We are close to leaving the dark and cosy days of winter behind and welcoming Spring in all its sun and blossom filled glory. Spring brings a fresh sense of possibility. It is time to step out into the sunshine and light, the perfect opportunity to sync with nature and cleanse ourselves of anything we are carrying that is no longer serving us - physically, emotionally and, possessions in our homes.
I started a spring cleanse on Monday, nothing drastic just a few doable changes that I will stick to for the next 3 weeks and am already feeling the benefits of after 3 days. 'Doable' is the key word in that sentence. Most mamas I know have enough on their plate without stretching themselves to go through a drastic cleanse. Also, it is important to consider the season of motherhood you are in, for example if you are in the season of having a newborn baby and are breastfeeding then doing a juice fast wouldn't be suitable but perhaps if you have teenagers and therefore have less demands on you physically then a juice fast might be doable. Before we go on, remember I am not a health practitioner what I write here is from my own research and personal experience if you'd like to embark on a cleanse or detox and haven't done so before you may want to seek professional advice first.
I wrote on Monday that I don't believe in all or nothing approaches to eating, I do though think there is benefit in abstaining from certain foods in your diet for a period of time particularly ones that may have a hold over you. It gives you a chance to regain perspective on the role they play in your life and how you feel when you eat them and it gives your digestive system a well earned rest.
Below are some ideas to get you started. Feel free to share some of your ideas in the comments.
1. Take a break from caffeine. I love my daily coffee, it punctuates my day. I enjoy whichever cafe I visit to have a coffee and I enjoy a rare moment of solitude if I escape by myself and just as much I enjoy the company of whoever I may be with. In place of my morning coffee I have been loving - carrot, apple, lemon and ginger juice. I only ever have one coffee a day usually in the morning, if I am looking for a lift in the afternoon I make a dandelion 'coffee' which is caffeine free, liver cleansing and satisfying.
2. Start your day with a glass of warm water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. I have started my day with this drink for a number of years now. This too is liver cleansing and a great way to wake up. I also like it because it kicks starts my water drinking for the day, drinking enough water throughout the day is a challenge for me so starting the day with a big glass has become a good habit.
3. Drink 2 litres of water per day. This is such a simple step that can have a huge impact on the way you feel and how your body functions. Every cell on your body relies on water to function at its best. My Chinese doctor suggested every time I go into the kitchen or walk past the water filter to drink some water, it is about making it a habit. My aunty sets the alarm on her phone to ring every hour to remind her to drink some water.
4. Jump on the green smoothie train. I think most of us would benefit from eating more leafy greens and green smoothies are a delicious way to up your intake and your family's too. Freeze some bananas so you have them on hand whenever you feel like making one, grow or buy some leafy greens such as kale, spinach, parsley and mint, you will need a blender for this. If you don't have a high powered blender I find it best to use a soft leafy green such as baby spinach because it blends to a smooth texture, I don't enjoy pulpy green smoothies but you might! My usual recipe is: one banana, a good handful of baby spinach, as much parsley and mint as I feel like, filtered water and whatever other fruit I have perhaps berries in summer, or mandarines or orange in winter. Blend and serve. Meg at My Wholefood Romance has written a really helpful post on making green smoothies for beginners. (while you're over at Wholefood Romance check out the 21 day wholefood cleanse Meg has on her sidebar I haven't done it but it looks like a good place to start if you are looking for something detailed).
5. Drink liquid chlorophyll. If you haven't tried liquid chlorophyll this is a simple addition to your day that your body will love you for. It gives me an instant lift when I drink it. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants. Liquid chlorophyll concentrates the benefits, it is an antioxidant, aids digestion and is alkalising. (I buy the Swisse brand it has a spearmint flavour, each brand tastes slightly different).
6. Try these Spring eating tips inspired by Chinese medicine
7. I recommend Cyndi O'Maera's 21 day program. It is titled as a weight loss, get healthy program but even if weight loss is not your goal it is a good program to do because it helps to focus your awareness on how the foods you eat make you feel, plus it contains lots of great, easy, family-friendly recipes. Cyndi has a very balanced approach to health and nutrition.
So, how does all that sound? Doable? I hope it kick starts you into some good new habits or revives some you had forgotten about. Happy, healthy day to all of you. Thanks for reading xx
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