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the art of spring cleansing

As the days slowly become longer and brighter they awaken life all around. Just as green leaves emerge from barren branches and crocuses poke their way through the melting snow, it’s natural to feel a rush of vibrancy and renewal… which begs the question: what do we do to harness the power of this season? If you take a look at traditional medicine, you’ll notice the emphasis on spring cleansing is not new. In fact, ancient Chinese Medicine devotes the entire season to cleansing the liver and the gallbladder; two organs that are essential in the filtration of the body, which promotes renewal on a deep cellular level. Chronic symptoms such as congestion, insomnia, and constipation tend to resolve themselves when the body is given the opportunity to function the way it was designed. Apart from environmental toxic exposure, it is completely natural to create toxins all the time as a byproduct of our normal metabolic functions [digestion, exercise, breathing, etc.] If the body has appropriate nutrients + protein on board, the body can undergo both phases of detox which entail:

  • Step 1: Transforming the toxin into an “intermediate metabolite” by p450 enzymes. Essentially this makes the toxic compound “sticky” so that something can be added to it.

  • Step 2: Converting the transformed “intermediate metabolite” into water soluble compounds for excretion. Essentially, this neutralizes the toxin so the body can get rid of it safely and easily through one of the six channels of elimination

By simply coordinating your diet with the cycles of the seasons, you effortlessly employ the earth’s medicine to help boost your immunity and slough off toxins. Below is a list of my favorite cleansing foods, the therapy they offer the body and a very simple way to prepare them. Instead of resorting to harsh or dramatic cleansing simply include 3 into your repertoire of foods per day while putting pen to paper journaling about the relief you experience from symptoms of toxicity.

artichokes This edible flower is rich in liver protective agents. Just steam and serve with a high quality butter and sea salt.

daikon radish This spicy root is traditionally used to clear mucous from the body. Peel, grate or shred and layer into a sandwich.

flaxseeds Provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 and fiber. Blend ground seeds into smoothies.

garlic Garlic’s anti-bacterial properties encourage the production of a powerful detoxifying antioxidant glutathione. Mince into hummus.

nettle tea Long known for its allergy preventative benefits, nettle tea is nature’s multivitamin. Steep nettles in hot water for 3-5 minutes.

leafy greens Greens are very alkalizing and contain the blood-cleansing, cancer preventative compound chlorophyll. Blend a handful of greens into a smoothie.

lemons Alkalizing lemon balances acidity caused by sugar and grains. Squeeze half a lemon into warm water upon waking.

rosemary This herb is a powerful liver stimulant that can double the quantity of bile available for digestion. Mince and sprinkle on cooked root vegetables.

sea vegetables These mineral-rich nutritional powerhouses contain the compound fucan which can reduce inflammation. Toast and sprinkle on soup or popcorn.

turmeric The active ingredient curcumin has been shown to increase the liver’s ability to neutralize toxic chemicals and boost bile flow. Sprinkle on eggs.

To your freedom + spring vibrance, Ellie


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