The snow is melting, the sun is shining longer and brighter, and the crocuses are starting to bloom! Springtime is my favorite time of year. It is fresh, new and bright. It is a forgiving grace period that allows us to shake off the winter blues (or bulges), before summer hits us with (not so forgiving) tank top and shorts weather. More importantly, springtime brings you back to what is important. It reminds you to take the time to appreciate nature, the sunshine, the birds singing, and the flowers that are starting to peek out at us. It gives us hope and motivation for the year to come. Springtime is a perfect time to give yourself a fresh, wholesome jumpstart to the season, and the new year!
I like to do a springtime “detox” each year. I use the term “Detox” loosely. To most people, detox involves special supplements, colonics, and cleanses touting fabulous results by cleansing toxins out of your body. This is not the “Detox” I am talking about. In fact, research tells us that there is no reason to believe that harmful chemicals build up in our bodies. Our liver and kidneys are really pretty good at keeping this from happening. Even if toxins DID build up, there is absolutely no evidence to support that a detox diet would get rid of them. Most toxins that would build up in our bodies would be stored in fat, therefore losing body fat is the best way to “detox”! Slender people get rid of toxins more quickly than obese individuals. Fascinating what marketing companies can get us to believe, isn’t it? All of this being said, a lot of people get some pretty great results from said “cleanses” and ”detox’s”. These benefits really do happen, but they are not likely from any “detox” going on. The decreased bloating is from eating less food, clearer skin is due to better hydration, increased energy and decreased headaches are attributed to increased exercise and psychological factors. Could it really be that you can get all of these results not from purchasing expensive, and sometimes dangerous supplements….but just from more mindful nutrition, and an exercise program???? The answer is YES!!!!!
What are bodies really need is wholesome nutrition. There is no place in a healthy diet for processed, chemical laden foods. God made whole foods for a reason, and that is for us to eat and be healthy. Did you know that in order to benefit from all of the nutrients in a food, our bodies need the “food compounds” in that food to digest and absorb the nutrients? This means that if you take the nutrients out of the food and put it in a pill, or drink, or powder, it isn’t absorbed as well as if you just ate the berry, or apple, or orange. It sounds simple, and it is…..but the challenge for you, is to step away from your “processed” life for a week and see what happens when you simplify and focus of whole, fresh foods for seven days. This means only foods with ONE ingredient.( Of course you can prepare a meal with several whole foods together). Experiment with fresh herbs and spices instead of sauces or mixes.
In order to make this work, you have got to plan, and prepare. It could mean a change in your routine, finding more time to prepare meals and snacks, making sure you have wholesome foods packed and ready to go for your busy days at work, and evenings carting the kids around. But it is worth it. Worth the feeling you get, knowing that you are taking care of the only body you have, the way that it is meant to be taken care of. The feelings of renewed energy, and the feelings of a slimmer waistline;) You may never go back to your old way of eating! It’s just that simple!