A holistic guide to spring cleansing. Spring is a time of renewal and growth, it is also the perfect season to undergo a gentle natural detox and eliminate any toxins that can build up over the winter months to bloom in time for summer.
The body does a great job of detoxing on its own, but you can give it an extra boost by taking the load off the organs that detoxify the body such the liver, kidneys, bowel, lungs, lymph and skin by supporting and improving their function.
Cleanse the holistic way
Start by marking a week in your diary where you have no functions or events that might sabotage your detox. Some people may experience a detox healing crisis or Herxheimer reaction in the first few days of a detox which may include headaches, cold and flu like symptoms, skin eruptions and or heightened emotions. The reasons is that the body’s elimination pathways become overwhelmed by the large amount of toxins being released, this puts extra pressure on the remaining detoxification organs causing a reaction. In some cases, there may be bacteria or yeast feeding on sugars in the diet which start to die when they are deprived of their preferred food source releasing toxins into the bloodstream.
Foods to avoid during the week
- Milk products (except for unsweetened yoghurt or kefir)
- Sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners
- Grains such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and rice
- Dried fruit
- Processes meat
- Processed oils (corn, soybean, canola, safflower and sunflower oils)
- Process foods (they contain many preservatives that are hard to digest and wear out the body’s energy and digestion cycle increasing inflammation)
Foods to eat during the week
- Kick start your digestion first thing in the morning by consuming 1/2 lemon juice in a cup of hot water before breakfast.
- Eat plenty of organic fresh vegetables.
- Include protein – Fish, lean chicken (without the skin), organic free rang eggs. Protein is an essential nutrient to help your body recover, repair and detox effectively. Increasing protein can also help support stress levels by stabilising blood sugar levels reducing mood swings and support proper hormone production.
- Use healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil – rich antioxidant vitamin E & A and coconut oil which contains many help benefits including anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Herbal teas – Swap your daily coffee for Matcha green tea. Matcha green tea contains a third of the caffeine compared to coffee. Due to the presence of the L-theanine, the caffeine is stored in the body and released at a much slower rate, this enables to keep the body energized for a longer. Drink plenty of cleansing teas to help support the detoxification process such as dandelion root, nettle, calendula, burdock and red clover.
- Increase water -Aim to drink two – three litres of fluids per day. This will help move the lymph and support kidney detoxification.
Exercise can kickstart the natural detox process as we work up a sweat, it also increases blood flow promoting better circulation. Avoid long training sessions during your detox it can leave you feeling faint, instead switch to a 30 minute brisk walk.
Stimulate the lymph system by dry body brushing – Using a natural fibre body brush, begin brushing by starting at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions toward your heart. Always brush toward your heart (natural lymph flow). Avoid sensitive areas like your neck and face. Once you’ve brushed your entire body, jump in the shower. (I like to alternate between the hot and cold water temperature this stimulates blood circulation).
Detox the mind and reduce stress – Chronic, long term stress is incredibly damaging to your health. When stress activates the “flight or fight” response in your central nervous system digestion can shut down as energy is diverted away from the gut, and immune function is slowed which can expose the gut to infection and inflammation. To help reduce stress place hands palm down on your lower belly, breathe in through your nose, counting slowly to 3 or 4 counts. Feel your tummy rise with the breath, breathe out just as slowly, allowing the belly to drop. Repeat 10 times.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude – Toxic relationships could also be preventing you from achieving a peaceful mind so choose to surround yourself with positive people. According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of a day and why the events made them happy lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.
Beauty products – Our skin is highly permeable, 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. More than 10,000 chemical ingredients are permitted to be used in the production of personal care products and many of these chemicals have been scientifically linked to immune system disorders, allergies, cancer and infertility. Look for beauty care products completely free from synthetic chemicals and harmful ingredients. Some of my favourite brands include – Australian Bush flower essence skin and body care, Divine, Mukti, Zuii, Inika
Home cleaning products – The chemicals in our home cleaning products have also been linked to a range of disorders, from endocrine disruption to cancer. Almost all of your chemically laden home cleaning products can be replaced by: bi carb soda, white vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils.
Homemade all-purpose cleaner
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp baking soda
10 drops tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil (for their disinfectant properties)
Mix vinegar, essential oils and a little water before adding baking soda in a spray bottle (glass is best). Then fill to top with water. I use about a 12 oz bottle. Gently shake to mix ingredients, and then spray & wipe with a cloth.
Please note: Always consult your health practitioner before commencing a detox program particularly especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
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