Nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton reveals the cleanse that will kick-start a healthy regime this spring
After the more reflective and introspective winter months, spring is welcomed in for its longer hours of sunlight, the hopeful colour of daffodils, and seasonal yield of food. Spring is also my preferred time of the year to follow a cleanse regime – something that is recommended in naturopathic medicine. It’s a simple yet effective holistic way of lightening the load on the body, plus supports cellular regeneration through using seasonal produce and cooking methods to awaken the body. These are my foundation tips for a spring cleanse (note that 28 days is the optimum length of time, but anything over a week is better than nothing if this is not practical for you):
1. Avoid non-nourishing foods and replace with organic wholegrains (such as wholegrain rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa) and natural sugars (think: local manuka honey) to promote the growth of supportive gut bacteria.
2. Drink filtered water. If you can, drink this water warm by using part boiled water and part cold water to promote digestive wellbeing. Add the juice of half a lemon or a cap of apple cider vinegar, should you wish.
3. Tap into spring energy by cutting down on the heaviness of rich root vegetables and moving towards summer by opting for lighter, high water content of spring produce. Choose seasonal veggies and make simple vegetable soups, salads or stir fries. Have fruit or vegetables in the afternoon, with a handful of nuts and seeds (such as pumpkin seeds and almonds). Dinner could be made up of delicious roast vegetables, fish or organic poultry.
4. Breakfast can be warm, unsweetened or stewed, seasonal fruit with added spices such as ginger or cinnamon. Add some crushed linseeds and a drizzle of organic pouring yoghurt. Or, if the day is warm and sunny, a green smoothie of mixed berries, a handful of spring greens, half an avocado, a dollop of raw honey and some almond or coconut milk is ideal.
5. Simple juices can support healthy cell rejuvenation. Greens such as broccoli, spinach and chard have fabulous cleansing properties and are prolific at this time of year. As a general rule, adding lemons, apple or pears will make even the most interesting vegetable medley taste palatable. Aim to have a juice at least once a day if the weather is warm, or vegetable soups if it is cold and damp.
6.Protect the currency of your new-found spring energy, spending it mindfully on light exercise such as yoga or gentle running, rather than on high intensity regimes. Enjoy the outdoors and indulge in long walks amongst the fresh spring air, soaking up the greater access to vitamin D rich sunshine.
7. To look after your adrenal glands, aim to be in bed by 11pm at the latest. Even if you tend to feel more energetic at this time than at other times of the day, staying up past midnight or ‘burning the candle at both ends’ is a disaster for adrenal health. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga and listening to relaxing music (or hypnotherapy recordings designed to help relaxation) may all help.
8. Do a stress audit to identify the main sources of stress in your life, or things that have a negative effect on how you feel, and make a plan to eliminate them or reduce their impact.
Henrietta Norton is a nutritional therapist, author and co-founder of Wild Nutrition (wildnutrition.com). Sh
e has clinics at Grace Belgravia and SP & Co in London.
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