Cleansing, more than just a green juice
Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Down here in the Southern Hemisphere it is supposed to be spring but here in Cape Town the winter weather is still very much in the air. 1st of September was beautiful and sunny with all the promise of spring. A few days in and the weather was far from spring like but then any rain we get we are grateful for. Today things are looking far better.
This is the time of year when you suddenly notice everyone is talking about detoxing. Detoxing to some sounds a bit extreme and full of deprivation and suffering. What I want to suggest is that we focus on Cleansing and Clearing rather than Detoxing. Take that traditional idea of the "Spring Clean" and expand it into all areas of your life. A time of renewing and cleansing the body, home, thoughts and things, leaving behind that which no longer serves you. And nature as always has helped us in our endeavours to cleanse. Biologically our bodies are ready for all that spring offers us after the hibernation of winter.
Nourish your body with the abundance of spring foods: coriander, fennel, nettle, asparagus, celery, artichokes, lettuce, lemons and grapefruit. Keep it light and fresh and eat more raw salads. Raw foods are full of enzymes that help us digest our food better and is especially important as we age. Besides lots of healthy vegetables add in good quality water and cleansing teas or drinks (and of course green juices are great).
In Spring the body wants to start moving. As we become more active and generate more heat in our bodies the cooling effect of raw foods are welcome. If you are not generating enough internal heat or generally feel the cold then you may want to carry on including warming lightly cooked foods and soups, try one of my cleansing soup recipes.
Take out any foods and drinks that no longer serve you. Those that make you feel tired and sluggish or bloated, or make your joints ache. You probably know what they are but they are sometimes difficult to remove from our diets. Typically they would be alcohol, caffeine, sugar, sweet treats and processed foods. It may also include gluten, grains and dairy.
Sunshine & Sleep
Get a dose of sunshine and fill up on Vitamin D for free. As the sun gets stronger half an hour of full body sun exposure can help to top up vitamin D levels and improve your mood. Exposure to sunshine in the mornings has been shown to help re-set your body’s clock and can actually help with insomnia. As it starts to get light earlier make sure you keep getting enough sleep by going to bed earlier. For some the early morning can be a time for creativity or fitting in some much needed exercise. When I hear the birds singing their cheerful song, I need no further motivation to get up and start the day.
Like the sunshine yellow that is bright and cheerful and makes everyone feel happy, think about how you can bring a little of that sunshine yellow into your life. How can you make the world around you a happier place with a smile, a kind word or a thoughtful deed. Being more positive is contagious and may make those around you feel more positive too.
The third chakra is often linked to the colour yellow, it is the chakra of personal power, and governs our energy and how we connect to the outside world. This chakra supports the liver, gallbladder, spleen and digestive system. All very important systems for our internal cleansing. To help you get energised add a little yellow bee pollen into the diet to give you more of a buzz. I saw some at OZCF from Honey Connoisseur. Beautiful yellow turmeric will help the liver do it’s job better and lets not forget lemons. They act as an anti-oxidant for the skin and improve any signs of ageing. Lemons also keep the kidneys clear and may prevent kidney stones. Have warm water with lemon juice or use lemon juice on salads as part of the dressing. Lemons also give many dishes a lovely fresh flavour.
Time in Nature
There is no better time to get into nature than in Spring. It is vibrantly alive, with flowers blooming, new growth on trees, caterpillars emerging to begin the journey into butterflies. The earth feels fresh and clean after all the rain. The abundance of water from mountain streams and the cooler weather makes getting out there and exploring nature all the more enjoyable.
Decluttering your life
Often the closer we get to the end of the year the panic starts to set in, as all of those promises we made to ourselves in January seem unrealised. Time to get rid of that which no longer serves you. Just doing a good old spring clean of the home using natural cleaning products and some form of ritual cleansing. I like to smudge my home with white sage incense and set a positive intention. Getting rid of possession we no longer use can feel great. It is also a good time to go through clothes and pass on anything you haven’t worn in the last 6 months. It may even be a time to examine relationships cutting ties with those "crazy makers" that distract or drain you.
Strange to be living in a time were we have a term like this “disconnect to reconnect”, for some this is the hardest thing to do without. Social media, e-mails, Youtube videos, we all have our favourite ways to be distracted. Unplugging from technology and spending time making real connections with friends and family or spending that time volunteering to a cause you feel passionate about can have a profound impact on us. We will not only feel more connected but realise how addicted we are to our phones and computers.
Body brushing and body scrubs not only help to get rid of dead skin but they can also assist the lymphatic system. This system is key to ensuring our body can get rid of waste but it often needs some help from us. Skin brushing with a natural brush can help the lymph system. Use long strokes towards the centre of your body.
I love making and using my own body scrubs. Super simple I mix 2 tablespoon of fine sea salt with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or any carrier oil) and add three drops of essential oil (grapefruit, juniper and cypress are some of my favourites). I jump in the shower and scrub my body the same way as for body brushing, then rinse off with warm water and then hit the cold water to really get that circulation going . Body scrubs not only exfoliate the skin but also leave the skin feeling soft and nourished.
Go at your own pace
Some can do a 10 day detox and live on nothing but juices, others need to make the changes slowly and more gradually. Spring isn’t just a week it is a time of year to clear, renew and see things more clearly. So enjoy the season for all that it has to offer.
NB If you are on any medication it is important to remember to seek professional help with any detox using juicing and/or supplements.
Don’t have grapefruit juice if using prescription medication.