most often when we think of detoxing, we think it should happen in january after the holidays which are usually filled with excess. but practitioners of traditional ayurvedic and chinese medicine believe the time to cleanse is in the spring. it is during this time that the energies of the body and our environment come together in a way to promote cleansing the body and mind. when the weather starts to get warmer, our bodies prefer lighter fare like salads and fruit. so many veggies and fruit with all of their nutrients are coming into season and accessible to us. naturally our bodies take in more toxins during the winter months. partly to put a little bit of fat on to keep us warm and also because we are not as active due to the colder weather. we are stressed out and busy trying to deal with work and then add in the holidays. then comes spring.... spring is a time of great change, release, and renewal.
there are many different ways to cleanse/detox your body. some people fast. some people cut certain items out of their diet for a period of time. some people take supplements.
although i cannot tell you what is right for your body, i can tell you what i do, give some knowledge i've learned along the way and maybe something will inspire you. keep in mind i have been doing this for a number of years and so mine is pretty intense. don't let that overwhelm you, but rather think if there is one thing you can take away from this email and implement into your plan should you choose to cleanse in any way. then next year, maybe you can take out that one thing again and add another thing. before you know it you will be on the path to a body free of toxins (at least for a bit!)
this past saturday i started my cleanse.
the first part of my cleanse is my diet.
it is pretty intense, but once started it actually is easier than i thought it would be the first time i tried. i have cut out 5 things from my diet. and i choose to remove them for 30 days. (you can do yours for a shorter period if that seems overwhelming.)
1) no refined sugar (diabetes, cancer, add & adhd, upsets mineral relationships in the body, rots teeth, fatty tissue development....and the list goes on and on and on.... sugar is absolutely terrible for your system. no ifs, ands, or buts about it. if your curious look it up in books or online. the information is readily available.)
2) no white flour (it turns into simple sugar in your system and has the same effects as refined sugar. note: you can still eat items made with whole grain flours. just not enriched white flour from which they strip all nutritional value and then try to add it back in.)
3) no caffeine (excessive caffeine intake can lead to a fast heart rate, excessive urination, restlessness, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping.)
4) no dairy (they are feeding our cows hormones and corn which they should never consume. the cows have toxins they pass on to us. and even if all of your dairy products are organic, try taking it out of your diet for a bit as it is produces excess mucous even in those not sensitive or allergic. try it and then add it back in for yourself to see if it has an affect on you.)
5) no soy (i just added this to my cleanse this year. there is much controversy around and about soy. the one thing i know is that everything should be consumed in moderation and that is nearly impossible with soy these days. learn the MANY names of soy products and start reading labels. you will be surprised at how much soy is in our processed food these days. just try to buy a can of tuna without it!!! it's cheap and grown in excess in the united states and so they are using it as a filler in many items.)
hold on a second - what can i eat....
fresh fruits and vegetables
the idea is that when the quality of the food coming into your body is of high quality the cells begins to discard the garbage that is clogging them up to make room for the superior materials which it uses to make new and healthier tissue. a vast majority of processed foods are NOT high quality. most veggies and fruits at the conventional supermarket have pesticides on them. when we cook with butter we add unneeded fat. etc... so taking time to take one or all of these items out of your diet allows the body to get rid of the extra toxins. then slowly introduce them back in and see how your body reacts. you may be surprised. i didn't think dairy affected my body much, but after not having any for 1 month and then adding it back in, i could see just how it affects my system. don't get me wrong - i am from wisconsin and i will never give up cheese completely, but as with all of the "bad" foods, i try to limit my intake and have times where i have none so that my system can detox and i can start over again.
the second part of my cleanse is exercise.
start getting active again. it's natural to loose momentum in the winter. and don't be so hard on yourself for not following through with the new program in january when you made your new year's resolution. but do act now when the bodies rhythms are in tune to getting active and try to burn off that winter layer.
exercise we can improve your mood. when you exercise you burn calories and therefore can manage your weight better. it can help boost your energy levels. and if you do some cardio during the week and work up a sweat, guess what?! you are removing some of the toxins from your system.
i have committed to doing at least some form of physical activity every day for at least 30 minutes. it doesn't all have to be at the same time. if it can be, that's great, but there are little things i can add into my routine so i still get exercise. whenever i take the train i take the stairs and not take escalators or elevators. i can walk to the train stop. i can get up and walk to the office down the hall to ask a question rather than send an email. i can get up at lunch and walk around the neighborhood for 15 minutes and then still have 45 minutes to eat lunch. i find little ways to fit it in and i notice a huge difference in my body and my mind. i asked my husband to go on a walk with me the other evening and we both felt more refreshed and peaceful than before we left. we had a lovely supper (which tastes better after exercise i swear) and i even slept great that night.
PHEW! this is a big one and probably seems overwhelming if you have never cleansed/detoxed before. please, don't let it scare you. break it down. as i said earlier, i have been working towards this for years and so my cleanses have grown every year. maybe for you it is to take out all refined sugar for a week. try it. the sugar will always be there for you to go back to, but maybe, just maybe you will find you feel better without it and so start eating less. that's what happened for me. over many many years i have slowly introduced healthy things and slowly reduced the bad ones.
two more tidbits of advice if you decide to cleanse - don't focus on what you take out. focus on what you can keep in. when i take out refined sugar - dates are my best friend. when i can't eat fried foods, roasted salted nuts may be a small treat i can give myself that's not as bad for me as french fries. so much of this is in how you look at it. always have healthy snacks in your purse, bag, glove box, etc.... so you always have something at hand should you need it. let's face it - there is really nothing healthy at 7-eleven or a fast food joint. but if you have something on hand, you won't have to stop.
as i sign off, i wish myself and you all good luck and happy & healthy meals. which lead to a happy & healthy you.
Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength