The human body is detoxing all the time. So why would we need to detox this spring?
It seems like everyone is trying to detox right now. My childhood friend called me from Pittsburgh, sharing that she was on a juice cleanse, sucking down a fruit and vegetable juice every two hours or so. She said they tasted great but she was constantly hungry. I’m sure she is going to loose a few pounds, but will it be sustainable? And is it worth the cost of feeling so deprived?
I have never been a fan of a structured detox that include things like hot water/lemon juice/cayenne (“the master cleanse”) or just fruit and vegetable juices. People generally rave about how great they are feeling when they are doing them. If you were eating sugary and processed foods and gave them up, wouldn’t you feel better?
Spring is nature’s detox season. The early harvest is greens and it is natural for our bodies to start craving them, especially more bitter greens (think arugula, dandelion greens) to let the liver naturally detoxify from the winter. As I mentioned, these greens are readily available in the spring, which is nature’s way to bring us into balance. But the digestive system is only one way the body detoxifies.
Our breath helps detoxify. Oftentimes people don’t breath deeply enough to detox through their respiratory system, and living in the “fight or flight” pattern of shallow breathing can put stress on the body. When I remember to slow it down and take deep breaths, I can sense the calm filling me. A centered breathing exercise is a must to begin a yoga practice, where we marry our breath and movement so the mind can be at rest–a meditation in motion. But deep breathing isn’t relegated only to a yoga practice. We need to be aware of our breath and make sure we are slowing it down.
Detoxification happens as we sweat as well. The body sends its waste out through our pores when we sweat. It’s yet another reason folks flock to hot yoga, saunas, and heavy duty exercise. They feel great afterwards because their body has released toxins.
So our skin, our breath and our digestive systems are constantly detoxing. Why not focus on fully supporting your digestion naturally, making sure you are deeply breathing, and getting some good exercise? Minimize your toxic load by ridding yourself of the paranoia associated with worrying about a structured detox program, and allow yourself to detoxify naturally, supporting the systems that are already in place.
Balance is the key to feeling well, not depravity.
Spring Detox Salad
On a bed of arugula add:
1/2 an avocado, chopped1/2 pink grapefruit, peeled, taken out if its sections, and chopped
Toss with really good olive oil and a touch light vinegar (brown rice or champagne vinegar)
Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt or Himalayan salt