Ten Simple Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Body

11358238_487012951461730_1798203529_nAre you getting over a cold? Dealing with unexplained headaches or mild nausea? Maybe you’re sick to death of everything you’ve been making for dinner for the last few months and can’t find much of an appetite for anything except junky or fatty foods… These could all be signs that your body’s digestion and elimination systems have gotten a little sluggish over the winter and you’re ready for a change. Right now is the absolute perfect time to gently clear and restore your internal “house”. Use these simple, natural practices over the next month or so to get your body and energy revitalized and primed for the warmer months ahead.

1. Drink your water. Get half your body weight in ounces in daily, up to 200 pounds. Spring rains saturate the earth, washing away winter’s impurities and firing up life in dormant plants and seeds. Flushing your system out with extra water will help wash away leftover mucus build up from the cold weather. Mucus acts as a lubricant for our mucus membranes, preventing dry-out in chilly conditions. It accumulates all winter and can become a breeding ground for upper respiratory infections during the transition into spring unless it’s cleared out.

2. Start your day with a cleansing drink. When you wake each morning, have a big glass of pure filtered water with one of the following boosters to help your body’s “janitor” finish up the night’s detox work with a bile flush. Wait at least fifteen minutes before having coffee or breakfast.
Have 8-16 ounces of clean, room temperature water with of one of the following:
• 1 tablespoon pure, unsweetened cranberry juice
• 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
• Juice from half a lemon
• 1-3 teaspoons high quality greens powder

3. Get your rest. The juiciest time for restorative sleep is between 10pm and 6am. Make sure you stop eating at least three hours before bedtime to allow your body enough time to process the food through your digestive channels before resting.

4. Practice “hara hachi bu”. Hara hachi bu is an abbreviated saying of the long-lived Okinawan population to help them stay healthy. Roughly translated, it means to stop eating when your stomach is 8/10’s full. Think of it as stopping as soon as hunger goes away. Eating only when you’re truly hungry and stopping as soon as your hunger abates will significantly “lighten the load” on your digestive system, giving it a much-needed break. It will also help you quickly you lose a few extra pounds of any winter weight gain.

5. Chew your food. Really, really well. Most of us eat like snakes, swallowing our food virtually whole. Try slowing down and chewing each bite thoroughly, turning it to liquid and a fine mash before swallowing. This will ease your digestion and assist with weight loss.

6. Go green. Look for the spring’s seasonal rich, bitter greens and start incorporating them into your salads and cooked veggies. Include 1-3 servings daily of dandelion greens, fiddlehead ferns, young kale and collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, artichokes (these are also rich in fiber), asparagus, fresh young sprouts, etc.

7. Eat extra liver-supportive foods. Add one serving from each category to your daily diet:
• Vitamin C-rich foods, such as raw peppers, parsley, broccoli, fresh squeezed citrus and zest, etc.
• Sulfur-rich foods, such as asparagus, daikon radish, beans, garlic, onion, egg, etc.
• Liver cleansing foods and herbs, such as milk thistle extract or ground seeds, dandelion root tea, or fresh burdock root (try it peeled, sliced and sautéed in a little coconut oil)

8. Sweep out your halls with a bowel “broom” of soluble and insoluble fiber. Include at least two coupled servings in your daily diet. (Tip: when you increase your fiber, you MUST increase your water intake as well and make sure you are consuming enough healthy oils or you could end up backed up.) Try oat bran, all beans (especially kidney, lentil, lima, mung, and split peas), pears and apples with the skins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soaked chia seeds, ground flaxseeds and almonds.

9. Rubs and scrubs. Use a tongue scraper every morning and evening to freshen your mouth and breath and to remove any white/yellow coating. You might also try oil pulling with naturally anti-microbial coconut oil for an even fresher feel. Read more about oil pulling on our Almost Edible Skincare sister site HERE.

Try skin brushing before your showers. Gently dry brushing your skin stimulates the lymphatic system and helps to move the toxins out. It also increases blood circulation to your skin, with an immediately invigorating effect. Use circular strokes over the joints and long strokes over arms, legs and torso, always moving toward the heart. More info and a unique German skin brush on our Almost Edible Skincare sister site HERE. Video demo of dry brushing on this page: almostedibleskincare.com/products/gentle-body-brush. Click on the last picture image in the series.

10. Lymph-flushing exercise and sunshine. Get outside for at least 30 minutes of vigorous walking daily. Pump your arms to help your body stimulate a sluggish “winterized” lymph system.

It’s time to liven up for the coming sunshine, people!!

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