This post was originally written for, and appears on, the Loving Earth blog.
Spring is the perfect time to have a clean out. Opening a proverbial window and letting the fresh air of a new season refresh the old energy from winter. Where usually a spring clean is associated with our homes, myself and brand manager Hannah, decided to take it one step further and have a clean out of body, mind and spirit too…
We joined the Greene Street Juice Spring Cleanse Week and decided to go for the five days on the Healthy Start and Glow package. The idea of having a couple of smoothies and an evening nut milk for us novice cleansers was what made the choice for us, giving our tummies something a little more substantial to ease our way in. The cleanse week also came with a community of support, daily emails to guide us through including advice from Dr Amanda Waaldyk from Angea, a guided meditation, and lots of other nuggets of wisdom.
So how did we go?
Day one was the toughest for me with a cracking headache and my kidneys were really sore. I deployed a hot water bottle, a good few litres of water and an early night to help combat these first symptoms of detox. Other than that I felt good – only a few grumbles from my empty stomach, but nothing having a juice and a cup of herbal tea couldn’t fix.
Day two was very low-key for me, heading to the sauna to sweat out some toxins and a walk outside. Hannah indulged in a trip to the hot springs in Mornington Peninsula with full spa treatment and massage. Who said cleansing was tough?! Seriously though, it was the perfect time to practice a bit of self-care and really slow down and be good to ourselves.
Day three we were both back in the office and found that although our energy levels were up, but we found it tricky to focus for long periods of time, especially looking at screens. We took ourselves off for a few strolls around the block to soak up the first of the spring sunshine and get some fresh air to restore our focus a little. We both headed to yoga in the evening, finding moving our bodies in a mindful way was really rejuvenating. Plus we both came home to a goody bag full of gorgeous treats – a sure fire way to lift the spirits!
Day four I must admit I really felt emotionally. I was quite short tempered and found quite small things annoying, getting easily frustrated. I’m a practiced meditator so upped my meditation practices to three that day to help bring me back to centre again. Physically though, we both felt full of energy still and we were both sleeping really well, feeling incredibly rested in the mornings. The other benefit was my social media use went way down – who knew I followed so many foodie accounts on Instagram?!
Day five was probably the easiest which is no surprise and even has left me thinking that the next cleanse I do (probably in January for a post Christmas clean out!) I’ll do a full week! Although it’s been a great few days to really take stock and give my digestive system a break, I must admit I’m really looking forward to eating again. I think I missed chewing and experiencing different flavours the most over these last few days.
It has certainly made me more aware of how much food I do eat though and sometimes how quickly I gulp it down. My intention is to really be more mindful when I sit down to a meal and enjoy each mouthful. And to eat a lighter meal earlier in the evenings so my body has a chance to really digest before going to sleep. All in all I think giving your body the break to rest and repair is never a bad one. Considering 70% of our energy is taken up by eating and digesting food it felt good to redeploy that energy elsewhere and give my liver a good break. Right now I’m looking forward to my date with an avocado and almond feta smash in the morning!
If you aren’t keen on embarking on a juice cleanse and want to give your body a bit of a break, you can follow these top 10 tips.
- Start each morning with some warm water and lemon, and if you’re feeling particularly brave, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar, although acidic in nature actually help to alkalise the body, and stimulate digestive juices.
- Eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible. They are foods that are alive and contain the most vital nutrients. Also try and avoid wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. It sounds like it’s no fun but we promise you’ll be thankful for the break in the long run.
- Eat whole foods. Seed-like grains such as buckwheat, nuts, seeds are what we like to call one ingredient foods. No nasties hiding and your body knows how to digest them and absorb as many nutrients as possible. Don’t forget to activate now!
- Get enough sleep. Your body uses your time asleep to repair and regenerate so make sure you’re getting as much sleep as possible. The general rule of thumb is eight hours, but if you need longer, then try and get into bed a bit earlier.
- Drink water. Try to drink up to three litres per day to help flush out the toxins your liver is processing. It may sound a lot if you’re not a water drinker already, however your body will love you for it and repay you with glowing skin and bright eyes. Just remember to slowly up your intake over the course of the day to avoid you running to the bathroom every 10 minutes.
- Swap out your usual beauty products for more natural ones. Particularly ones you use every day, so think deodorant, body lotion, and makeup. Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs everything that we put on it. If you’re worried about smelling then try a mineral stick with a scent on top.
- Body brush. If you have time, and a bath, then hop in the tub at least once a week with some Epsom salts, great for detoxing and relaxing at the same time. Aim to dry body brush in gentle downward sweeping motions away from the heart before you get in the shower to help stimulate the lymph glands and flush out toxins.
- Sweat it out. Try and get your heart rate up with exercise at least three to four days a week, if not every day. If the weather is with you, try and get outside to do it too – being outside can help lower and alleviate stress and regular exercise helps improve your immune system, enhance your sleep quality and raises your metabolism.
- For an extra boost, try adding in super foods to smoothies and hot drinks. You can find some inspiration for recipes here.
- Switch off from phones, computers and tablets at least an hour before bed. The blue light can affect sleep quality and hormone signals, which can alter appetite and sleep patterns. Maybe even challenge yourself to one day a week with out digital devices, spend some time solo, call your mum or hang out with friends. Time spent with others or in a nourishing environment alone (by choice) can elevate moods and release the love hormone Oxytocin. Feel good vibes all round.