Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spring Clean Your Diet

Stock Photography: Teenage girl with arms outstretched at sunset

10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet

I have spring cleaned the home now to spring clean my mind and body.

Do you do anything to freshen up to get ready for the warmer weather??

How to start your spring cleanse

1. Clean out your kitchen cupboards and fridge of any sugary, processed junk foods. You won’t be as tempted if they’re not in the house.

2. Go for a big, healthy grocery shop and stock up on lots of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegies, legumes, nuts, seeds, and wholegrains. In-season mangoes are popping up in grocers now, which I’m personally very excited about.

3. Alkalise your diet. During winter we tend to eat protein-rich foods which can make our system more acidic. Now is the time to start eating more alkalising foods such as salad vegetables, legumes and fruits.

4. Start your morning with a glass of water with fresh lemon juice. This will help kick start your digestion for the day. While lemon is bitter to taste, it is beneficial for stimulating stomach acids. Lemon also has a healthy alkalising effect on the body.

5. Always start the day with as nutritious breakfast. My favourite brekky is natural muesli or Bircher with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and a dollop of natural yoghurt. This breakfast provides a good dose of fibre, which is important for cleansing the bowel and eliminating toxins from the body.

6. Fresh fruit and vegie juices are an excellent way to boost your vitamin and antioxidant intake. Try different combinations and adding some leafy greens or parsley for extra iron and calcium.

7. Now that it’s getting warmer, try swapping one of your coffees or black teas for an iced caffeine-free herbal option, such as spearmint, rose, or peppermint tea. This is the perfect way to increase your water intake too. Tip: add some lemon wedges and fresh mint for a refreshing boost.

8. Drink aloe vera juice. This natural tonic has detoxifying and cleansing effects on the bowel, helping to maintain healthy digestive function and bowel regularity. To improve digestive health drink 25-50ml of aloe juice, 1-2 times a day before meals. You can dilute it in water or add it to juice.

9. Up your exercise. It’s the best way to boost your metabolism and energy levels. Pick an activity you enjoy or you won’t stick to it. Have some fun in the sun and try jogging, swimming, cycling, or roller blading. Or take a dancing or zumba class.

10. Detox your liver. St Mary’s thistle, also known as Milk thistle, is a great natural herb to treat and protect the liver. Milk thistle enhances liver detoxification, helping to remove toxins from the liver and body. This valuable herb has the ability to regenerate injured liver cells, which is good news for those who went overboard on the vinos this winter. Look for St Mary’s thistle tablets from health food stores.

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