Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Spring is the perfect time to cleanse for overall health and wellbeing! According to traditional Chinese medicine, Spring is when your liver is particularly activated. When this organ functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly.
If you pay attention to your nutrition and exercise habits, your skin will benefit (and glow, too). Nature makes it look smooth and easy to transition, but for us humans, it’s not as easy to transition gracefully from one season to the next—especially from winter to spring.
Here are some tips to support your body and mind and ease you into the season of new growth and beginnings.
This is done by consuming juices of fruits and vegetables and/or water only for a fixed period of time. We live in a toxic environment and our bodies are overwhelmed and bombarded by toxins everyday. A cleanse is the perfect way to detoxify the body. (If this is your first time embarking on a cleanse please consult a professional first.)
This has been used throughout history for many reasons: it’s an instinctive response to many illnesses, colds, the flu and intestinal problems. (Animals do this often.) This has also been employed for greater religious and spiritual awareness.
3. Juice fast.
Juicing, is the key to radiant skin and health. Also referred to as "cellular cleansing," juicing is preparing and drinking fruit and vegetable juices. A juice fast is great way to nurture your body, rebuild your immune system and restore yourself to a healthy way of living. Raw fruit and vegetable juice contains many cleansing elements such as minerals, vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants to heal and detoxify the body safely.
Little energy is used by your digestive system during the cleanse, allowing the body to focus on rebuilding, renewing, and healing. You might be surprised by how much energy you have. The many health benefits of juicing far exceed those of eating solid fruits and vegetables.
At the most basic level, juicing gives us the opportunity to add far more vegetables to our daily diet. Juicing allows us to up the amount of raw food we consume which gives the body energy and boosts the immune system and the body’s cleansing process. Green juices contain lots of chlorophyll which is significantly effective in detoxifying our bodies. Chlorophyll can help make our bodies strong by detoxifying the liver. This detoxification will purify and help to rebuild our blood cells, remove mold, parasites and toxins from the body.
4. Eat whole foods.
Time to lighten up, eat simple, natural foods that are close to the source. The simpler, less processed food we eat, the better for us. Eat foods that are grown seasonally and locally.They have the most vital energy, nutrients, and vitamins. After months of eating hearty, warming food it’s time to start eating sprouts, fresh greens, pungent herbs, to get the energy flowing.
5. Eat & drink your greens.
Consider drinking a daily green smoothie or eating more greens, including dandelion, parsley, kale and chard, endive, spinach, escarole, collards, red or green mustard greens or watercress which are all cleansing for your liver and gall bladder. (Note: Avoid dandelion if you suffer from seasonal allergies.) Steaming beet greens is also detoxifying and great for digestion. Chlorophyll-rich leafy greens have the new, active, ascending nature of spring within them to help detoxify and de-stagnate our bodies in this season of renewal. On an emotional level, dark green leafy vegetables have both a grounding quality and a “releasing” property—calming an edgy-irritable system and helping us let go of sluggish, stuck, negative energy.
6. Take your probiotics.
Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, tempeh are also good to introduce into the diet. They add important probiotics to aid digestion and reduce inflammation.
7. Eat foods to aid seasonal allergies.
Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. Apples, contain the flavonoid quercetin that can cross-react with tree pollen. It also decreases inflammation. Omega-3s essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation of the air passages. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and wold salmon and sardines. Bee Pollen, rich in proteins, enzymes and many vitamins is used for stress, allergies, fatigue, building the immune system and other conditions and has an antimicrobial effect in the body. Note: If you suspect that you have an allergy to bee pollen, try a very small amount first and watch for any reactions.
8. Exercise & sweat.
Step up you exercise routine and sweat regularly to help with liver detoxification. One idea: Yoga poses that combine twists literally “squeeze and soak” the abdominal organs. Yoga twists are the most important poses to aid the body in detoxification. Twists stimulate digestion and facilitate the elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. Circulation of blood and of lymph is also promoted. The abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen. Twists have a cleansing, refreshing effect on the abdominal organs and the associated glands.
9. Consider colon hydrotherapy.
Colonics are performed to remove accumulated waste from the colon. Proponents of colon hydrotherapy believe that fecal matter can accumulate and harden in the colon. This buildup of fecal matter may prevent the absorption of water and nutrients, lead to constipation, allow harmful colon bacteria and yeast to grow. Lack of fiber, excess sugar, and a diet high in red meat can contribute to the problem. Many health professionals are divided over the use of colonics and the majority of conventional health practitioners do not feel colonics can improve overall health. I’ve listed this because I believe for some it can be very useful.
10. Spring clean your skin.
You’ve cleaned up your diet now for your skin. If you are experiencing rashes and unusual breakouts spring may be the culprit or your chemical laden products. Sensitive and reactive skin is generally caused by dietary and mental stress, as well as irritating ingredients. Treating starts with using non-irritating ingredients, a combination of gentle stimulants, antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories. Remove harmful additives and artificial ingredients from your skincare products to ensure you’re avoiding the consumption of disease breeding toxins. All of the aforementioned tips and guidelines will aid and improve the skin in staying healthy with the changes in season. This is also a great opportunity to transition your skincare regimen and get in for a seasonal facial with a professional.