Springtime is just around the corner. Have you been thinking about doing some “Spring Cleaning”? Spring is a great time to clear out the clutter in the nooks and crannies of your living space. It is also an excellent time to clean out your inner space as well.
Periodic cleansing can restore and rejuvenate you, raise your spirits, and improve your health. Most of us have weathered a long difficult winter, and for many it is not over yet. Right now is not the optimal time to do a cleanse or detox.
Extreme or changing weather can weaken us, and in fact, do the opposite of what a cleanse is intended to do. It is a good time, however, to start getting prepared. A successful cleanse begins with a solid plan and a well-prepared body, mind, and environment.
There are many varieties of cleansing programs available with new ones coming out every year. You might wonder which one is right for you or if you even need a cleanse.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, a cleanse might be a good choice for you this spring:
- Have you been feeling more tired, sluggish, or fatigued lately?
- Do your muscles or joints ache?
- Are you experiencing gas, bloating, or constipation?
- Do you sometimes feel fuzzy headed or unable to concentrate?
- Are your sinuses and lungs congested? More than usual?
- How’s your mood? Have you been feeling melancholy or anxious?
Cleanses and detoxification programs come in all types. From simply avoiding junk food for a couple of weeks, or cutting out caffeine, soda or alcohol for a month or more, or avoiding gluten, dairy, and other known potential allergens, or to the extremes of a strict diet, herb and supplement regimen. All of these methods have value.
What you choose to do can be determined by a variety of factors. These include the strength of your current health, the amount of time and effort you have available to put into food prep, your schedule, and your ability to navigate anyobstacles. Consider your preferences, your skills in the kitchen, the support or lack of support you have from others and your actual level of motivation when choosing the type of cleanse.
Remember, what may work for someone else may not be right for you.
Tips to Prepare for a Springtime Cleanse That You can do Right Now
- Prepare your body: charge up your nutrition by adding vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and proteins. Gradually reduce some of the foods and beverages that you suspect are not serving you: excess caffeine, soda, alcohol, sugary foods, gluten, dairy, and overly processed food products.
- Prepare your mind: imagine how you will feel after accomplishing your goals; write down some positive affirmations that reflect your desired
- Prepare your environment: begin clearing out unhealthy foods from your pantry. Investigate alternatives to replace those items that you will be avoiding. Engage a nutrition consultant to help you with ideas and to create a plan. Gather the necessary tools to make following your plan easier.
- Prepare your plan: choose or create a suitable cleanse to follow, create shopping lists, a food and emotion journal, create space in your pantry and fridge for any specialized foods you will need. Create a schedule that includes regular mealtimes exercise, rest and self-care practices during your cleanse. Determine your time frame. Create a support system.
While cleansing your body, why not cleanse your mind as well? Limit or avoid screen time during your cleanse. Monitor what you read and listen to for content that is uplifting. Choose activities that support rather than interfere with your mental and physical health goals. Clean out a cupboard or closet or two!
Learn more about Susan Arthur and our other amazing instructors by visiting our faculty page.
Susan’s Easy Mineral Broth
This easy recipe for mineral broth is good during your prep period as it is nutritious and strengthening. It is also ideal during your cleanse as it supports digestion and detoxification while supporting bones, muscles and the immune system. In a large stock pot or crock pot include any of the following:
- Onions, garlic, spring onions and spring garlic use green stalks as well leeks, scallions, chives – the allium family provide organic sulfur compounds that are protective and supportive to the liver, and are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.
- Cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard and mustard greens, turnips and rutabaga, kohlrabi, etc. – also contain liver supportive organosulfur and phytonutrients that are protective and supportive of liver detoxification.
- Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes orange and yellow squash, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers – high in carotenes which convert to vitamin A in the body, an important antioxidant that is protective against toxins and good for skin, eyes and lungs. Carotenes are not lost by cooking.
- Beets; roots and greens – minerals, antioxidants, supports blood flow through the body which helps with lowering blood pressure, supports heart and brain, supports digestion and so much more!
- Celery; stalks, leaves and root – high in potassium (low sodium) and other minerals, also contains antioxidants, reduces inflammation and supports digestion.
- Seaweed; wakame, kombu, hijiki, kelp, dulse – excellent source of minerals, antioxidants and thyroid supporting nutrients, good for digestion, blood sugar and appetite.
- Flaxseed, chia seeds, sesame seeds – good mineral sources, flax and chia high in omega 3 fatty acids.
- Fresh and dried herbs and spices – we call these booster foods as, in addition to providing more flavor, they are high in many nutrients including protective antioxidants and minerals.
- Cover with filtered water bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 4 to 8 hours, topping up with water as it reduces.
- Cool and strain retaining only the broth.
NOTE: Lasts for at least a week in the fridge. Freeze some for future use.
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