A 'spring cleanse' for your body
Spring is here - hip hip hooray!!!!!!!!
The days are getting longer and the temperature is gradually heating up.
Nature is undergoing it's own renewal and growth and preparing to burst it's bloom and show off all it's glory, seems only right that we should too..
But if you are feeling a bit sluggish, flat and not quiet ready for skipping down the street with your head held high, you may be needing a little cleansing help.
Spring is 'the' perfect time to give your body that little bit of attention; re-set the body, curb those naughty but well needed habits that have enabled us to survive the long cold winter and start preparing our bodies for the active months ahead.
A “spring cleanse” is predominantly a simple and natural diet, it can last anything from 3 days to 3 weeks. It's focus is on digestion, elimination of accumulated wastes, and improving body functions... It need not be scary nor feel like a sacrifice. In fact you can use this time to give yourself some love and attention and put your body, mind and wellbeing as your top priority ...
I find each year it's a brief moment when i'm ready to take action and control and it's a reminder of the spring/summer foods and activities that I love.
Here are my top 10 tips to make you cleansing enjoyable and smooth running
Choose a time and length that's suitable for you. If you have never done a cleanse before or have been over indulgent during winter. The weening off (eliminating the bad and slowly adding the good) should take 1-2 weeks and the full on cleanse can last anything from 3-7 days
The important thing is to give it a go, your body will appreciate your efforts.
2. MIND OVER MATTER
Its easy to start thinking this is a chore (like the house work) but you can make it interesting.
Don’t make it feel like you are punishing yourself & more importantly remember its 'NOT' forever; although you will certainly (or hopefully) keep up with some of these healthy eating habits.
3. BE PREPARED
This is really important for staying on track and not grabbing the nearest thing when you are out and about
- Don’t go hungry - don't let hunger bite you in the bum, carry around snacks such as - small Tupperware of mixed nuts/seeds, bananas, oat cakes
- Cook in advance - If you are hungry as soon as you come home, have a pot of goodness all prepared, you can cook a pot to keep you going for a few days, or cook a few pots of yummy goodness and freeze it...
- Research recipes - The internet is your friend, you can find so many incredible recipes to suit any taste buds and this is the perfect way of keeping it interesting. Try searching for -
- Vegan or vegetarian one pot meals
- Easy vegetarian recipes
- Vegetarian main meals
4. IS IT NATURAL & UNPROCESSED ?
If you just follow this rule you are almost there.
Yes to natural?
- Fruit - Mix it up - Choose fruit with a variety of colours to get a good mixture of vitamins and antioxidants
- Vegetables - Try preparing them different - Roasting, Steaming, Raw
- Grains - Brown Rice, Oats, Bulgar, Millet, Quinoa
- Pulses & Beans - Tinned or Dried
- Soluble fibre (to flush out the toxins and fats) avocados, kidney beans, peaches, prunes , oat bran.
- Herbs & Spices - Fresh or dried
- Water - *See FLUID UP
- Nuts & Seeds - including butters, milk, creams and oils
NO to processed-
- Pastries & cakes
- Meats (If you eat meat, opt for meat that's free of antibiotics and hormones ** read the labels**)
5. FLUID UP
One third of our bodies are made up of water and even slight dehydration can wear down our systems in ways that seriously compromise our overall quality of life. It's a simple addition to your cleanse - add more fluids and help your body do what it's built to do and flush out all those toxins.
You don't have to stick to just water - choose anything from the list
- Herbal teas
- Hot lemon and ginger
- Fresh Mint tea
- HOT water
6. JUST SAY NO.......
To booze - before you panic, remember this does not have to be forever
If like me you look in your social calendar and it seems like theirs never quiet the right oppotunity to remove the booze? If that's the case you have 2 choices
1. Do the cleanse regardless, you will have to be the smug (or annoying) person who keeps saying they aren’t drinking booze at the party.. It’s OK, you can do it..
- Find a nice drink to replace the boozy one, in-fact, non-alcohol cocktails are becoming incredibly fashionable you know!!
- And ask for support off your friends & family, you never know they might join you in the non-alcohol choice.
- A simple go too drink is - fresh lime and soda; you can add mint or any herb to give it a fresh grown up vibe.
2. Cancel all boozy dates and do something else that doesn't revolve around alcohol.
7. TREAT & PAMPER YOURSELF
Spend what you would have on naughty treats and booze on nice healthy treats, like a massage or a spa day.
In many cultures bathing still remains a very important part of health and wellbeing; Bathing is a mild form of detoxification which mildly increases body temperature , by having a sauna or steam room, you are excelerating the removal of impurities.
If you have access to or live close to a Turkish bath or a Spa, then you can enjoy this as part of the treat yourself element of the cleanse
If you are on more of a budget or a spa/bath doesn't float your boat, you can enjoy a simular cleansing experience at home
Step 1 - take a hot bath, soak for about 20 mins - add any of the following
Magnesium Bath Salts - Honey - Bicarb - Essential Oils - For more ideas go to this great post
Step 2 - Use a gentle scrub to remove the cells, I tried the below recipe for my scrub and it's also a great way of using that 'unwanted' sugar from your cupboards - https://wellnessmama.com/3628/sugar-scrub-recipe/
Step 3 - Top up the bath with hot water and soak for another 10-15 mins
8. GET OUTDOORS
No more hibernation! Make the most of the longer days and step outside into the fresh spring air, get close to nature and and soak up the best vitamin D going -
- Filling your lungs with fresh air is great for our respiratory system. Getting the oxygen flowing will boost your cells and accelerate the cleansing process.
- The Increase of Vitamin D from the suns rays will help protect and strengthens bones, hair and skin cells. As well as boosting the immune and nervous system
****Only go in the sun unprotected when the sun is high and the coolest time of the day****
For darker skinned people, we need to stay in the sun longer and it's recommended a minImum of 20 minutes per day (the lighter the skin the lesser the time)
**** ALWAYS STAY PROTECTED IF THE RAYS ARE ARMFUL AND LIKLEY TO BURN ********
9. GET MOVING
If you started off the year with lots of good intensions to get fit and do more exercise, it may have fallen by the waist side by now. Fear not, springtime is the best time to get active again;
Exercising is a great way to rid toxins from your body. As well as gaining more energy, and your body and mind can destress as well.
- Choose an exercise you enjoy, it can be as simple as walking outdoors (2 birds 1 stone!!)
- little and often is more effective over hard and infrequent
- Exercise with friends or loved ones and make it a social activity
Follows these steps and you are are much more likely to keep it up as part of your healthy lifestyle.
10. YES you do deserve it.
It amazes me, that anyone thinks they don't deserve nor have the right to spend time on themselves. We owe it to our bodies to give it some love, attention and care.