This month, since spring seems to be in the air, I thought it would be timely to talk about spring cleaning the diet. I have always liked keeping things clean, and can’t stand being in a messy environment; this extends to my body too (even though I’m quite happy to get muddy on my off-road runs). According to a recent newspaper article, “expert” dietitians are currently dismissing Gwyneth Paltrow’s detox diet as “utter nonsense”, even though she looks great on it. I wonder if, therefore, the same experts would consider a diet of beer, pizza, takeaways, coffee and coke as health-giving? Whether or not they agree with the concept of using food as a detox tool, surely everyone feels and looks better on an easily digestible, high nutrient-density diet which provides maximum micronutrients with minimum caloric load. That’s what I call spring cleaning!
Here are 8 ways to “clean house” this spring.
- Cut the junk. A great place to start is by saying no to “food” which contains no nutritional benefits, but still adds to caloric load. In this category we have takeaways, anything from your local high street purveyor of junk food; burgers, processed chicken, kebabs and other such nonsense. It also includes cakes, biscuits, standard breakfast cereals and anything with high sugar and heated fat content. For those already on the path of good health, the “junk” section would include raw cakes, raw chocolate bars and treat foods, especially if they contain agave syrup, which is far from health-giving. Basing the diet on lots of greens is always going to be your best detox ally.
- Drink “proper” drinks. Out with alcohol, milk, canned sodas, diet drinks, sports/energy drinks, coffee, pasteurised fruit juices, cordials and black tea. In with fresh green juices, coconut water, plain filtered water, or filtered water with lemon or lime in it – you get the idea. Proper hydration is a key to feeling good.
- Exercise! Start an exercise program and get your circulation going. This will also allow your lymphatic system to work properly, which helps to kick out the junk. Exercise will boost both your mood and your metabolism in ways that you can only imagine. Start today. It doesn’t matter what you do, just start, get moving and keep going. Even vigorous house-cleaning is classified as exercise, so put on some upbeat music and scrub those floors!
- Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. Here are some examples: Substitute cow’s milk for nut milks. Swop cartoned nut and soya milks for freshly-made almond or brazil-nut milk (so easy to make if you have a blender). Swop pasteurised fruit juice for freshly squeezed green juice. Swop white bread for sprouted bread. Better still, make your own grain-free raw (dehydrated) bread – see my December newsletter for the recipe. Swop meat or vegan meat substitutes for your own amazing seed-based pâtés and main courses. Eliminate synthetic vitamin/mineral/antioxidant supplements and replace them with those made from food and superfoods. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
- Breathe. Sit/stand up straight, breathe in and oxygenate! Your cells can’t function properly without oxygen. Neither can your brain. Want to feel instantly better and revitalised? A few deep breaths (especially if performed outside in nature) should do the trick.
- Stretch. Stretch out your legs, back and arms (especially when breathing deeply) and feel better immediately.
- Reduce. Reduce the clutter, reduce the stress, reduce external stimulation, such as a lot of noise and bright lights late at night etc. Reduce food, or better still, how about a mini fast? There’s nothing like it to kick-start the feel-good factor. Check out how to do it successfully here.
- Clean out your cosmetics bag/bathroom cabinet. Ditch anything that contains a huge list of unpronounceable chemicals. Get some non-toxic shampoo that has no lauryl sulphates in it (I use Faith in Nature; there are plenty of others). Check out the ingredients in your moisturiser. See any phenoxyethanol, cetyl alcohol, “parfum” or anything else that sounds like a chemical? Try a better product without these chemicals. I use Raw Gaia products on my face, but again, other chemical-free products are available. Get rid of standard deodorants too – they tend to contain aluminium, which rots the brain. Try “Salt of the Earth”, made by Crystal Spring, if you feel you need a deodorant product. Throw away anything that you haven’t used in the past 6 months.
So there you have it; 8 ways to detox and feel better fast. Let’s embrace spring, and keep on springing right through until summer. And if you fancy a summer detox, I have just the thing…