Spring has finally arrived. The days are getting warmer and the sun is shining brighter. Spring is a typical time of the year where many people will start to clean up their homes and their diet. Increased energy, improved digestion and weight loss are just a few of the promised benefits of a spring cleanse or detox. Cleansing is a great way to help your body transition from heavy winter foods to lighter spring foods. In Spring and Summer we naturally feel lighter and more energetic and we need to eat accordingly. We naturally turn to cooling and lighter foods like green salads, fresh fruits and smoothies. However, at the beginning of Spring we often still feel that heaviness of winter and we may need to eliminate some of the toxins that we have build over the winter time to feel light and fresh again.
Is Spring cleansing for you
There are so many different types of cleanses out there. You probably have tried cleanses in the past or know someone who is doing a detox right now. Some detox programs may take up to four days and some three weeks or even longer. Most cleanses are pretty moderate but some cleanses can be pretty extreme, for example, cleanses where you are only allowed to drink lemon water of vegetable juice. With all the different and often contradictory information on detoxing out there, it can be confusing to find something that works for you.
Detox stress and risks
Before you are embark on a cleanse, there’s a few things you need to consider. Detoxing can be tough on your system. You cannot just jump right into it. You need to prepare your body for it. If your body is not able to eliminate toxins properly, they will simply build up in your system and your detox will wreak havoc on your body. For example, if your lymphatic system is not working efficiently or you have an inefficient metabolism, the toxins you try to eliminate will stay around in your system causing more damage and stress on your system than prior to your cleanse. Some level of physical and emotional stress is part of the cleansing process. As your body goes through the process of purifying itself and eliminating toxins, it is normal that detox symptoms will occur. Some common detox symptoms include fatigue, digestive problems, flu-like symptoms, emotional instability, lack of concentration and feeling weak.
When is the best time
Spring is a good time to detoxify but when is it a good time for you. The question you need to ask is whether you are ready, willing and able to take on the stresses a cleanse will put on your system. If you know you have a major project deadline in a few weeks, which will require longs hours of work, this probably is not the right time for you. If you plan to run a marathon in a couple of weeks and you are on an intense training schedule, cleansing might even weaken your system and give you insufficient fuel to sustain your training sessions. If you have recently been sick, given birth or are struggling with nutrient deficiencies, you need to build up your system with the right nutrients instead of detoxifying your body. A cleanse will most likely deplete you of valuable nutrients that are so vital for healing and nurturing your system. The best time to detox is when your health is reasonably stable and have the time to really rest and take time off for yourself during your cleanse.
Ask yourself why
Another important question to ask yourself before you embark on a Spring cleansing diet is what you want to achieve. Do you want more energy, sleep better or lose weight? Keeping your eye on the bigger picture by setting an intention will help you get through the hard parts of a detox. Most cleanses are tough at the beginning but will make you feel great after. If you commit to your plan, you will likely end up having more energy, losing weight naturally and looking radiant. Unfortunately, for most people these benefits are short-lived as they fall back on their old eating habits. If you do an annual cleanse and feel really great for a while but then go back to your old habits and back to feeling tired all the time, cleansing might become discouraging to you. What’s the point really if you cleanse for three weeks and then go back to you old, unhealthy lifestyle again? If you are aiming for long-term results like increased health and well-being, an occasional detox might not be enough. If you want to create lasting change, you need to keep it up. You need to keep working on it even after your detox is over. You need to make lasting changes to your diet, changes that you can sustain over time.
You don’t necessarily have to go on a three week Spring cleansing diet to support the natural detoxification process. You can start by taking small steps to clean up your diet and lifestyle. If you take one step at the time, by adding healthier foods to your diet and slowly eliminating unhealthy foods, it will be easier for you to maintain a healthy diet for a sustained period of time. Small steps equal big change. If you have a hard time committing to your health goals, you might like to work with a health coach. Read more here to find out if health coaching is for you. Whether you go it alone, buddy up with a friend or work with someone, it’s the small steps that go a long way. If you are on a mostly clean diet throughout the year, you won’t even need to detox that much and your detox symptoms will be less severe. A clean, healthy diet supports your body’s self-cleansing mechanisms, which are vital for optimal health. Eating a clean healthy diet will give you long-term results, no withdrawal symptoms and can be done while leading the life you love. If the time is right for you and you do want to go on a Spring detox, check out the free Spring detox guide on this page.