Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic traditions place a lot of emphasis on our bodies connection to nature and the seasons, and one common practice as the season changes from winter to spring is the concept of seasonal cleansing.
Naturally, at this time of year we feel the desire to spring clean our houses. We feel the urge to get rid of clutter and make space in our homes because spring is a time of freshness. According to the laws of nature, spring is an amazing time to cleanse away the heaviness of winter in our own bodies as well. You'll notice that you start feeling the urge to eat lighter, you'll crave more raw foods, or perhaps you've set a little mission to clean up your diet and are cutting out certain indulgences for a while in attempt to purge away some of that winter blah.
Here are some quick tips you can incorporate to your daily routine to help support your body's natural detoxification processes.
- When you wake up, hydrate!
- While you sleep, your body goes into repair mode. Since your energy no longer needed to fuel your daily activities, more of that internal energy goes towards repair and rejuvenation work on your body. A lot of water is used in this process. So when you wake up in the morning, before reaching directly for that cup of coffee and playing catch up the rest of the day, put yourself two steps ahead by re-hydrating first. Fill a tall glass with tepid water, a squish of lemon and pinch of pure sea salt (minerals aka cell food!) and enjoy while going about your morning routine.
- Boost your lymph flow
- Your lymphatic system is pretty awesome. It is a fluid that flows through your body removing waste, toxins, parasites and pathogens from your body. We have more lymph than we do blood, it's an integral part of your immune system and because it doesn't have a pump like your blood does to move it, it relies on movement of your muscles and your breath to help move it along. Daily exercise is a great way to support this system.
- Dry brush! Grab a dry brush (pictured below) from your local health food store and start brushing your skin for a few minutes before your daily shower. Brush upwards in a circular motion towards your heart. This is amazing for cellular renewal, supporting your immune system, combating cellulite and supporting circulation.
- Alternate hot and cold water in the shower- cold water causes your lymph vessels to contract and hot water causes them to relax. The movement between the two will help "pump" stagnant fluid. This is a great practice if you are trying to reduce inflammation in the body while boosting circulation and your immune system. (Note: if you have a heart condition, skip this.)
- Eat things that are nutrient dense
- Ensuring that each day you supply your body with free radical blasting antioxidants and the nutrients it requires to function properly is the best way to stay healthy and support your natural detoxification system regularly. Raw foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that are often lost in the cooking process. Whatever your current diet may be, challenging yourself to incorporate highly nutritious things to every meal is always a plus.
- One of my favourite ways to get in a good nutrient blast is to make a smoothie! It can be as simple as some fruit with green stuff and a chunk of ginger to something a little bit more fancy like my Almond Butter and Jelly Smoothie!
- Increase your fiber intake
- Adequate fiber intake keeps digestive movements regular. It is an important bulking agent that literally absorbs and catches waste and toxins and brings them out of your body.
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and plenty of healthy seeds like flax and chia is a great way to ensure you get enough fiber, while also providing a source of some of those dense nutrients mentioned above!