Spring Cleaning -Inside & Out-
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. With it comes a sense of renewed energy and motivation. I love hearing the birds chirping, watching the squirrels build their nests, and smelling the blossoms from flowering trees and bushes. I look forward to opening up my windows and doors to let the fresh air clear out any stagnant winter air stuck in the house. I also notice the earth does a little cleansing herself. The winds come and blow away any dried leaves while the rain clears away the grit and grime left from winter snow. Not only is it a natural time to clear out our home and gardens, but it is also a great time to cleanse our bodies. Here are our top five body parts to focus on when cleansing your body this spring.
The liver is responsible for processing everything we consume and is essential for optimal health and vitality. The liver acts as a filtration system that removes toxins and other harmful elements that we consume or produce when digesting food. The more toxins we are exposed to the harder the liver has to work. The liver utilizes two detoxification pathways and both need to be running smoothly for proper detoxification or cleansing. Increasing intake of organic and minimally processed foods takes some of the burden off of the liver. Other foods such as cruciferous veggies-cabbage, brussel sprouts, and broccoli as well as sulfurous foods- onions, garlic, and artichokes help assist in the cleansing process. Antioxidant fruits and veggies like blueberries, kale, and sweet potatoes, help remove the free radicals created during detoxification.
More and more information is coming out about the importance of happy and healthy gut flora. Imagine that you have millions of little pets that you are taking care of in your gut. These pets thrive when fed an ample amount of organic veggies, fruits, whole grains, protein, and water. Poor diet, excessive stress, and alcohol deplete our flora and impact digestion and elimination. Many times in the winter, germs are flying around and we end up taking antibiotics. This also depletes the gut flora. Try adding in pre and probiotics to rebalance the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria. Reduce consumption of processed sugars and alcohol while increasing consumption of high fiber fresh fruits and veggies as well as filtered water.
Though the holidays can bring lots of joy, they can also feel overwhelming and stressful at times. Spring is a great time to focus on slowing down and pressing reset. The autonomic nervous system has two pathways- sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest). All too often, we are stuck in the fight-or-flight setting whether it be too many emails in our inbox or deadlines and pressures from work and home. In order to bring a little balance back to your nervous system, find ways to calm yourself during the day. Periodically throughout the day, focus on taking 5-10 deep cleansing breaths. The vagus nerve that stimulates the rest and digest setting is activated by deep diaphragmatic breathing. Meditation is another great way to calm the nervous system and allow the body an opportunity to relax.
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ? Skin is responsible for regulating our body temperature, detoxifying through sweat and keeping our fluid levels in check. It also protects us from harmful bacteria. Take time to go through the products you are putting on your skin- moisturizers, sunscreens, deodorants, bug sprays. Try to swap out any chemical filled products with organic natural products. Epsom salt baths can be a great way to relax and promote elimination of toxins. Skin brushing can increase circulation to the surface and exfoliate dead skin.
These days, we are bombarded with information whether it be on TV, internet or smartphones. I like to conjure up the image of a snow globe. All day, we are walking around with our heads “shaken” up. We are constantly stimulated by devices that emit “junk light” that confuses our sleep hormones. When doing a cleanse, think about a technology detox as well. Instead of grabbing your phone, carve out time to read a book, take a few deep breaths or give meditation a try. Meditation can be a great way to get the “snowflakes” and busy-ness in our brains to settle. Practice getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. A great day usually starts with our sleep habits the night before.
Looking for Support?
If you are feeling motivated to reset your body and would like a community to support you through the process, join Katelin Parkinson ND and me, Ashley Parsons INHC, for our 10-Day Spring Reset. You can find more information and purchase your ticket by clicking here: 10-Day Spring Reset. Please register by April 11th.