Spring resets/detoxes/cleanses are out in full force, and you may be thinking of getting in on the action
Does this sound like you?
– You feel like you “should” because of winter weight gain
– You’re feeling “blah” and could use some kind of reset
– Sugar and/or fried foods have been so tempting, you feel like you need to restrict it to handle the cravings
– You want to start building that summer body
– “Everyone else is doing it”
After a long and sluggish winter, you CAN’T HELP but want to spring clean your life – declutter and deep clean the house, straighten out finances, clean up your inbox, sort through your entire closet, and yes, spruce up your diet
I get it… it’s all so rejuvenating!
Is Cleansing Necessary?
Every minute of every day, your body is hard at work, cleansing itself to minimize the effects of toxins. Your liver filters the blood in the body several times a day, breaking down toxic substances found in the air we breathe, the food we consume, and in the products we put on our skin, sending them to be eliminated.
If the liver can detoxify on it’s own, do we need to cleanse? Yes, and no.
We are routinely exposed to thousands of man made chemicals, overloading your already overworked liver. When the liver is having trouble handling the amount of toxins we’re throwing at it, it may not have enough capacity to filter properly AND perform its other jobs, like regulating contents of blood including sugars, fats, protein, and hormones.
Our livers may not be able to keep up with the demand.
Do we need to support our livers a bit more? In my opinion, yes.
That being said, I do not recommend a rigid “cleansing” program for anyone with a history of dieting and disordered eating.
Cutting out dairy, sugar, and grains often just becomes a new way to exercise extreme control over diet and consumption. I fear that we are often more motivated by weight loss than strengthening liver function and it becomes a problem when it’s less about health and longevity and instead, a quick way to lose weight.
Can you still support the liver without restricting sugar, dairy, gluten, coffee, and “processed” foods?
Truth is, unless you have an allergy or a food intolerance that will trigger symptoms/cause discomfort, you don’t have to restrict anything to feel good and get that energy and vitality back
It can be as simple as getting outside and walking more, increasing your water intake, or switching out your old salad greens for some bitter ones
If you naturally feel like cutting down on sugar, caffeine or salty foods because your body is telling you to, then listen to your body
Your body will tell you what it wants to feel good this Spring. You don’t need a restriction list
There are numerous other ways to reduce overall toxic burden, take stress off the liver, and to support it without cleansing and restricting
Support the liver with bitter foods, like:
- Bitter greens (kale, arugula, kale,)
- Cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
Wash produce thoroughly with produce wash or vinegar to remove pesticides
Dandelion root stimulates the production of bile in the liver. Drink dandelion tea or make a salad with greens
Turmeric – has significant liver protecting effects
Consider making the switch to greener versions of personal care products and household cleaners, also opting for “fragrance free” products – trash bags, feminine products
Wanna Know How to Support Your Health Without Giving Up Your Favourite Foods?
NOTE: Cleansing for Fertility
Cleansing is considered to be the cornerstone of good health by many natural healthcare practitioners. It was often the first thing I would work on with fertility clients, helping them give their detox systems some time to rest and recover to operate more efficiently, improve hormonal balance, and get ready for pregnancy.
I still believe in the power of supporting the body, aiding in the process of detoxification, but practice with a much more gentle approach now. Adding foods and supplements in addition to lifestyle changes is still recommended, but I no longer provide a list of foods to avoid.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, the truth is that women who are having difficulties conceiving are often dealing with a profound amount of stress. Cleansing programs (even when done with the best intentions) can be rigid and stressful on the body. We have to take into account the mental health of the future mama, supporting her holistically, meeting her physical and emotional needs.