It’s April, and time for a clear out. In the rush to throw open the windows and defrost the fridge, don’t forget to put aside some time for a self spring clean to re-energise your mind and body.
This isn’t as hard as you think, in fact it’s really simple! Nature designed our bodies with a built-in elimination system to get rid of toxins and make way for the fuel we need for perfect health. The message is, look after your elimination system and it’ll look after you. All you need to do is to move out of its way and let it get on with its job …
Here are four easy ways to give yourself a spring clean in April
Give your digestive system a rest so the main digestive elimination organs – the liver and kidneys – can do their job. Use whole foods and prepare meals from scratch. Eat mainly plant foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans) with small amounts of good quality protein (free-range meat and poultry, fish and eggs) and cut out processed foods. Eat your last meal of the day early to allow a 13-hour fast between supper and breakfast. This gives your body time to process food and your cells to renew.
A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
7-8 hours sleep a night allows the brain to process the day’s information, detoxing the mind while the body rests and repairs. For a good night’s sleep, cut out caffeine and alcohol ( a nightcap may help you drop off but you’ll be up again at 3am); create a ‘sleeping space’ (soft lighting, comfy bedding and ban the telly and mobile phone); establish a sleep routine and rituals (a warm bath, lavender oil on the pillow) and avoid all screen time for at least a couple of hours before you turn in.
Our bodies are between 50-75% water and it’s vital to drink to stay hydrated. The kidneys filter 120-150 quarts of fluid daily and need water to do their job. Flush out your system with plenty of water and cut the bad boys caffeine and alcohol because, as well as overburdening the liver, they are also dehydrating. The jury’s out on the exact amount we should drink each day but feeling thirsty and passing dark, strong smelling urine are both signs of de-hydration. The government recommends eight glasses a day, and, for the purposes of loving your elimination system, make these water.
The lungs are one of the largest organs in the body, and, with each inhalation they supply the body with the oxygen it needs while the inhalation carries away the stale air. For the full benefits, aim for good steady breathing with each breath starting in the abdomen, then filling the lungs and rising to the top lobes, just below the collarbone, aiming for a slightly longer inhalation than inhalation. Seek out green spaces away from traffic pollution – trees are natural air filters – or walk along the beach so your lungs can take in good quality air, and exhale the stale stuff you don’t need.
So, by all means sign up to a boot camp or fully fledged fast if that suits your purse and personality but don’t underestimate the power of the body to cleanse itself. All you have to do is allow it a little space and kindness and get out of its way for a while.