Each spring, many of us clean our houses, open windows and let in fresh air. While those actions offer many benefits, spring cleaning your body is even more important. In fact, you may discover that “spring cleaning” your body offers similar benefits to cleaning your house … and much more!
Both involve getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. Both make you feel more alive and vibrant when they are completed. And both result in improved appearances.
As you undergo a spring cleanse, you may lose weight, improve the health of all of your bodily systems, and experience a boost in your mood.
Our Heavy Winter Diets
During the winter months, most of us enjoy heavier, fattier foods than we do the rest of the year. There are good reasons for this.
Rich foods, such as thick stews and creamy soups, provide us with the fuel needed to keep our bodies warm during the winter. Active people in cold climates require a high amount of calories when working outside in order to prevent hypothermia.
We also tend to eat more sweets during the winter months. Some of that is due to winter holidays, but often it is because we seek comfort foods during long, dark days. Who doesn’t enjoy the smell of a fresh baked loaf of bread or a plate of pancakes dripping with maple syrup on a frigid winter morning?
Nutrition for a Spring Cleanse
Now that spring is coming, it’s time to lighten up. Instead of thick soups, enjoy delicate broths made with the first spring greens. Try a soup made with early peas, baby carrots and greens in a light vegetable broth, instead of split pea with ham.
Pretty soon, greens of all types will be available. Wild creasy greens, mustard tops, and tender young dandelion greens can be made into a wide array of tasty meals.
Try stir-frying fresh greens with wild leeks and mushrooms. When the vegetables are tender crisp, sprinkle them with a bit of lemon, herbs and feta cheese for a delicious, fast, vitamin-packed meal. You may eat them as-is, or serve the vegetables with a lean protein and a grain.
Be sure to drink plenty of fresh water each day. Green and herbal teas are lighter than beer, cocoa and coffee. The teas are great sources of trace vitamins and minerals, as well.
Herbs for a Spring Cleanse
The best herbs for a spring cleanse are the wild greens.
Carefully pick young, tender nettles. Use them as you would any cooked green. You can even pickle nettle leaves. Dry them for tea. Nettles are among the most vitamin- and mineral-rich herbs available.
Dandelion greens support the health of your kidneys. Dig up a few of the roots, too, and you will support the health of your liver and skin. By consuming dandelion leaves and roots, you will improve the elimination processes of your entire body. Your skin will look and feel better, your digestive tract will function optimally, and your entire level of wellness will be enhanced.
Other excellent wild greens to include in a spring cleanse include plantain, cleavers, chickweed and gill over the ground, which is sometimes called Creeping Charlie.
How to Perform a Spring Cleanse
I recommend that you undergo a week-long spring cleanse annually. For three days, eat fresh, light, simple meals which take advantage of early wild and store-bought vegetables and fruits. Protein may be obtained from plants or from light animal-based products. Fresh trout and eggs from free-range chickens are preferable to meat. Eat plenty of salads dressed with simple citrus dressings.
Add a bit of citrus peel right to the dressing. Citrus peels deactivate toxins which may have accumulated in your body over the winter.
Drink herbal teas at least four times daily. Lemongrass, rosehip, hibiscus and mint teas are all light and flavorful. For an added boost, combine them with some of the “green” herbs, such as nettle and dandelion leaf.
After the initial three days of your fast, drink as much of the herb teas that you desire for the next three days. Eat a large salad for lunch and dinner each day. You may have a large bowl of fruit for breakfast and one piece of fruit midafternoon, and at bedtime. Drink burdock or dandelion root tea daily.
On the seventh day, resume the same types of meals that you ate during the first three days of your fast.
Be sure to enjoy light exercise outside each day during your cleanse. Check with a health care expert prior to undergoing a cleanse if you have underlying health concerns.
Pay special attention to your skin. You may want to employ the use of a dry brush or loofa to support cleansing. Do not use heavy lotions on your skin. Instead, apply a light coating of a natural oil, such as grape seed or sesame oil to your skin and hair, prior to bathing.
Take time out of each day to relax your mind.
After your cleanse, you will feel refreshed and lighter. Your thinking will be clearer and your skin will glow. And you will be ready for spring!
Do you have any “spring cleanse” tips? Share them in the section below: