wood element


Spring is a time for rebirth. Bursting through the obstacles that hold us back is necessary for growth. We are at a time in history that we are doing this on a collective level to the degree some say is unprecedented. Why not use the force of the natural world to support us? It is the time of year the Earth’s energy is rising and she is giving birth to her next generation of seedlings. They are very vulnerable and tender at this stage of their new life. But within that vulnerability they never lose sight of who they were designed to become. They use a force to burst through the encapsulating seed, and the crust of the earth. They dare to be seen in the light of day and risk everything to become their true self, never wavering. Something to aspire to.

We are going through the same journey of transformation as the Earth. If we follow her lead, utilize her energy, and live in sync, our journey becomes much easier.

The force the plant kingdom uses in the spring to birth itself is similar to the energy of anger in our human world. Not anger that is destructive to self and others, but the anger that refuses to be held down and stuck in a prison of old limiting beliefs. The anger that says, “No, I will not put up with this any longer, I want something better for myself.” The anger that says, “ I will not live under the thumb of fear and control.” The anger that refuses to be held back and condemned to a life unlived. This is a healthy anger and supports you to burst through the obstacles that hold you back and keep you imprisoned by your own beliefs that you can not do anything about it.

I don’t think there has ever been a time that we need a healthy relationship with this energy more than now. The life of our earth and human race is depending on our ability to say, “Enough is enough of this old paradigm.” Without this force of energy we can not take action and thrust ourselves across the threshold of the doorway into another way of life.

When this energy is not used to keep us moving forward and breaking free from the old worn out mode of life it turns toxic and is either inflicted on others or turned inward creating disease, depression, resignation and unhappiness. When it is accessed and used properly it transforms into joy. Yes, it leads to joy as we experience our personal growth and freedom to express more our own unique expression of our true nature.

It makes sense that our liver and gallbladder, the organs that process toxicity in our bodies would relate to this emotion. Spring is the time to gently cleanse and nourish our liver to support our bodies to let go of what is keeping us “stuck.” Many people over cleanse and with dramatic cleansing programs. This can do damage to your liver and body. It is always about being kind and gentle to your body, no matter if it is a cleanse or other food related program. I have an easy, gentle spring cleanse in my book, “Divine Nourishment” if you do not already have one that works for you.




Spring Recipes

The verdant colors of “new” at this time of year brings such excitement of potential creativity, and the birthing of a fresh start. My heart just sings, jumps a beat and expands when I am surrounded by the delicate greens of new plant life.

In Chinese medicine spring is the wood element and the color associated with it is green. Any wonder? The liver and gallbladder are the organ systems related to this element that embodies the rebirth time of the year.

Have you ever noticed when you walk or drive into a green area in nature how the temperature immediately cools down? Do you think it is a coincidence that these new fresh green plants that are bursting forth in the spring support the liver and gallbladder?

If they have a cooling affect in the natural world does it not make sense they would have a cooling affect on your liver? It is very common for our liver to heat up, especially during stressful times.

Your liver needs the support to “stay cool” in these stressful times. Think green. Think newly fresh, young greens. There are a multitude of fresh green plants popping up everywhere both in the garden and in the wild to support your liver.

Here are a couple pesto recipes that I designed specifically for this purpose. Not only are they good medicine for your liver, but they are delicious. For those of you that live in an area that nettles and chickweed grow you couldn’t have better allies. I have shared with many gardeners who thought they were plagued with chickweed taking over their gardens in the spring that is the best crop you could have right now. Not only does it support you greatly in the spring, but as it dies off it feeds the soil. Simply turn it under.

Enjoy these spring recipes. They are from my book, Divine Nourishment. If you already have my book this is a friendly reminder to pull it out and receive the benefits of the spring chapter.

If you are in a cleansing mode leave out the parmesan and walnuts.




1-1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

2 TBS fresh sage, chopped

2 TBS fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 cup scallion tops, chopped

4 cloves garlic

3 TBS chopped walnuts

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

2 TBS lemon juice

2 TBS water

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/2 cup olive oil


Blend pesto ingredients in food processor, or blender. You will have to put 1/2 the chopped herbs and all the liquid except olive oil in first. As you blend it some, then you can put in rest of herbs and drizzle olive oil while blending a little at a time at end. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator. Yields approximately 1 cup.




Amounts are approximations, as it is according to personal taste.


4 cups packed wild Chickweed

1/4 cup wild mint

2 TBS chopped wild garlic

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

Drizzle of water

Salt/white pepper to taste


Gather chickweed that has not yet flowered. Cut with knife toward top of plants, so you get a nice clean top. Do not pull plant out by roots. Do the same with mint. Rinse in colander and spin dry in salad spinner.

Toast walnuts on sheet pan in 350 degree oven just until you can smell them. About 10 minutes.

Chop garlic. Shred parmesan. Place chickweed, mint and garlic in food processor and begin to process. Stop and add parmesan, walnuts, a little lemon juice, salt & pepper.

While processing drizzle in a little olive oil until it becomes blended. Do not over blend. Thin if needed with small amount of water. This should be done fairly quickly so as not to over process walnuts.




1 cup raw almonds

1 (15- to 17-inch-long) baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices

10 cloves or 1 large head garlic

1 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

4 cups spring nettles*

3 cups loosely packed arugula leaves

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

Dash of water to thin if necessary

*optional 3 cups finely grated parmesan cheese (I prefer omitting this and serving on top of goat cheese)

Adjust seasoning, oil, lemon, water to taste

*If nettles are unavailable, use additional arugula (7 cups total). Use just the leaves of nettles. They lose their sting once chopped, dried, or cooked.


Preheat oven to 350°F. In shallow baking pan, toss together walnuts and pine nuts, then place in oven, stirring occasionally, and bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Arrange baguette slices on large baking sheet and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

With food processor running, drop in whole garlic cloves. Process until finely chopped, then stop motor and add cooled nuts, nettles, arugula, lemon juice. Process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil and process until incorporated. Add a little water if needed, or more oil. Fold in grated cheese. Makes 3 1/2 cups pesto (with leftovers). Add salt and pepper to taste.





Springing Forward

It has been a monumental winter for me. I am sure it has been for you as well. We are all growing, healing, reckoning, reclaiming, regrouping at a depth, and pace that makes our hair blow, and our eyes tear as we gulp, hang on, and go for the ride of all rides. It is a very exciting time.

Spring can be a very powerful ally in this growth spurt we are going through. Or it can drop you to your knees in frustration, anger, resignation and depression. How we walk through spring at this time, 2011, seems very significant to me.

We are going through a collective cleanse of negative energy that will keep us from moving into the higher frequency necessary for the transition into a more life affirming existence in our world.

We are being asked to embrace our true nature, rise to the task of committing to become who we each were uniquely designed to be, and contribute our gifts to our world, no matter what they may look like.

We are being asked to let go of old wounding that keeps us hooked into our anger and victim mentality.

These are all physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities that relate to the spring season and the organs, liver and gallbladder.

Use this spring wisely. It could be crucial for you. Care for yourself. Align with this season so it can support you through these transformative times. Love, gently cleanse, and nourish your liver and gallbladder to start with, and embrace this season as an ally that can support you.

Use the spring plants that are naturally coming into season in your environment. There is a reason they are showing up now. They cleanse and build your liver naturally without harsh artificial cleansing methods that can be damaging to your body. And remember to be kind to yourself, you are worth it.

Nettle & Sweet Potato Soup

Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes


1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 inch fresh ginger, chopped

4 medium cloves garlic, chopped

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced in ½ inch cubes

3 cups fresh chopped nettle leaves, rinsed,

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

salt and white pepper to taste

Nettle & Sweet Potato Soup Directions

Sauté ginger and onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute. Add broth, and bring to a boil on high heat.

Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 more minutes.

Add rest of ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you simmer for a longer time before adding greens for extra flavor and richness, add a little more broth.

Serves 4

Cooking Tips: This soup can be made with other wild spring greens as well, such as dandelion, lamb’s quarters in late spring, yellow dock, chicory, etc. You can also add ramps, wild garlic for extra flavor. Play with this recipe, it is flexible and a great early spring cleansing soup. Also, this soup is better after it has had a chance to sit for awhile.