Many people like to kick off spring with some heavy duty spring cleaning, but why stop with your house? Your body could use some spring cleaning, too.
Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring
It’s natural to accumulate an extra layer of fat—and possibly a few bad habits—after a long, cold winter. Spring is a season to shake off the doldrums and start fresh. In fact, Eastern medicine views spring as the season of the liver and an opportunity to cleanse this important organ.
A clean liver is critical for optimal health, but how do you know if your liver needs some TLC? Poor digestion, abdominal bloating, migraines, allergies, excessive gas, constipation, diarrhea, frustration, resentment, and irritability can all be signs of a sluggish liver in need of a cleanse.
What is a Cleanse?
A cleanse is an opportunity to hit your body’s reset button. As a general rule, a cleanse or detox is two-fold: first, you avoid certain foods that aggravate the liver and second, you add foods and activities that support the liver.
There is no one right way to cleanse. Some people benefit from drastic fasts, whereas others benefit from a three-day tune-up during which they avoid fatty foods. A cleanse doesn’t have to be dramatic to offer some benefit.
How to Cleanse
If you’re trying a liver cleanse for the first time, three days is plenty. Some experienced liver cleansers opt to cleanse for two to three weeks in the spring. First-timers should keep it simple and avoid drastic programs that call for extended fasting. A simple first-time cleanse might include the following:
|Lots of organic fruits and vegetables||Refined and processed foods|
|Fresh fruit and vegetable juice||Sugar|
|Whole grains, such as quinoa or brown rice||Alcohol|
|Drink plenty of water||Caffeine|
|Get extra rest||Tobacco|
|Opt for gentle exercise, such as walking or yoga||High fructose corn syrup|
|Make time for daily meditation||Fatty foods|
|Plenty of citrus—consider sipping lemon water throughout the day||Fast food and junk food|
Ready to Reboot?
If you’ve never cleansed before, don’t be intimidated—and consider consulting a doctor or nutritionist before starting. You don’t have to adopt a vegan diet or swear off caffeine and alcohol forever—but giving your body a break from these things can help it to reboot.
A simple three-day commitment to purifying the body can make a world of difference. At the end of the three days, you’re likely to feel lighter and brighter—both physically and emotionally.