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Cleanse: Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Your Mind

Cleanse: Spring Cleaning for Your Body and Your Mind

Spring is on its way. Winter, with its rich holiday foods and cold, short, and dark days, has likely left you with a lot less energy than during warmer months when sun and fresh produce are plentiful. You may have even added a few pounds. Not to worry. Even before the weather is warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, you can get a workout doing your household spring cleaning and get that energy level back with a detoxifying cleanse. Getting rid of toxins and losing a few pounds will increase quality of life and general wellness.

Spring Cleansing

Below you will find a protocol along with supportive instructions for a pre-cleanse and the cleanse itself. If you have never experienced a cleanse, you may be surprised by the short period of physiological changes that you may experience. Do not be alarmed if you experience sweating, lightheadedness, weakness, nausea, or a change in body temperature. Although these are common symptoms associated with a cleanse, do not ignore any change that seems extreme. If you feel uncomfortable with continuing the cleanse at any time, you can stop and opt for light vegetable salads and raw soups. You may stop a cleanse at any time, but to fully realize the benefits, the full course must be completed.

Pre-Cleanse

Prepare your body by easing into the full cleanse. You may want to consider beginning on a Friday since the 2nd and 3rd day of the pre-cleanse and the cleanse are usually the toughest. You will have Saturday and Sunday to rest during the tough days (if you have different days off, adjust accordingly). This simply means that if you are accustomed to a heavy meat diet along with fried foods or if you consume nicotine, alcohol, sweets, and other drugs (except medication under a physician’s supervision), you should reduce your intake of these and incorporate the following.

Water

Drink at least 2 liters of water or more per day. Use an alkaline water of Ph of 8.5+ or spring water. Water is the living element that removes all toxins. Reduce carbonated drinks, flavored drinks, black teas, and caffeine as they may decrease the impact your body will feel during a cleanse.

Food

Incorporate healthier, plant-based whole food choices. Eliminate heavy trans-fat, high sugar, and empty-calorie foods. As you transition into the cleanse, keep these dos and don’ts in mind as they become very important during the cleansing protocol.

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Dos

  • Consume dark leafy greens such as kale and collard greens (you can add to salads or make soups).
  • Consume sprouts, whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, brown rice), seeds, nuts, and legumes. Use raw, organic, unprocessed, and unsalted varieties.
  • Consume seaweed (alaria, Kombu, dulse, nori, or dehydrated sea palm) and kelp noodles. You can also add these to miso-barley paste for added nutrition. You may also add mushrooms for taste and benefits. Avoid added salt and flavorings, when possible.
  • Consume a variety of fruit such as pomegranates, grapefruit, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and local seasonal fruits. Try to minimize the intake of bananas, cherries, grapes, and oranges. Although delicious, their sugar profiles may set off a little trouble during the beginning of a cleanse. If concerned about candida, please refer to candida-safe foods section. **
  • Cultured food: Yes! Consume plenty of raw kimchee, sauerkraut, or other fermented foods. These will enable gentle elimination and a balance in body acidity.
  • Cultures: Minimize intake of cheese and other dairy products to one serving a day. You may consume a small amount of unpasteurized milk and goat’s milk kefir for probiotic building and immune fortification. You may substitute dairy probiotic for coconut water kefir or traditional kefir.
  • Tea: Herbs that benefit a cleanse are parsley, spearmint, chamomile, marshmallow root, burdock, and dandelion. These are non-acidic and caffeine-free. Drink little to no stimulant teas such as green or black tea. Abstain from other brewed drinks like yerba mate and guaraná.
  • Oils: Consume raw, unrefined organic oils. These remove bad fats and introduce good fats in your body that detoxify, promote tissue flexibility, and stabilize the immune system. Check product labels to look for: Organic, Cold pressed, Extra Virgin, Unrefined.
  • Gluten-free: Eating breads can be very delightful, yet these contribute to a great portion in intestinal trouble. Try to replace wheat-based breads with gluten-free breads, especially breads that contain sprouted kamut, potato, almond meal, garbanzo beans, coconut flour, sorghum, rice flour, and amaranth. You may opt for gluten-free granola with raw honey, fruit, and yogurt alternative (coconut and almond) as a breakfast.

Don’ts

  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs (unless prescribed by your physician).
  • Avoid refined sugars, empty caloric food, wheat, monosodium glutamate (MSG), genetically modified foods (GMO), saturated fats, artificial flavors and colors, soda or other carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, acidic drinks, pasteurized juice, junk food, and canned food.
  • Avoid excess red meats by gradually reducing portions. The same applies with chicken, fish and eggs. Consume animal protein as minimally as possible.
  • Avoid non-organic food. Nothing says toxicity like food that is loaded with pesticides. Pesticides can cause many harmful effects for the human body and has long been known to potentiate cancer cells. Give your body healthy, local, and organic produce.
  • Avoid processed supplements, unless directed by your physician. Supplements are not necessary if you get plenty of fresh whole foods, water, plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Supplements have been known to contain additives such as magnesium stearates and titanium dioxide. In some instances these excipients may potentiate hepatic-toxins. There are some whole foods supplements that you may continue to take such as chlorella, spirulina, and shilajit.

Stress Relief

Stress can result in overeating, anxiety, and metabolic meltdown. Stress plays a large role in digestive trouble. So do not create stress with the cleansing process itself. Be positive about your preparation and cleansing. Be gentle with yourself if you are unable to follow every detail; there is no right way or wrong way to the process and you should benefit from it, not chastise yourself for not being perfect. Stress induces anxiety that raises cortisol levels in your blood and adding the natural stress of the physiological changes of the cleanse can induce a meltdown during a cleanse. Here are some tips that will help you pre-cleanse mentally and physically:

  • Yoga: You can find yoga classes almost anywhere these days. If not, try a video or record one of the many yoga television programs. All forms of yoga from Bikram to Vinyasa to Kundalini are beneficial. The exercises decompress tissues, relax the mind, and promote proper conscious breathing. Go at your own pace trying to do a little more each session. Enjoy the serenity of silence and being present with yourself.
  • Breathing: Rotational breathing exercises maintain a strengthened respiratory system and permit tissue building, and increase oxygen in the brain. Breathing reduces lethargy, anxiety, and brain fog. Try this exercise: breathe in hold for eight seconds then breathe out and hold for eight seconds. This will ease a tense mind!
  • Walking: A brisk thirty-minute walk is better than no exercise at all. Walking strengthens bones, increases circulation, and is a great detox for your skin. Walking also improves heart rhythms and thus reduces stress-induced anxiety. Get out there and walk!
  • Cardio: While pre-cleansing, remember to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible or break a sweat at the local gym when the weather does not cooperate. Exercise during this period will help to burn excess fat, boost endorphins (happy brain chemicals), regulate blood sugar, and promote optimum digestion. The more you sweat, the healthier you are. Your skin is a large organ that needs detox and sweating takes care of removing stagnant toxins.

The Cleanse

image representing raw foods for juice cleanse

    What you’ll need for the cleanse:

    • Ingredients for the tonic and juice cleanses you wish to use, click on links for recipes.
    • Raw food (see raw food recipes for ideas)**
    • Oils of choice (raw organic coconut or sunflower seed)
    • Alkaline or spring water
    • Journal
    • Warm apparel
    • Water bottles or other small containers to store a day or two worth of juices and to make it easy to take what you need when you go to work or otherwise venture out.
    • Your courage!

    The Big Step: Cleansing

    Your 2-week pre-cleanse has transitioned your body and mind to start your cleanse. Remember, that you do not have to do every part of the cleanse, but do as much as you are comfortable with. Always feel at ease and make sure to take down daily notes in your journal on your feelings and experiences as you cleanse. This will be a great way to encourage yourself and also record an experience of a lifetime: the key to a healthier life. You are now ready to start your cleanse.

    Start by drinking a tonic. Each day, you consume the lightest juice to the heaviest. Each day, the last drink will be the milk. The milk is the heaviest of the drinks. Its protein, magnesium, and fatty acids will ease your transition into the night so you will sleep better. Also, two tablespoons of coconut oil spread throughout the day can promote mental clarity, detoxification, and tissue replenishment.

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    Daily Regimen

    Click on these links for recipes for the tonics and juice cleanses in the regimen below. If hunger strikes and you need solid food, try these raw food recipes .

    image representing authentic burdock tea tonic with shilajit

      1. Tonic (choose one): Authentic, Earth-Cleanse or Out!
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      2. Delhi Punch
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      3. Garden Greens
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

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      4. Bombay Dream
      (Drink water with a pinch of pink salt and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      5. Lotus Greens
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      6. Sattva
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      7. Lakshmi
      (Drink water and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

      8. Blooming Mylk
      (Drink water with a pinch of pink salt and allow 2 hours to pass. Record in your journal)

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      Tips for a Better Cleanse

      • For every juice, let a span of two hours pass. Every juice should be separated by two hours since the food craving and hunger is triggered by the brain after two hours in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
      • Drink 10 or more glasses of water per day. Adding a pinch of pink salt for every fourth glass makes the water alkaline, supports memory, removes toxins, and hydrates tissue.
      • During your cleanse, journal your feelings, your goals, and your thoughts on the whole process. Revisiting your experiences each day is beneficial.
      • If at any time you feel the need to eat solids, you may consume raw salads, fermented foods, or raw soups. Recipes are provided below. Do not force yourself to continue without food since part of cleansing is not creating stress by over-exerting your body to do what it cannot do. If at any time symptoms feel too strong, please discontinue the cleanse and see a physician (if necessary).
      • After your first juice each morning, engage in a light exercise such as walking or yoga. Another invigorating, gentle exercise is to bounce happily with a rebounder. This trampoline-like exercise tool reduces impact on tissues, increases circulation, and improves oxygen flow.
      • Regularly practice breathing exercises throughout the day.
      • If you have digestive issues, have a warm cup of ginger tea with or without burdock. Ginger is effective for digestive function, clears impurities, and increases body warmth. Warmer drinks are recommended during fall and winter seasons.
      • Keep a long-sleeve sweater of light jacket in your car and office in case you begin to feel a little cold.

      Boost Your Cleanse Benefits

      During your cleanse, focus on detoxing your whole body. These methods have been proven effective and supporting. While you may prefer not to do all of these, give one or more a try to feel a complete sense of detox:

      • Colon hydrotherapy: Have a colonic on the third day of your cleanse. A colonic involves elimination of retained toxic build-up in the colon. The procedure is very safe and the feeling after colon hydrotherapy is amazing. It helps to clear skin, reduce weight gain, promote digestion, and rebuild your blood. Maintain this sense of well-being with a colonic once every six months.
      • Infrared sauna: These saunas which are dry heat therapies especially for detox of the largest organ in your body—your skin! These gentle heat waves penetrate about an inch and a half into your tissues to vibrate liquid toxins fixated in your body’s cells. The toxins are pushed away from your skin to be drawn out through sweat or the liver. This mechanism is very safe and is not an ultraviolet ray. This is recommended at least once during the cleanse as this detox reduces cellular toxicity, boosts the immune system, and gives your skin an additional glow!
      • Dry brushing: Our body sheds dead skin. Dry brushing helps your skin feel and look clean. This process also is great for reducing cellulite, releasing gunk from our pores, and increasing circulation. Dry brushing is usually done once every other day before showering and followed by an application of coconut oil or Shea butter.
      • Oil pulling: This amazing Ayurvedic protocol detoxes deep gum and oral tissue. Dental work may have exposed you to mercury, lead, or aluminum. Studies show these toxic metals are the root cause of much illness since they enter into the bloodstream through the gums along with most germs and other pollutants. Oil pulling can be done once a day during the cleanse and up to three months. Combine a teaspoon of both organic sunflower seed oil and coconut oil and rinse in your mouth using a swishing and sucking motion for 5 minutes. When finished, spit out the oil. Not only will your teeth look brighter, your gums will feel healthier.
      • Magnesium bath: Magnesium is one of the most difficult minerals to absorb internally because of its limited availability in food. However, magnesium absorbs effectively into your skin and promotes restoration of tissue, the breakage of bonded toxins, and the expelling toxins through the skin. This also promotes tissue relaxation and nervous system health. Draw a warm, relaxing bath adding about a cup of magnesium flakes and, optionally, a half cup of aluminum-free sodium bicarbonate, then enjoy for at least fifteen minutes. Taking a magnesium bath frequently for two months will make your skin look radiant and healthy.

      **Tips for those with Candida or fungal flare-ups: As with Candida or fungal infections, the best diet is one which is free of sugars both simple and complex. One of the greatest challenges is also that when doing a Candida diet you also have to limit roots, most legumes and fruits.

      How Are You Feeling?

      Cleansing can be a little tough and can elicit emotions from crying to elation. This stream of emotions varies from person to person and have varied results for everyone but getting to know yourself physically and emotionally is one of the benefits of the cleanse. A cleanse helps our brain to chemically function at its best. So a good cry, laugh, or boisterously sung song can help you cope and experience the best of the cleanse.

      While cleansing, keep in mind a goal you may want to achieve: feeling healthy, fitting in that dress, combating that ailment, or simply wanting emotional balance. Cleansing provides so many benefits for you and during the process you get to be very intimate with your body and how it responds to your conscientious food choices and healthy habits.

      Hold a mantra in your heart (a saying that you repeat to yourself for encouragement). Repeat to yourself that you are doing this for your general well-being. Give yourself a pat on the back, you made it this far and maybe you might feel like adding a couple more days. The change begins with you and you decide if you want to take this small step for the sake of your entire health.

      Note: The statements about the products or processes featured herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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