By Annaliese Jones
Ah Winter. Cold mornings, dark afternoons, muddy backyards, and frosty windshields. It’s been nice, but thank god for spring at the end of it.
Spring brings with it the motivation to prioritise your health, and to shed those bad winter habits along with the scarves and coats. Unthinkable in the depths of winter, a reset seems do-able in spring.
I’m a fan of being kind to your body often, like more than once a year. But the idea of a spring cleanse goes back centuries. Spring can be a great cue to really focus on your body’s needs, on its subtle messages to you, before they become louder.
Perhaps you gained kilo’s this winter, a bad mood and anxiety or bad skin. Whatever it is, harness some of springs energy, and use that momentum to propel yourself into some healthy renewal of your own.
The Big Spring Reset
If you’ve been eating yourself sick with fake food and sugars, or drinking more wine than water lately, this ones for you.
Do the above 3 steps PLUS add in these serious restorative strategies below.
1) Juice only’ 1 day per week
The juice should be organic, 80% vegetable and only 20% fruit. 3 x 250ml juices over the day, plus water and herbal teas if you like. If you are on medication, pregnant, breastfeeding or have any serious health condition skip this part.
2) No caffeine or alcohol – but you knew that right?
3) Avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, grains, and processed and smoked meats
4) ‘Detoxify’ your environment and personal care products
Your house and work environment can be a major source of toxic chemicals. Occasional exposure is probably not a problem but it’s the daily cumulative exposure that concerns me. Antiperspirants, hair spray, pesticide residues on food, shampoo, makeup, car or factory pollution, or chemicals you may come into contact with during the course of your job. Some of these things we don’t have control over but some we do. Use natural cleaning products and personal care products where you can. Wear gloves or masks if you are around chemicals at work. While you’re detoxing your environment, think about any toxic relationships you can rid yourself of, or at least avoid negative, draining people while resetting.
5) Daily detoxification support
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an amazing amino acid with a huge range of positive benefits, one of which is to help detoxification. In fact for more than 30 years it has been used in hospitals for paracetamol overdose. It’s key role is the synthesis of glutathione, which is a potent cellular detoxifier among many other physiological activities. I recommend 600 - 1,000mg daily while resetting.
Herbal medicine also has a long history of supporting your body’s detoxification pathways. Yes, herbs like milk thistle are wonderful for the liver but lets not forget the kidneys, lymphatic system, bowel and skin are all major pathways of elimination too. So an herbal formula that supports each of these organs is best. Liquid herbal tinctures will be absorbed better than tablets and pills, and you may benefit from seeing a naturopath who can design the perfect formula for you and your unique body.
Fiber is all important while resetting, particularly if you have a sluggish bowel. There is no point liberating all those toxins into your blood stream for elimination, only to have them sit in your bowel for a few days. You will re-absorb them and have to start from scratch again! So think whole soaked flaxseeds, psyllium husks, and 6 cups of veggies daily to keep those toxin laden poops on the move!
The Big Spring Reset should be a 3 week minimum commitment. Take it to 6 weeks if you feel the need or desire! Most people feel amazing after 3 weeks.
The idea of a Reset is that it’s mostly driven by dietary changes and is something you can do at home. If you suspect you need a deeper approach, some testing, or are concerned about heavy metal detoxification, seek some extra help in the form of a naturopath or your chosen health practitioner.
So, instead of dragging yourself into summer with the same bad habits, use spring as your cue to take charge now! Listen to those subtle messages your body is sending. You’ll reap what you sow with amazing health.
Happy spring everybody!
Annaliese Jones ND, BHSc, is a naturopath and medical herbalist with more than 10 years
experience in the field of nutrition and complementary health. Described as non-judgmental
and compassionate, her private consultations are interactive, thorough and informative.
With a Bachelor of Health Science and Advanced double Diplomas in Naturopathy and Herbal
Medicine, Annaliese brings both science based medicine and traditional wisdom together.
The best of both worlds! You can find her at her website, www.naturalhealthcheckup.com.