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June 3

June 3

Read about how Frost Beer is made in Food For Thought!


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Spring Cleansing PDF Print E-mail

by Chris Ellis, Staff Nutritionist
April 2015

Spring is a great time for cleaning and decluttering—a new season awaits us! It is a season to renew after what is for many of us a long period of hibernation. It is great opportunity to do some cleaning around your home or wherever but it's also great to consider doing an internal physical cleansing of your body since it’s not uncommon, when we were cooped up inside over the last few months, to have overindulged in unhealthy foods and drinks. Many of us also moved our bodies less due to the cold weather and ice and snow. There is no better time than spring to recharge and reactivate.

The cleansing practice is based on the ancient Egyptian and Greek philosophy of autointoxication where foods consumed may putrefy and produce toxins that cause damage to the body. The body has a miraculous way to remove the toxins it is exposed to daily but it can only do so much without support, and without it, illness or a major health problem can be the result. The liver is the major organ for detoxifying the body but other organs and parts of the body that are essential to the process are the kidneys, the skin, the respiratory tract, and the lymph system. All of these channels of elimination continuously work to detoxify our body.

The idea of cleansing continues to be a common practice in alternative medicine and is a long-standing spiritual tradition used by many at different times throughout the year. Some people use cleansing as a way to lose weight but what we are promoting here is different—an actual cleanse of the body to help detoxify and cleanse the system. It also is a good therapeutic practice for many people who regularly suffer from chronic allergies, skin problems, joint issues (arthritis, etc.), and hormonal imbalances such as PMS and irregular cycles.

Fresh juices and water used jointly in cleansing actually make you feel quite energetic instead of tired due to a decreased food intake. A simple cleanse using plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—organic if possible—and lots of good clean water is very easy to implement for a few days. Raw fruits and vegetables can also be used. Freshly pressed or squeezed juices without the use of any sweeteners or processed juices is ideal too. There are also many cleanse products at the Co-op for purchase to support those who want to go on a longer fast and feel they need more to supplement their diet than just juices, fruits, and vegetables. The Wellness staff will provide guidance on different fasting products available if needed. Susan, the department herbalist, has shared with us some information on herbs to use during your cleansing time to benefit your body even more. If you choose not to participate in any of these options that is OK but you might consider drinking more water and eating less processed foods, eating organic as much as possible, and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. Even that will make your body stronger and strengthen your immune system. After the cleanse diet is followed, whether it be a few days or longer, it is best to slowly reintroduce regular food such as dairy, protein, and grains into your diet and by all means, eat slowly and chew your food well for optimal digestion. Hopefully after the cleanse it will inspire you to make some long-term changes in your diet so that you continue to feel stronger and can achieve long-lasting benefits from the cleanse.