Spring is here!! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the snow has finally melted away. This time of year we sell or donate unwanted and unused items, switch to a wardrobe of lighter fabrics in bright colors, come out of hibernation and head back outdoors, and deep clean every nook and cranny of our houses – washing away the winter blues. Spring is a time for new beginnings.
Winter can leave you feeling sluggish long after the last icicle has melted away. And kick-starting a healthier lifestyle is a struggle after months of overindulgence at holiday parties and family gatherings. Too many drinks, heavy meals, and sugary treats can weigh your body down, overworking it’s natural purification systems – the gut, the kidneys, and the liver, leading to a buildup of toxins.
When working properly, your body’s natural waste-removal systems can clear your body of toxins efficiently and effectively. However, an overload of toxins can cause them to become sluggish, leading to a build up of toxins in your body. Symptoms of toxic overload can include:
- Feeling tired, sluggish, or lethargic
- Trouble concentrating
- Joint pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Catching colds easily
- Frequent bloating or indigestion
- Depression, irritability, and/or mood changes
- Food sensitivities and/or allergies
Does this sound familiar? Experiencing several of the above symptoms may indicate that you are experiencing toxic overload.
But not to worry! You can help your body to feel great, regaining balance and health. A dietary cleanse is a great option, as (with a little determination) we can easily control what we put into our bodies. A cleanse is like hitting the reset button on your health, allowing your body’s natural waste-removal systems to come back into balance and work for you, rather than against you.
We’re not talking about fad cleanses like the lemonade-cayenne pepper concoction, an all juice diet, or fasting. These options are not only unhealthy, they are completely impractical for our active lifestyle.
We’re talking about a holistic approach, incorporating whole foods with plenty of water and exercise. Throughout the month of April, we’ll share with you our approach to cleansing with a series of recipes and tips.
The foods we’ll be focusing on during this April cleanse are:
- Whole grains – oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – anything you can find in the produce section!
- Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and nut butters made from them (Peanuts and peanut butter are allergens and can irritate digestion. Try to stay away from them as much as possible.)
- Vegetable proteins – beans, lentils, legumes
- Dairy substitutes – almond milk, soy milk, and soy yogurt (Soy is a common allergen. If you are allergic or suspect you may be, eliminate soy products completely.)
- Fats – avocado, olive oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, nut butters (see above)
- Sweeteners – agave nectar (used very sparingly)
- Liquids – water, herbal teas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, vegetable broth
We’ll also be highlighting the importance of exercise to get your blood flowing, including low impact exercises that are not hard on joints and exercises that do not require expensive equipment.
We’re cleaning out our refrigerator and pantry, dusting off our running shoes and yoga mat, and we’d love to take you with us on this journey!