The sun is shining, birds are singing and flowers are blooming! Spring time brings with it the promise of re-birth and renewal. As the natural world reawakens and springs into life around you, it’s a great time to do some internal self-care, brush off your own cobwebs, push out accumulated junk from the winter and get yourself ready for the energy of summer.
Hard-core cleanses and detox programs are all the rage, but you don’t need to do something like a full blown juice cleanse or a supplement-heavy detox to encourage your body’s detoxification and elimination. I prefer a gentler approach to cleansing, as it is less likely to result in detox-reactions or aggravations of symptoms, that can leave you sluggish and achey.
As a 10-Day Spring Reset, I’ve put together a list of 6 simple practices for you to incorporate into your daily routine, to help to give your body and mind the post-winter tune up it needs. Commit to these practices for a full 10 days and see how good you will feel. You may even continue a few of them going forward!
1. Move every day
Commit to moving for at least 30 minutes a day. We can often find ourselves getting more sedentary during the winter months, and spring is a great time to get our movement levels back up again. This can be as simple as taking a brisk 30 minute walk. Just find any movement that you enjoy! For example, perhaps you enjoy dance, feel inclined to take an ashtanga yoga class, practice martial arts, or jump rope in your garden. Anything that gets you moving! Mix it up! Exercise improves overall wellbeing, as well as a plethora of health conditions, not to mention moves your blood and lymph, and gets you sweaty, all of which help with detoxification and elimination.
2. Eat clean
I have a few very simple “food rules” for this spring reset, so let me break it down.
Eat only whole foods (foods in their natural state that are not heavily processed) and eliminate all processed foods. This means that you will have to cook more at home, and plan your meals ahead of time. Make sure to have whole food snacks on hand for when you get hungry, to help you avoid reaching for processed snack bars/candy.
Eliminate all alcohol and added sugar, as well as any of your known food sensitivities. If you drink coffee, limit it to one cup a day.
Aim to eat at least 5-9 servings of vegetables every day. When picking out your vegetables for the day, try to eat as many colors as possible to get a wide spectrum of phytonutrients.
Eat 100% organic food for this 10 day reset, so that your body does not have the added burden of having to get deal with synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or synthetic hormones. Another added benefit of eating all organic foods, is that organic produce tends to have increased amounts of antioxidants, compared to conventionally grown produce.
3. support your liver with herbs
Herbs can be a fantastic way to support your liver to give your detoxification pathways an extra boost. One of my favorite ways to do this is with a liver-supportive tea. I particularly like drinking 1-3 cups a day of Alterative Tea by Wise Woman Herbals (available in my online dispensary, search SKU: WWH-4ATTE), for a little extra liver love. Another great way to use herbs to support liver function is to take them in supplement form. Two of my top picks are Liver Support by Vital Nutrients or Daily Liver Formula by Gaia Herbs (search SKU: VN-LIV or GAIP-90P11060 in my online dispensary). NOTE: Any time you incorporate herbs into you health care regime, be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure they are safe and a good fit for you. Both the tea and supplement mentioned here are contraindicated in pregnancy.
4. Drink enough water
Make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking enough water. Opt for filtered or spring water, to make sure it is free of contaminants. Making sure you’re drinking enough is especially important when you are taking liver supportive herbs, as you want to be sure that you are eliminating properly, and the kidneys/urinary tract are one of the primary organs of elimination. Additionally, optimal hydration is necessary for proper bowel function, another primary organ of elimination. Guidelines for determining optimal water intake can be found here.
5. Drink a daily green juice
Flood your body with nutrients by drinking a green juice (focus on the veggies here, and opt for very minimal fruit, or no fruit at all). You can pick up some organic cold pressed juice to have on hand, or juice your own organic vegetables at home. This is in addition to the 5-9 servings of vegetables. I often get asked by patients if vegetables can be replaced by juices, but I’m afraid that they cannot! Juicing takes all the fiber out of veggies (which we need to help avoid sugar spikes and also to feed a healthy microbiome), so you should think of the green juice as an added “nutrient-filled-power-boost-bonus!” to your daily vegetable intake.
6. Meditate daily (with bonus earthing option!)
Spend 15 minutes a day meditating. Meditation has a multitude of health benefits, including helping us re-connect with our attention to allow us to be more mindful, improving our ability to deal with stress, reducing pain and lowering inflammation (you can read about the benefits of meditation, as well as find some meditation resources, here). BONUS: You can increase the health benefits of your meditation practice by doing it in direct contact with the earth. Earthing (or grounding) is being in direct contact with the earth, and there is emerging research that indicates that the exchange of electrons while earthing can result in physiological changes such as reduced pain, lowered levels of inflammation, increased parasympathetic tone and better sleep. So why not increase the benefits of your meditation practice by meditating outside on your favorite tree stump or patch of grass?
You may need a few days to prepare yourself for this 10 day spring reset (especially to give yourself some time to get food shopping/prep done). Start when you are ready, and adapt it to your lifestyle and needs. Plan out how you will get it all in each day. For example, you can do your meditation and earthing in the morning, have your green juice with breakfast, take a 30 minute walk after dinner and wind down with liver supportive herbal tea in the evening. And of course, you’ll be eating clean and hydrating throughout the day. Find what works for you!
Happy Spring Cleansing!