series
1. Feel the NEW ENERGY of Spring. This is the season of re-birth. Take a deep look at where you are and feel what you no longer need in your life, what no longer serves who you want to be. This is the season to plan your new year, for the new YOU. Creativity is the word for Spring, as are new beginnings. And don?t forget, with enthusiasm! We are naturally creative beings, but we can easily get blocked. We do that with our minds and attitudes, fears and doubts, with our foods and toxins, and by other stresses and resistances to life and life force.

2. Commit to CLEANSING YOUR LIFE and your home - think Purification. Avoid drugs and excesses. Protect your liver. Take a break from alcohol and avoid chemical exposures wherever possible. What type of Spring Cleansing is right for you?a juice cleanse, a detox diet, two weeks off sugar and caffeine, conquering your nicotine habit? Nutritional medicine can help you reduce your cravings and habits, and this enhances your potential for life, vitality, and creativity.

3. Update or begin an EXERCISE program. First, stretch out; awaken your body. Yoga stretching and Chi-gong are great for maintaining your youthfulness and flexibility. Then, tone up with some weights, and do some aerobic activity for heart strength and for building endurance. The entire program helps to relax and revitalize you, as well as providing a rush of those feel good brain endorphins. Most people experience a great increase in their energy level, which grows as they exercise regularly. (Certain illnesses and viral problems don?t allow people to regenerate their energies properly with physical activity.) Walk outside and breathe the trees, the breeze, and the seas (or the water energy like rivers or lakes near you), and the many birds singing. Notice the differences in Nature and the greater harmony of which we are all an important part.

4. Enjoy NATURE'S BOUNTY - fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at their organic best. Spring greens are also wonderful; look for miner's lettuce, chickweed, some cleavers and dandelion greens, and put some on these in your mixed lettuce salad. Fresh organic spinach is tasty in salads with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (added feta or other goat cheese as a treat). Gather your greens and other veggies as they grow. Fruits that come into Spring meals include oranges and lemons, strawberries (organic please), and dates, plus avocado, which I really put into the nut family because of their high oil content (but these are good oils).

5. Spring is the season of the LIVER and GALL BLADDER. If you have any weakness in these organs, they may be stressed in this season. Take care of your liver by avoiding chemicals in your diet and environment. Also, avoid junky fats; these include fried oils, hydrogenated fats, and the low-quality oils commonly used in most restaurants. Our bodies need the good oils to keep us lubricated and loose. The liver oversees the ligaments, tendons, and joints, which do not want to get rusty and old. We need to stay flexible and well-oiled, and we do this by consuming the right fats. The ideal oils to use are cold-pressed organic, virgin olive oil and the natural essential fatty acids (essential means your body needs them) found in nuts and seeds. It is also important to consume fresh, raw, organic nuts and seed. A handful or two of these Nature foods daily is helpful and healthful for just about everyone, but don't overdo it. That?s a good message for Spring: "A little is good, but watch our for excesses; or if a little is good, a lot is not necessarily better."

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 About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...moreElson Haas MD
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