Signs of Spring
During spring, nature goes through the transformative process of renewal. We can emulate this process by looking for ways to clean up our home environment and our spiritual wellbeing. By doing so, we invite the energy of renewal into our own lives. Below are some gentle and safe ways to “Spring Clean” your life from the inside out.
Cleansing the Body
Our bodies are exposed to toxins on a daily basis. We breathe in pollutants from the air and we absorb chemicals from the products we apply to our skin and scalp. There are several body systems that help us eliminate these toxins such as our liver, our kidneys, and even our sweat. But these systems can get overwhelmed and often need a little help and support. This is often referred to as doing a detoxification, which is a process that can serve as a tonic to today’s toxic environment.
Detoxification is the process of reducing the amount of toxins that we are exposed to in order to rest the detoxification pathways in the body, as well as encourage the release of toxins that are stored in the body. There are a variety of methods for detoxing the body. However, I advise against detoxes which require you to spend an exorbitant amount of money on specialized foods or demand an extreme elimination of calories or macronutrients (unless medically recommended or required).
Instead you should focus on the tools of culinary medicine: foods, specifically the most detoxifying ones. Increase your consumption especially of cruciferous vegetables, so called because they form a cross when they bloom. The little flower buds found on broccoli aren’t just decoration–they’re stocked with sulforaphane, a compound that works in the liver to help detoxify carcinogens that can cause cancer.
You’ll also find sulforaphane in other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, daikon radish, bok choy, and kale.
Other steps you can take in your efforts to detox including buying organic filtering your water, and marinating meats in a blend that includes rosemary. Rosemary can help cut down your intake of carcinogens, which form when meats are grilled.
Cleansing Your Home Environment
Another area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum-based toxins. Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. Health food stores offer environmentally-friendly, all-natural products.
Cleansing the Spirit
An often-overlooked area of detox is our thoughts and emotions. To truly embrace the benefits of a spring clean, it’s important to take an honest look at the mental and emotional environment you live in each day. Chronic stress is one of the most toxic emotions to live with on a daily basis. Not only can it tax the body by stimulating stress hormones, it taxes the spirit and positive mental outlook.
Other “toxic” emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, and depression need to be dealt with. Some strategies to help support your spring cleaning including deep cleansing breaths, meditation, and and consistent exercise.