Whenever the subject of d-e-t-o-x comes up, many of our imaginations jump to long juicing journeys or fasts, but spring detox DOES NOT HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED OR ARDUOUS. The urge to get “green and clean” is a normal part of this time of year as the weather warms and life begins to stir. Listening to that urge (without overdoing it or setting unattainable goals), will bring us closer to living in harmony with the wild inside and out.
The rhythm: As the days become longer and warmer (finally!) we naturally crave more movement, lighter foods, more time outdoors, and start to think about how we’ll be spending the sunny days to come. As Spring is already pushing us in the direction of “green and clean” and new beginnings, it’s the perfect time of year to make a couple of conscious choices to lighten up in mind, body and heart. Here's a few ideas!
GET OUTSIDE AND MOVE!
Fresh air + sun = happy, healthy humans. It’s math and science. You can look it up, but if you just do it you can feel it for yourself ;).
Using the full capacity of our lungs obviously more effectively pumps the CO2 out and the O2 in BUT can you also tune-in to the gentle abdominal massage that comes with full diaphragmatic breath? As your diaphragm presses down into the abdomen on the inhale and rises on the exhale, it squeezes and releases the organs - just like a massage would! By choosing to exaggerate this expansion and contraction with the breath (gently expanding and softening the belly), we’re enhancing the massaging effects which: increase circulation to the organs, stimulates digestion, rest and restoration, and re-balances muscle and tissue tension in the area.
EAT MORE GREEN.
A simple way to add more greens to your diet, is to opt for a green juice or green smoothie in the morning (before your breakfast) - see some recipes from the talented Oh She Glows! here. It’s a great way to start the day and you’ll notice that making a healthy and nutritious choice first thing makes you much less likely to reach for that box of chocolate chip cookies later on. PS. Stop eating white sugar and chemical sweeteners (or at eat less of).
HOT AND COLD.
‘Tis the time of year for a sauna or steam followed by a jump in the lake! Or maybe just to add a burst of cold (try 30 sec to 3 min to start) at the end of your hot shower. Not only will the heat get us sweating and open up our blood vessels for better exchange, but the cold has the added effect of making increasing our metabolism and digestion AND an enhanced circulatory effect as it closes the blood vessels, creating a pump.
SPRING CLEAN YOUR CLEANERS.
You’re going to clean the house anyways, why not use a few tried and tested natural cleaners to keep the toxins out of your nest? I like this blog post of natural cleaning tips and easy recipes.
Get a group of friends and acquaintances together to swap the clothes (and other) that you’re about to throw out. Not only are you getting that new-to-you wardrobe to satisfy spring’s need for a fresh start, you’ll also get back in touch (... chances are you were in hibernation mode the past few months) with all those great humans to do fun things with this summer.
You're made out of it. Nothing says clean and pure like clean and pure water. Consider a water filter for your tap water so you feel good about using your reusable bottle AND avoiding the chemicals added in from the water treatment plant. (If you don't have a water filter, please still drink the tap water and use your bottle unless unadvised by your township, plastic bottles are just embarrassing at this point in our evolution... if you're unsure why please watch The Story of Bottled Water by The Story of Stuff).
Yes you feel the need to move and act and be out in the world. But first, get clear on what it is you want and need: think about what seeds you’d like to plant. This way, you can direct that spring-fever energy towards growing something that will benefit you, and you will happily reap what you’ve sown come fall.