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What’s the Best Way Do A Spring Detox?

March 14, 2014

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. This is my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, in which I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here.

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With the official start of spring coming in just one week on March 20th, many clients have been asking me how to do a spring detox. It makes sense—with this brutal winter finally nearing an end, nature is coming back to life, new and revitalized. Why shouldn’t you do the same?

Why Detox

Now, I’ve talked before about why you would want to detox , but I’ll give you a quick refresher. Your body naturally performs detoxification processes on its own; however, heavy or processed foods, inactivity, and stress can slow down your digestive and detox systems, leaving you feeling heavy and lethargic.

So doing a short food detox, in which you eliminate the foods that are zapping your energy while replacing them with foods that nourish your body’s detox organs and assist in elimination, can reverse these symptoms. When you detox, you essentially reboot both your digestive and detoxification systems, allowing them to perform better and more effectively.

The result is that you gain your energy back, elevate your mood, brighten your skin, and quite possibly even drop a few pounds.

Spring Detox

Spring in particular is an excellent time to detox. If you’re like most people, you likely spent the cold winter eating heavy, fatty, protein-rich and hearty foods. While those foods do help keep you warm, they can also slow down your digestive system.

A detox helps you cleanse your digestive tract and get it working more efficiently while preparing it for the lighter, fresher foods that you will likely start to crave as the temperatures rise.

It’s no surprise that some of the most naturally cleansing foods are harvested in the spring: leafy greens, herbs, garlic, sprouts, and bitter root vegetables come into season at this time.

These, pungent, bitter, and astringent foods help us to naturally detox any toxins accumulating in our system during a long winter, and stimulate digestion and metabolism, which helps with elimination and weight loss.  

How to do a Spring Detox

Detoxing is a two-part process: you want to both eliminate the foods that are slowing down your digestion, detoxification, and metabolism, and also add in the ones that will boost these three processes.

In general, you want to avoid anything processed and any animal products, including meat, fish, and dairy, which tend to slow digestion. Instead, stick to only real, whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds during the detox.

Your detox foods don’t need to be raw, and contrary to what you may be thinking, you can make very satisfying and delicious meals with just these ingredients. (Heck, this is what the vast majority of my meals are made of!) Think lots of smoothies, salads, and cooked veggie dishes.

My 3 favorite spring detox foods are:

  • dark leafy greens, like spinach and dandelion greens which are both cleansing and energizing
  • legumes, which support elimination and are a great weight loss food
  • turmeric, a bright yellow spice that is a powerful liver detoxifier

Follow these detox food guidelines of elimination and addition for at least 3 days to reboot your system. While any recipes that follow these guidelines should work, if you’d like a concrete 3-day meal plan, you can check out my Detox without the Deprivation guide.

Have you ever tried a spring detox? What was your experience? Share in the comments below!

Maria Marlowe is a Certified Health Coach and regular Wellness Today Contributor. Get your health question answered in her next column by sending her an email at healthcoachmaria@wellnesstoday.com.