Creating a Spring Cleanse

The state of our internal environment determines whether disease or imbalances can develop in our body.  In Chinese Medicine blood is the ruler of our internal environment.  By nature, we thrive when our bodies are slightly alkaline.  Alkalizing foods help remove hydrogen ions that can be accumulated from foods, as found in animal proteins or junk food.  If these hydrogen ions aren’t removed then our blood becomes too acidic and our immune system weakens and pathogens are more likely to take root. 

Energetically speaking, when our body is in a healthy state it emits stronger more coherent frequencies and in turn we attract similar energies and dispel any unharmonious. 

Spring is the perfect time to do a cleanse and re-establish a healthy and balanced internal environment.  In addition to supporting our physical health, cleanses also help us gain mental clarity, release unwanted emotional patterns, help us through life transitions and support spiritual centeredness and clarity. Cleanses give our system a break from constant irritants or stressors to our body and allow us to find inner stillness, illuminating our highest Hearts desires and purpose.

A few things to consider when approaching a detox:

  1. Treat it like a ritual.

Historically rituals have been used in spiritual circles as a way to give recognition and appreciation to, and to engage and direct the movement of something bigger than our own self.  Rituals tend to have an opening and closing, and are often used to manifest or give honor to something in our experience.  When we introduce life changes into our experience through rituals our relationship to the change lifts as it naturally encompasses a sacred or honoring perspective.  It also opens our curiosity and creates space in our mind for something new to emerge or be experienced.  I’ve found this to be very helpful when introducing habit changes in my diet or exercise, or meditation practice, or even work projects. 

 2.  Know why you’re doing it & design it to meet your intentions

Everything we do gives us the opportunity to know and understand ourselves even more.  Knowing the motivation behind doing a cleanse will help you stay focused and committed.  It also gives you the ground to design it.  Taking care of the body is a form of art.  Just as an artist shapes a sculpture or seamstress stiches fabrics together, the way we care for our body is seamless with self-expression and how vibrant we think and feel.

When you’re designing your cleanse consider how long you want to do it.  Typically they are anywhere from 3 to 21 days.  Plan what dietary changes you want to make and allow time in your schedule to shop for and prepare the foods.  Consider pulling in different exercise or meditation practices that can enhance your experience and meet your intentions.  You may find as your body releases the toxins in your body that you’re body desires a different form of exercise.  Replacing intense cardio or weight lifting with yoga or tai chi may feel really good.

Writing out your ritual and intentions and post it where you can see it every day can be very helpful.

 3.  Eat your greens

Greens nourish our hearts in so many ways.  From a Hindu perspective, the heart chakra nourishes our system by pulling in the frequency of the color green through our being.  From a Chinese medicine perspective green is associated with the element of Wood, related to the function of the liver that cleans and directs the blood flow and nourishes the heart energy.  Scientifically, hemoglobin (blood) and chlorophyll are almost molecularly identical.  When our diet is full of greens our blood is nourished and alkalinized. Eat your greens raw if you can.  It maintains the healthy enzymes our system needs to stay vibrant.  Cooking food kills the enzymes and depletes its nutrient density.

Great foods to include in a cleanse:

Spirulina
Kale
Collards
Spinach
Celery (especially juiced)
Beets(a great juice is 50% beets and 50% lemons)
Seaweeds (kelp/dulse)
Cucumbers
Daikon Radish
Asparagus
Apples (green in particular)
Parsley & Cilantro (great juiced)
Red Cabbage

Other dietary suggestions for a cleanse:  Eliminate processed foods, sugar, alcohol, coffee/caffeine, processed carbs such as breads and pastas.  Herbs, colonics, steams, and Epsom salt soaks can greatly enhance the effectiveness of a detox.  Speak with your health provider for recommendations.

If you want to try a juice cleanse but don’t have a juicer you can order juices here:http://www.juiceboxseattle.com/

Elimination diet resources: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/p/elimination-diet.html

4.  Detox your mind and emotions

Your body may naturally release emotions or you may recall memories as you go through your detox.  Our body holds on to our memories and what our minds/emotions have trouble processing it will hold on to. Experiencing them or feelings of frustration or grief during a detox can be the body’s way of letting things go.  Acknowledge that whatever experiences you have had is a part of you, but does not need to determine your future.  You may schedule in more quiet time or try things like journaling or yoga to help channel the release of these thoughts and emotions.   If you have a specific behavior or mental/emotional pattern you want to release it can be helpful to set a mantra, a visualization or a meditation with your intention to let it go and bring in the more desired experience.