Part 1: Spring Cleansing

spring cleansingThe clocks have changed, the days are getting longer, and suddenly you find yourself with an urge to clean out the closets and get organized, strange? Not the least bit. You’re mind and body are in tune with nature and the changes taking place all around you. Today marks the Spring Equinox also known as the first day of spring! It is a time of rebirth, and  renewal. Our primal instinct tells us to purge the stagnation from the Winter heaviness and get a little lighter and clearer. Our new age minds tell us to clear out the closets, pack away the coats and give our homes a fresh look. No matter how you look at it, spring cleansing has been weaved into cultures all across the world for ages through rituals, fasts and festivities to let go of the old and prepare for the new. There must be some truth to this madness that has thrived in nature for all this time.

Spring is the time to shed congestion that may have accumulated from winter habits. With winter comes cold weather and a change in diet to support internal warmth including animal protein, fats and other highly acidic foods. These foods, although good for us in some aspects, also can cause the intestines to secrete a heavy mucous coating which prevents optimal nutrient absorption and can lead to constipation and autointoxication.

As we shift from winter hibernation to spring activities our bodies respond by eliminating accumulated winter waste. The magic happens naturally allowing us to survive seasonal changes, one way the body purges is through colds, flus, aches and pains during a changing season, however WE can optimize this process by increasing enzyme rich vegetables and herbs as well as liver cleansing foods.

I started my spring cleanse yesterday and to be honest I felt like crap! I had a horrible headache, low energy, and over all blah feeling. I almost broke down when a friend poured a beautiful glass of red wine in front of me (i love wine). But I stuck through it and woke up feeling fabulous this morning. No coffee needed. My plan is to keep up the cleanse for a week and incorporate various cleansing foods, juices, and herbs as well as lots of water to flush out the toxins and a gentle yoga practice to wring out anything sticky.

When the body is overburdened with toxins, the liver may be stressed causing symptoms such as allergies, headaches, nausea, irritability, foggy thinking, muscle tension, skin eruptions, itching and fatigue. In women, PMS, fibroid tumors, and endometriosis are signs of liver stress, since the liver must process excess estrogens out of the bloodstream.

Here are 5 ways YOU can spring clean your body and mind to get a fresh start for the spring. Either do all, one or a couple these for at least 3 days. Caution: Side effects may include feeling energetic,. lighter, with less aches and digestion troubles.

1. Eliminate foods that slow down your system. These include refined sugars, carbs, hydrogenated fats, and animal products. (don’t worry its only for a few days you will live without the protein). Coffee, caffeinated substances, alcohol, and nicotine

2. Incorporate lots of greens whether in the forms of juices, smoothies, or fresh veggies. Kale, broccoli, celery,spinach, chard,  wheat grass, beets (they are not green but too awesome to overlook)

3. Drink plenty of water without ice. Preferably start the morning with cup of warm water with 1tsp of lemon juice.

4. Add a liver detox supplement like Milk Thistle or drink a detox tea 1-3 times a day.

5. For a more intense cleanse consider doing a water or juice fast. Or the Master Cleanser.

The Master Cleanser

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces of spring water

Read more about the Cleanser at

Whatever you decide to try, stick with it for a few days. You will feel tired and experience headaches the first day, once it goes away you will be ready to frolic in the spring sunshine.

As always don’t take my word for it, try it out and report back.

Happy Cleansing


Ritu Riyat

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Ritu Riyat is an applied yoga and mindfulness expert. She equips her clients with tools to reconnect with their bodies, eliminate stress, and make more informed decisions about their health and well being.

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