Spring is here! Birds are chirping, snow is melting, and the sun is shining. Time to start Spring Cleaning! This is a great time to clear out stagnation, resetting the body and mind, creating fertile ground for new growth and abundance.
Contrary to popular belief, detoxifying the body and mind doesn’t mean starvation or strange concoctions from your local health food store, it means getting the nutrients you need from real food while resting the organs which, most of the time, run on overdrive. Below are simple routines which can be incorporated into daily life. Choose a few or try them all.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Morning Routines to Eliminate Toxicity in the Body
These morning routines aid the bodies ability to eliminate built up toxins.
Dry Brushing: An ancient practice of awakening the skin and simulating the lymphatic system to drain, supporting the immune system. Similar to brushing your hair or teeth, dry brushing is the brushing of the skin in a specific manner with natural bristles. Other benefits include increased energy and blood flow, cellulite reduction, and exfoliation of the skin. You can purchase a dry brush at most stores which carry health and beauty supplies. Amazon also carries several options (click here).
Tongue Scraping: During the night the body begins eliminating unnecessary mucus from
the body through the mouth. This build up, if left on the tongue, can be re-ingested and assimilated into the body which can compromise the digestive and immune systems. There is a simple solution: tongue scraping. There are several types of tongue scrapers on the market which are available at most drug stores, or buy online (click here). If you’d like to “try before you buy”, use a spoon from your kitchen and reap the benefits. Advantages of tongue scraping include improved breath, promotes gut health by eliminating toxin build up, and enhances one’s sense of taste.
Oil pulling: Practiced in Ayurvedic traditions for over 3,000 years, oil pulling does as the name suggests, pulls toxins from the mouth before they can be ingested. Using an organic coconut or sesame seed oil, swish inside the mouth (not gargle) for 5-20 minutes. Spit the oil into a trash can, avoiding the sink (no clogs here). Do this after scraping the tongue, but before brushing. Benefits include whitened teeth, elimination of toxins, boost in oral health, and can reduce severity of headaches brought on by detoxification.
Nourish with Real Food
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha
Try the following regimen for 1-7 days and be rewarded with mental clarity and physical well being.
Lemon Water: Beginning each day with warm lemon water awakens the digestive and elimination organs, loosens toxins, and resupplies us with hydration, vitamins, and minerals. Add a splash of Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar to support gut bacteria and stimulate the liver. Drink 4-8 ounces before consuming any other drink or food.
Vegetable Juice: Mid-morning, or whenever hunger strikes, grab 16-32 ounces of vegetable juice. Make it at home with a juicer or blend vegetables with water then strain using cheese cloth or nut-milk bag. If possible, stick to fresh juices. They contains more micro-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. If time is limited, go to your local health food store and purchase your favorite vegetable juice, but beware of added salt and sugar. Below are my favorite store bought varieties.
Green Smoothie: Noon to mid-afternoon enjoy 32-64 ounces of green smoothie. Below is a basic green smoothie recipe. Feel free to change any ingredients to fit your personal taste and nutritional needs. Remember, greens aid the bodies elimination process and rid the body of built up toxins, try to eat as much of them as possible!
5-6 cups greens (chard, kale, romaine, or spinach)
1 cup frozen fruit (berries, peaches, cherries, etc.)
1-2 whole fruits (apples, pears, oranges)
1 tbsp- 1/4 cup plant based protein (flax seed, almonds, walnuts, etc.)
Salad or lightly steamed vegetables: For dinner make the world’s biggest bowl of veggies and eat enough to satiate hunger. Use one of my salad dressing recipes to massage into kale or top grilled romaine. Get creative and Enjoy!
A note of recommendation: During the detox process strive to break from the use of seasonings (salt, pepper, chili powder, etc.) which will allow your digestive tract to relax and recover. Also aiding in this process of digestive recovery is incorporating juices and smoothies which are already broken down, allowing the body to focus on toxin elimination. During this time stick to normal activity, but not over excursion. This is not the day to run an ultra marathon or go on a 4 hour mountain bike ride. Listen to your body.
Minding the Body
Meditation: Meditation is known for relieving negative effects of stress on the body and mind, easing anxiety, and establishing an overall feeling of well being. Begin by dawning comfortable clothing and a comfortable posture – sitting is preferred, but lying down works great too (just don’t fall asleep!). Choose from one of the below guided meditations or set a timer. Focus on the breath and bodily sensations.
Body Scan with Dave Potter: 32 minutes or 20 minutes
In the body scan, we are developing a greater intimacy with bare sensation, opening to the give and-take embedded in the reciprocity between the sensations themselves and our awareness of them. As a result, it is not uncommon to be less disturbed by them, or disturbed by them in a different, a wiser way, even when they are acute. Awareness learns to let them be as they are and to hold them without triggering so much emotional reactivity and also so much inflamed thinking about them.
Return to Presence with Tara Brach: 21 minutes
It’s natural that our attention wanders, and the more we relax back, the more that becomes our habit…returning to presence. This meditation opens with conscious breathing and awakening through the body. We then rest in open awareness, and when the attention drifts, guide ourselves to rest our minds, over and over, in the aliveness and presence that is right here.
Sitting Meditation with Dave Potter: 32 minutes or 20 minutes
We call the heart of the formal meditation practice “sitting meditation” or simply “sitting.” As with breathing, sitting is not foreign to anyone. We all sit, nothing special about that. But mindful sitting is different from ordinary sitting in the same way that mindful breathing is different from ordinary breathing. The difference, of course, is your awareness.
Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Piercy: 38 minutes
Yoga Nidra—known as yogic sleep—is a meditation and conscious relaxation practice that is intended to induce total physical, mental, and emotional relaxation.
Yoga (Āsana): Designed to enhance the bodies function, allowing one to sit in meditation. In these postures one should be steady and comfortable, yet firm and relaxed. Below are links to two basic yoga sequences: One flow yoga and the other traditional Hatha.
20 Minute Flow for Beginners with Candice (click here).
20 Minute Gentle Hatha Yoga Stretch with Candice (click here).
Dry Brushing: https://wellnessmama.com/26717/dry-brushing-skin/
More Green Smoothie Recipes: http://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-101