“The body is the primary means to enlightenment”
-Ancient Rishi sage
Spring is time of renewal. It’s a time to get excited about the season of shedding- pounds, clutter, bad habits and anything else that no longer serves you. Every spring, I do a "spring-cleaning". I clean out my drawers, cosmetic and kitchen cabinets. I toss what lo longer serves me and donate clothes I no longer need. Why not take that same approach with your mind + body?
Detoxification is imperative to being our most radiant self. There are two organs that work especially hard to assist in the detoxification process: your liver and the gallbladder. The liver is the largest organ in the human body. It’s the powerhouse and performs thousands of critical functions each day. Often when you’re feeling run down, sluggish or have inflammation in the body (rash, acne, illness) it’s a clear sign that your liver needs some TLC. The gallbladder is the small sac-shaped organ beneath the liver, in which bile is stored after secretion by the liver and before release into the intestine.
Once I began to show more love to my liver my entire health improved. One of the greatest acts you can do to assist your liver and detox process is to cut back on items that are hardest to break down: excess sugar, caffeine, meat and dairy products.
Produce to Eat this Spring:
Artichokes stimulate bile production in the liver, natural diuretic and contain a high amount of glutathione (anti-aging nutrient). Arugula is rich in Vitamin K for strong bones and assisting with dark eye circles. Asparagus is high in folate and iron. Coconut (from coco oil, butter to water and meat) is high in potassium to keep you hydrated and nourished. Garlic helps support a healthy gut. Lemon is amazing for detox! They’re great for cleansing the blood and keeping the liver happy. Romaine great source of folate, iron and Vitamin A + B. Strawberries aid with blood sugar balance and are rich in Vitamin C.
More ways to support your liver + gallbladder this Spring:
Drink water. Consume 10-12 glasses of water on a daily basis (more when exercising). Drinking enough water will help your liver flush out toxins. Drink filtered to avoid taking in bad elements. Bottled water is unreliable. Filtered water is best.
Move. Sweat. Play. Exercising for an hour every day will help stimulate your liver and other internal organs. Strength training, yoga, running, walking and hiking are all great ways to stimulate your liver and flush out toxins while improving your blood circulation and cardiovascular health. I especially love a great vinyasa flow with lots of twists that keep digestion in check. Do what you can and do what feels right for you.
Breathe. Regular deep breathing regulates the heartbeat and calms the mind. It’s a natural body function that we often take for granted yet can do so much good in your mind, body + soul. Take 5 minutes out of your day (I like to do this mid-day and right before bed). Find a place you can shut your eyes and release all the air you have in the belly (one long exhale). Next, take a breath in through the nostrils and hold the breath for 5 seconds, then release the breath through the mouth for a count of 5 seconds. Repeat 10-50 times (2-10 minutes). Whatever your schedule permits. Notice how the breathe makes you feel. Calmer? More present? More in tune with your body? Mission accomplished.
Don’t stuff yourself silly. Have you seen that meme going around about how you eat clean all day long and then get home and eat everything in sight? I think it’s funny because we can all relate but the joke is on us. Overeating ages us and makes your liver work harder than it should. Give your liver a break, especially in the evenings when your metabolism is at it's slowest.
Just say NO to juicing fads. I love my morning juice but have never done a juice cleanse and would never suggest one to a friend or client. Most of them are loaded with as much sugar as a can of soda. Instead make your own with fresh organic produce. Also, eating your produce is excellent for detox as the fiber works as "little brooms" in your gut helping you eliminate more efficiently.
Eat Local Produce. Hit the farmers market this season + fill up on foods that assist with detox. It's amazing to see how many spring foods naturally support the liver and gallbladder. Find a local farmers market or CSA program. You're helping support local farmers, saving money on delicious produce + eating them in their most natural form. Take home some pretty flowers while you're there!