With the welcomed arrival of spring comes the opportunity to clear and cleanse the body, mind, and spirit of the more stagnant energy of winter.
As the sun slowly begins to warm things up in the area where you live, inviting flowers to bloom and seedlings to begin to germinate, your body is also ready for this new beginning of sorts. A cleanse for clearing and healing the body is a perfect place to start.
Begin to adjust your body to the rhythm of the seasons. As the sun slowly begins to warm things up in the area where you live, inviting flowers to bloom and seedlings to begin to germinate, your body is also ready for this new beginning of sorts. A cleanse for clearing and healing the body is a perfect place to start. Cleanses support our hardworking livers, the filtering powerhouse of the body, allowing them the chance to release toxins, rest, and reset. A cleanse offers us time to improve our energy, decrease inflammation, and when healthy, shed excess weight, while reconnecting with our own unique health and wellness goals.
A cleanse can be as simple as a one-day vegetable juice and nut milk reset, or incorporating primarily whole, organic plant-based foods for a few weeks to a month, as a start.
However, remember to start slow, and make sure the length of the cleanse and the timing feels good for you. It may also be a good idea to have the support of a friend or loved one in place before beginning a longer cleanse. We want to approach a cleanse from an intention of healing nourishment, not depletion or scarcity. A cleanse can be as simple as a one-day vegetable juice and nut milk reset, or incorporating primarily whole, organic plant-based foods for a few weeks to a month, as a start. Remember that whichever path you choose should be based on your intuition around your individual health and wellness or the trusted guidance of a healing practitioner, and not on the expectations or results of others.
Once we feel that we have detoxed and cleansed our body, it will oftentimes illuminate other areas of our life and encourage us to "cleanse" places beyond our internal, physical reality. This can include cleaning your space with all-natural cleaning products or a DIY combination of vinegar and essential oils you love, organizing your home or workplace, and getting rid of excess items and donating them or holding a yard sale, for example.
Once we feel that we have detoxed and cleansed our body, it will oftentimes illuminate other areas of our life and encourage us to "cleanse" places beyond our internal, physical reality.
This may also mean getting clear on which relationships in our lives are taking up too much of our own energy and are not reciprocal or healthy for us in this new season. Clearing and cleansing is a time of full mind, body, and spirit self-love.
We recently sat down with Karen Mitchell, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and gut health enthusiast, on the RITUAL by Sageborn Podcast. Karen compares the soil of the earth in which our food is grown, to the "soil" of the gut — in order for healthy plants to grow, and a healthy body to thrive, the soil must be in good health as well. Our gut forms a foundation for wellness, and we can support it with what and how we fuel ourselves — in food, action, and intention. Karen and Stephanie discussed how adding more plants into our diets can dramatically improve your health.
Our gut forms a foundation for wellness, and we can support it with what and how we fuel ourselves — in food, action, and intention.
When adding more plants into your diet, the source and nutritional value of your food is the most important thing to consider — just because something is plant-based, like durum wheat pasta, doesn't necessarily mean it's an ideal nutritional staple. We should focus first on minimally-processed, all-natural, locally- or regionally-sourced ingredients, rather than purchasing food that has traveled long ways to reach us, and when possible, shop at farmer's markets or through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture agreements, essentially a seasonal subscription service for local food delivery). The less processed our food, the more readily our body can convert it into cleaner-burning energy. Eating organic is also vital, although sometimes, local producers might use all-organic practices without taking the final, often-expensive step of certification — another reason to know the source of our food.
Many people are concerned about the protein content of a more plant-based diet. It's actually possible to get all the protein we need — even for athletes and others who might need a higher protein diet. Protein is made of long-chain molecules called amino acids, so we need to look for plant-based foods that contain a full range of essential amino acids — making the food a "complete" source of protein. Quinoa, for example, is a complete protein, as is buckwheat. When paired with grains, like rice or millet, legumes also form a complete protein. "Sprouting" some grains and legumes can also increase their protein content. Leafy greens, spirulina, nuts, avocados, and seeds are great options for energy.
When incorporating a plant-based diet, Karen suggests avoiding soy products for their negative impact on the endocrine system (especially for women), avoiding corn and other GMO products, and making your own nut and seed milks, to avoid unwanted additives that affect your gut health. She says, "I would say that one of the main reasons to go to a plant-based diet is because, in modern life, our foods are made conveniently from processed sources. This can wreak havoc on our intestinal system, our immune system and our entire body. So this is one big benefit of going plant-based — or just eating more plants — because we are getting more nutrition from the source."
Karen believes that to make the world a more kinder and whole place, we must start within ourselves. She has an extensive understanding of the human body, supported by both personal experience and an educational background in functional medicine. She has dealt with a variety of her own health issues over the years, as well as within her immediate family. Karen is also an avid gardener and mountain biker, as well as a mother. Healing herself has led her on a path to heal others. She primarily focuses on gut health and severe gut conditions, like leaky gut, a common precursor for food sensitivities and autoimmune disease, and Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO). If you'd like to work with Karen directly on your own gut health, or for a cleansing, please visit karenmitchellwellness.com. Karen will be offering a three-week cleanse through her partnership with Enso Natural Medicine, beginning in May.
Most gut issues are caused by modern life stressors, including processed foods, food poisoning, antibiotic use, stress, and surgeries. Signs that you may be experiencing a gut imbalance include diarrhea, brain fog, inflammation, lack of ability to digest, and heartburn.
In our discussion, Karen shared with us that most gut issues are caused by modern life stressors, including processed foods, food poisoning, antibiotic use, stress, and surgeries. Signs that you may be experiencing a gut imbalance include diarrhea, brain fog, inflammation, lack of ability to digest, and heartburn. In supporting our gut — the soil of our physical health — there are many effective natural remedies to consider, which Karen specialize in integrating for her clients.
A simple springtime cleanse, as mentioned above, may be all your body needs — the opportunity to reset, and self-heal. A lifestyle and mindset change, meditation, and antimicrobial herbs will also assist your personal healing and gut health. Of course, if you are experiencing more severe symptoms, we suggest visiting a healing practitioner.
We hope you can take away some approachable pointers from our podcast and this article on starting your unique springtime mind-body-spirit reset. Feel free to share it with others who may be interested in a spring cleanse of their own!