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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 July 10, 2020

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

      Boundaries are limits

      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
      • When do you feel disrespected?
      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
      • When do you want to be alone?
      • How much space do you need?

      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

      Sample language:

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      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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      Final Thoughts

      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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