Spring renewal, inside + out!
spring is just around the corner, and the sensation of our budding surroundings are palpable. soon the daphne will intoxicate us as we walk by, the cheery blossoms will be overhead, and the tulips and daffodils will be unfurling to the sun. we, too, are emerging from hibernation. as we wake up our sleepy bones from the slower pace of winter, we meet spring ready to dust ourselves and our home off, ready to embrace simplicity and renewed health. we exchange the crock pot of winter’s slow cooking for the blender and juicer for quicker and fresher ways of eating. we clean out the fridge, clean out the closets, or go on a ‘cleanse’.
many traditional systems of healing, such ayurveda and chinese medicine, recognize the elemental forces of spring as regenerative, light, ‘green’, and healing. the seeds we have sown, metaphorically, over winter, begin to push through the soil, giving us feedback on what we have been nurturing in our lives, or not.
ideas for internal cleaning :
- practice meatless mondays. if you are an omnivore, reducing your overall intake of meat will not only reduce your risk of heart disease and other degenerative diseases, but reduce the strain on our environment and resources. Eat lower on the food chain one day/week and choose the highest quality meat you can find when you do eat it. [pasture raised, hormone free, local]
- elimination diet, 7-10 days. eliminate your suspected ‘triggers’ by avoiding them for 7 days, then reintroducing slowing, noting your reactions. common culprits to digestive, mood, and immune challenges include wheat, dairy, corn, caffeine, sugar, and processed soy.
- anti-inflammation diet, up to one month, or more! this is a bit more challenging than the elimination diet, yet highly effective with overt inflammatory conditions, and most of us have chronic low grade inflammation that may be asymptomatic or disguised as mild fatigue. this diet promotes whole foods, while relieving your body of common foods that are inflammatory. avoid tomatoes, potatoes, citrus, corn [and all processed corn hiding in packaged foods, such as maltodextrin], soy [if you have sensitivity], wheat, pork,sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. this is a wonderful ‘break’ for your body, and worth continuing, or revisiting often, if you feel better while on the diet.
- juice fast, 1-5 days, highly restorative and nutrient dense, especially when including lots of greens and veggies, as well as whole fruit juices and superfoods.
- cleanse program, 7-30 days Supported cleanse programs are a great way to ensure you are cleansing safely, getting optimal nutrition and herbal support to assist detoxification and mitigate cleansing reactions.
- whether you are finally ready to quit smoking, want to start a meditation practice, drink more water, exercise daily, limit negative thinking, or end a toxic relationship, change takes time. we commonly hear it takes 21 days to change a habit, but this is a largely unfounded number. it is different for each of us, and one study found it took an average of 66 days to integrate a change. so be clear, consistent, and forgiving with yourself. Real change takes patience, a willingness to do whatever it takes, and receive support to get through moments self doubt and tenacious old patterns.
ideas for external cleansing :
- cull cupboards, closets of household, cleaning, and personal items that are either expired, toxic, broken, or otherwise unused or no longer useful.
- take stock of your fridge and pantry, again culling out expired, inferior, and highly processed foods that contain lots of additives [preservatives, colorings, highly processed fillers and enhancers, ie. hfcs, hydrogenated oils and msg]. keep an eye out for non-stick cookware that are overly worn, plastics, aluminum, and replace with stainless steel, clay, ceramic, glass, porcelain, or cast iron.
- freshen the air – open windows to let in fresh air, use pure essential oils to diffuse aromatherapeutic scent into the air, and add some greenery with indoor plants that help purify and oxygenate.
- if you opt for a coat of new paint, new linens, furniture or other housewares, seek non-toxic, low voc, and organic materials that don’t off gas harmful chemicals, or contain materials produced with pesticides.
changes like these can help reduce your exposure to allergens, endocrine disrupting chemicals, other pollutants that burden our bodies with undue stress to process. contact me for support!