Hello dear reader. While I realize it may not be spring for everyone reading this, in my neck of the woods spring is announcing its arrival. In Oregon, that means plenty of rain and flowers starting to show their beautiful faces. In my yard the daffodils have been the first to announce themselves. Moving from gathering energy and being more inward in the winter season; spring brings with it an energy of freshness, renewal, new life, new beginnings and a fresh start. Spring is a season of possibility. It is also an opportunity to wipe away the sleep from our winter eyes and prepare for the more active months ahead.
A Time to Fast & Cleanse
The end of each season or the beginning of a new one are the perfect times for cleansing and/or fasting. This helps to aid our body in releasing any stored toxins placing us in the best position possible for heading into a new chapter. In the winter months we tend to eat more rich and heavy foods. We can help our relieve our body of any excess from the heavier diet of winter months and lighten our load as we spring forward.
I realize fasting is not for everyone. It takes a certain amount of discipline and not all body types or health conditions lend themselves equally to such an undertaking. However, many who have partaken in fasting can not deny the benefits and the lightness they feel. Equally appealing is the refreshed outlook that comes from the clarity of mind and absence of brain fog after a fast.
Those who prefer not to be fasting during waking hours, may find intermittent fasting to be an easier method. Some people employ intermittent fasting seasonally, while others take it up as a lifestyle. Whichever you choose, intermittent fasting offers great benefit. In the Sources and Resources section below, I have included an article from Dr. Axe’s Website about just that.
There are several ways to approach it that are explained in a clear and brief manner. Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting are: improved blood sugar, a reduction of inflammation, a healthy heart, a healthier brain, a reduction in LDL ( non - beneficial cholesterol) and triglycerides, less oxidative stress and improved cellular health.
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FASTING IN GENERAL
There are innumerable fasts to choose from. It would be impossible to list them all here. If it is something you would like to try, I recommend talking to friends who have done at least several and ask them to share their experience with you. The internet is also a wealth of information for such things.
It is important to note that it is advisable to ease into and out of a fast. In other words, you would not want to go from eating really heavy foods and go suddenly into fast mode. Equally important is the way that you come out of a fast. You would not want to come out of a fast with a steak and potatoes meal for example - this would be very hard on the body.
I encourage you to read up on it first and really understand the best way to do it that will not stress your body. Nonetheless, do not make it so complicated that you talk yourself out of it. It is not complex, it just deserves a little bit of forethought.
SORT OF FASTING ( an alternative )
If you do not wish to fast, but would still like to do something good for your body, you can eat lighter - meaning easy to digest foods, as well as eat smaller portions. Do this from 4 to 7 days , having your main meal by 4 p.m at the latest and something light ( maybe soup) for dinner. I do not recommend salads and smoothies as these are cold, raw and harder to digest. Better to wait for warmer weather unless you have very strong digestion.
By the time we reach our fifties, we have an average of 14 lbs. of undigested food in our bowels. Imagine ( though it’s kind of gross ) to think about 14 lbs, of putrid, rotting, undigested food in your bowels. That can’t be great for your health right? Having clean bowels improves immunity, clear thinking and a clear mind, and fosters a healthy gut-brain connection. Besides offering a myriad of other benefits to your overall health, it can decrease your chances of colorectal cancer (which is on the rise in adults under 55 in the U.S. ).
Depending on how rural you are, you may or may not have access to a colonic therapist. I have had close to 20 colonics and I can tell you that all the hype against them is just that. Naturally you want a professional experienced therapist as well as a consultation prior, so that they can inform you of anything which may be of importance specifically to your body and any conditions you may have.
I think a lot of people tend to think it will be an embarrassing or possibly very physically uncomfortable thing to do. I will say that it is set up not to be embarrassing. I have experienced cramping as the water moves through my intestines, but nothing that persists when the colonic is finished, I do recommend rest and hydration following your colonic. In other words, do not plan on activity afterwards - give your body time to integrate.
If at all possible , find a practitioner who has an Angel of Water colonic machine. Of all my colonics, ones done with the AOW machine have been the most comfortable. I spoke on this more in depth in my blog on digestion. You can find it here (scroll to the bottom and click on the link entitled Information on colonics).
Cleaning House & Purging Belongings
Did you know that the average house in the U.S. has 300,000 items ?
That simply boggles my mind. It definitely seems like many people in this culture are trying to fill a void with material possessions (a ripe topic for another post). A huge part of spring cleaning is house-cleaning. Though we may clean our houses regularly, every once in a while they do need a deep cleaning and spring is the perfect time for it. I like to do a deep cleaning again around the winter solstice or the new year as well.
I do not own much anymore, but when I did, I was continually getting rid of things. Even so, it seemed somehow I always had the same amount of things. They say you will always fill a house to capacity and I believe it. I never remember having any empty closets or drawers in my house. Currently I occupy a master bedroom and bathroom and I can say that each drawer and cupboard has something in it.
“A 2011 study by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that clutter actually affects your ability to focus and process information.” “ Decision-making requires energy and is a limited resource. When your brain is inundated with visual stimuli, it’s more difficult to make decisions.” (2)
MESS = STRESS
Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren't necessary or important.
Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
Clutter makes us anxious because we're never sure what it's going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
8. Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly (e.g. files and paperwork lost in the "pile" or keys swallowed up by the clutter). (3)
Strutting into Spring
Whether you choose to walk, leap, run or strut; my wish for you is that you will give your body and your house some love. Doing these things will allow you to experience this next season in a body and a home that welcome vitality, abundant energy and creativity to put into all your favorite endeavors. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the arrival of the first spring of the rest of your life! May contentment and a light heart be your constant companions. Please feel free to share this post on your social media platforms or send it along in an email. It may be just the inspiration someone is looking for. Cheers!