A cleanse is not a time of deprivation but an opportunity for space to reconnect with both body and mind and flourish. All that in addition to the fact that it is an evidence-based method of promoting good health.
March will see the arrival of the Spring Equinox and the start of renewed life energy. I can feel this resurgence beginning already with the longer hours of sunlight and the budding daffodils.
The equinox, the moment at which the sun moves directly above the equator, begins a natural energy shift that brings with it new life, new birth and the opportunity to rejuvenate our own biorhythms. Shedding off the darker and colder days of winter can make you feel physically and emotionally lighter, this is partly to do with the greater hours of daylight but also to do with our natural synergy with the seasons.
A spring cleanse can optimize this time, and is in my view a better time than the new year detoxes that have become so popular. Far from being a starvation diet, a spring cleanse is simply a way of lightening the load on the body and, albeit gentle, can be very deep, powerful and enjoyable. These are my foundation tips for a spring cleanse, which should last a minimum of 28 days to really reach a deep cleansing cellular level.
- Avoid the non-nourishing foods such as sugar, alcohol and white flour products. Replace with wholegrains (barley, wholegrain rice, wholemeal flour, quinoa, spelt) and natural sugars (local or manuka honey)
- Drink more filtered water, at least 8 glasses although not with meals (this dilutes the digestive juices). If you can, drink this water warm by using part boiled water and part cold water. This encourages the movement of the lymphatic system as well as promoting toxic build up in the skin, kidneys and gut.
- Start the day with a mug of hot water and the juice of half a lemon. This alkalizes the body (and therefore can break down toxic residue and ensuing inflammation) and motivates the metabolism into action for the day.
- Use a body brush before you step into the shower each morning. Use upward strokes until you get the level of your heart and downward strokes from the head down to your heart. Don’t scrub, just gently brush. This also gets the lymphatic system moving. If you like baths, you could run a bath with some Epsom or Himalayan pink bath salts to help draw out the impurities.
- Breakfast can be warm unsweetened stewed fruit with added spices such as ginger or cinnamon. Add some crushed linseeds and a drizzle of organic pouring yoghurt. If breakfast doesn’t take your fancy before work or the school run you could try whizzing up some crushed linseeds, a banana, some berries (frozen or fresh) and some almond or oat milk in a blender to take with you and sip during the morning.
- Begin simple juicing to boost the rejuvenation of the body. There is no need to buy an expensive juicer, you can simply add a gadget to your magi-mix if you have one or borrow one from a friend for a week. Alternatively there is now much better access to Juice Bars in shops such as Whole Foods that can meet your needs. Buy a book or use the internet for some recipes but beetroot, cabbage, celery, apple, pear, greens such as broccoli, spinach and chard have fabulous cleansing properties and are prolific at this time of year. As a general rule, as disgusting as it might look when throwing in all the veg, adding apple or pears to it will make it delicious. Aim to have a juice at least once per day.
- Aim for a rainbow of colour everyday, this can be easily achieved through juicing and soups. Tap into the spring energy by choosing seasonal veggies such as green leafy kale and celeriac which make great foundation stones for simple vegetable soups. See Eat The Seasons for info on what’s ‘in’ this season. Fruit or veg in the afternoon with a handful or nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds and almonds. Dinner could be some delicious roast vegetables, fish of your choice or organic poultry. See my recipes for some nourishing inspiration.
- Enjoy the outdoors and make sure you take long walks taking in fresh spring air and soak up the greater access to vitamin D rich sunshine.
- Maximise the benefits with a well chosen liver and digestive cleanse supplement programme such as our Total Cleanse Programme.