Each season coordinates with an impulse of transition in eating. Seasonally, we can select foods and enjoy dietary changes that help us reset our health and wellness while enjoying eating locally in season. Taking the time for self informed care offers great opportunity to practice with intention. Setting goals and moving into a place of manifestation is a wonderful springtime activity.
In the spring, we have a sense of renewed joy - we see the natural world springing into life. Many songbirds have returned and the sound of their songs greets us each morning. Naturally, inspiring is the season and it provides us an opportunity to pause on some indulgences and allow our digestive system to reset. I believe that springtime is the best season for a cleanse because we are naturally more motivated and inspired with a renewed sense of energy. Over the winter most of us have eaten heavier comfort foods. In the springtime, we naturally feel the need to lighten and brighten up.
We truly have an opportunity to improve our health and vitality while eating mindfully. A healthy cleanse is focused on clearing out the gunk that collects in our digestive track and eliminating foods known to cause digestive sensitivities including foods commonly linked to digestive disorders. When we eliminate high calorie food, extra sugar, alcohol and remove food suspected to cause inflammation - we allow our digestive system an incredible opportunity to work better for us. Let’s not forget that 90% of our serotonin is created in our gut. This factors into our emotional well-being and I hope to encourage people to eat cleaner throughout the year and to also be inspired to practice a spring cleanse yearly.
Cleanses are not encouraged if you have health risks, or suffer from an eating disorder or disordered eating. Please be mindful, healthy eating habits are important and I discourage jumping into a cleanse so you “lose weight and get healthy quick”. I believe a cleanse should be well researched and practiced with healthy intentions. Please be aware of what you are buying into with a cleanse program and definitely stay away from any gimmicky programs promoting weight loss. A healthy cleanse is focused on clearing out the gunk that collects in the digestive track and improving health.
Generally each year, I practice a deep cleanse in the spring and a lighter cleanse in the mid fall. My deep cleanse works like this 2 liquid meals a day and 1 main meal mid day, small snacks as necessary. I also use high quality supplements to support my body while detoxing and eliminating gunk. My deep cleanse eliminates all nightshades, dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, caffeine (other than alkaline green teas like matcha or Yerba mate) and processed food products. It’s a 21-day program that I carry out for 28-35 days. I usually spend a week eliminating foods that I struggle eliminating. This first week helps to set myself up for success and keeps me feeling encouraged. The 1st week is the most difficult and any achievements really stoke my inspiration and keep me feeling committed. This deeper cleanse is helpful in reminding me the importance of clean eating for health throughout the year.
My lighter cleanse in the fall last for 30 days and it is mostly focused on nutritional supplements and detoxifying support through supplements. I find it is helpful as over the summer I might have indulged with a cocktail or party foods at an outdoor gathering or at the beach. (When not on a cleanse, I try my best to follow the 80%-20% principle with food choices, 80% clean 20% indulgences or allowances). Still, I am mindful of foods and do my best to eat as clean as I do on my spring cleanse.
I do use and follow two doctor backed cleanse protocols because I believe self-informed practices are best carried out under trusted science backed findings. If you are considering a cleanse, I suggest speaking to a qualified holistic nutritionist, holistic or integrative medical practitioner, or following a qualified expert whom has designed a safe program.
Thinking about a cleanse, but not wanting to over commit yourself to a cleanse program? Taking baby steps with cleansing offers incredible health benefits. Not everyone has the ability to dive deep into a cleanse. This is ok if it’s true for you too. There are still beneficial and easy ways to incorporate an appropriate fitting cleanse or cleaner eating into your lifestyle. Keeping it simple will help you find an easy way to get yourself in the cleanse groove.
One way you can experience amazing health benefits while flushing out toxins is by drinking Celery Juice. Celery juice enjoyed daily has many benefits. Not only does celery juice reduce inflammation, it also works as a deep natural detox and flushes waste accumulation and toxins from the body. Celery juice also improves the appearance and health of the skin. Loaded with vitamins and nutrients - vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, magnesium, sodium, as well as other vitamins and nutrients, makes celery juicing a superfood ritual not to be missed.
Suggested use is 16 oz. each morning on an empty stomach, eat nothing for 15/20 minutes. If your experiencing chronic health issues you can double your drink to 32 oz. Readers please be aware celery juice moves things out of the intestines very quickly after drinking. My best advice for drinking celery juice is to be sure you eat clean after consuming. Celery juice is alkalizing, don’t drink acidic drinks like coffee after consuming celery juice, rather a cup of warm green tea, or water is best consumed after you have drunk your juice. You’ll feel energized from the alkaline, nutrient rich and cleansing benefits of celery juice. If your short on time you can juice the night before, only if necessary. Truly celery juice, as with any juice, is best consumed fresh. I suggest rinsing and prepping your celery the night before, this eliminates the morning prep and makes juicing and then cleaning up your juicer a quicker task.
Add in an appropriate amount of water per day based on both the American Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and Mayo Clinic recommend men drink 3.7 liters and women drink 2.7 liters of water per day. Drinking the recommended amount of water per day supports healthy body temperature, hydrates and helps to cushion the joints and also serves to protect sensitive tissues.
Lemon Essential Oil has cleansing benefits. CIEO (citrus limon essential oil) is alkalizing and is safe for teeth and gums. Lemon Essential Oil also aids in removing waste through urination, the bowels, and perspiration - supporting elimination and detox naturally and gently. Add 1 drop of lemon oil to 8 oz. of water. Try adding 1-2 drops to 16-32 oz. of water if your sensitive or new to ingesting essential oil. Studies have shown that Lemon Essential Oil supports healthy digestion and can soothe and aid in relieving symptoms such as gastritis and constipation. It also detoxes the blood & liver and supports lymphatic drainage.
Can CIEO help promote weight loss? Lemon essential oil contains d-limolene, known to support metabolism and cleanse lymphatic glands. Healthy metabolism and cleansing the lymph system are shown to support weight loss. Based on a 12-week animal study with lemon polyphenols (taken from lemon peel) and given to mice, The Journal of Biochemistry and Nutrition, published results showing that “weight gain, fat pad accumulation, hyperlipidemia, hypoglycemia and insulin resistance were greatly suppressed”.
Lemon Essential Oil has also been found to have antioxidant benefits shown to better scavenge free radicals than compared to standard ascorbic acid. Antioxidants are important for health and vitality. Drinking warm water with 1 drop of Lemon Essential Oil is a daily practice of mine I enjoy each morning after my celery juice and before my tea.
Thinking of baby steps with cleansing? Let me suggest a cleaner day of eating or a cleanse day. Simply choose1 day each week and stick to the day. Be committed to having one day each week where you eat cleanse like. There are lots of yummy dietician and doctor approved recipes for smoothies, soups, juices, greens, and salads that will provide you with healthy meals for the day. Eating lite is also beneficial for meditation and yoga practices. You could capitalize on that benefit and give yourself a DIY at home day of retreat and relaxation. Add in self-care techniques - a massage, followed by an Epsom salt bath infused with essential oils of Frankincense and Lavender for some pure bliss.
Other ways to eat cleaner need some discipline just like a cleanse, but they are possible to achieve with focus and mindful intention. Simply eliminate processed foods - even the “healthy ones” in the natural food section, eliminate alcohol and added sugars. Cut back on gluten, dairy and meat and include more legumes, vegetables and fiber in your diet. Consuming dark leafy greens such as chard, spinach and kale have many health benefits as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Experimenting with eating greens on a cleanse or on a cleanse day eating regime will help you find ways to enjoy eating greens when you are not cleansing or eating clean on a designated day. Adding a nice size salad to a meal each day will help you have more fiber and nutrient rich greens in your diet. It is a simple and an easy baby step in healthier eating.
Be sure to further support your cleanse by practicing various yoga postures such as forward folds, twists and back bends. These postures gently squeeze and massage the digestive organs, liver and kidneys aiding in cleanse support. Meditation, pranayama - yogic breathing practices, and practices such as yoga nidra reduce stress and promote relaxation. These practices are beneficial during a cleanse because they cultivate peace and equanimity.
Cleansing our emotions and mind is another important part of practicing a holistic cleanse. Taking the time to slow down and experience extra nourishment provides an incredible opportunity of transformation by cultivating healthier habits. Journaling can be part of the success of enjoying your cleanse. Considering what you can let go of, healthier habits your desire, or fitness and wellness goals you have can help you remain committed to the process of carrying out a cleanse or staying focused on cleaner eating.
If your seeking support with a cleanse protocol, or are in need of complete rejuvenation, I invite you to join me for my yoga, wellness and beauty ritual offerings. You will experience natural solutions for informed self-care, exceptional yoga instruction and incredible holistic skincare products.
If your interested in a curated yoga, wellness or beauty rituals, I would love to work with you. Please email me at email@example.com preview my website to learn more about services at www.michelledaviswellness.com
Disclaimer - if you have eating disorders or disordered eating, please consult your physician before choosing to practice a nutritional cleanse.
Michelle Davis is an esthetician, Reiki practitioner, yoga instructor and owner of Essential Wellness in Keene.