Spring Detox: throw off the winter sloth and heaviness–harness the emerging energy of spring to cleanse and invigorate!
Everyone knows what toxicity feels like. It’s the sickening headache that comes on when we’ve inadvertently sniffed diesel fuel out on the road or tarmac, or walked past one of those bath and body stores that spew out objectionable unnatural scents. It’s the awful feeling of being in the same room with someone who is resentful and blames others for their problems or is needy, manipulative, and slowly sucks the life energy from you before you realize what is happening. We feel it when we haven’t slept enough, when we’re hormonally imbalanced, when we’re dehydrated, or when we’ve eaten too much sugar. It’s hard to describe but we just feel…well, toxic. These situations sap us of our strength, energy, and vitality. And it’s real. Toxicity is real. And it’s something we must pay close attention to in order to heal.
Don’t let “detox” scare you–it doesn’t have to be about deprivation and despair.
Jumpstart your spring detox: I have five simple action steps for you to take right now that will invigorate your energy and work with you long-term to support your body’s crucial ability to ward off energy-sapping toxicity.
Five Simple Steps to Spring Detox Your Way to Increased Energy
- Drink more water. See, that’s not so bad! You can do this. Water is the ultimate cleanse at the cellular level, sweeping away the debris we create from the work of our busy bodies. We’re meant to contain over seventy percent water, in large part to provide the fluid matrix that our cells need for the flow of all nutrients, toxins, hormones, and communication molecules in, around, and out of the body. It helps us cleanse through our brains, livers, guts, kidneys, skin, and lungs. Drink only clean, filtered water: a minimum of two quarts per day for most people–more during activities that make you sweat.
- Sleep deeply–and long enough. Sleep is the ultimate reset for our energy–precious energy that we need for the energy-expensive process of detoxification. Sleep is also a time when our brains shrink (by up to sixty percent), allowing the fluid that bathes our brains (cerebral spinal fluid) to flow freely into all the nooks and crannies of the brain, sweeping away toxins, including toxic proteins–like beta amyloid–that increase our risk for Alzheimer’s and neurodegeneration. Most people need eight to nine hours of sleep each night–children even more.
- Move more. Movement supports detox in many ways: It increases energy production, supports the chemistry of detoxification, makes us sweat–an important regress for toxins from the body, supports movement of toxins through our intestinal tract, and it increases expression of genes that support our good health.
- Eat more plant foods. How hard is that? Include plants that are super-powered for detox support:
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, broccoli sprouts, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress)
- Onions and garlic
- Dark green leafies (kale, collards, chard, spinach)
- Dark berries (blueberries, blackberries, aronia berries)
- Pomegranate seeds
- Green tea (Sencha ground green tea is highest in detox nutrition)
- All the antioxidant- and phytonutrient-rich plants with low sugar content and a multitude of colors
- Declutter. Yikes! Now the rubber meets the road…truthfully, we need to clear actual space in our lives so our minds and imaginations can breath and expand. Choose just a few of the spaces you commonly use, and clean, organize, plow through piles, discard everything you don’t need. Free up your energy from the heaviness and distraction of cluttered work and living spaces.
Karyn Shanks, MD. Create Vital Energy Through the Power of Sleep: Part Two.
Karyn Shanks, MD. Cruciferous Vegetables: Powerful Detoxification Medicine.
Karyn Shanks, MD. Embodied Wholeness Through Movement.