Best Eating Practices For Living In Harmony With Energetic Spring: Part Two

“Adapting itself to obstacles and bending around them, Wood in the earth grows upward without haste and without rest. Thus too the superior man is devoted in the character and never pauses in his progress.”  – Nei Jing (475-221 B.C.)


We still are experiencing the remnants of the Water energy of Winter so though traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) says we have entered the energetic season of Spring, the new energy of the Wood element, as of February 5, it's a bit challenging to think Spring right now, but let's give it a whirl!

As we've said, in TCM the element represented by Spring is Wood. To live in balance with the 5-Element Theory of TCM and indeed, to live in balance with nature of which we are an inherent part, we’ll want to embrace the following attributes, characteristics and specific organ activity for the Wood element and Spring season.

If you are affected by liver problems (the organs associated with Spring are liver and gall bladder), it’s a sign your body may be suffering from insufficient or lack of Wood chi. You can strengthen your Wood chi by consuming more Wood element foods which tend to be sour in taste (sour is the taste for the Wood element). Sour foods facilitate clearing an overburdened liver.

Wood element foods act as astringents and help the blood to circulate, your energy to flow, and emotions to move more elegantly through you. Eating fresh greens during this season naturally cleanses the body of physical and emotional impediments. 

Wood element foods are cooling and contracting and prevent leakage of body fluids. If you’ve been indulging in a rich, greasy diet, you’ll want to switch to the Wood element foods at this time. 

Check out column two for an exhaustive list of foods for Wood.

Additionally, there are some herbs and spices we can use in springtime food prep that have a sour taste: dill, sour jujube fruit, and hawthorn berry.

Certain pungent and sweet foods such as scallion, garlic, cinnamon, fennel and ginger tend to have an expansive, rising quality. They are very nice to add to springtime meals and will help you resist colds and allergies.

As always, avoid or reduce consumption of foods and drinks that have little redeeming value for the body such as deep fried foods, oil, fat (aside from the more beneficial oils and fat content derived from olive, avocado and coconut), salty foods, spicy foods, alcohol, and sweets.

While we slow cooked our food in Winter by preparing stews and hearty soups, best cooking methods for the Spring energetic season are sauté, stir fry, light simmer, blanch, quick boil, pickle, and marinate.

At this time of year, our diet should be the lightest to enable our systems to cleanse and strengthen the body, mind and spirit.

Check out PHYTO5's Wood element skincare line to address imbalance in the skin such as oiliness, blackheads, hyperpigmentation, and issues of vital energy circulation.


Best Foods for Wood Element (in alphabetical order)

  • adzuki beans

  • almonds

  • baby spinach

  • barley

  • black cherry

  • black currant

  • blackberry

  • celery

  • cheese

  • chicken

  • chives

  • cod

  • collard greens

  • grapefruit

  • green beans

  • green cabbage

  • green tea

  • halibut

  • hazelnuts

  • herring

  • leafy greens

  • lemon

  • lettuce

  • lime

  • liver

  • long string beans

  • napa cabbage

  • nuts

  • oats

  • olives

  • peas

  • pickles

  • pineapple

  • plums

  • raspberry

  • rose hips

  • rye

  • sauerkraut

  • scallions

  • sour grapes

  • sour green apples

  • sour green star fruit

  • sourdough

  • spinach

  • sprouts

  • tomatoes

  • vinegar

  • walnuts

  • wheat

  • yogurt



Nguyen, Phil N. Feng Shui for the Curious and Serious. New Jersey: Xlibris Corporation, 2008. Print.

Thunderhawk, Denise, L. Ac. The 5-Element Guide to Healing with Whole Foods. N.p.: Lulu, 2016. Print.

The PHYTO5 Blog of Blogs: A Holistic Lifestyle Compendium

With more than 100 blog entries at our site (and more to be added throughout 2017), it's likely you can find the answers to most any holistic skincare and lifestyle question you have. Here's a rundown of topics and live links to get you right through to the easy-to-read details.


Truly Holistic Skincare and Beauty

🔷Holistic skincare defined here

🔷Anti-aging benefits of chia for holistic skincare with bonus recipe here

🔷14 tips to keep your skin hydrated here

🔷How to tell if you have over-processed skin here

🔷Find out which of the five major skin conditions you have here

🔷The scoop on couperose here

🔷What authentic truly organic skincare is here

🔷What to eat for glowing skin plus bonus recipe here

🔷20 tips for "no makeup" beauty here

🔷One simple way to exfoliate your skin here

🔷The soothing attributes of jojoba oil here

🔷PHYTO5 facial clay masks here and here


About Essential Oils

🌹Benefits of rosemary essential oil here

🌹What juniper essential oil has to offer with bonus music video here

🌹What essential oils are all about here


Maintaining Physical Vitality and Wellness Without Allopathic Medicine

🤕How to combat drug-resistant superbugs naturally here and here

🤕Protect yourself from harmful EMFs here and here

🤕What might be behind unexplained periods of exhaustion here

🤕How trees are constantly giving to you here

🤕How the simple act of walking is great medicine here and here

🤕What body shape and morphology tell us about our health here and here

🤕All about earth's negatively charged ions and the healing they offer here and here

🤕Drainage of the five fluids here

🤕How reflex zones provide telltale signs of lack of health and vitality here

🤕Wear a scarf! here

🤕The five major functions of light in the body here

🤕Eight very accessible forms of color and light therapy here

🤕A list of questions your holistic practitioner should be asking you here

🤕How your skin is a diagnosis tool here


These "Between Seasons" Posts Are Worth Revisiting as of January 18

🔶About the timing of the energetic seasons here

🔶'Splainin' the spleen here

🔶14 ways to get "unstuck" here

🔶If you just can't say no here

🔶Best eating practices for between seasons here and here

🔶Why you shouldn't ignore the 18-day transition periods between seasons here and here



🍜10 reasons spirulina will never go out of style here

🍜12 reasons for pursuing a plant-based diet here

🍜Your Monday morning breakfast parfait with bonus recipe here

🍜Heart-shaped foods and why you should eat them here


Conscious Lifestyle Tips

💠Five key ideas on energy and consciousness here

💠The quantum and conscious nature of water here

💠How our energy fields affect everyone around us here

💠Body–mind–spirit alignment as the highest wellness goal here

💠How to find sanctuary in uncertain times here

💠How to live on purpose here

💠Elegant ways to recycle kitchen scraps here

💠How to make your home radiate with peace here

💠How to start living peacefully here

💠Everyday vegan shopping options here

💠14 ways to take in heavenly chi here

💠How to cope here

💠18 avenues for releasing stored emotional pain here

💠The other half of YOU here

💠7 "other" ways to meditate here and the rewards of meditation here

💠Aura hygiene tips here

💠What practicing mindfulness qigong can do for you here


Pathways to Inner Beauty

💆🏻18 inner beauty tips here

💆🏻To be attractive is about far more than exterior beauty here


Vital Energy and Chinese Medicine

🌀7 ways to have good Jing here

🌀What our skin can tell us about our vital energy here

🌀How to balance your chakras here

🌀All about energy and chakras here

🌀Vital energy and the five fluids here

🌀The other half of skincare here

🌀The difference between matter and energy here

🌀How energetic skincare is a super smart lifestyle decision here

🌀Belief in vital energy through the ages, cultures and belief systems here


Winter Energetic Season Lifestyle Tips

❄️Possible signs you have a Water element imbalance here

❄️A listing of black or nearly black nutritious foods to eat during the Winter energetic season here

Pay Attention to Your Inner Dynamic Duo!

In Chinese medicine, your liver and gall bladder are paired. This means that anything you do to strengthen one will strengthen the other...

Gallbladder is the yang organ for Spring according to the 5-Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Best eating practices to maintain a healthy gall bladder are:

  • Eat fiber rich foods;
  • Consume fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • If you eat meat, make it lean!
  • If you eat dairy, make it low fat!
  • Add walnuts and almonds to your diet. Some studies have shown them beneficial in preventing gallstones;
  • Research suggests moderate amounts of coffee may also help prevent gallstones;
  • Keep your weight in check.