Gill Stannard

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why and How to Spring Clean

A bit like when we spring clean the house, sometimes we don’t know how much gunk is hiding behind the furniture til we move it around. In this case, it’s not til we rest the gut to allow the body to spend more energy moving the rubbish and repairing the damage do we know how good we can actually feel.

Spring is the best time to clean up your act. Winter is not only cold, it is a time of inactivity and stodgy food. When the sun comes out, for most of us, our motivation rises again and we feel more empowered to make some changes.

Some signs you need a spring clean include:
Lack of energy
Dark circles under your eyes
A coated tongue
Pre-menstrual Syndrome
Aching joints
Digestive disturbances
Lack lustre looking skin

There are many levels of cleaning or detoxing you can undertake. The lower the level the longer it will take to notice the positive benefits.

1. Remove the poisons: No alcohol, caffeine (including soft drinks, chai, green tea) – drink only pure water (ideally 2-3 litres/day), herbal teas and pure, fresh vegetable juices. Give up smoking! See a hypnotherapist for help – stoping smoking is as easy as that. Obviously avoid the party drugs and skip regular painkillers if you get a headache. Reduce your stress, breath deeply, walk in the fresh air daily. Start each morning with the juice of half a lemon in warm water. Dry brush your skin before you shower. Have a sauna once a week.

2. Cut out refined food – there go the biscuits, bread, snacks, chocolates and other premade goodies. No salt, sugar, flour or dairy products. Eat only organic produce.

3. Cut out all animal products (meat, eggs, fish, dairy). Diet is based on fresh organic fruit and vegetables with nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains (oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa etc). Cook everything from scratch. Include a raw element to all/most meals.

4. Fruit fast for 1-3 days. Eat only one type of fruit each day and lots of water.*

*Not suitable for those pregnant or breastfeeding, diabetics, people on prescribed medication or anyone with a history of eating disorders. A fast is best attempted in consultation with a naturopath.

The benefits of the Spring Clean

Though initially you may have headaches, pimples or excess mucus – which may not put you in the best of moods, once the cleanse has been established you should feel:

Clear headed
In touch with your body
Have glowing skin
..and usually be a few kilos lighter if you were not your optimum size.

Leslie Kenton, “Leslie Kenton’s 10 Day Clean-Up Plan” – a classic guide, easy to follow and inspiring.

Alex Jamieson “The Great American Detox Diet” – The vegan girlfriend who got Morgan Spurlock back from having a liver like pate when he made “Supersize Me”. A comprehensive book about diet and nutrition.

A blog about detoxing starting from day 1.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Would you suggest any herbs to supplement a detox? Is St Mary's Thistle good to take along with some psyllium to cleanse the bowel? Tks

Health Trip said...

In people whose health history that I do not know I am reluctant to advise on taking any herbs. I would start with the dietary guidelines given in this summary and suggest you see a well qualified western herbalist to get appropriate herbal treatment to further assist you.