“Spring Green Cleaning” for Good Health!

in Environment Nutrition Wellness

Mix of green vegetables and fruits on rustic backgroundSPRING is in the air!  If you missed this month’s Newsletter,  it was packed full of tips on “Spring Cleaning” for the body, mind and spirit.  As we begin to clean our homes (inside & out), we should also do the same for our body.  It is the perfect time to transition from more “winter” foods to those that help the body detox from those indulgent moments over the Winter of festive food delights (grin). Cleansing is a gentle and effective way to bring the energy of renewal into our own lives. “Spring cleaning” is more than just detoxifying the body, it can also mean avoiding toxins our environment and thoughts as well!

You may have heard critics argue that the human body is designed with just the right physiological processes necessary to clear the body of impurities and maintain health. Yes, that was likely true 20+ years ago. Unfortunately, for many people, lifestyle habits and the environments where we live, work, eat, and play often expose us to toxins that our bodies don’t efficiently eliminate. (Let’s face it, times have changed. We are exposed to more things that can impact our body than ever before – changing times often mean shifting our approach and focus to achieve optimal wellness!)

The toxins you can be exposed to everyday include:

  • heavy metals in the food and water supply
  • environmental pollution, including pesticides
  • electronic devices
  • chemical food additives
  • smoking; overuse of alcohol or OTC drugs
  • use/overuse of Rx medication
  • prolonged high stress
  • poor quality diet, sleep, and lifestyle habits
  • frequent colds or chronic illness

Below are some gentle and safe ways to bring the energy of “spring cleaning” into your life,

from the inside out…

  1. Rest the digestive system by eliminating solid food for a short time.  This is the time to consider homemade vegetable juices, broths, or carefully planned protein shakes to provide the extra nutrients that help your body eliminate toxins.  Leafy green veggies are particularly cleansing, especially those that are bitter such as dandelion, Endive, parsley, beet, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, bok choy, and arugula.  The advantage of making “greens” juices and shakes at home is that you have control over making sure it includes the highest quality ingredients.  After cleansing re-introduce a balanced healthy eating plan. Here is one of my favorite GREEN protein shake I have been drinking lately.
    • Combine 11/2 cups filtered water with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1/4 cup ice
    • Add the following
      • 1 scoop of pea protein powder (I like SunWarrior Plus or Designs by Health Pea Protein)
      • 1 1/2  cup local spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
      • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries or strawberries
      • 1/2 Tbsp. maca root powder
      • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed or chia seed
      • 1 Tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds
      • 1/3 avocado
    • Blend in Nutribullet, Ninja, or Blender! 
  2. ‘Water’ your body and entice it with herbal tea. Drinking water and tea are a perfect way to cleanse and hydrate the system.  Make sure you are drinking clean, filtered water.  Try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon to your water to stimulate the liver each morning.  Different herbal teas have different cleaning properties.  Some great examples are dandelion, burdock, ginger, licorice root, mint, fennel, and cardamom. I enjoy using fresh loose organic tea (vs. tea bag), however when I do use a tea bag one of my favorite brands is Traditional Medicinals.  Ginger tea with cardamom is my “go to” for good digestion and to curb cravings for sweets in the afternoon!  
  3. Reset your sleep time routine.  Research is clear, we cannot underestimate the benefits of a good nights sleep.  Not just a couple times a week but every night!  It is important to commit to a regular bedtime and wake time to help your body’s circadian rhythm. Not to mention, that critical quality 7-8 hours we all need to function at our best and avoid the side effects of a poor sleep pattern such as cravings for sweets, weight gain, lack of focus, fatigue, brain fog…(need I go on!).  Do you really think skimping on sleep is helping you get more done? If you do nothing else for your health this Spring…DO commit to a routine sleep patter! (oh, and think you “need an app for that”? Check this out as one option)
  4. Go ‘Green and Clean’ in Your Home. Often a major area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum based toxins than ever before.  (Especially if you are clean-freak like me. This was an area I had to really “clean up” a year ago). Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. (For some more than others). Health food stores offer environmentally-friendly, all-natural products. Personally, I love using high-grade essential oils to make all my own cleaners, weed killer, and even bug spray (It really works and is less expensive!)
  5. Manage Your Stress & Breathe.  Think back over your day today.  Did you take any deep cleansing breaths? (If you were like me about 8 years ago…I honestly couldn’t think of a good time I actually breathed!) Just taking the time to breathe has been shown to enhance both physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; and help to overcome stress, boost energy, focus your mind, improve sleep, and foster greater peace.  Stress itself can wreak havoc on problems such as IBS, bloating, heartburn, headaches, and more.  Furthermore, it can contribute to chronic inflammation.
    • Take time to breathe deep each day.  One of my favorite breathing exercises is called “flapping your wings”! (I can’t remember where I learned this!).  Here is how it is done:
      • Sit up straight and relaxed in your chair. Close your eyes,  take a deep breath and let your shoulders relax, and hang your arms at your sides.  Close your mouth gently and bring your tongue to the roof of your mouth.  (When I do this, I visualize shutting out the world).  Through your nose, breathe in deeply for 4-6 counts as you slowly raise your arms to your sides and up to the sky.  Next very slowly lower your arms as you breathe out through your mouth for 4-6 counts.  Repeat this 3-4 times.  Do you feel refreshed?!  
    • Looking for a book to help you breathe and manage stress?  Check out The Healing Power of the Breath by Richard Brown

Following a detox program suited to your personal needs supports the body’s natural cleansing process and boosts your health in many ways:

  • Allows digestive organs to rest
  • Stimulates the liver to process toxins more efficiently
  • Promotes movement of bowels
  • Improves circulation
  • Restores vital nutrients and energy to the body
  • Provides clarity of thought and refreshment to the soul

What is YOUR Plan this Spring to have a gentle “Spring Cleaning”?  You maybe looking for a comprehensive plan or intend to focus on one of the areas listed above.  I would love to learn about your plans and support and guide you along your journey.

Cheers to an AMAZING SPRING ahead!

Julie

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