If your closets and shelves are overflowing and cluttered with junk, and you’re feeling stuck, indecisive, and unable to move forward with ideas or projects, it’s time to do some spring cleaning in both your home and in your body.
Traditionally, in many cultures around the world, some type of cleansing or fasting is done in the spring.
Cleansing lifts the heaviness associated with winter (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).
If we don’t purposely cleanse or fast as spring arrives, the body naturally begins cleansing itself by releasing congestion, often as seasonal allergies or a cold or flu.
People may also suffer from odd aches and pains and not know why. This is the body’s response to releasing toxins, and cleaning out.
We can aid the body through this natural cleansing process by eating lightly prepared meals (steamed, sautéed, blanched, and raw foods), less food overall, eliminating animal products for a specific period of time, and/or fasting from food entirely.
An example of lighter eating and fasting includes the Orthodox Greeks who fast from animal foods for up to seven weeks during the spring. They abstain from foods that contain animals with red blood (meats, poultry, game) and products from animals with red blood (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.), and fish and seafood. Wine and olive oil are also restricted.
Fasting is serious business. Imagine? No olive oil!
Catholics fast for 40 days prior to Easter. This fast includes eating lighter meals and abstaining from meat on Fridays.
Yogi’s practice austerity with their diets and Shamans fast during vision quests.
During all of these fasts, it is advised to pray or seek guidance.
These two simple acts of worship (fasting and prayer) lighten the load on the digestive system and open the body/mind/spirit to receive guidance from a higher power/source.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fasting in the spring correlates with the Liver and Gallbladder meridians (our creative channel). Reducing animal fats and proteins supports the healing and renewal of this organ system.
During the Spring season, I fast for a period of time.
Many people do the Master Cleanse for ten days, and some folks do it for up to forty days.
My husband did a Gallbladder cleanse a few years ago in the spring and afterward, he felt lighter, happier, healthier, and more connected. I can attest that he was definitely less grouchy.
The Gallbladder cleanse cleared his liver channel.
The liver is responsible for the emotion anger, and the gallbladder is responsible for procrastination and feeling like you are stuck.
Below are some fasting/cleansing recipes to get you started.
The Master Cleanser
This cleanse can be done from three to forty days – please check in with your body (you know best how much fasting you can do), or with your doctor if you are ill.
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/10th tsp. cayenne pepper
- 8-12 ounces of water
- Drink 10-12 glasses per day.
I multiply the recipe by 5 to make almost a 1/2 gallon and then drink it throughout the day.
Gradual Gallbladder Cleanse
Avoid foods rich in saturated fats (meat, dairy, eggs), and nuts and seeds too.
Eat primarily unrefined grains, veggies, fruits, and legumes.
It’s especially helpful to eat raw radishes and use a squeeze of lemon or lime on raw salads. Here’s a bunch of salads that include radishes: Radish Salads
Plus, you would include 1-2 tbsp. flax oil per day. Eat this way for two weeks to 30 days.
Eat green apples (can substitute other apples) for 3 days.
The green apples are most effective because they have a sour flavor, and the malic acid in apples naturally softens stones and supports liver and gallbladder.
Eat as many as 8-12 apples to bulk up your intestines. Also, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (water preferably).
On the third day, at bedtime take 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 cup of lemon juice and sip slowly. Go to bed and lie on your right side with your right leg drawn up.
Before you do this flush, please make sure there is a LOT of toilet paper stocked in the bathroom… you’re going to need it. I only recommend this cleanse to folks that have a strong body.
Want more insight, plus recipes for an easy liver cleanse? Watch my online cooking class: Optimize Your Liver
You will learn:
- Which foods and herbs support the liver
- Easy detox recipes
- Which foods contribute to a congested liver
- Why a gentle cleanse may be better for your body than fasting or a juice detox
I’ll see you in my kitchen!
Details here: Optimize your Liver!
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker, Herbalist and best-selling author. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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