Spring is on its way – yesterday I noticed some daffodils are out, trees have started to blossom and the bright colors sure are refreshing! Around this time of year, we often feel a surge of energy, new motivation and for some of us… it’s spring cleaning time!
While cleaning out and reorganizing all areas of your life is important – it’s also important to consider if your own body needs a little spring cleaning too! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the time of year which our liver is most active. Our livers play an important role in detoxifying all the daily junk we’re exposed to – whether it’s the extra glass of wine on the weekend, the pesticides in our food or the pollution in the environment we live in. So during the time when your liver is at it’s best is a great time to do a little spring cleaning and detox!
While a detox may sound scary and complicated – it can be as simple as you want to make it. A 2-3 week challenge is a great way to get started. Here are the basics according to Kate, a fellow CCNMer and RSNC intern from An Avocado a Day team:
What does detoxification really mean?
The word detox generates a lot of hype, people are often intrigued about the actual mechanism behind detoxification. Detoxification is a complex concept which occurs naturally in our bodies. Due to the number of toxins and chemicals found in our food, water, air and through metabolism, they can accumulate over time. Detoxification regimes are quite common in naturopathic medicine. The process often involves dietary and lifestyle changes, which reduce the intake of toxins while improving their elimination.
A detox can last from as little as 5 days to 3 months depending on your health goals. As is true for all naturopathic protocols, an individualized approach is recommended. The most basic detoxification involves only diet modifications, which is a great start if this is your first attempt at detoxing. The big 5 to avoid are gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol and coffee! Further benefit can be achieved by adding supplements, herbs, exercise or and other treatments (stay tuned for a post on this!). Here are some basic diet modifications that I have personally found very beneficial:
- Whole food, hypo-allergenic diet: Avoid suspected and known food allergens.
- Other foods to avoid: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn, Peanuts, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar (except honey or maple syrup; but use in moderation) and any processed foods.
- Basically, if your food comes in a package you can NOT eat it!
- Water! drink 2-3 liters of water daily. Water should not be consumed with meals as it may interfere with digestive enzyme functioning. Consume water 30 minutes before or after meals, and add a slice of lemon for added benefit.
These are the basics of detoxing – nothing complicated! Sometimes the hardest part is finding a time that works for you to add a little extra food preparation into your schedule. But, the benefits can be tremendous! Start thinking about how you can challenge your eating habits and how your diet could use a little spring cleaning! Check back soon for detox tips and recipes. In the meantime – get to your Farmacy!