Fresh Living

Crocus_verns_albiflorus.jpg                                                       Does it go back to cave times–this urge to purge body, home, and soul as soon as winter starts to wane? Did Cathy Cavesister look at all the pelts in her closet each March, shake her furry head and start loading buffalo bags full of unworn or overly worn items? And then decide she had been sitting around getting pale and plump long enough and go for a run on the sunny, still-chilly range? It feels almost that ingrained.

What are you doing this spring to release the extra energy, stuff, thoughts, and toxins in your life that may have accumulated during the long winter? Us Fresh Living gals think probably way too much about this sort of thing, so here are our tips for a good, healthy, balanced spring detox, inside and out.


Cleanse Your Body

  • Sip a Detox Tea (from Holly): Green, white, and herbal teas are gentle and natural diuretics that can help your body process and release impurities.  There are also a number of teas that are specifically meant to boost your liver and kidneys in their work detoxifying your blood. My favorite is Yogi Tea’s Detox Blend, which is super-gentle and also contains cinnamon bark–a warming flavor that makes the tea taste lovely.
  • Cut Something Out (from Holly): Try making one of your weekly dinners entirely vegetarian, substituting whole-grain pasta, rice, and bread for the white stuff, eliminating sugar from your diet, or abstaining from red meat. Note how your change affects your mood, energy level, and general body comfort.  If it’s a good change, make it permanent!
  • Drink More Water (from Valerie): Most of us are walking around dehydrated. No doubt you’ve read in countless women’s magazines that water helps flush out toxins. True ’nuff. It also allows your cells to function more efficiently in general–when I upped my water intake my weekly migraines went down to once a month. I aim for half my weight in ounces. So, say, if you weigh 140, you drink 70 ounces of water, or about two liters, a day. See these cool tips for how to drink water (sounds obvious, but isn’t!).
  • Try Dry Skin Brushing (from Valerie): Many holistic doctors and yogis say that brushing your skin softly in an upward motion toward the heart can help stimulate the lymph system. It has the added benefit of exfoliating your skin and making it silky fresh. Here’s a tip sheet for dry skin-brushing.

Cleanse Your Home

  • Grow Something (from Holly): One reason that we feel clean in spring, I think, is because green leaves on trees and plants help to pull impurities out of the air and make everything just feel fresher.  Indoors, manage humidity and air pollution by placing one houseplant (click here for a list of the most purifying) per 10 square yards of your home.  Outdoors, set out pots of herbs, vegetables, or flowers to make your personal contribution to the miracle of photosynthesis.  Want more? Join the Organic Gardening group in our community.
  • Green Your Cleaning Products (from Valerie): There are reasons the EPA says indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. One of them is what you use to clean your home. Check out our round-up of eco-friendly non-toxic cleansers.
  • Open the Windows (from Holly): After you’ve fastidiously cleaned your house with natural products, lemon juice, essential oils, and baking soda, nothing beats the clean feeling you get when you throw open the windows and let clean, sunny air in.  Even if it’s cold outside, a fresh air blast for 15 minutes or less will wake your house up…and maybe even stir up a dust bunny that escaped your broom!

Cleanse Your Spirit

  • Visit a Moving Body of Water (from Holly): Make a springtime ritual of standing by the ocean, a pond, a stream, or a creek near where you live.  Reflect on how it’s thawed after the long winter and is flowing again, and draw that feeling into your body with some deep, energetic breaths.  
  • Practice Channel-Cleansing Breath (from Holly): Also known as Anuloma Viloma, or Alternate Nostril Breathing, this yogic pranayama, or breath practice, is said to restore balance to the body and clear the energy channels through which breath sustains our lives. Click here for instructions on this practice.
  • Make a List of Worries (from Valerie): In the most detached frame of mind possible, write down a simple list of all the things that are bugging you, big and small. Think of the page as a dumping ground for all of them. Sometimes just getting them out of your brain and on to paper can be purifying and reality-checking.
  • Hug a Tree (from Valerie): For real. Trees are incredibly grounded beings with roots that go into the earth and branches that connect with the sky. Find a safe, quiet spot and wrap your arms around a good-looking tree. Lay your belly against its trunk and really feel yourself connecting with the energy of the plant. Take some deep breaths and imagine that you too have deep roots and send any bad feelings you have into the earth–it can take it. When you feel done–or get too self-conscious!–thank the tree for its help. It may sound goofy, but in my experience, trees love to be thanked.


So, now you tell us! How do you detox for spring?  

[Image via: Bern Heynold & Wikimedia Commons]

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