While some people practice moderation and a balanced diet year round, many opt for detoxification through a spring cleanse to jumpstart a new pledge to health. In a two-part blog series, we are exploring these options with advice from three Holistic Holiday at Sea presenters about spring cleanses—what they are and what they aren’t. We’ll start here with thoughts from Angelica Kushi.
To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse
There are a lot of different types of cleanses; some more extreme than others. Some people do really well with cleanses, and some do a cleanse and then immediately afterwards add all the stuff they cut out back in, almost creating the reverse effect of the cleanse. These are the opinions of Angelica Kushi, a yoga teacher, health and wellness coach, aerial performer, and stunt woman. Her belief is that gradual change is more beneficial than a cleanse. “That being said, the type of cleanse you do is key, make sure it aligns with you, your goals, and your lifestyle,” she adds.
Here are a few tips from Angelica to follow when choosing a cleanse or making gradual changes.
Check in with your intentions
Why do you want to do a cleanse? Doing a spring cleanse can be a buzz phrase. Are you being tempted to do something because other people say it’s a good thing to do? Are you feeling an urge to energetically lighten up after the heaviness of winter?
Create a supportive environment
This goes for cleansing and general lifestyle and dietary changes. You want to set yourself up for success, which means clearing the junk food out of your home and hanging out with friends/family who are supportive of your choices.
This is a big one. Each season has different qualities, weather, energies, and foods. Spring is related to the liver/gallbladder. This organ system likes lighter cooking, fermented foods, sour flavor, and especially greens. Choose foods like lemons, green apples, sprouts, dandelion greens, arugula, spring onions, and lots of green leafy veggies.
Crowd out the old by bringing the new
Oftentimes, cleanses are about eliminating foods. This is tricky because then the focus is on what we can’t eat, and that can feel negative. Instead, I’m in favor of adding foods in. What you do is, eat the new food first. Then eventually you won’t have room for the foods you are trying to limit. For instance, if you have a sweet tooth, try eating sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots before you go for the cookies. It may not happen right away, but eventually you won’t be eating as many cookies. In fact, your body will have time to adjust and catch up with your mind knowing that the cookies aren’t as good for you. Eventually you may not even want the cookies anymore because your body has had the time to realize it feels better without the cookies. But if you just tell yourself that you can’t have the cookies, your body is going to protest and one day you’re going to find yourself eating the cookies and not even knowing how the cookies got into your hand. The body can play tricks on our mind!
Taking the Miso Soup challenge
In January, Angelica ran a miso soup challenge with weekly recipes and macrobiotic info. If you would like to do this challenge now, you can get it here, and a series of videos will be sent directly to your inbox.
Stepping up to the daily greens challenge
Starting May 26, Angelica will guide people on eating greens daily. Instead of doing a greens juice cleanse, you’ll look at:
- different ways to prepare greens
- different types of greens and what they are good for
- the theory behind when is best to consume them as a juice, raw, steamed, boiled, or sauteed in water or oil.
This challenge gives you info to be a wise eater of greens.
Twists and twisting motions are great for the springtime. Even just standing with your feet planted on the ground and swinging your arms side to side. This moves the liver/gallbladder area and helps support those organs.
Remember, no matter what you choose to do this season, take it one step at a time. As Angelica says, “Gradual changes last a lifetime.” Happy Spring!