Seasonal Detoxing: A Springtime Ritualistic Approach


by: Michelle Barge

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of Wood or the Liver. So what better way to celebrate than by honoring this purifying organ with rejuvenation, restoration and re-birth. Personally, I’ve always gravitated towards some sort of detoxing or internal cleansing around the start of spring.  It just feels natural to focus on renewal – mentally, physically and emotionally – especially after the long hard winter we’ve had in New York.  And, as nature is renewing herself, perfect time for us to as well.

We all know the benefits of taking a break from the things that tax our liver and our intestinal tract, but I find that after a light cleanse for 12 days, my energy is boosted, my skin is glowing and I don’t have the desire to bring back into my diet some of the things I’ve eliminated.

I’m a fan of Gaia Herbs.  To kick start my detox process, I love their Supreme Cleanse, which includes a daily cleanse fiber that contains psyillium.  I’m a pretty regular gal, if you know what I mean, but I feel the psyillium is giving an extra cleanse to my digestive track.  And the kit also contains Liver Cleanse capsules that you take at night before bed.  Perfect when your body is resting and working to rejuvenate the system.  I take the fiber mixed with water in the a.m., which I follow with a big mug of hot water with lemon to give the liver a little extra boost and then prep breakfast.  Many of my readers know, one of my mottos is: keep it real.  Even during this light cleanse – I still have one good cup of organic coffee but without any dairy.  And boy do I savor it!

I find that the best part of these detoxing sessions is that you can really care for your body during this time in so many ways.  For the morning shower, I start with dry brushing for the lymphatic drainage and circulatory benefits.  I then like to oil the body down before I get into the shower.  Since I’m detoxing, I’m taking extra indulgences, so love to lavish Kahina Giving Beauty Body Serum over the whole body then lathering up with Kahina’s Lemongrass Nettle Argan soap.  It’s has gentle exfoliating properties so perfect to aid in the cleansing process.  If you need a little bit more oil after the shower, the body serum is light enough that you can give the body extra moisture where needed.

In my last post, you got all my skin care and beauty secrets, so refer back to that for facial care and how to up this newly detoxed glow I’m sure you’ll acquire.  Food wise, I’m pretty clean in general, but after a trip to Chicago, my requested indulgences of fried chicken, corn beef on rye (hey – had to honor St. Paddy’s day) and 2 days of pizza – no need to wonder where the cleansing fiber might come into play.  But in general, I cut out during a cleanse: red meat, white flour, sugar, soy, dairy, breads, wheat, high mercury shellfish, and a handful of other foods.  I do keep yogurt in the mix because of the probiotics, which keeps the immune and digestive system going.  I like to reference Jolene Hart’s book, Eat Pretty, for ideas, but typically perform the same routine, fruit and yogurt in the a.m., and for lunch and dinner steamed or sautéed veggies in olive oil with a poached piece of protein and brown rice.  Now I know my long time readers are saying to themselves:  And what about wine?  Let me say that I’ll make it red for the resveratrol and cap it at one with dinner.

Throughout the day, I supplement with Sprayology Oral Sprays.  The Life Detoxer  is perfect; fits conveniently into your purse and also is great for when you are traveling.  This homeopathic oral spray is a go-to solution for flushing out accumulation in the body when you’re constantly out and about. When you’re on-the-go, you can still however, aid your cleansing process in more ways then one. For the ladies, while my liver is getting a little extra boost and cleanse, it’s a good time to balance the hormones if need be so I also supplement with extra doses of red clover during this period.

During this cleansing period, this is not the time to start training for a marathon.  Luckily I gravitate towards movement, and NYC is a perfect place for long walks.  I also have my beloved yoga practice, but again will focus on yin and restorative practices during this period.  Lots of twists and deep stretches aid the process as well.

Finally sleep is so important.  If you haven’t read Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive, you must.  Sleep is not for chumps.  Again the NYC perspective of go, go, go, gets old quite fast.  You need rest to properly heal and rejuvenate.  Thrive talks about the wake up call Ms. Huffington had without adequate rest.  I used to survive on 7 hours of sleep a night.  For me to thrive, I need about 9.  To ensure a blessed out night of rest, I take a bath with Epsom salts, which aid in the detoxification process, pop my liver cleanse phtyo supplements and let the healing begin.

Happy Spring and to a gentle cleanse we can all incorporate.

~ Michelle Barge

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