Thinking Out Loud

4 Ways to Spring Clean Your Body

By Theagarajan_CML

Well folks, I made it. One weird Asian virus, 24 ant bites and a whole new appreciation for soup. I think I love Asia.
I took a few weeks off to work on a very short project with a small NGO in Vietnam and found myself in awe of the local culture and cuisine.

I did get pretty ill and had to go to a clinic in Da Nang for some good ole western healing. To be honest, I think the traditional remedies helped me more in managing my symptoms. I’m not saying that’s always the case, but it did get me thinking about the significance of detoxing and using ancient remedies for common ailments.
Since it’s spring weather already, what better time to “spring clean” our bodies as well as our homes.
Here are four ways to give yourself a little spring in your step:

1) Juicing: Why not eat with the seasons? Now I don’t adhere to all the special juicing diets per say but I do think that it is good for your body to take a break and re-boot itself. With juicing, you don’t get any of the good fiber from the skin BUT you will get a good shot of nutrients that’ll help to eliminate toxins from your body. Focus more on juicing GREENS than fruits. With no fiber, the fruit juice is straight sugar (like you’re drinkin’ a mountain dew). Some of my favorite greens to juice are arugula, chard, spinach and mustard greens (I’ll juice all greens and add one apple or one orange to counteract the bitterness).

2) Drink Herbal Teas: Different teas have different cleansing and medicinal properties. Some of my favorite cleansing combos include: dandelion, ginger, licorice root, nettles, mint, fennel and cardamom. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime for some added liver detox power.

3) Manage Your Stress: You ever see the movie “Eat Pray Love” with Julia Roberts? My guess is even if you don’t want to admit it, you’ve seen or at least heard of it. There’s a part in the movie when a medicine man tells her to “smile with her liver.” I didn’t realize it at first, but he was telling her to destress. If we’re really stressed, our body responds with inflammation (among other things). A body severely inflamed doesn’t function properly and causes our organs to produce excess hormones because they see the inflammation as an intruder. If you’re feelin’ it at work or home, take five minutes to yourself. Breathe, pray, meditate (or all three) to relieve tension and stress.

4) Eat Mindfully: While in Vietnam I learned that it’s not uncommon (and I literally saw this ALL over the place in our village) for mothers to chase their children around the house and outside with a spoon full of food trying to get them to eat. I don’t know why or how this became a cultural norm but apparently it is. That got me thinking about how and where we eat our meals. If you find yourself eating in a chaotic environment, try switching it up. Try not to eat in front of your work station or in front of the TV. Find a quiet space and really be mindful about what you’re nurturing your body with. After all, food is memories and medicine. If you’d like to help aid digestion after lunch or dinner, try sipping on some peppermint or oolong tea. It always seems to do the trick.

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