The beginning of Spring is a perfect time to cleanse the body. Typically, people are less active during the winter, eat a little more “comfort” food, and maybe even gain a little weight. Now that the sun is coming out, we’re getting out of the house more regularly, moving around more, and maybe feeling the drain of the months of darkness dissipating into the receding Winter. Beginning the season with a short cleanse is a great way to reset your body and prepare yourself for the coming months of increased activity. Here’s a short, easy cleanse. It doesn’t incorporate any special products, and is meant to be intuitively driven; an opportunity to learn about your body, and how to feed it well.
Spring into Health Cleanse
3 weeks to reset, renew, and rejuvenate
These 3 foundations are your agreement with yourself on how to proceed through the 3 weeks of the cleanse.
- I want to participate in this cleanse. I am willing to follow the rules and commit to the full 3 weeks.
- This cleanse is a learning experience, and though parts of it may be difficult, it is intended to aid in my health journey.
- This cleanse is a safe and healing experience. If I am at all worried or having problems, I am able to seek out assistance from a medical provider
1. EAT REAL FOOD
Treat EVERYTHING in a box or plastic packaging with suspicion.*
2. DON’T EAT/DRINK THIS
Alcohol, in any form: wine, beer, etc.
Any sweetener! – this includes honey, stevia, and maple syrup*
All dairy products: milk, cream, butter, anything from a cow, sheep, goat
All gluten grains: wheat, rye, oats (unless gluten free), barley, spelt couscous, bulgar
All white sugar, brown sugar, honey, fructose, malt
Pork, beef, all canned and processed meats: hot dogs, bacon, sausage
Black pepper, refined salt (sea salt and cayenne pepper in moderation is OK)
Caffeine: coffee, tea*
Citrus (except lemons)*, strawberries, and banana
Dried fruit: raisins, dates, figs, etc. (soaking dry fruit in moderation)
Eggs of all types
Peanut oil, palm oil, processed oils: canola, saffola, corn oil
Soy, tempeh, tofu
Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant (all nightshade plants)*
All corn products!
Vinegar (lemon juice okay)
Chocolate in any form
* Exceptions to the Rule
* Some real foods do come packaged, like nut butters, coconut oil, maple syrup (for master cleanse only), and vegetables at stores such as Trader Joes. Whenever purchasing packaged foods read labels and consider the impact of the packaging on the environment.
* Maple syrup may be used in the Master Cleanse drink in the AM.
* One cup of green tea may be taken after breakfast if caffeinated beverages are severely needed, otherwise do without.
* A small amount of juice may be used to flavor smoothies
* Lemons have properties different from other citrus and are very beneficial for cleaning the liver and intestines.
* Cayenne pepper may be used, it has different properties than other peppers and aids in decreasing inflammation.
3. Eat Only 3 Meals Daily
If you’re not hungry for a mid-day meal, skip and eat dinner.
4. No Snacking!
Eat meals daily with no snacking in between, the time in between meals allows the digestive system to fully digest what has been eaten and then to begin processing through stored fat and toxins.
5. Eat Sitting Down in a Relaxed Atmosphere
Eating in a relaxed manner promotes the digestive functions and will help your body digest and assimilate your food.
6. Eat Slowly and Chew Your Food
Chewing until the food in your mouth is liquefied before swallowing allows the natural enzymes in your saliva to begin digesting your food as it is being swallowed; this is the most efficient and easiest manner of eating.
7. Be Grateful
Giving thanks for the food which nourishes your body promotes healthy well-being and self-care.
This cleanse is intended to use whole, real foods to give the body a break from the artificial and processed foods that we so often consume. Meats, fats and oils, and starches may be consumed in moderation during the first week to ease the body into the cleanse, and during the third week to prepare the body for consuming a more usual diet.
Eat from the following lists: Proteins, Starches, Vegetables, Fruit, Fats/Oils
Eat from the following lists: Protein, Starches, Vegetables, Fruit
Eat from the following lists: Starches, Vegetables, Fruit
Eat from the following lists: Vegetables, Fruit
No solid food, only smoothies, broths, water, and diluted juices
Add foods back SLOWLY from the following lists: Vegetables and Fruit
Eat from the following lists: Vegetables, Fruit, and add Starches back slowly
Eat from the following lists: Vegetables, Fruit, Starches, and add Fats back slowly
Eat from the following lists: Vegetables, Fruit, Starches, Fats, Proteins
All meats should be grass fed, organic, hormone free, and should be eaten in small portions.
Fast food, and most restaurant meat, will not be suitable during this cleanse.
* Hemp protein powder (pure ground hemp seeds) can be used throughout the duration of the cleanse (except for the 2 liquid days).
Cream of rice
Tapioca (not pudding)
* Nut milk (almond, hemp, or coconut) – almond milk can be made by soaking ½ cup almonds overnight, then adding a 3-4 cups water and blend in a blender.
Applesauce (no sugar)
Lettuce (not iceberg)
*signifies vegetables that support liver detoxification.
Also, try to eat a rainbow of colors when it comes to vegetables.
Almond butter (no sugar)
Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.