Melting snow, rising sap, budding trees…spring! Do you feel it in your bones…that restless energy calling you outside? Digging in the snow, on a treasure hunt for those first adventurous seedlings to burst into the full sun? Daring to go out in a tee-shirt, organizing your gardening tools?

I can’t wait to get carried away in the garden, long lazy summer days picking dandelions and violets and roses! But before I get ahead of myself, I need to check in with my body – how’s it goin’ after a long, sedentary, indulgent hibernation? Yes, I’ve put on a few pounds – and just like the dust on my window sills, I’m sure there’s plenty of build-up in the nooks and crannies of my body, too. That can only mean one thing: Spring cleansing!

Here at the Holistic Homestead, cleansing is an integral part of preventative self-care. It gives your body a chance to do some much needed deep cleaning for more vitality and a greater sense of well being. But cleansing is NOT meant to be a drudgery, no…’round these parts we make it fun!

How? Just ask John Pinette:

…okay, just kidding. My husband teases me, sometimes, “Hey crazy lady! I’m sending back the herbs!”

I’ve been cleansing for years – and I’ve tried just about everything out there. Here’s the short-list of what I’ve learned:

  • “Cleanse-in-a-box” doesn’t work for me, NOT worth the money
  • Cleansing can happen on many different levels depending on your goal
  • Cleansing can focus on specific eliminative systems – liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, skin
  • It’s not necessary to completely abstain from food during a cleanse (in some cases this may be more harmful than helpful)
  • I personally need A LOT of support while I’m going through a cleanse. (I want someone else to be struggling with me, it makes it so much easier to do it together! My roommate, my husband, my neighbor – and YOU my readers!)
  • Day 2 is always the hardest, by Day 3 there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – why quit while you’re ahead?
  • Ending a cleanse is MORE IMPORTANT than the cleanse itself! Indulging in a hamburger and fries with ice cream for dessert to treat yourself for doing such a great cleanse totally negates all the time and effort you put toward cleansing in the first place.
  • I did NOT cleanse while I was pregnant or breastfeeding. That is definitely a no-no! Cleansing released stored toxins into the blood-stream to be processed and eliminated, and you don’t want to pass that along to your baby! There is also the danger of overloading the liver, which has to process all that bad stuff.
  • Pre-cleansing makes the official cleanse that much easier! For example, if you are a daily coffee drinker (such as myself) cut your coffee consumption down by half one week before the cleanse, and again by half a few days before the cleanse. This will drastically reduce nasty side effects from caffeine withdrawal for the two or three days of your cleanse. (The same applies to nicotine, alcohol and sugar!)

Ready to get going? Or not yet convinced? Stay tuned for my next article: “Why cleanse?” and check out this article from last year’s cleanse: “Spring cleaning from the inside out“.

 

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