Spring is the time of year everyone is into cleansing and detoxing, so I’ve got a few cleansing tips to help get you started on the right track. Cleansing is a tricky subject. When done the wrong way, it can actually make you sick rather quickly. Yet, done the right way, it can be very beneficial to your emotional and physical health. Some of these cleansing tips are my favorite to follow each spring, and they’re not hard or unsafe at all. If you’re like me, you enjoy mild cleansing benefits that don’t require a lot of time, money, or sacrifice in taste. Plus, I always feel so much better afterwards and make better choices all year round. Oh, and be sure to let me know if you have any too! I’m always up for safe, healthy cleansing tips that you enjoy too!
1. Ditch Dairy
Dairy is a food I don’t eat a lot anyway, but one of the best cleansing tips I can give you is to give it all up altogether for spring time cleansing. My measly amount of Greek yogurt I enjoy regularly isn’t a bad thing, or even the worst thing I could do, but for cleansing, it isn’t beneficial. Dairy is mucus forming, causes excess fluids, can slow down digestion, and can decrease optimal energy. You can take a probiotic supplement if you’re concerned with missing the probiotic benefits from dairy in your diet. You can also drink healthy options like coconut kefir, or eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Ditching dairy will not only help you think clearer, but also have more energy, better digestion, and likely, a better mood overall. All dairy like milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, kefir, and buttermilk must go. Use unsweetened almond milk instead of milk, and nondairy yogurts instead of regular.
2. Eliminate Most Processed Foods
Be sure even if you’re eating vegan or dairy-free on your cleanse that you don’t replace animal foods with too many processed foods. Vegan cheese and butter might not have dairy, but still contain a lot of excess ingredients. Keep most of your foods whole and clean, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil. Don’t overcomplicate things with too many processed foods. It not only halts your cleansing, but isn’t necessary.
3. Ditch Caffeine
I love my morning cup of coffee, but when I’m cleansing, I quit it for at least two weeks. I replace it with green juice or a hot cup of matcha tea. While matcha green tea still has caffeine, it’s very low since the green tea is never heated during processing, which reduces the caffeine. You want to eliminate caffeine altogether if you can though. Good choices include rooibos tea, decaf green tea, a hot almond milk latte with cinnamon, and even just hot lemon water with cayenne.
4. Learn to Love Lemons
Lemons are one of the most powerful detoxifying and cleansing foods you can use in your diet, especially while you’re cleansing. They help release excess water in the body, cleanse the liver of toxins and fat, and make an excellent replacement to salad dressing, or to spruce up your water. They also improve your immune system due to high Vitamin C, which is essential all year round, but especially while you’re cleansing. Vitamin C can also prevent constipation, which is important during cleansing as well.
5. Up Your Leafy Greens
Leafy greens aren’t just good for you because they’re low calorie, but also because they’re a naturally bitter food. Bitter foods actually improve detox functions in the bowel, kidneys, liver, and the entire digestive tract. They stimulate the body to release wastes and help release excess fats and toxins from the bloodstream. As a benefit, eating leafy greens can also reduce sugar cravings since they are high in magnesium, fiber, and chlorophyll.
6. Consume Winter Squash
Winter squash like butternut, pumpkin, acorn, and even sweet potatoes are some of the most overlooked detox foods out there. These sweet little magical root veggies are amazing for you! For one, their high Vitamin A content keeps your skin looking clear, and also improves your heart health. Their potassium content helps beat bloat, and improves regularity, and their soluble fiber also keeps your bowels moving. They are also naturally sweet, so they are an answered prayer while you’re detoxing and laying low on sugar. Roast them whole, and then slice them after they’ve cooled. It’s the easiest, most foolproof way to cook them. Just throw them on a pan in a 400 degree oven for one hour and that’s all you have to do ! They’re delicious hot or cold, and make a great snack when you need something sweet.
7. Say No to Sugar
If I could give you one piece of advice while you’re cleansing, it would be to ditch the sugar in your diet, even from healthy sources. Go with stevia and even reduce fruit to low glycemic options like berries, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. This will reduce your glycemic load, which can prevent you from craving sugar, and also keep you from suffering fatigue from glycemic spikes.
8. Get More Sleep
You should also aim to get more sleep while you’re cleansing. Your body needs more rest when it’s working hard to cleanse itself from excess toxins and old wastes. Adding just one hour to your night of rest is all you need. Take a magnesium supplement at night if you have a hard time resting. This can also improve your bowel function the next morning.
9. Take a Probiotic
I mentioned this above, but will say it again. A probiotic can help your body eliminate wastes and might be necessary if you give up cultured foods like dairy during cleansing. It can also combat a low mood, depression, and even fight bloat you might have during cleansing. Cleansing often awakens old poisons in the body that might upset your digestion. A good probiotic will help take care of that if you choose a good one.
Cleansing can be safe or harmful, all depending on how you do it. I won’t tell you to go vegan or to eat a crazy diet full of raw foods. While those things can be beneficial, I know they’re not for everyone. If you choose animal protein, try to only eat wild fish, if possible, or at least organic pastured eggs. Overall, a clean diet is one of the best detox principles you can choose, but some of the tips above can take things to the next level. Do you have a tip for spring cleansing to share?