The first day of spring starts the new year in a lot of cultures, and many festivals are celebrated around the world this time of year. Spring is a time of rebirth and revival; the transition between winter and spring. Here in the U.S., we look forward to shedding winter coats and boots, stepping outside for the warmth of the sun, opening windows for fresh air, and embracing a general sense of “spring cleaning”.
For me I use this season as a time to “spring clean” my digestive system. By March, I am ready to purge winter eating; goodbye to Super Bowl sausage cheese dips, glasses of red wine, Valentine chocolates, and every other comfort food that kept me going for a couple months.
Spring is the best time to do a cleanse. Your body is primed and ready for a rebirth, a reboot so you can carry it through all summer and into the fall. Cleansing the liver, the master of metabolism, filters blood to remove toxins that come from air, food and water and even through the skin. If overloaded, all the processes get stuck. The toxins accumulate in the blood causing illness. If you notice break outs, generally feel fatigued, sluggish, or bloated then your liver needs some cleaning up.
Last year I followed a 28-day detox that was basically a macrobiotic diet- heavy on the greens, juicing, minimal animal, lots of beans, minimal fruit, no alcohol or processed foods. I felt great, slept well, lost my winter weight, and the detox served me well in transitioning to warmer days and lighter foods. I vowed I would continue this ritual every spring.
This year I am changing it up a bit. While the rigidity of the above-mentioned detox was great for a first time detoxer that didn’t want to go hardcore (have you heard of the lemon juice/maple syrup/water detox?), I was looking to go easy on my digestive system but keep within my busy life. So this year, I did an “eliminate all processed food, no refined sugars, no alcohol, high quality whole foods” detox. Basically how I eat 85% of the time, but for 28 days, I am eating this way 100% of the time.
If you’d like to try the detox I did last year, I followed the book “Cellular Cleansing Made Easy” by Scott Ohlgren. Besides being a great detox program, it was a wealth of knowledge for learning about food choices and how they affect our bodies and the importance of eating minimally processed foods in preventing disease. He also has a website How Health Works. I lurked on the member forum alot while I was doing the detox. It was interesting to read other people’s experience and helpful tips.
Not willing to (or afraid to) do a fast, cellular cleaning, or eating whole foods 100% of the time? Try to incorporate into your daily life these basic tenaments for a just-as-effective (and hopefully life changing) “detox”. It’s more about minimizing all the toxins found in our food and environments. It’s painless, I promise!
- Eat whole foods and choose organic fruits and vegetables.
- Eat lean, organic meats and dairy and preferably grass-fed beef or lamb.
- Eat seafood known to be low in contaminants such as PCBs and mercury.
- Avoid vinyl and PVC.
- Avoid processed foods and chemical additives.
- Limit canned foods or choose those from makers who don’t use bisphenol-A, such as Eden Foods.
- Use glass or ceramic for food storage.
- Filter your home drinking water.
- Use less-toxic cosmetic and personal products.
- Avoid furniture and electronics treated with flame retardants.
- Buy less-toxic household cleaners or make your own.
- Vacuum at least once a week.