Spring is a time of renewal, recharge and rejuvenation; the season for a full body and soul spring cleanse. This time of year it’s natural to want to do a bit of a cleanse to shake off those winter doldrums and clean out our bodies the way we do our closets. Summer is coming, which means bikini weather and the desire to look toned, healthy and glowing. Refresh your body with a spring cleanse and feel lighter and more glowing, inside and out.
There are so many fad cleanses out there that it can be a bit daunting to figure out where to start, and how you can realistically commit to a program and complete it. Here at Ripple we love good food, so a full-on fast seems unlikely; and given our hectic schedules, it can be difficult to find time for long periods of mental and spiritual cleansing.
We have found some inexpensive and relatively easy ways for you to reap all the benefits of a spring cleanse without breaking the bank or forcing you to carve out time you don’t have.
Body Spring Cleanse
Start every day with an 8-ounce glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Try adding a dash of cayenne for a guaranteed way to get your blood moving. Staying hydrated stops you from overeating, and it is best to drink lots of water before and after meals. Water also helps the body detoxify, which keeps the digestive system healthy. Sip on teas and water throughout the day. A Ripple favourite is cold mint tea with lemon. The lemon juice helps cleanse the liver and aides its ability to remove toxins and fats from the body.
Eat a very simple diet for seven days: a high-quality protein from food (not a nutrient supplement shake), good-quality fat, and some lightly steamed or raw veggies at each meal, including breakfast. Do not skip meals. Eating simple whole foods in their whole form is best. Processed foods are depleted of valuable nutrients and packed full of chemicals and sugars. Retrain your taste buds to enjoy a fresh carrot or simple slices of cucumber with lemon juice and sea salt.
Eating high-fibre foods helps the body stay full. Fibre helps the body eliminate toxins and keeps the digestive system healthy so that the nutrients can be properly absorbed into the body. Good examples are lentils, beans, collard greens, grapefruit, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Try to incorporate a variety of food into your meals (try rotating greens and choosing new fruits). Doing this helps us access an array of nutrients. How we prepare them can also affect this; ideally, eat a mixture of raw and cooked.
- Things to Avoid
For a spring cleanse to work most effectively, it is recommended that you avoid certain foods. This is not to say that you should totally cut all of these off your diet – we prefer gently easing into something healthier. Limit the following from your diet and find alternatives where possible:
- Sugar – the highs and lows from sugar cause the body to hold onto weight. Sugar also depresses the immune system and wreaks havoc on many other internal functions. Instead of soft and energy drinks, and if you don’t enjoy drinking plain water, try switch to something less sugar-loaded – soda water with a splash of lime juice, for example; or a healthy green vegetable juice (cucumber, kale, celery, lemon, ginger).
- Alcohol – what? No alcohol? We understand that giving up entirely can be difficult, so instead of going cold turkey, how about aiming to cut down to a light beer, or one glass of wine instead of three.
- Caffeine – caffeine has plenty of benefits, but when doing a spring cleanse, we would recommend giving your liver a break by avoiding caffeine, or limiting yourself to one coffee instead of five. Try herbal teas instead.
- Dairy and gluten – these are common triggers of inflammation, and when cleansing it is good to take them out of the diet to give your body a chance to reset. If you notice a big difference, continue to leave them out.
- Processed food – always avoid these, not just during a detox.
Exercise, sleep and not stressing are all incredibly important and can help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for fat formation in the body. Cortisol levels increase when we are stressed or tired. Exercise reduces cortisol levels and is necessary for detoxification and overall health of the cardiovascular system. It also helps facilitate the movement of toxins out of the body. Every day, complete 30 to 45 minutes of exercise, followed by deep breathing and stretching.
- Treat Your Body Right
Detoxification can be aided by dry brushing, saunas and steam baths and cold showers. They are an excellent way to help release toxins. They are also all great for increasing the health and appearance of the skin before summer and for encouraging stress reduction.
And our all-time cleansing tip is to simply get a massage. Massage is a sensational way to clean out the toxins in your body, as it works on your lymphatic system, increases the blood flow around your body, helps with your digestive system and generally pumps your body full of endorphins and other feel good chemicals the healthy way.
Mind Spring Cleanse
Cleansing the mind by shedding negative thoughts and perceptions can take a weight off your whole being. There is a school of psychology today called positive psychology, whose sole focus is to help people do mind cleanses. Positive psychology helps get rid of negative thoughts by helping people get rid of the judgments they form about things that are happening in their lives. Try these techniques, which may help:
- Three Good Things – try writing down three things that are going well and why. Do this every day for a week.
- Signature Strengths – try writing down what you believe are your personal strengths (eg. kindness, loyalty), and then use them in a different way daily.
- Rant Write-down – take several minutes each week and write down every negative thought that comes to mind. Then take that piece of paper and tear it up or bury it. It really helps, give it a try.
Soul Spring Cleanse
A spring cleanse is not complete without a soul cleanse. Soul cleansing lightens the spirit and helps leave you feeling clear, purposeful and content.
Try meditating every day, even if it is just a minute or two. All you have to do to meditate is sit quietly for a few moments and let the thoughts come and go and
breathe deeply. Be sure to turn off your phone, computer or whatever distracts you. Just be still with yourself.
Each day upon waking up, try asking yourself what you’re grateful for. Gratitude lifts the spirit and fills the soul with positivity.
Try being of service by giving back to others, no matter in how small a way. Find an organization in your community (or beyond) that speaks to your soul and one that you feel you can really contribute to.
So there you have it – our easy way of cleaning out your body, mind and soul. Try it for a few days, and you will soon find yourself doing it effortlessly.