Thinking of a Spring Cleanse?

A Spring Cleanse can make your eyes sparkle and your skin glow. Even better, it can boost your energy levels, improve digestion, aid sleep, and help you shed a few unwanted pounds.

Spring is the perfect time to start over. But what exactly do you want to accomplish? Are you feeling sluggish digestion? Perhaps you want to fit into that bikini? Maybe you’d like to flush toxins from your liver? Or just quiet your mind.

Anyone can do it 
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to go to a spa retreat for your cleanse. If your determination is strong, you can do it all at home on a shoestring.

Restart your life
In a sense the objective of a good detox plan is to start over. A cleanse takes the load off the organs that detoxify the body – the liver, kidneys, and intestines – while improving their functioning.  It may look like a fad diet – eliminating grains, no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy (and no fun). However a cleanse is a fast track to health, to give your body a break and start fresh. You’ll feel mental clarity, lighter and younger.

A cleanse is about self-love, self-care, and greens!
A good cleanse begins with a daily intention for gratitude and clarity. A detox diet includes lots of fresh, low glycemic vegetables, like kale, arugula, asparagus, artichoke hearts, chard, kale, fennel, scallions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and seaweed of all kinds. Fermented veggies help to re-populate the intestines with good bacteria. Green smoothies are a great way to start the day.

Skip the hard-to-digest foods
Eliminating meats, grains, eggs, dairy, processed foods, and sugars, will help your body purge those sticky toxins that line the gut. Although this is NOT a weight loss program, you may release some weight, since body fat stores more toxins than any other tissue.

Calm and support your liver
Cleansing herb teas like Milk thistle, Dandelion root, and Burdock root will nourish the liver. So does drinking lots of filtered water. Other possible elements of a cleanse include daily meditation, detox baths, and gentle movement, such as Qigong or Yoga. Lastly, just make sure you get 8 hours of sleep every night, because that’s when your body clears toxins and purifies you on the inside, so you can shine during the day.

Here are 3 sample cleanse programs for a simple, medium, and comprehensive plan. Which one is right for you?

Sample 7-day Cleanse Description:

  1. Choose a daily Intention or prayer for gratitude and clarity.
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
  3. Foods to Eliminate for 7 days:
    Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, caffeine, sugars, carbs such as flours, bread, crackers, white potatoes, white rice, Peanuts, GMO foods, Salty or processed foods, Fruit juices, as they are acidic and high in sugars. Any prepared or packaged foods with lots of ingredients should be eliminated.
  4. Foods to Eat in Abundance:
    Fresh, low glycemic vegetables, such as dandelion greens, watercress, arugula, asparagus, artichoke hearts, chard, kale, wheatgrass, lambs quarters, bamboo shoots, broccoli rabe, fennel, scallions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, sprouts of mung beans, peas, alfalfa and lentils.
    Seaweed: hiziki, wakame, spirulina, chlorella.
    Smoothies with berries and low sugar fruits, unsweetened protein powder, and greens such as spinach, arugula, cucumber, kale.
    Sour foods and drinks stimulate Liver Qi. Drink water with lemon. Dress salads with vinegar and olive oil.

A Medium 10-Day Cleanse might include these additional steps

  1. Detox herbs, such as Milk thistle, Dandelion root, Burdock root, Echinacea root, Wild yam root, Licorice root, Sassafras, Fresh Ginger root, Sea Buckhorn
  2. Hydration – check your water quality, and drink filtered water from a reverse osmosis or carbon filter system.
  3. Detox baths – such as Essential oils, Ginger, Vinegar, Baking Soda, or Sea Salt.

A Comprehensive 14-day cleanse might include these additional tools

  1. Meditation – Choose a meditation technique that you love. It can be simply quieting the mind with breathing, or another practice that you enjoy. Plan to spend at least 10 to 45 minutes every morning in meditation.
  2. Mental Re-patterning, Energy Clearing – Continue the daily intention in the simple 7-day cleanse. If you have a health practitioner or therapist that can help you with mental re-patterning, it can make your cleanse even more successful. They can help find and dissolve any mental or emotional blocks to wellness.
  3. Qigong or Yoga – Try to do 30 minutes of simple movement such as yoga or qigong every day of your program. It could be in your room, or at a class. These ancient movements help to loosen toxins so they can be released out of your body.
  4. A daily consultation or check-in with a health practitioner is highly beneficial. This really helps most people, because breaking old habits can be challenging. Many people do better with a helping hand and encouragement from a therapist or trusted friend. Even better, find a Detox Buddy to do the program with you. It’s more fun, and will help you get through those difficult moments when you need inspiration.

Peach-Smoothie

A green smoothie is a great way to start your detox day.

General Guidelines for a Successful Cleanse
Your cleanse should last no more than 14 days max. With so many nourishing foods eliminated, any longer than that may deplete or tire out your body. Eat light meals of portions slightly smaller than you’re used to. Try using a smaller size plate or saucer, as it helps the mind accept smaller portions. Since toxins are stored in fat, losing fat will enhance your cleanse. But DO NOT OVERDO IT! This is not about deprivation. If you eat too little, you’ll rob your body of nutrients, and you may lose the benefit. Your cleanse is all about self-love and being kind to yourself. There’s nothing extreme in it. Health is all about balance.

FEEL the Difference!
You might surprise yourself and find parts of your detox to be good motivators for lasting changes in your diet and lifestyle. Most people can feel the difference in their bodies and minds within just a few days. They often want to keep it up because they can feel the difference.

This is not a weight loss program. 
However you may shed a few pounds, since fat stores toxins. Oh, and dehydration is common during a detox. So make sure that you drink a lot of fluids.

Detox Expectations and Precautions
At first your mind may feel a little fuzzy because of the toxins being released and excreted. But soon you’ll notice a definite increase in mental clarity. Your skin will become radiant, and you’ll have profound deep sleep. You’ll have more energy and feel more alive.

Occasionally during a detox program, healing crises occur. Common temporary symptoms of detoxification include feeling lousy, headache, lightheadedness, diarrhea, cramps, bloating, body aches, fatigue, mood changes, and weakness. These symptoms are a combination of factors including the how toxins in the body are moving, low blood sugar, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, withdrawal from addictive foods, and changes in your daily routine.

If you feel any of these symptoms, usually the best approach is to continue with the detox. However, you may need to stop or alter the detox if you symptoms are distressing. Listen to your body and address your particular needs as you go along, such as more frequent snacks, larger, meals, increasing protein and healthy fats, working less, resting more, and less striving for goals. For more information about a comprehensive Spring cleanse you can do at home, visit Jane at FiveSeasonsMedicine.com.

“Your body is a Temple. Respect and honor your Temple- and it will honor you.” – SupaNova Slom

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