It’s official. Spring has sprung and we're all finally coming out of hiding. During the colder months, we tend to just curl up on the couch to avoid the elements. While this is super comfy, lack of movement can cause stagnation within the body that can lead to toxic buildup. If your systems are clogged, you may feel fatigued, achy, congested, etc. and you may have a thick coating on your tongue in the morning. (Yum, I know!)
This is why springtime is so handy. According to ancient Ayurvedic practice, Spring is the best time of year to detox and reset. As the weather warms, shedding the excess kapha dosha, or protective fluid, is a crucial part of the transformation. This is the ideal time to clear out those heavy, winter foods and toxins that accumulated over the past few months.
The detoxing process allows us to feel lighter and more vibrant as we hit the outdoors again. For a successful detox, follow these steps.
1. Drink tons of water.
Start every day with a glass of room temperature water with lemon. This will help clean out the liver, prepare your system for digestion, and hydrate your body. Continue drinking lots of water throughout the day.
2. Focus on eating just three meals a day.
Include liver-supporting foods such as dandelion greens, raw garlic, grapefruit, avocado, beets, carrots, artichokes, etc. You can also add spices such as turmeric, cumin, cayenne and coriander as they assist with digestion and detoxing.
3. Avoid gluten, dairy, sugar and other processed foods.
These foods are hard to digest and will take the attention of your immune system and other systems needed for detoxing. Skip coffee and alcohol, too.
4. Eat a light and early dinner.
Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day. It can be some lightly cooked veggies or a small soup. And, I know it sounds like the early bird special, but try not to eat past 7-ish.
5. Get sweaty!
Now that jacket season is behind us, go outside and move. Walk, bike, dance, do yoga, run, or skip. You should also hit the sauna or take hot baths with Epsom salt. A good sweat is a great way to rid the body of toxins.
6. Breathe deeply.
Do some deep breathing exercises to detox the mind and lungs. Try breathing in for four seconds, holding for seven seconds and exhaling for eight. Repeat four times in the morning and four times at night.
7. Go to sleep early.
During a detox, it’s very important to get proper rest. Our body rests and repairs itself over night. So, it’s crucial to provide it with sufficient down time.
8. Create a detox timeline.
There’s no official length for a detox, so determine what will work for you. I recommend anywhere from 10 to 21 days, but feel free to ease into it if you're a newbie.