Spring "Cleansing" - Culinary Therapy

Spring “Cleansing”

The long awaited change from winter to spring is finally here in the North East. I was hiking with my husband and children this weekend, and we were thrilled to see some early signs of awakening, from the blooms peaking out of the ground, to the bugs (my daughter Nadia’s favorite past-time), to the greening of the grasses.

In Chinese medicine, Spring is the time for new beginnings. It is the time of year that the body naturally sheds its winter coat, cleansing itself of the heavy fats and foods of winter. The excess weight that warms us in the colder months doesn’t serve us energetically in the warmer months ahead. We naturally eat less, and the foods our bodies crave are often light foods like fresh greens and sprouts.

Eating lighter foods is a great way to aid the body’s natural system of cleansing. Removing the “garbage” from your diet while simultaneously incorporating whole, real foods is especially beneficial for the body’s mechanisms of detoxification.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are exposed to alot of toxins. This causes the body’s natural mechanisms of detoxification to become overburdened and function less optimally. It then becomes really important to support the body’s natural detoxification process, and a great way to do that is through cleansing.

 

So, what is cleansing?  

Quite simply, cleansing is the process by which we eliminate excess toxins from our bodies. It’s an opportunity to rid the body of foods and chemicals that aren’t serving us. And, it’s meant to improve our ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

It is not a diet, and typically short term (3-21 days).

There are two types of toxins we are exposed to: toxins that are generated internally (endogenous toxins) and externally (exogenous toxins). Some examples of external toxins are environmental chemicals; plastics in water bottles; pesticides in produce and water; ingestible chemicals in junk and processed foods; genetically modified foods; antibiotics and growth hormones in factory-farmed animal foods.

Through the process of cleansing, we activate the body’s systems of detoxification, improving our ability to detoxify and enabling our bodies to recover from toxic overload (and function better).

A welcome side effect of this process is often a healthy “jumpstart”: increased energy, better sleep, elimination of cravings, glowing skin, and loss of unwanted weight, when done correctly.

 

How do we cleanse healthfully?

Cleansing and detoxification has been around since the early ages, but has recently become a fad. Free cleanses abound on the internet. Fasting is commonplace. Juicing for good health has gone mainstream. And while juicing, for example, can be very healthy for some people, for others it has deleterious effects on their health. One should know that cleansing done the wrong way, without the support of a nutrition expert or health care professional, could actually do more harm than good.

My recommendations for optimal cleansing are to:

1.  choose a whole-foods based cleanse

2.  start and end slowly

3.  know what to do following your cleanse to transition into a healthier lifestyle

 

Join me!

If you are ready to cleanse, join me for The Jumpstart Cleanse for Busy Moms.  This is a gentle, whole foods based cleanse designed to help you prioritize your own health and experience the benefits of cleansing in just 14 days.

 

 

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