It's that time of year again! Time to think about your spring cleaning! Yes, I know–I just posted about cleaning your house with natural products, but I think you know where I'm going with this and you're right–your home isn't the only thing that benefits from a thorough spring cleaning. So can your body! After all, it is your temple, right? Right (she asked again sternly)? If you think you feel good after the kitchen's cleaned, the closets are organized and the couches have been vacuumed under, just think how GREAT you'll feel with a nice, clean, healthy body!
I'm not talking about a hardcore fast or anything (although, don't let me stop you if that how you want to do it *wink*). Here's a simple spring detox that's simple and gentle. Two to six weeks ought to do it, depending on how you feel. Learn to listen to your body.
Lemony Fresh To begin with…when you wake up in the morning, start each each day with a mug of hot lemon water. Just add the juice of one lemon to about eight ounces of hot water. That's it. Sip and enjoy. It's pretty tasty and you don't even have to think about the antioxidants that are getting to work, thinning bile and helping to break down fat-trapping toxins. See? Easy!
Crazy for Cranberries Next step: make cran-water by adding 8 ounces of pure unsweetened cranberry juice to 56 ounces of water (for a liquid total of one gallon) and sip it throughout the day for the duration of your detox. It's not bad, once you get used to it and besides, the fact that it helps battle cellulite is a sweet little motivator. Cranberry also helps balance your pH and suppress hunger while drawing out fatty wastes.
The proanthocyanidins (PACs) found in cranberries help prevent certain bacteria (like E. coli!) from sticking to the urinary tract wall. This anti-adhesion property can also put the kibosh the bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers.
What else are cranberries good for? Recent research shows that cranberries contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that can help protect against heart disease, cancer and more.
Tasting better already, isn't it?
Greenilicious Getting enough leafy greens is important any time of year. Trying matching what you eat to what's seasonally available (for real–just because you can get strawberries in New England in January doesn't mean it's the right time of year to be eating them).
So…as spring approaches, start adding greens like arugula, dandelion greens, a wonderful variety of lettuces, parsley, spinach, Swiss chard and watercress. These spring greens are nutrient-rich foods and are classic when it comes to spring detoxing. Also, lightly steamed cruciferous vegetables like, Brussels sprouts and cabbage can help to support the liver's ability to detoxify the body. "
Get Your Protein Here! Speaking of your liver…don't forget to include lean protein in your diet while you're detoxing. Getting adequate protein is important in order for your liver to produce the enzymes needed to break down the toxins so they're water-soluble and can be easily excreted. High quality proteins like Wild Alaskan salmon or organic free-range chicken are great choices–four to six ounces each day ought to do it.
So there you have it–a spring detox diet that's simple, delicious and virtually pain-free! Happy Temple Cleaning!(Photo credits: lemon photo by chugy; cranberry photo by anne davis; greens photo by maia lagerstedt)