Spring is definitely coming. Everyone was up early in our house this morning, because of the brighter early am’s. The bad thing… less sleep. The good thing… me not ranting like a fish-wife for everyone to get out of bed and not be late for school. Me and rushing don’t do well together. At all. Last week, I blogged about Spring Cleaning your house and your life. Today I want to talk about spring cleaning your body. I think we often take our bodies for granted. Sometimes our bodies can take the abuse, but sometimes, as in the case of Corey Haim, our bodies just cannot. It’s very sad and tragic. So how can you be good to your body, so that it will be good to you?
During the winter months, it’s common to eat a little more, exercise a little less, and engage in some naughty behavior. I drank too much red wine this winter and ate one too many rib steaks and burgers. Gulp. My usual flat stomach looks a little bloated these days. Thank goodness for those fall sweaters and long coats which are great at hiding any few extra pounds we carry around during those winter months. But unfortunately, all that winter food that comforted us during the cold and long days, are not so comforting when springtime comes.
So if you’re like many people who have been walking around not living at your optimum, there’s no better time than now, springtime, to internally and externally cleanse and rejuvenate your body. With the fast-paced society we live in, we eat fast too – fast food, canned foods, processed foods. Why? It’s easy and quick. Why buy fresh corn on the cob and waste time boiling it, when you can pop open a can of corn and serve it no time? Right? Wrong! And I will tell you, that although you may not see immediate results in eating better and treating your body well, the long term results are astounding.
So what should you eat and do for yourself, and what should you avoid this spring season? It’s time to shape up… inside and out. Here is a list of 10 quick tips that you can incorporate into your life starting today:
- Whenever possible, stay away from alcohol, and too much meat, eggs, dairy and sodas. Grapefruit is also not as good as once thought, as it contains chemicals which prevent the liver from doing its job.
- Your diet should contain lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. These can be steamed or eaten raw. Great vegetables to buys are beets and broccoli. Broccoli helps remove chemicals from your system. If budget allow, buy organic fruits and vegetables.
- Cut down your sugar intake. A fact you should know: at the turn of the century, we consumed 5 pounds of sugar per person per year. Now we consume 150 pounds per person per year. Sugar suppresses your immune system. After each time you consume sugar, your body stops working optimally for 5 hours. Honey also suppresses the immune system. Of course, sugar substitutes like aspartame are no better. If need be, use a natural sweetener.
- Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
- Get to the gym! Aim for a combination of cardio and strength training. Please read about the benefits of strength training. Toxins stay in your lymph system, and unlike your heart that constantly pumps blood, the lymph system has no pump and requires exercise to keep it moving. Without exercise, the toxins will just sit. Sweating is great for your body as it’s one of the ways our body rids itself of toxins, plus it’s also great for your mind.
- Suggestions to cleanse your body: Change your morning coffee ritual to green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants and helps the body metabolize fat. Keep in mind, consuming high levels of caffeine can raise cortisol levels which can cause weight gain in your stomach. Green tea has little caffeine. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea helps detox your body and also aids with fat loss.
- Drink cranberry water to help with water retention, the proper functioning of your lymphatic system, plus it’s great for cellulite. You can mix 4 ounces of pure cranberry juice (not from concentrate) with 28 ounces of water.
- Eat more frequent, smaller meals each day, instead of 3 large ones. To raise your metabolism, eat five to six small meals, eating at least every two to three hours. Tosca Reno, author of “The Eat Clean Diet”, provides a clean eating plan of fresh fish, lean beef, tofu, chicken, turkey, beans and legumes for proteins and brown rice, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables for complex carbohydrates. Eating clean, provides your body with the essential nutrients needed to function properly.
- Drink a cup of warm lemon water before going to bed. Lemon is a great body cleanser, both inside and out. Warm lemon water is specifically great for cleansing your intestines.
- Don’t forget your multi-vitamin, and if you live in a climate where winters are cold (like mine in Montreal) and you lack good sunshine exposure, take a Vitamin D supplement for overall immunity.
(Reference: E-How and Vopni)
Ladies, gotta clean up! Get off the fence today and clean your house, your body and your life. Tell us, what are your tips for spring cleaning your body?