spring yoga

Spring Detox – 15 Top Tips!

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Try this Spring Detox to set you up to feel great for the year!

 

 

As we all know, Spring is the time in the lifecycle when nature renews herself and creates life in the plant and animal kingdoms. It is the time to awaken, renew and blossom.Furthernore, traditionally across cultures, it is considered as a good time in the year to align with nature and shed that which is no longer needed. Maybe, like us it is time for you to do a spring detox!

 

 

 

Spring Detox - Green Foods

 

 

So what is a Spring Detox?

To start, the concept of detoxification is an age-old practice across cultures and traditions. The body stores toxins and foreign substances in our fatty deposits. Soon, the accumulation of toxins in the body affects our ability to absorb nutrients from food which in turn, adversely affects our various bodily systems. A spring detox can help this!

Honestly. toxins are an inevitable part of life and the human body has the natural mechanism to detoxify itself. However, it is sometimes helpful to give the system a helping hand with a spring detox, especially because we are living in an environment with an increased presence of toxins and carcinogens. Involuntarily, we are exposed to toxins on a daily basis through pollution from industrial waste and industrial chemicals, pesticides, electromagnetic radiation and also food additives. Also, lifestyle choices expose us to toxins, for example, poor diet, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, etc. In addition, our bodily system can be put under stress due to circumstances that lead to illness and disease, fatigue or emotional factors such as stress, anxiety or depression.

 

Any of the below ailments may suggest an accumulation of toxins and need a spring detox:

Always feeling tired, low energy, exhaustion, PMS, Digestive disorders, Constipation, Excess Weight, Excess Mucus, Insomnia, Depression, Stress, Brittle Nails, Bad breath, Allergies, Joint Pains, Headaches, Skin Problems, Poor Memory, Low sex drive, Poor immune function; i.e. frequent colds/flu/cold sores, Candida a.k.a thrush, Bloating, Irritable, thinning hair, acne.

 

Therefore, undertaking a spring detox can help rid the body of toxins or the effects of such in order to strengthen the immune system and purify the blood. This can lead to better nutrient absorption and health benefits.

 

Benefits of a Spring Detox

– Abundance of more sustained energy throughout the day
– Better Sleep
– Easier waking up
– More cheerful mood
– Clearer head
– Clearer Skin
– Higher sex drive
– Lighter feeling in the gut
– Faster Digestion
– Weight loss
– Increased willpower
– Deeper understanding of your relationship with your body, food and hunger
– Increased sense of taste
– Stronger immune system
– Faster metabolism
– Fewer sugar cravings
– Reduced appetite

 

Spring Detox - Almonds

 

PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST, AND THE BELOW RECOMMENDATIONS COME ONLY FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A YOGA PRACTITIONER AND CONSCIOUS EATER. THESE TIPS ARE NOT NECESSARILY SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR PHYSICIAN BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY KIND OF CHANGE TO YOUR DIET OR A SPRING DETOX!

 

To begin, normally I’m vegetarian but this spring detox is vegan. Personally, I found having a break from dairy very beneficial but I must stress that it is very important that you ensure you do get all of the nutrients that you need daily

 

 

What’s Involved

– A vegan yogic diet
– Avoiding toxins in your diet
– Make sure you eat an abundance of the sources of the necessary nutrients
– Daily dry skin brushing
– Regular Epsom Salt Baths
– In addition to dental brushing, mouthwash and flossing teeth daily
– Daily Exercise
– Keeping a journal

 

What you may need for your spring detox

– A blender
– A Juicer
– Skin brush
– Epsom Bath Salts
– Home Enema Kit
– Glass bottled mineral water
– Water Filter

 

The ‘Avoid List’ 

– Meat
– Fish & Seafood
– Dairy or Eggs
– Caffeine (inc green tea!)
– Cigarettes
– Alcohol
– Drugs of any kind
– Sugars (some fructose is OK)
– Wheat
– Fried Foods
– Saturated Fats
– Preservatives and Additives such as MSG
– Salt
– Chilli or too much Garlic
– Soy-derived processed products such as soya milk, soya margarine, Quorn, Linda McCartney Sausages etc (the traditional eastern style is fine i.e tofu).
– Tinned produce

 

15 Top Tips!

1. WATER

Truly, the key to any spring detox. Now, we all know it but we still don’t do it! You have to drink loads of it all day long. Especially when detoxing as the toxins become dislodged out your system, you need the hydration to shift them right out. Also, more often than not, we think we are hungry, but actually, we are just thirsty! Maybe, try reaching for the water rather than a snack!

Choose your water source

Safe to say, there is much debate over where to best source your fresh drinking water from. These days we know that bottled water is not necessarily better for us and it is terrible for the environment! If you are serious about the quality of the water you drink it is well worth seeing the rating of your tap water or investing in something like an water ionizer for your spring detox.

Hydrating around meal times

Best to drink a glass of water 30mins (no sooner) before meals while on your spring detox. Try not to drink during straight after meals, because it dilutes your digestive enzymes and reduces the effectiveness of digestion and leads to bloating. After meals slowly sipping herbal teas like peppermint, liquorice and ginger can help aid digestion.

2. OILS

It is best to avoid cooking with vegetable oils including olive oil because their composition is less stable at higher temperatures while on a spring detox. This means that the heat changes these oils molecular structure which makes the oil really unhealthy, potentially carcinogenic even. Best is to cook with coconut oil and drizzle the olive oil raw on salads etc.

3. Eat Slowly

The Yogic and Ayurvedic Principle on eating is that “You are what you digest.” Efficient digestion is essential for optimal health.

At dinner time, as a kid, my mum always used to say this Chinese Proverb: “Drink your food and Eat your Drink.” It means to chew the food so well that it becomes liquefied in your mouth before you swallow and drink so slowly that you really taste it. Consuming slowly & mindfully, preferably in silence and definitely not whilst multi-tasking will allow the message ‘I am eating’ to get from the senses to the digestive system so that your digestive enzymes are released and available to digest the food. This can even turn your spring detox into a more mindful journey as well!

4. Food Combine

Different enzymes are required for breaking down carbs as they are for proteins, therefore it is best to eat carbs and veggies or proteins and veggies but not proteins and carbs together in a meal. It sounds a little complex but once you start you really feel the benefits!

5. Be Prepared

Get into a routine with your spring detox. For example, Soak your nuts or legumes the night before. Make a packed lunch. Prep your shopping list. Make sure you always have a healthy snack option available so that you don’t get hunger attacks that jeopardize your detox. Also rotate foods so that you get as much variety as possible, lots of nutrients and you don’t get bored!

6. Meal timings, Don’t Eat Too Late

Start the day with water. The spring detox classic of warm water with lemon is cleansing for the liver. Then, the biggest, most calorific meal of the day should be breakfast, followed by lunch. Best to eat very little or just soups/broth for the evening meal.

Make sure your evening meal is not too late, give yourself at least 3 hours digestion time between your last meal and bedtime.

7. Fruit

It’s good to snack on fruit. But fruit is a source of sugar, fructose so just be mindful how much you intake in a day.

Always eat fruit 30mins BEFORE other types of food because it digests the quickest and if you eat fruit after other food it will get held up in your intestines and start to ferment, which can wreak havoc with your digestive system!

8. Soaking, Juicing, Sprouting

Your spring detox is a great opportunity to explore healthy and cheap food preparation options to your life. It’s a really good idea to soak nuts overnight because the impurities can be removed and they begin to sprout and the enzymes become active so they become even healthier and also easier to digest when soaked.

I invested in an Oscar 900 Vital Max Juicer! Pricey but for life! Makes really amazing juices, even juices wheatgrass, and a whole manner of green veggies. For me, its main benefit is that it maintains all of the food enzymes and goodness and is quick and easy to clean too.

9. Choose RAW

Eat at least 51% raw veggies as part of any meal on your spring detox.  The live enzymes that we get in the food are killed off when cooked. Too much-cooked food weakens our immune system because the body cannot recognise the composition of cooked food as good for us and so the white blood cells attack it, which puts the body under stress. Crazy huh?

 

carrot juice

10. Listen to your body

I found that by week 2 of the spring detox my appetite reduced as I was getting plenty of the nutrients that I needed and by week 3 any cravings that did arise were pointing me in the direction of what I needed. I found I would crave tofu or nuts after a 2-hour yoga session and that was a good sign as certainly protein is what is needed after a hard workout. Start to really listen to the body’s intelligence and go with it. Of course, don’t be fooled by cravings and old habit patterns that perhaps tell you that you ‘need’ a coffee or a white wine!

11. Caffeine

Coffee is a gift from the nature Gods. But sadly, it can be too much of a good thing. For me, without even relising it became an addiction and I could feel the negative effects it was having on me. Honestly, like an energy rollercoaster ride every day! I often felt totally over-adrenalized, exhausted and drained and often really overwhelmed and sensitive and irritable and anxious.  Now I know it was the caffeine because since I quit November 8th, 2012 all those feelings have gone!

Anyway, basically what I’m saying here is I can totally relate to you if you are someone that has coffee daily and will find it hard to spring detox it. On the day I quit I got the biggest headache of my life, I could barely move. I also got really weepy but if you can bear to get through that day of torture without giving in, then it does get easier! Just try! If like me it was the ritual of the coffee, substitute it for Barley Cup, with some coconut milk, which you can buy at health food stores. It doesn’t really smell or taste like coffee but it looks a bit like it, so may make it a bit easier.

12. Keep a Journal

Going through a spring detox can be quite a transformative learning experience as toxins are shifted out. I find that keeping notes of your process can be very insightful. Perhaps keep a note of what you eat, what you crave, your moods, energies, and sleep and digestion patterns or if anything emotional arises.

13. Get lots of sleep, early to bed

As you shift toxins out and you break bad habits, you may find yourself particularly exhausted initially. But worry not, it gets worse before it gets better and by week 2 or 3 of your spring detox you will definitely feel your energies increase and you sleep more deeply and wake more easily.

14. Relax and Meditate, do yoga

Doing so keeps you connected to your body and supports the detoxification process. Join a daily live meditation class so you can keep yourself focused. Get to yoga class at least three times a week but maybe try something deeply nourishing like yin or restorative. If you are suffering with a bit of spring detox exhaustion then these slower, deeper practices will help you feel really cared for on the journey.

15. Socialising & Eating Out

I found that during the spring detox socialising & going to restaurants was definitely challenging. Willpower will be really tested when surrounded by other people enjoying lots of delicious contraband foods. Personally, I found it easier to just stay in a lot during my spring detox. Actually, it was really nice preparing yummy colourful fresh food and besides, I’d already spent lots of money on all the quality ingredients! Some socialising can’t be avoided and rather than put yourself at the scrutiny of well-meaning mates who may tease or persuade you to break your spring detox, I’ve always found it easier not to make a big deal out of it and just discreetly choose non-alcoholic drinks and vegan options on the menu. Finding yourself in these situations with peer pressure is a really good test of discipline and strength of character, even as an adult.

 

And if you cheat?… Well, if you do end up cheating and uncontrollably scoffing a muffin, never mind, don’t beat yourself up about it afterwards. Accept it happened but do get back on the waggon! All is not lost!

 

 

A SPRING DETOX CAN BE A CHALLENGE BUT WELL WORTH IT! GOOD LUCK! 

 

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