Think spring cleaning is just about housework? The new season offers a perfect time to check in with our bodies and minds as well. Here’s what local health practitioners recommend for clients, friends, and family during this time of year.
Josh Levy is a registered dietitian and co-owner of Vineyard Nutrition.
- Clean out the fridge: Spring is a good time to clean out the fridge and pantry, and make room for the fresh produce of spring.
- Aim for color: Stock the fridge and counters with lots of colorful fruits and veggies.
- Focus on fresh: During winter, comfort foods feel right, but in spring, think salads, veggies on the grill, or a fruit salad.
- Think about what you drink: Spring clean what you drink by having more water and fewer sweetened drinks. Try adding mint, cucumber, or a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water for extra flavor.
- Snack variety: If you realize you have the same snack everyday, especially if it is a processed snack like a handful of Cheez-Its or Goldfish crackers, try having a whole food snack like plain Greek yogurt and berries, or an apple and peanut butter.
- Sugar vacation: Winter is a long candy season, starting with Halloween. Spring is a great time to take a sugar vacation. Try swapping out your nightly sweet treats with fresh fruit.
- Plant a garden: Or visit a local farm stand.
Catherine Keller is a licensed independent social worker, psychotherapist, massage therapist, and yoga instructor.
- Eat with the season: Take time to pause, look, smell, taste, and feel food in your mouth. Really engage all your senses. As the seasons shift from winter to spring, integrate more greens and fresh seasonal vegetables into your diet. It can be a good time to simplify your diet for a day or two — maybe do a cleanse if appropriate.
- Don’t overdo it: Now that the weather’s warmer, we’re eager to get outside. But don’t overdo it. We can really easily strain our bodies. Try not to tackle the whole garden in one day. With exercise, start with small, doable goals. Remember to rest as needed. People often give up on exercise goals due to overdoing it early on in the process.
- Write stuff down: Some people look at spring like it’s the new year. And in many cultures, that’s actually the case — the new year is celebrated closer to the springtime than winter. Think about all areas of health and how you are doing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, personal growth, nutrition, relationships, etc. Write down different things you’d like to improve on. Write down things that are going well, too. Going on an organized retreat or simply taking quiet time for a few hours or days to check-in. Do a sort of inventory on these areas of your life that can help us transition through the season, and all seasons of our lives.
Dr. Roni Deluz is a naturopathic doctor with a specialization in detoxification, weight-loss, and natural treatments.
- Detox: The point of a cleanse is to eliminate all the toxins. My 21 Pounds in 21 Days detox is especially popular this time of year. It’s a fully liquid cleanse (no chewing) that gives your digestive system a rest so your body can focus on eliminating toxins.
- Drink plenty of water: Water is your friend, and people forget to drink it, especially during a detox, because when people are drinking juice, they forget to drink water. I recommend distilled water during detox because it helps your body rinse away “bad water” left over from the vegetable and fruit juices.
- Probiotics and enzymes: [Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts intended to provide health benefits when consumed, particularly in the gut.] Take a probiotic early in the morning, and if you have a tough time with vegetables, take an enzyme. [Enzymes speed up chemical reactions, and are often used to help the body break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. If you’re not on a detox, check-in with your health provider before taking probiotics or enzymes.]
- Don’t eat a lot of food before bed: Your body won’t metabolize, and it could lead to weight gain overnight. My favorite thing to eat during a detox is my “anytime broth.” [See recipe below.]
- Eat fresh herbs: Like thyme, rosemary, and oregano.
Recipe: Dr. Ronni’s Anytime Broth
16 cups of water
2 turnips, sliced and diced
2 zucchini, sliced
2 sweet potatoes, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
Garlic to taste
1 small lettuce head, chopped
Bag of kale
Handful of collard greens
4 bay leaves
Braggs amino acids
1 orange peel, minced
A few parsley sprigs, tied together
Red cayenne pepper to taste
No-salt vegetable seasoning to taste
Put all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 30 minutes or more. Reduce heat to low, stir, cover, and let broth simmer for two to three hours. Strain broth. Leave your favorite vegetables in the pot for a stronger taste and added texture.