Do a cleanse

As the seasons change, performing a cleanse is a useful way to reset the body, mind and spirt. As we prepare in the Northern Hemisphere to move into spring, it it time to prepare ourselves for the upcoming growing season of summer. 

If we were planning for a garden, this would be the time to prepare the bed in anticipation of planting seeds. This is the foundation of a healthy garden. A cleanse is similar in that it is preparing the foundation of our body and mind for optimal growth. Below are five cleanses to try.

Three types of physical cleanses

Fasting. Any fast is best discussed with your physician first. A seasonal reset fast can be as short as one day or as long as seven days, however, three days is generally a good number to start seeing results. A fast is the absence of food or drink. You can choose to do a water only fast, a bone broth fast, or a “juice” fast. The juice fast would be juiced fruits and vegetables. In both the bone broth and juice fast, water and herbal tea are acceptable to ingest throughout the fast.

Intermittent fasting. Basically, this type of fasting skips a meal. Instead of three meals a day, you have two meals in an eight hour period and refrain from eating for 16 hours. Most people chose to eat a light dinner by 6 pm and nothing again until close to noon the next day. You can have water during the fasting period and black coffee or coffee with coconut oil or grass-fed butter in the morning.

External cleanse. Skin gets very dry in the winter. I love this at home pampering session. It does take some preparation and time, though. Decide when you will do this. A day or two before, you’re going to make three things. Don’t worry, this doesn’t take long and all are very simple.

First, a salt scrub. The scrub will help with exfoliation of dead skin.

  • 2 cups coconut oil
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 20 drops essential oil (choose one or a combination of: Basil, Orange, Rose, Geranium, Clove, Patchouli, Vanilla, Lavender)

Directions:Add coconut oil, and Epsom salt to a small bowl. Add the essential oil and mix with a spoon until well combined. Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid until ready to use.Note: The coconut oil can leave a slippery residue on the bottom of your shower if you’re not careful, so make sure to rinse the shower/tub thoroughly after you’re done!

Second, an Apple Cider Vinegar Bath Soak. This soak will help to balance the pH of the body and remove uric acid in the body.

  • 2 TBSP Thyme (dried)2 TBSP Rosemary (dried)
  • 2 TBSP Sage (dried)
  • 2 TBSP Lavender (dried)
  • 2 TBSP Mint (dried)
  • About 1 inch of ginger root, sliced
  • One 32-ounce bottle of organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “the Mother”

Directions:Put all the dried herbs and garlic (if using) into a large glass jar (I used half gallon). Pour the Vinegar over the herbs and garlic and seal tightly. The vinegar is strong enough to corrode some metal lids, so in this case, consider putting plastic wrap or a plastic bag on top and then putting the lid on. Leave in a cool, dark, place for 6-8 weeks (for health tonic recipe) shaking daily if possible. After 6-8 weeks, strain the herbs out using a small strainer and store tonic in smaller jars for easy use.

Third, make your body oil. (You can use this daily, so it is worth making plenty.) This is hydrating to the skin and helps infuse balancing essential oils into the body.

In 8 oz carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil) add 20-30 drops essential oil (use the same combo as the scrub). Store in an air tight container.

One the day of your external cleanse, first take a shower and use the salt scrub. After you dry, rub the body oil all over your body. Know that any clothing you put on will absorb some of the oil, so best if you have something old to cover up with for the 20 minutes the oil absorbs into your skin.

Fill your tub with as warm of water as you like and add 1-2 cups of the apple cider vinegar soak to the bath water. Though it will smell vinegary when you put it in, you won’t smell like vinegar when you get out of the tub. Soak in the filled tub for 15-30 minutes.

After your bathing ritual, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Two types of mental and emotional cleanses

Just as the body needs a reset, so does the mind and emotions. 

Clear the clutter. Take one week off from social media, TV, and/or gaming. You don’t have to announce publicly you’re doing this. Just do it. In the time you would have spent checking your newsfeed, watching TV or playing a game, spend some face-to-face time with friends or family, read a book, start that project you’ve been thinking about, clean out the messy closet, take a class, go for a walk. There are so many things you can do, you might feel like you’ve gotten a whole extra day added back into your week.

The fear of missing out may be strong at first. But just like with physical cleanses, after a couple days, your body begins to find a more natural rhythm and you don’t miss what you gave up.

Replace complaints with gratitude. Every time you find yourself wanting to complain, find one thing to be grateful for. It doesn’t have to be related to what you were going to complain about. This is training your mind to seek something for positive. Now, if you can find something to appreciate about what you were going to complain about, you’ll earn bonus points. The act of being grateful has tremendous physiological as well as physiological benefits. Give it a try for one full week. You may find you want to extended it even longer. You’ll also start to notice how often so many people complain throughout the day. When that happens, smile and bring a little appreciation to yourself for not being in their shoes.