Spring is almost here. It is the perfect time to do a detox, particularly after we’ve been breathing in poor indoor air quality, had less sunlight, and perhaps gotten less activity than usual. Detoxifying is the antidote and can spell increased energy, fewer allergy symptoms, reduced hormonal imbalances, improved digestion, clearer sinuses, normalized blood pressure, fewer moods swings, sharper mental ability, improved sleep, healthier skin and much more. Here are 11 tips to get you started on a healing spring cleanse:
1. Cut back or eliminate meat and dairy products at least for a while to give your body a break. Meat is highly acid-forming in your body, can be a strain on the kidneys and intestines (low water, no fiber and requiring plenty of energy to digest) and dairy is mucus-forming and many people lack sufficient enzymes to properly digest it. Discover how to make dairy-free yogurt here.
2. Don’t eat it if you can’t read it. Read labels on the healthy food selections you choose. Most of the harmful preservatives, synthetic flavors, and other artificial ingredients have long, complex names. If you find ingredients that you can’t read or pronounce don’t buy it and definitely don’t eat it. Choose fresh foods that come in Nature’s packaging: fruit and veggies.
3. Take out the trash…from your diet, that is. I probably don’t have to tell you what constitutes “trash:” fried and sugary foods, and the 3 Ps: processed, prepared and packaged food since they tend to be full of trans fats, sugar and food additives.
4. Veg it up. Make at least 70% of every meal vegetables. That’s easier to do than you think: enjoy a fresh vegetable juice, a large green salad or a plate of steamed, roasted or stir-fried veggies.
5. Simplify your meals. Smaller, simpler meals eaten more frequently throughout the day not only help ease the burden on your digestive system, they also balance blood sugar levels. Unstable blood sugar levels are linked to weight gain and mood and energy fluctuations.
6. Use herbs to give your body a boost. Milk thistle is a proven liver-regenerator and detoxifier, dandelion and uva ursi are well-established kidney-restoring herbs, sea buckthorn extract powder helps heal the lungs and flaxseeds help eliminate toxic material from the intestines. Follow package instructions for the herbs you choose.
Next page: discover a soothing and healing detox bath…7. Enjoy a hot bath. On its own it is relaxing but to boost the cleansing effects, just add a cup of Epsom salts or baking soda. Both alkalize the water to help neutralize acidic toxins. Epsom salts help your body to absorb magnesium–a mineral some experts estimate is deficient in 80 percent of people. Magnesium neutralizes acidic toxins, relaxes muscles and is required by hundreds of functions. Relax for 20 minutes or more.
8. Drink plenty of pure water daily to flush out toxins. For a really great detoxifying drink, add the fresh juice of one lemon to a large glass of water first thing in the morning and drink it either warm or room temperature. Lemons help alkalize your body chemistry, contain more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and help cleanse your liver, kidneys and colon.
9. Add 1/2 cup of cooked legumes (beans) to your diet daily to boost your fiber and nutrient intake and balance your blood sugar levels-one of the keys to balanced energy and weight.
10. Have a snack attack. Snacking throughout the day helps with weight loss, energy and balancing moods. Just make healthy choices. Here are some quick and simple ideas: a handful of raw, unsalted almonds, almond butter on celery sticks, nori rolls with avocado (vegetarian sushi), a veggie and sprout wrap, a berry smoothie with rice or almond milk.
11. Get your blood pumping. Exercise improves circulation, which brings fresh, oxygenated blood to your organs and tissues, thereby revitalizing them…and you.
Simple daily changes to your diet and lifestyle can add up to major health improvements, more energy, balanced moods, and an overall feeling of wellbeing.