Spring Detox – Time To Give Your Body A Spring Clean
Spring is my favourite time of the year. I love the feeling of shaking off winter hibernation as the energy levels rise to accompany the bright days ahead. It brings with it renewed feelings of energy, growth, and renewal – time to reset and transform oneself. It is the perfect time for a spring detox, clean of body, skin, and mind, the chance to get in better shape and to feel healthier and happier.
The cold winter entices us to eat rich, comfort foods that are high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and fats. We eat far less of the fresh, healthy, raw foods that we are drawn to in the warmer months. We tend to eat too much of the same kind of foods, or simply consume too much all together. Our physical movement is limited during winter, staying indoors wrapped up and keeping warm. Such dietary and lifestyle habits, with their combinations of excess and imbalance for prolonged months, can lead to physical toxicity in the body.
When toxins build up in the body, we can experience symptoms such as low energy, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, achy muscles, weight gain, cellulite, fluid retention, even breakouts and irritated skin. This physical toxicity can also affect us psychologically – feeling low, lack-lustre, and demotivated.
The winter can also bring about illnesses such as flu and colds, where antibiotics may be required to fight infections and enable the body to defend itself, unfortunately at a cost of dispersing toxins throughout the body and depleting the immune system.
Winter illness, medications, diet and lifestyle can have a negative impact on all of the body’s natural cleansing systems; kidneys, liver, skin, lungs, digestive and lymphatic systems. Each system works endlessly to absorb and process whatever is consumed, and to eliminate waste products, focusing on promoting a state of homeostasis whilst fuelling, regenerating and healing the body.
Although our cleansing systems generally work efficiently, the winter overload of toxins can put strain on the systems, which need to work harder to cleanse the toxic chemicals from the blood stream, along with the delicate bodily tissues where the blood flows.
The gut microbiome, the bacteria in our intestines which influence our overall health, is compromised. Constipation, indigestion, bloating, and other inflammatory bowel disorders associated with the gut not functioning optimally, can cause the gut wall to react, which exacerbates other inflammatory conditions of the lungs and the skin. People who have allergies or food intolerances may notice this more significantly.
What is a Our Spring Detox or Body Detox?
To detox the body is actually a simple process, but does take self-discipline and organisation. It involves drinking plenty of water each day, lowering sugar and processed carbohydrate intake in order to eat more pre and probiotic foods, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
A body detox involves eating the right foods and nutrients to support your body during cleansing. It involves adopting healthier daily habits to help your cleansing systems get rid of toxins.
Adopting a detox plan provides the perfect “reset”, both physically and psychologically. It will boost your metabolism, remove physical toxins from your body leaving you feeling re-energised, with improved mood, mental clarity, clearer skin, reduced water retention and cellulite, and some weight loss can also be achieved.
It does not have to involve a strict juice cleanse or a faddy diet. After all, depriving yourself or following a too restrictive diet is very likely to lead to a rebound, and yoyo dieting with a negative outcome.
Follow a simple diet plan that focuses on fresh wholesome foods, with healthy meals prepared at home. Educating yourself will in turn re-program the body and achieve the results that will encourage you to maintain healthy eating habits long after the detox is done.
Body Toxins: Process of Elimination
We are exposed to toxins every day, especially if you live in a busy city, where it is impossible to control toxic invaders. Do your best to eliminate toxins wherever you do have control.
Support your liver by limiting, or avoiding completely, fried, fatty, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, dairy and meat protein. Avoid alcohol, it is extremely toxic to the liver, and causes dehydration, which can also affect the quality of sleep.
Reduce or completely eliminate caffeinated drinks, such as breakfast tea, green tea, coffee, and energy drinks. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, a process whereby it will rid your body of water and nutrients. If consumed too often daily this causes dehydration in the body and of course strain on the its cleansing systems. Avoid drinking caffeine in the evenings to enable you to get to sleep,
Limit fresh fruit juice. Although a healthier option to fizzy drinks, they’re really sugar.
Support your kidneys with good hydration and low salt intake.
Select your skincare routine products carefully. Many contain chemicals that contribute to the body’s toxic load.
Consider what cleaning products you use, especially if you are contemplating a spring clean of your home, as many contain toxic chemicals that are absorbed via the lungs and the skin.
Declutter your space. This in turn will promote mental clarity and focus.
‘Digital Detox’ – Take time out from your digital devices. Constant notifications stimulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has a negative impact on overall health and sleep. Relaxation and sleep are vital to support our systems to cleanse, rejuvenate, and heal.
Spring Detox Diet Tips: What should I eat during a detox?
When considering a Spring detox diet it is advised to primarily eat a plant-based diet of wholefoods and fresh raw foods.
Eat 5 portions of vegetables and fruits with a variety of colours each day to ensure you receive the essential combination of nutrients required for normal cell development, and to support the body’s natural cleansing systems.
Include plenty of green leafy vegetables into your daily diet to support gut health, such as: Spring Greens, Spinach, Kale and Collards. These leafy greens are a powerful prebiotic and they are a rich fibre source to promote a healthy bowel. They are packed full of a variety of nutrients, in particular chlorophyll essential for healthy digestion. They cleanse the live, which aids the detox process and provides excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Support the bowel to eat food types naturally rich in fibre. They will help to promote bowel regularity. Consume foods to include wholegrains, pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, fruit such as berries, pears, prunes and figs, fibrous vegetables, sauerkraut, and include nuts and seeds in moderations – pumpkin, flax or chia are excellent sources.
Eat healthy fats. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are crucial to include in your daily diet for overall optimum health. Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It serves to support the liver along with the brain, heart, joints, and reduces inflammatory conditions. Studies state that it also contributes to better mood and sleep. Supplements are an excellent option to provide you with the recommended dose; Viridian Organic Scandinavian Rainbow Trout Gels, or Vegan EPA & DHA Oil.
Coconut oil is an excellent healthy fat that can be used to cook with, added into hot drinks, smoothies, even to make healthy nut and seed snack balls.
Avocado is the ultimate super food. It provides good fats, an abundance of nutrients, and is a great food to incorporate into a cleansing diet.
Go lean and clean, with ideally free-range poultry and grass-fed meat.
There is evidence herbs and spices provide a multitude health benefits – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and aid digestive functions. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, peppermint and mint are particularly affective on digestive conditions.Consider Viridian’s supplements Synerbio Daily High strength Pre/probiotics, Organic Turmeric, Peppermint Oil Plus, to aid gut health.
Organic Milk Thistle will aid the liver to detox.
Detox Drinks: What should I drink during a detox?
Start your day with a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon to wake up your cleansing systems.
A good quality coffee in the morning could be a great wake up to get you going for the day, but limit your intake to this one only.
Aim to drink 1.5 to 2.5 litres of water throughout the day, depending on your daily activities. This will aid all of the cleansing systems to flush out toxins from the body and maintain hydration. Add fresh cucumber, lemon, lime, orange or a splash of natural I botanical infusion for a tasty variation to the water if required.
Herbal infused teas are an excellent go-to drink in your detox diet as they are a healthy replacement for black tea and coffee with an array of health benefits. To support the digestive system drink peppermint, mint, ginger, and chamomile, Fennel is excellent to relief bloating. Nettle, burdock and dandelion tea to support a detox diet. Valerian and chamomile aid relaxation and sleep.
Smoothies, that are low in sugar and incorporating fibre can be a great, quick, healthy meal substitute.
Some typical smoothie ideas:
Alternative milk, lemon segments, ginger, organic apricot, tahini, mixed seeds, slices of banana, sprinkle of bee pollen powder.
Water, green apple segments, spinach, celery, slices of banana, green powders such as wheatgrass and spirulina.
Coconut milk, coconut yogurt, lime segments, ginger, spinach, cube banana, slices of avocado.
A great little tip to avoid waste…. Slice a banana and an avocado, lay the slices flat onto parchment paper, fold, then put into the freezer ready for when you only need a slice or two.
Start by planning and preparing your own meals to know exactly what you are eating. Aiming to eat 3 meals at regular intervals will help to regulate energy levels.
Reduce portion sizes, excess food is stored in the body if it’s not used. Continuous excess over time contributes to weight gain, cellulite, skin complications, and may affect mood.
Consider intermittent fasting which involves 16-hour fasts each day. Eat all your own prepared meals within an eight-hour period, ideally between 11 am and 7 pm. This will allow the body to have 16 hours for homoeostasis. Alternatively fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. Studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and supports weight management. Alliteratively try to eat as early in the evening as possible to support digestion and sleep.
Take time to sit and relax when you eat. Eating on the go utilises the energy required for moving rather than digesting, which prevents the digestive system from functioning efficiently. These western habits undermine the body’s equilibrium and do not allow the important ‘rest & digest’ process to take place.
Move Your Body
Sweat out those toxins. Choose an exercise or movement you enjoy to reap the benefits. This will encourage you to stay with it.
Exercise increases the heart rate, boosting circulation and delivering oxygen and nutrients to nourish cells throughout the body. The improved blood flow increases the lymph flow, which eliminates toxins from the body.
If you can’t face any exercise then why not try brisk walk, cycle, horse riding or even dancing to get you moving.
Exercise, movement and flow increases the levels of happy hormones which can improve mood and sleep.
Yoga postures deeply move and work every organ of the body with incredible benefits to the lymphatic system. Opening poses ,such as camel or cobra, and twist poses, such as reclined twist, focus specific attention on stimulating the lungs and digestive system.
The lymphatic system removes waste from the body optimally when the body’s hydration levels are maintained. An increased blood flow via exercise, movement, home massage tools, daily body brushing, contributes to a healthy lymphatic function. Daily application of essential oil blends to the body, to include Juniper Berry, Lime, Grapefruit provide a real kick to the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system can be stimulated with the application of a professional massage treatment, such as a manual Anti-Cellulite Massage or the 3D Lipo Treatments. A top to toe mineral clay full body wrap can promote detoxification and improve the function of the lymphatic circulation, with added inch loss benefits.
Breath Expels Toxins
Breathe out those toxins. Breathing more efficiently can remove toxins from the lungs and activate the body’s other cleansing systems systems.
Take a moment to be aware of your breath. You will be amazed that you might be breathing so shallowly your lungs are not really moving much. Begin to inhale more deeply by filling up your lungs, notice your chest rise, then exhale fully to empty the lungs of air and let your chest fall, ideally breathing through your nose to strengthen the lung capacity. Keep practising in your day-to-day life.
Now that you have engaged and strengthened your lungs, why not adopt specific breathing techniques to detox the digestive system and lungs such as Bhastrika Pranayama, Kapalabhati, Pranayama.
Typical Detox Day and Detox Diet
Early start to the day
Small good quality coffee
Hot water with a slice of lemon
Few minutes of cleansing breath work
20 to 30 minutes of exercise or any movement
Application of detox body oil
Take your supplements
Cycle or walk to work if possible
Snacks: Low sugar fruit slices or nuts
Lunch: Leafy green salad with a serving of chicken or a mix of legumes or grains
Go for a walk ideally in a park around nature
Snacks: Sticks of carrot or celery with humous
Dinner: Baked fish with a selection of steamed vegetables
Go to a relaxing yoga class or
Read, listen to music, meet friends
Relax a hot bath with detox mineral salts
Turn off your device
Soothing breath work or meditation
8 hours sleep
Drinks: 1.5 to 2.5 litres of water, or herbal tea throughout the day
Aim to follow for 7 to 10 days minimum.
Avoid cleansing or detoxification during acute illness, existing medical condition, pregnancy and lactating unless under supervision of a qualified practitioner.
The information contained in this blog is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking prescribed medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.
Author: Angela Taffinder the founder of Emporium Treatment Clinic. A practising Aesthetician for 35+ years, holistic and wellbeing advocate and yoga instructor.
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