Spring Forward with 5 Tips for a Gentle Detox
By: Meghan Prescott
Spring is coming! In Alberta we are firmly planted in the spring of deception after hitting 18 degrees yesterday in Calgary! The parks were booming this weekend, and everyone is eager to get outside in the beautiful weather, especially after the year we’ve had! Spring is a time of renewal for the earth as the trees begin to bud, sap begins to flow, and flowers start to peek out of the ground with their fresh green shoots. Spring is also an excellent time for us to do a renewal of our own, and a great way to start that is to do a gentle body detox. There are a lot of “detox in a box” options out there, but I would caution you to be careful with these. There can be some fairly intense effects, from bathroom trips every 10 minutes, to intense cravings and headaches.
If you choose to do a stronger detox, you need to make sure you’re prepared for it, so make sure you know what you’re getting into first. Even with the gentle detox suggestions below, it’s important to have lots of healthy whole foods on hand and ready to go for when the cravings start. When we detox there will be natural die-off of any extra yeasts or bad gut bugs that have taken up residence, and the liver will be working harder, so you may feel a bit tired for the first few days.
1. Take a sugar break from refined and artificial sugars, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol. We tend to do a lot more baking and indulging in sweets throughout the winter. If you have noticed your consumption of sugar, refined foods, and alcohol has increased, it’s time to take a break. The bad guys in our guts love sugar, and one way to get the gut back into balance is to “starve” the bad guys. Switch out refined carbs for veggie alternatives like lettuce wraps, zucchini noodles, and salads.
2. Get outside for an hour a day. Gentle low intensity movement helps to stimulate fluid circulation throughout the body, and that supports all of the detoxification pathways. A minimum of 15 minutes of moderate paced walking is a good starting point, but ideally aim for 30-60 minutes per day. This can be broken up throughout the day. The natural light we get from being outside is also very therapeutic and can help us to sleep better!
3. Increase your water and herbal tea intake. Water is so important for daily balance in the body, but it is critical during a detox phase as it helps to carry the toxins and wastes out of our bodies. Aim for 3-4 Liters each day. Herbal teas to support the liver while its working overtime are also a great option. Dandelion, Burdock, and Nettle teas are fantastic for this.
4. Have a liver supporting high-fibre green smoothie every day-Green inside, clean inside! There are a million and one recipes for green smoothies out there! It is important to avoid fruit juices and other sugar containing ingredients, and to use pesticide free ingredients. A high-quality plant-based protein powder is a good base to build on. Add freshly ground flax seed and chia seed to increase fibre. Start with 1-2 teaspoons and increase up to a tablespoon over a few weeks so you don’t overwhelm your system. ¼ cup of frozen berries are a great addition, just make sure they’re organic!
5. Eat the rainbow! How cool is it that just looking at the colours of food starts to stimulate good things in our digestion! Eating all of the different colourful veggies gives us a huge variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients to support our detox pathways and provides the wide variety of nutrients we need to support our bodies all the time, but especially during detox.
If all of this seems a bit daunting and you would like some support to do a spring detox, we would love to talk to you! Contact us for a FREE 30-minute consult! We are also thrilled to announce that our first “Reset With Results” online group program went amazingly well, and as a result we are offering it again this spring. Starting in mid-April, we will be taking 8 weeks to Spring Forward, and reset our way of eating, sleep, stress, and movement! We would love to see you there!