Health: Cleanse your mind and body
- Credit: PA
Spring’s on its way - after a slow start - and if the season finally delivers with warmer weather and sunnier days, it will naturally encourage us to feel brighter and more energetic.
But to truly shake off winter blues, many experts believe a mind and body “spring clean” is the answer, recommending it as a way to rejuvenate, revitalise and engender blooming good health.
“A cleanse in the spring can optimise your health and is, in my view, a far better time and way to reboot your health than a traditional new year detox,” says Henrietta Norton, nutritional therapist and founder of Wild Nutrition, a bespoke food supplement brand.
“Far from being a starvation diet, a spring cleanse is simply a way of lightening the load on the body. It’s a gentle but powerful and enjoyable way to get the mind and body in balance.”
The timing is appropriate, she says, because the spring equinox, the moment at which the sun moves directly above the equator, begins a natural energy shift and the opportunity to rejuvenate our own biorhythms.
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Follow Henrietta Norton’s 10-point plan for a spring cleanse, which she advises should last a minimum of 28 days.
Spring cleanse tips:
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Step 1: Avoid non-nourishing foods which contain sugar and white flour products. Replace with wholegrains (barley, wholegrain rice, wholemeal flour, quinoa, spelt) and natural sugars (local or Manuka honey)
Step 2: Drink filtered water, at least eight glasses daily, although not with meals as this dilutes the digestive juices. Ideally, drink water warm by using part-boiled water and part-cold water. This encourages movement of the lymphatic system as well as promoting the release of toxins which may have built up in the skin, gut and kidneys. Avoid alcohol.
Step 3: Use a body brush every morning before you step into the shower. Start either at the top of the body or at the feet, but make sure you are always brushing in the direction of the heart to encourage correct circulation. Don’t scrub, just gently brush to get the lymphatic system moving. If you like baths, sprinkle in Epsom or Himalayan pink bath salts, to help relax you and draw out impurities.
Step 4: To kick-start the metabolism, start the day with a mug of hot water flavoured with the juice of half a lemon. The drink will help provide an alkaline balance in the body, break down toxic residue and minimise inflammation.
Step 5: An ideal breakfast is warm, unsweetened stewed fruit with added spices such as ginger or cinnamon. Add crushed linseeds and a drizzle of organic pouring yoghurt. If breakfast is too time-consuming, try popping crushed linseeds, a banana, some berries (frozen or fresh) and almond or oat milk in a blender and making a smoothie which you can sip during the morning.
Step 6: Healthy juices, homemade or shop bought, can boost the rejuvenation of the body and you should aim for at least one daily. Juices containing beetroot, cabbage, celery, apple, pear, greens such as broccoli, spinach and chard have fabulous cleansing properties and are prolific at this time of year.
Step 7: Aim for a rainbow of colour in your diet everyday, which can be easily achieved with soups and generous portions of fresh vegetables. Tap into spring energy by choosing seasonal vegetables such as green leafy kale and celeriac.
Step 8: Enjoy the outdoors and make sure you take long walks to help boost your stores of essential vitamin D, which is derived from exposure to sunlight.
Step 9: Spring clean your thoughts as well by vetting them and deciding which are merely habitual, nagging worries and which are of genuine concern. “Ask yourself whether what you’re worrying about will be important in a week, a month or six months so that you can prioritise your concerns and get them in perspective,” she says. “Try meditation or taking small breaks during the day while you try to rest your mind and free it from the clutter of our and buzz of our 24-hour culture.”
Step 10: Maximise the benefits of a cleanse with a digestive cleanse supplement, such as Wild Nutrition’s Total Cleanse.
- Information: For more information about Henrietta Norton, visit www.henriettanorton.com
- Bespoke Woman Total Cleanse Programme, £90, by Wild Nutrition, available from www.wildnutrition.com