Spring Cleaning Your Body
I love Spring. For me, it means new beginnings and fresh starts. I want to “spring clean” everything, get rid of anything old and unused (clutter that has accumulated over the winter), out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new are my thoughts; ready to spring forward.
This is easy to do with my house, but not so easy with my body. I can’t just take body parts to the Goodwill nor can I use my vinegar/baking soda mixture and scrub my body shiny clean.
After a long season indoors I feel my body can use some “spring cleaning”. As spring appears I’m ready for a change, inside and out.
Are you In Need Of A Detox?
Personally, Springtime is a very happy time. But what about those who feel worse with allergies, nasal stuffiness, skin irritations and low energy, or bloated and weight-gain from sitting and eating foods that are wrong for them?
Shorts season is just around the corner and many are thinking “DETOX”,” Lose Weight and fit into that swimsuit!”
As such, most run into the health food store, grab a box of colon cleanse and think they are detoxing. Yes, the colon is an important channel of elimination but there is so much more.
Elson Haas, MD has an excellent book Staying Healthy with Nutrition and in this book she says:
“Detoxification is the process of clearing toxins from the body or neutralizing or transforming them, as well as clearing excess mucus and congestion”. “Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce intake of toxins and improve elimination”. ~ Elson Haas, MD
Is Your Gut Healthy?
Gut issues are not just limited to indigestion, IBS and heartburn. In fact, many of today’s most common physical and emotional ailments start with improper gut health.
When people come to me at Thrive Nutrition, with those issues or with allergies, eczema, asthma or bloating, I start the process with what they are eating and how are they digesting.
I strongly feel that our health begins in the gut because 70-80% of our immune system is located in our intestinal tract. We aren’t just born with allergies or skin issues but we can be born with or develop a dysfunctional gut.
In fact, here are just a few more symptoms that are often caused by poor digestion and gut issues:
- Thyroid conditions
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to do an easy “spring cleaning” detox.
13 Simple Spring Cleaning Detox Tips:
If Spring is a challenge for you or you feel you would like to improve your seasonal health, here are some “Spring Cleaning Detox Tips” to get you started:
- What are you using on your body? Eliminate topical lotions and creams that contain chemicals such as Parabens, methyl, ethyl, proplya and butyparaben. Propylene Glycol, PEG, Sodiumlaurel Sulfate and DEA. These chemicals can accumulate in the body and be a source of ongoing toxicity. “Because our ancestors did not live with these chemicals we don’t have the enzymes needed to break down or eliminate them,” (Haas’ Staying Healthy with Nutrition).
- If you have not yet done so, make the switch to local organic produce and organic grass-fed and pastured-raised meats.
- Eat with the season. Spring brings us some wonderful greens, lettuce, peas, artichokes, broccoli, and asparagus. Artichokes and asparagus have potent diuretic properties and help to regulate the kidneys. Dandelion and artichokes are natural bile thinners and thin bile is needed to help transport toxins from the liver and out of the body.
- Eliminate plastic, both from foods and drinks. The chemicals found in plastics, such as bisphenol A (BPA), are released into food and water when exposed to heat. Such compounds have the ability to bind to estrogen receptors in the cells (mimic estrogen).” This disrupts the normal hormonal balance in both men and women and may increase the risk of cancers “(Peter Bennett, ND and Stephen Barrie, ND’s 7-Day Detox Miracle).
- Make sure the water you drink is filtered. Eliminate soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks, and caffeine.
- Try a Food Elimination Diet, especially if you tend to eat the same foods daily. Start by eliminating all Dairy, Gluten, Corn, Soy, Eggs, Sugars, Nuts and Seeds. If you have IBS also try eliminating Beans and Legumes. If you need to take a few weeks to do the elimination that’s fine, some will get the “carb-flu”. They experience flu-like symptoms from giving up wheat/gluten. Dairy is another that can give “withdrawal symptoms”. If possible, go one month then start to add back in the foods you took out, one at a time. Watch your symptoms, particularly any bloating, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain, moodiness etc. Or, you may feel so good without the eliminated foods that you may want to continue eating that way.
- Try adding some digestive enzymes with each meal. Specifically HCL (hydrochloric acid) with meals for protein digestion. Also, or prior to meals, drink 1-2 T. of Apple Cider Vinegar in a small amount of water. For more information, see my blog on My Favorite Drink. Try Pancreatic enzymes to help breakdown carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the small intestine, and bile salts to help thin the bile for better fat digestion. These are helpful, particularly if you find yourself bloated after meals.
- Add Probiotics to your daily routine along with fermented foods such as Sauerkraut.
- Before you shower, take a natural bristle brush and dry brush your skin. Your strokes should be short and brisk, always brushing towards the heart. Don’t forget the soles of your feet. Dry brushing increases blood and lymphatic circulation, removes dead skin cells, and rids the body of toxins.
- Get out in nature. Walk, breath, sweat to release toxins.
- Get a massage. A deep tissue or Lymphatic massage will get toxins moving. Make sure your elimination is working (poop), however, if sluggish or plugged-up, get a colonic or an enema.
- Infared Saunas are a great way to release toxins, just start slowly at first. In Ayurvedic medicine, sweating therapy is a main method of detoxification. “Our skin acts like a second kidney, it has 11,000 square feet of surface area and our sweat is made up of the fluids from the blood and lymph. When we sweat, some of the poisons these fluids contain are excreted through the skin” (Bennett and Barrie’s 7-Day Detox Miracle).
- Last on my list, detoxing should include the mind. A negative, tension-filled mind does not support a healthy body. Pay attention to what you say to yourself and how you say it. The body never forgets. Go to my website for my blog post on emotions.
So look over this list and pick a place to start, your body will thank you.
In the meantime, what makes you happy in the spring?