Although people often think of January as the month to detox, Spring is actually the ideal time to consider a diet cleanse, Because as Spring approaches, most people will notice a marked change in their sleep and eating habits, as well as energy levels, mood, and even their senses. As these changes take place, the body’s organs are also ripe for change, making it more receptive to a cleanse.
Personally I hate the work detox. It sounds so severe and for some people embarking on harsh juice fasts, it can actually make them feel worse and even cause severe symptoms of ‘die off’, as toxins leave the body quickly in a short space of time.
Juices, whilst they can be beneficial as part of a healthy diet, actually contain no fibre, which we need to keep our bowels moving. So if you are surviving just on juices for a whole week, it can often mean that toxins can stay in the body and get reabsorbed because there is no fibre to aid elimination. Juice cleanses also remove all good fats needed to transport vitamins A, D and E for optimum organ function and of course there will be no protein, which is needed for most bodily functions.
A much better approach is a rebalancing cleanse, which will revitalize your system in a much gentler way, aid your digestion, boost your immunity, improve your skin’s condition and lead to a greater sense of well being. It is also a more sustainable way of eliminating toxins, as it could lead to a permanent change in dietary habits, rather than just a quick fix juicing program which you only consider once a year and then go back to your normal way of eating.
So here are my top tips for a safe and healthy spring cleanse:
For a week before your chosen date to begin your cleanse, start cutting back on foods which over stimulate your system and cause inflammation. These include alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, red meat, dairy & processed foods. It might be best to reduce them one at a time, even over several weeks, particularly if your diet contains all of the above. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and refined sugar in particular can over stimulate phase I of our liver detoxification pathways. We need the liver to be working optimally in order to cleanse with the fewest amount of side effects.
Decide which Foods to Eliminate
There are many foods which cause inflammation within our bodies but you will know yourself which ones cause the worst symptoms for you. If you have spent time over the previous weeks cutting down on those foods, then a period of complete elimination of these foods will be a chance to give your system a rest.
Focus on What You Can Eat, Not On What you Can’t Eat
Having a positive mindset during a cleanse is a great way to achieving your goals. Focus on all the delicious foods you can eat, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, good sources of protein including fish, chicken & lentils, good fats including nuts, seeds, olive oil & avocados, green smoothies and plenty of water. Make a meal plan for the week including all of these foods and get creative with how to use them.
Support Your Gut
Making sure your digestive tract is working optimally during a cleanse is important for maximum nutrient absorption and to alleviate any gut issues. If you have already eliminated the main inflammatory foods this will go a long way to do this but also make sure than that you are eating plenty of fibre rich fruit and vegetables. Include gut supporting herbs and spices in your cleanse such as rosemary, thyme, garlic, ginger & turmeric. Also consider taking a probiotic supplements to support the balance of friendly bacteria in your gut.
Support Your Liver
As the main site of detoxification, we need to ensure the liver is working optimally, especially during a cleanse, when we are going to be putting more pressure on the liver to remove toxins. Eating cruciferous vegetables is one of the most important ways we can support our liver, so be sure to include green leafy vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, kale, spinach and asparagus everyday during your cleanse. Another way to support your liver is to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables as they are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are crucial to clearing up residual damage created by the liver as it shifts from phase I to phase II. This shift causes a lot of free radical damage, which can be more harmful than the toxin itself. So it’s important to eat a diet that’s high in antioxidants to clear up this damage. Fresh colourful fruits and vegetables are best and aim for a minimum of 3 fruits and 6 vegetables a day during a cleanse.
Having adequate water is one of the best ways to flush out toxins from our body. Drinks at least 8 glasses of water per day and try herbal teas and warm water with a squeeze of lemon added.
Eating in this way, even it’s just for a few weeks, may lead to permanent lifestyle changes to your diet, as you reap the benefits of more energy, better skin and ultimately, better health.
If you are considering a cleanse or would like to review your diet and make positive changes to it, please feel free to get in contact for a free 15 minute chat: firstname.lastname@example.org.