Walk outside and the bright green shoots on the willows, the yellow clusters of daffodils, and the white foam of blossoms on the plum trees let us know that spring is definitely here. Bitter herbs and weeds, so valuable for good health, jump into life in the garden as the season unfolds, and the earliest berries and fruit trees are laden with buds.
Taking more cues from nature – fresh warm winds, lengthening days and abundant rainfall – we see that spring is a season of growth, cleansing and renewal. Our bodies move with these same cycles as we change from the relative quiet and nurturing embrace of winter to the expansive, rejuvenating energy of spring. It is a great time to cleanse our environments, both inside and out.
So, how can we help our bodies through this dynamic time? There are many ways to do this in a gentle, non-invasive way. By looking at our diet, how we exercise, using yoga and meditation, watching our stress levels, rest and self-care we can find ways to help our minds and bodies as we move in to spring. We suggest putting aside a month to work through these things, which could give you enough time to see some improvements. We hope the tips below will help you do just that.
What we eat or, more importantly, what we don’t eat, is an essential part of the cleansing process. When we eat processed and heavily modified foods our bodies respond with inflammation, sluggish digestion and the appearance of allergies. It is important to begin any cleansing process by cutting out all the processed and de-natured foods in our diet. (not just for spring, but all seasons!)
Once again, look to nature. Aim to eat fresh – there are plenty of young spring vegetables and herbs in the garden, and at the greengrocers, right now. Citrus fruit, especially lemons, are very cleansing and help to clean out the liver. Herbal teas and grain coffees are also good; caffeine is bad as it can increase blood pressure and stimulate the nervous system. And make sure to drink plenty of pure water each day.
Some foods are not suitable for the light touch of a spring cleanse, so we suggest going easy on red meat, factory-farmed chicken and fish, and the nightshade plants like potatoes, tomatoes and capsicums. Source as much organic fresh and raw food as possible, and eat local, seasonal foods so that you get all the natural enzymes appropriate to the time of year. Fermented foods like kombucha, kefir and miso help restore a healthy gut environment, which will help your body to absorb the nutrients from these beautiful foods.
Did you know you can rest your digestive system as well as your body? An easy way to do this is to take a 12-hour fast each day by not eating between dinner and breakfast – it sounds simple, and it is. This gives our bodies time to rest and cleanse naturally – a kind of mini-cleanse every night. Begin the new day with a glass of warm water, on its own or with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar added, then take some time before ‘breaking your fast’ with a healthy breakfast. Your liver will love you.
But spring cleansing is not all about what we eat. As the days warm it’s much easier to get off the couch and get out to exercise. Shake out the yoga mat, get out the gardening tools and make time for some energetic walking, cycling or running. Swimming is a great way to increase circulation and get your joints working well. Exercise helps with good cardio health, a strong musculo-skeletal system, weight management and a happy mind. It produces endorphins so will give you that feel-good factor for the rest of the day.
And did you now that stress is one of the most damaging things we can expose our bodies to? It's important to minimise the stress in our busy lives, and by doing this we will help our bodies to cleanse more effectively too. Gentle exercise, yoga, meditation, gardening, resting and walks along the beach are all great antidotes to stress.
Out in the garden spring is the time to get planting – we can grow fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables so we have our own supply of organic food all year round. If you live in a small space plant in pots and containers on the balcony or even the windowsill. Micro-greens, herbs and small vegetables grow well in these spaces. Having your own garden achieves the goals of healthy food and easy exercise at the same time.
And then there’s our skin. It’s the biggest excretory organ in our body, so plays a major part in our spring cleanse. Make a simple body scrub from luscious ingredients like coconut oil, avocado, brown sugar, sea salt, honey or ground almonds then use it to slough off old winter skin tissue and tone your skin for summer. Apple cider vinegar makes a great skin toner when mixed with water, and rich plant based oils like coconut, olive and argan moisturise your skin back to a radiant glow.
By combining all these feel-good elements of springtime – delicious fresh foods and herbs, regular exercise, exfoliating skin care, some relaxation and time outside – we can reconnect with the natural rhythms of the season and our self. Let your spring cleanse jump-start you into a beautiful summer.
by Sue Farley
The BioBalance Herbal Detox Program is the perfect way to kick start your spring cleanse.
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