Nutrition: Time for a Detoxifying Spring Cleanse, by Julian Giacomelli
As spring rolls around, do you want to feel lighter, increase your energy, and take some time to finish the winter with some self-reflection? It’s that time of year where you might be well served to shed a little weight, and rid the body of toxins, both physically and emotionally. A plant-based detoxifying spring cleanse is just what the doctor ordered.
The body accumulates toxins over time though our interaction with our immediate environment – in particular food, air, clothing and water – and the main goal of a cleanse is to release these toxins and give the body a reset. We can achieve amazing physical, mental and emotional benefits in just a matter of weeks through an annual detox. It is also a great way to see our relationship with food, which is beneficial in and of itself and often mirrors our relationships to other things.
A simple and effective holistic approach consists mostly of modifying what you eat and adjusting the stress levels you put yourself in. Such a cleanse should be tailored to your present degree of “healthiness”, taking into account your needs and lifestyle. The basics include:
reducing or eliminating meat, dairy products, wheat based foods, processed foods and artificial sugars
reducing or eliminating alcohol and coffee and other stimulants
increasing your intake of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, as much as possible uncooked
using certain foods that promote “auto-healing”, or superfoods
During this time, the detoxifying organs – the colon, skin, lungs, kidneys – are reducing some of their work load, receiving a “clean intake”, and thus releasing that which doesn’t serve the body. As the body switches to “healing mode”, it is common to experience colds, nausea, headache, or fatigue, and rest is of the utmost importance. To counteract these symptoms, it is important to drink a lot of water, eat organic foods, and reduce the stresses in your life. It is also critical to eat less and more slowly, exercise lightly and regularly and to breathe deeply.
It is recommended that you build the cleanse over time. The first few days or week consists of gradually adjusting your diet, as noted above. Then you focus on eating more plant-based living foods and ingesting less and less cooked foods. Ideally, you would then spend a few days or a week subsisting on entirely plant-based living foods. A typical day would include a smoothie for breakfast and a salad and other raw dishes for both lunch and dinner. The icing on the cake, so to speak, would be to end with a few days to a week on a liquid only diet, green juices and smoothies.
While this sounds tough, when equipped with good recipes and a blender, an amazing variety of delicious and nutritious meals are available, with a little experimenting and research. It also gives you a lot of time to learn about the healing properties of these foods, and to take quiet time with yourself in reflection.
To begin you might be able to keep the same pace of your daily life, but as the cleanse intensifies, ideally you would slow things down, and maybe even take some time off. If this is not possible, simply be less extreme with the modification of your diet. It is also recommended to ease out of the cleanse adding in reverse order what you eliminated, over a few days to a week.
If you pay close attention to how you feel and what you have observed during the process, you might well find that there will be long-term adjustments to what you eat, how you eat, and what you add back to your lifestyle. These precious lessons will continue to inform you well beyond the end of the cleanse.
More information on detoxing, superfoods and recipes can be found at crudessence.com.
Entrepreneur, business coach, yoga teacher and avid traveller, Julian Giacomelli combines broad business experience and a passion for developing conscious, life-affirming entrepreneurial ventures.
He believes in an emerging business movement that draws from diverse influences including living systems, personal growth, modern physics and eastern philosophy – in addition to the tried and true. Prior to Crudessence, Julian co-founded VSA Group, an early-stage venture consultancy, worked at a global management consulting firm, and taught at HEC Montreal (MBA) in the field of entrepreneurship.
Julian is currently the CEO of Crudessence (crudessence.com), a Montreal-based healthy living and education company with restaurants, catering, distributed kombucha and pret-a-manger and educational branches. Crudessence uses organic, plant-based and living foods as a medium to engage people to grow and be better in the world.