It’s time to shed the winter woolies and bounce into spring. It is very timely to give your body a bit of a refresh after the cold winter months. Spring is the time of renewal, and readying your body for the heat of summer.
There are no powders or products that will detox you and cleanse your body in a couple of weeks, so don’t think of a detox as a quick fix. You need to take the time and incorporate your spring detox into your current lifestyle. So let’s look at how you can manage a sensible regenerative plan, and take control of your health, and build inner health and strength for the rest of the year.
The most effective way to detox your body and to cleanse your liver is to consume a cleaner, greener and lighter diet, and to drink some liver cleansing herb teas. It is quite simple really, which can almost understate the vital importance of ‘spring cleaning your body”!
There are three factors we need to address to help your body detox:
During the first two weeks of the detox, you may experience some unpleasant symptoms. These are often withdrawal type symptoms, and they occur because some of the foods you have been consuming may have been quite addictive to your body, particularly if you have been consuming large amounts of caffeine, sugar or alcohol. These symptoms are temporary and usually only last for two or three days, so don’t be worried as it is an indication that your body is throwing off the toxins and elimination is occurring. This is a good sign.
Some of these symptoms are
- bad breath
- flu-like symptoms
- strong smelling urine
- strong body odour
- difficulty in getting to sleep
- frequent waking during the night
For the first 2 weeks of my detox program, I prefer patients to rest their body and allow the dietary changes to take priority. It is better to do NO exercise at all. It is safer and healthier to allow your body to release some of the bulk of the toxins, and to allow the liver and kidneys to do their job without any added stress. And yes, exercise, as beneficial as it is, is actually quite stressful on an overloaded toxic body. Be kind to your body, take time to let your body do it’s job safely and effectively.
A cleansing detox diet does mean you may have to eliminate some of your favourite foods and drinks. And perhaps consume some foods that aren’t necessarily great favourites of yours.
Everything ‘green’ is in vogue at the moment, and sometimes too much of a good thing can be counter productive. For instance kale is one of the fad green foods at the moment, particularly for green juices, which means to get a juice from these vegetables, you do have to use a large number of leaves. You would never normally eat this amount, which is really how we are meant to consume our foods!
Now, if however you happen to have a thyroid problem (and you may be unaware that you do), consuming juiced raw kale can exacerbate the symptoms and cause a problem. Kale along with several other vegetables contain compounds that are goitrogenic. Steaming or cooking these vegetables alters the molecular structure and so stops this negative effect and the goitrogenic effect is nullified. Eating these foods is healthy and beneficial.
Do keep in mind the importance of keeping your diet in balance, and include all the other vegetables. Green is great, but so is orange, red, yellow, purple and white! Fads come and fads go. Balance is always the important factor.
Foods to avoid:
- dairy – all cow products
- sugar – refined white sugar
- caffeine - coffee
- alcohol – all alcohol
- gluten – wheat, rye, barley, oats
- yeast – in breads, many processed foods, vegemite
- processed foods and most take out foods
- red meat – avoid for the first 4 weeks
By eliminating all processed foods, refined sugars, white flour, alcohol, dairy, yeast and gluten, you will be surprised how much better you will feel within a few days.
Start your day with a cup of boiled water with a slice of lemon. Do this for the first month. Then you can up the ante a bit, by adding a pinch of tumeric powder, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon raw honey, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Delicious and cleansing!
Eat every four to five hours. Don’t wait for a specific time to eat, when you feel hungry have a healthy snack or meal. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and to minimise cravings.
Drink water, tea and herb teas during the day. Don’t consume excessive amounts of liquid, as being over-hydrated is as damaging as being dehydrated. Take into account the amount of fruit and vegetables you are eating, as these all contain water.
Keep your evening meal free of heavy carbohydrates, such as pasta. Eat your protein with lots of vegetables and salads.
Be sure to include protein at every main meal. Fish, chicken, seafood, eggs, meats. When you combine rice and chick peas you get a complete protein that is comparable to meat.
Eat two or three pieces of fruit each day.
Eat nuts and seeds for between meal snacks. You get some proteinand good fats.
We need fats in our diet. Use around two tablespoons daily, either to cook in or as salad dressings. Olive oil and coconut oil are a good choice.
Foods to consume:
- fresh fruit and vegetables
- fish and chicken
- red meat after four weeks
- soy, goat, sheep or rice milk
- goat and sheep cheese
- goat, sheep, soy & coconut yoghurt
- coconut sugar, stevia, rice syrup, pure maple syrup, raw honey
- dandelion root coffee, herb teas
- rice, lentils, beans, chick peas
After the first two weeks on the detox program, it is time to incorporate some exercise. If you do regular exercise, start back slowly, as the work your body is doing in cleansing requires a lot of energy.
Walking for 20 minutes each day is a good exercise, and helps to stimulate lymphatic drainage, and supports your body to release toxins. While you continue on a cleansing diet, it is better to moderate your exercise plan, and be kind to your body.
A really balanced blend of herbs can make all the difference to your body’s ability to cleanse. When your body has been working hard to maintain heat to get you through the winter, it can take a bit of encouragement to release and cleanse,
In my Spring Clean herbal tea mix, I combine herbs such as burdock, cleavers, nettle, echinacea, peppermint, ginger, licorice, lemon balm, dandelion, and several other herbs, which not only detox your body but help to support your liver and kidneys, as these amazing organs are the work-horse of your body.
Spring is here, so help your body transition into the warmth of our summer months. Take control of your health now. Cleanse, detox and support your body, and allow yourself to have vibrant health.
It’s worth the effort!
© 2013 – 2014, Molly Knight. All rights reserved.