It is that time of year again when the sweet sound of the birds chirping wake us up at the crack of dawn, flowers start to bloom, and you have that natural urge to purge. Clear out all signs of winter and make a fresh start for yourself.
Spring cleaning can go beyond donating old winter sweaters, recycling stacks of fashion magazines and swapping your cozy throw blankets for bright, crisp cotton Turkish towels. Try these 5 ideas to clean out your body and make room for some spring growth from within:
- Eat for the season. Focus on fresh, local fruit and veggies that are light and don’t stick to your ribs like your winter soups did. There is a time and place for certain foods. Visit your local farmer’s markets and see what’s in bloom each week. Aim for a bit more raw, less cooked, bright and colourful dishes. Try cool soups, fresh salads, and juicy fruit.
- Commit to a new exercise routine. Just as it is important to rotate your greens to get all the benefits from various vegetables, it is also important to work different muscle groups. Try a new class, like Barre, Power Yoga, or take it outside and try Paddleboarding. You might generate a little more interest in exercise and you will work different muscles that you forgot you had.
- Swap out meat for vegetarian dishes at least three times a week. This could mean making a big smoothie bowl for breakfast instead of bacon and eggs, or use portobello mushrooms as your ‘hamburger’ meat. You can greatly reduce your cholesterol, inflammation, improve digestion, and do good for the environment when you choose to reduce your animal protein intake.
- Declutter your mind. Stress can keep you up at night, lack of sleep affects you all day, you crave sugar to keep you going, you crash, you need more sugar, you fall into a viscous cycle. Clearing your mind, particularly before bed is easier said than done. A few steps leading up to your day’s last hours can include not exercising or eating 3 hours before bed, shutting off electronics, wear a sleep mask to ensure darkness so your body can produce melatonin, drink an herbal tea like chamomile or passionflower, and allow yourself a few minutes in bed to journal and reflect on your day. Sometimes writing down your thoughts will help to clear them from your head and make room for a better night’s sleep.
- Ditch added sugar. You will be surprised to learn, if you read nutrition labels, that even bread, salad dressing, and ketchup contain added sugar. It lurks everywhere, under various names. High sugar consumption leads to diabetes, obesity, mood swings, is taxing on your liver and can feed cancer cells. Aim for natural sugars found in fruit and honey, slowly reduce the added sugar in your coffee and tea, enjoy a piece of dark chocolate for dessert, sweeten up your water with antioxidant-rich berries and fresh mint, and add more protein and healthy fats into your diet to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings.
Incorporating these 5 simple steps into your daily routine will make you feel a little lighter with better digestion, less stressed, well rested, balanced, and maybe give you a little spring in your step. 😉