Keep calm and CLEANSE

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Keep calm and…CLEANSE.

Cleansing can be a great option to pause from your regular routine, listen to your body, and leave behind what you don’t need anymore. 

Spring is coming! YAY to longer days, birds chirping, flowers blooming, fresh local vegetables growing, and DETOXING. Wait, what? Detoxing? Yes indeed. Detoxing, or more accurately, cleansing, becomes highly popular in the springtime. But what does this cleansing craze mean? And is it worthwhile? 

Nowadays, we are increasingly more conscious about the levels of toxicity around us. Unfortunately, toxins are masked under all formats: foods, air, water, cleaning supplies, make up, and skin care products just to name a few (I don’t want to completely freak you out). In parallel, our lifestyles have increasing levels of “toxicity” as we pursue busier, Instagram-perfect lives.  

What’s a girl to do? We can’t just despair.  We need to take that information and work with it.  One of the main goals behind cleansing is to reset our mind and body so we can nourish ourselves in the right way by opting for certain foods, while leaving some others behind. 

BODY

Would you say you have certain eating habits you are not so proud of? I do. I also have some eating habits that I am very proud of, thank you very much. However, we do tend to live our lives in this repetitive cycle which we rarely take the time to revise. Nothing wrong in getting comfortable in our awesome routine, in fact, good habits are built into it, but unfortunately, so are bad ones. 

The problem continues when we lose sight of the consequences our eating routine is having in our lives.   We assume we should have heartburn right after enjoying our coffee with milk in the morning, or that we should feel sleepy after finishing lunch at the office, but it doesn’t have to be like that...at all. 

Some of the most common signs of toxicity in our bodies can be identified as allergies, tiredness, sugar cravings, headaches, bad breath, itchy nose, skin rashes and sleepiness. When we decide to initiate a cleanse, it is our way to really give our body – especially our digestive system – a break.  

Our body has an amazing capacity for detoxification.   It does it every day, 24/7, through several organs, with our amazing and beautiful liver being the most important one of them. The liver, the largest organ in the body, is the chief in command of making dangerous, harmful chemicals change into not so dangerous ones so the body can discharge them safely.  Just amazing!

Spring is universally known as the time to detox and there are reasons why. As the weather warms up and the soil becomes more fertile, there are arrays of greens that bloom from Mother Earth.  Bitter Greens such as dandelion leaves, beet greens and chard are predominantly popular in early spring. These are full of live enzymes and phytonutrients that are particularly beneficial for the liver.

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Cleansing is a time to tune in again with your body, to adopt a diet that allows your body to “reset,” and to ditch habits that were draining your valuable energy.

That sounds good and all, but how can I detox?

There are several cleanses available on the market. However, before jumping into one, I highly suggest consulting with a nutritionist to create a personalized detox program that can help your individual needs. If you are more of a DIY type of person, you can start by adding and ditching certain foods. 

What to Add

Bitter Greens: Any greens that you can get your hands on, and the more bitter the better.  As I mentioned before, bitter greens are excellent for the liver and bile flow. Bile, besides emulsifying fat for its proper transportation and absorption, is also a carrying agent for toxins. 

Fibre: It is so important to incorporate fibre into our eating routine. Fibre can be soluble (dilutes in water) or insoluble (it doesn’t dilute in water, but creates most of the bulk for our poop). Fibre can not only aide in regulating cholesterol and aid in the balance of blood sugar levels, but it also binds to toxins and helps carry them out of the body safely. 

Some of my favourite sources are: apples, pears, oranges, strawberries, bananas, broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, asparagus, artichokes, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and gluten free oats.  I also enjoy lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, almonds and walnuts. 

Bone broth: This is a true healing food. Bone broths assists in the rebuild of the gut lining, can help in the reduction of inflammation in our IG tract, is a good source of natural minerals necessary for our bones, boosts our immune system, and because of its collagen content, it also helps us maintain healthy skin.  Yes, Please!!

Foods to ditch: Coffee...are you still reading? Alcohol (I am pretty sure I lost you now)… but in case you are still with me, you should also take it easy on “beige” foods like pastas, breads, sugary treats & processed foods.  These have a negative impact on your sugar levels, making you feel tired soon after eating them. Remember this is not so much about your need to eliminate foods forever, but leave them out for a short period of time so you can learn how your body feels without these foods…. and how it feels when your body is properly fed. 

Next time we will talk about ways to help your body and mind to Cleanse and to revitalize your energy. Until then, remember CONSISTENCY, NOT PERFECTION. That’s the name of the game and I am 100% sure you can do it!!

- Laura Spencer R.H.N.