Dear Leah Renee,
I did a detox after the holidays come the New Year, but I’m feeling ready again to prepare for summer and would like to do a little “spring cleaning” for my body now that it’s that time! Do you have any suggestions that are not too drastic? Thanks! ~Regina, NM
Ahhhh…springtime! Warmer weather, flowers in bloom, and longer days inspires us to renew and regenerate. A little spring cleaning is just the way to go. Where to begin?
The Liver! Drugs, medications, environmental pollutants, food additives, unfiltered water, and ALL the food and beverages we consume—the liver gets to process all of it. Our liver is an amazing organ, one that performs over 500 functions such as regulating our metabolism, detoxification, burning or storing fat, cholesterol, processing our hormones, and bile production. The liver is an efficient fat burning organ, but when it is overloaded with toxins and cannot neutralize or eliminate them, it results in weight gain.
We tend to forget it’s not just foods and beverages we need to focus on, but a variety of factors that are toxic and taxing on our body. As mentioned above, environmental pollutants, unfiltered water, stress, and lack of sleep all contribute to a sluggish system.
There are a few ways of effectively cleansing the liver and our body as a whole—and none of them have to involve feelings of nausea, feeling sick, or suffering from headaches. Cleanses are meant to give you that fresh, rejuvenating start your looking for.
Here are some ways to get that going:
- Drink. OK, not everything. Drink water. A lot of it. It’s suggested we drink half our body’s weight in ounces in water every day! For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume 75 ounces of water in a day. My personal goal is to make sure I consume 2 liters and I’m happy.
- Drink some more. A specific drink that is. Each morning, start your day with a cup of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon. This is a natural liver detoxifier. It helps keeps a healthy pH level (that’s right! It may seem acidic because of the lemon, but once it enters our body it is a wonderful alkalizer!), it’s a natural diuretic, helps with digestion, and increases fat metabolism.
- Move it! Whatever makes you happy: Walk. Bike. Hop. Hula hoop. Hike. Run. Skip. Swim. Dance. The list goes on but do it and enjoy it. Take 30 minutes. You deserve it. Get that booty in gear.
- Herbs. Dandelion, milk thistle (aka silymarin), artichoke (leaves), astralagus, and red clover are a few helpful herbs for cleansing the liver. You can take them in the form of a supplement, extract (tincture), or be like me and drink some tea! Yogi makes a good detox tea.
- Eat. Fermented foods, vegetables like beets, peppers, carrots, and lots of greens. Have many of them raw and minus a gallon of sauce on top. Sorry, fried potatoes (aka french fries) dipped in mashed tomatoes (aka ketchup) don’t count 😉 Have lots of garlic and onions—both good for breaking down fatty deposits in the body. Consume fresh fruits like grapefruit, apples, pineapple, cranberry, berries, and watermelon.
- Healthy Fats. Incorporate healthy fats from legumes, occassional eggs with the yolk, avocados, raw nuts, flax and hemp seeds, evening primrose oil, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, coconut oil, sea vegetables and fish.
- Greens. Go the extra mile and include some spirulina, fresh raw vegetable juices, and wheat grass into your diet. This will give your liver a boost of chlorophyll—the same thing that gives plants their color and enables them to convert solar energy to food energy. It acts as a liver cleanser.
- Sleep. Sleep is sooo under-rated. Not only do we need it for a healthy mind and to make us feel alert in general, but that is the time our body does its major repairs. Get enough of it! Strive for 7 to 9 hours as often as possible.
- Crowd out. I don’t like to focus on what you shouldn’t have, so incorporating the right kinds of foods and drinks will help to decrease the room you have for the heavy or processed stuff that makes the elimination process a lot tougher.
- Laugh! Watch your favorite comedy even if it’s the 50th time. Get together with a friend. Laugh with your husband or wife or children. Remember to do what makes you happy. It’s good for you.
All of these things will help to rejuvenate and stimulate the liver which aid in flushing out toxins creating a healthier you. You do not need to starve yourself or live only on liquids. Quick fixes too often result in quick relapses. Slow and steady wins the race–and finding what’s attainable achievable will help you naturally detoxify your body and put a spring back into your step, just in time for summer.
What’s your favorite way to spring clean?