Prep your Body for Spring!

health detox for spring

In Traditional Chinese Medical practice, the 2-4 weeks before spring is the time to prep your body for the coming season and focus your mind for the whole year ahead.  Taking time now to be “in tune” with nature facilitates moving through the next season with good health.  When we are out of balance with nature, this is when illness occurs.

Here’s what you can do:

1) Cleanse your body for a designated amount of time.  A general guideline is 2, 3, or 4 weeks dependent on how many toxins you may have in your system.   Keep in mind, we all breathe in toxins on a daily basis.


Here is a quick quiz (use the closest answer) to determine how long to cleanse:


1) How often do you eat out at fast food restaurants?

A. Never       B. Once a month         C. Once a week       D. 2-3 times a week       E. Every day


2) How often have you cleansed your body with an internal cleanse regime (either with supplements or specific foods, elimination)?

A. Every month        B. Twice per year       C. Once a year       D. Once ever       E. Never


3) How often do you eat dairy or meat products that are organic and vegetarian fed (If you are Vegan, answer “A”)?

A. Every time       B. Most of the time       C. When it’s on sale       D. I may have, not sure       E. Never


4) How often do you eat fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and legumes that are organic?

A. Every time       B. Most of the time       C. When it’s on sale       D. I may have, not sure       E. Never


Now, add your score to see how long you should cleanse.   A: 0pts, B: 1pt, C: 2pts, D: 3pts, E: 4pts

0 – 3 points: 1 week

4 – 7 points: 2 weeks

8 – 11 points: 3 weeks

11+ points: 4 weeks

Begin with eliminating some of the not so healthy choices that may still be in your life such as fast food and soda.  Then for the designated amount of time (1-4 weeks) reduce and/or eliminate the following: dairy products, meat products, processed foods, refined sugar, and flour.  Also, reduce and/or eliminate caffeine (other than green tea) and alcohol.  The more you can eliminate completely, the better.  If this is difficult for you, remember this is temporary.  At some point, you will join those of us who already experience the health benefits and mental clarity.  We look forward to it, and many of us end up giving some of these up for good anyway.

Next, there are many ways to detoxify the cells in your body and in specific organs.  The easy way is by taking a Chinese herbal formula such as Herbal DTX by Evergreen, or supplement with detoxifying herbs and fiber to help eliminate toxins such as Ultimate Cleanse by Nature’s Secret.  I carry these at Envision Wellness.

You can also include in your diet the following foods that aid in natural detoxification of the body:

  • mung beans, sprouts
  • adzuki beans, sprouts
  • watercress
  • dark leafy greens (kale, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard)
  • dandelion greens
  • parsley
  • arugula
  • asparagus
  • artichoke
  • beets
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • avocado
  • green tea
  • lemongrass
  • grapefruit
  • lemon (use a slice or two in your water)
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil

Also include whole grains such as quinoa, millet, brown and wild rice, oats, and blue corn for roughage and fiber.  Take in plenty of foods with antioxidants, such as goji berries, blueberries, artichoke, citrus foods, nuts, and seeds.  If you can eat nuts and seeds, include these also for the lubricating oils and fiber: hemp seeds, chia seeds, almond meal, flax seed meal, sunflower seeds, etc.  Make sure to eat foods that are organic.   Also, take a probiotic daily such as yogurt, kefir, or kombucha.

Many cultures also recommend a water or juice fasting for anywhere from 1 to 21 days.  The body takes 24 hours of fasting to begin to detoxify.  This is not to be attempted lightly.  If you are attempting this method, please be aware you may experience headaches, emotional changes, and skin outbreaks.  You want to build up to the fasting with several days and up to a week of a completely clean, vegan and whole grain diet, as well as follow the fast with the same period of several days of vegan diet.  If attempting this method for the first time, I suggest 3 days of the water or juice fasting (and more instruction).  Please contact me if you are attempting this method.Note: The skin is part of our excretory system (like the intestines, colon, and urinary system).  Therefore, you may experience skin breakouts anyway.  Don’t fret about this, it only means your systems are functioning appropriately.

I will offer ideas for healthy, detox friendly meals and snacks as a continuation of this blog.  Some of my favorites are:

  • Orgain Protein Shakes (organic vegan protein) with almond and/or coconut milk, add blueberries and spinach
  • Oatmeal cooked with chopped pears, add almond meal, flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, and/or chia seeds
  • Quinoa with sautéed vegetables and pine nuts
  • Black bean burgers with sautéed veggies on top
  • Lentil and bean soups or stews with chopped veggies

2) Drink plenty of water to facilitate flushing the body.  For the detoxification process, you need at least half of your body weight in ounces of water.  Ex. A 160-pound person needs at least 80 ounces of water.

3) Get out and move.  Try to do something active (work up a sweat) and exercise at least 5 days in the week, if not every day for at least 20 mins.  This can be as simple as dancing to music in your home, walking around the block, and going up and down flights of stairs.  I strongly recommend going for nature walks, or hiking at least once per week.  Connecting with nature while being active is a powerful cleanser and helps to bring peace, clarity, and balance to the mind.

4) Meditate for at least 15 mins per day.  Clear your mind of thought, and see what comes through the light.  Focus your inhales on white light entering and filling your body and exhale darkness until you feel the white light has filled your body and you are exhaling white light.  Focus an intention on anything you feel is important in your life, anything you are passionate about.  Then ask for guidance through universal knowledge to gain insight how to apply your abilities in planning for the coming year.  As you progress in your cleanse and your meditations, you can gain more clarity and wisdom.

5) Take salt baths with essential oils than help detoxify, such as tea tree, peppermint, and lavender.

6) Get plenty of rest every night so your body has a chance to renew and rebuild.

Finally, if you are on regular medications, continue to take them.  If you have questions about this or any health concerns regarding the prep for spring, please contact me!

–Julie Armstrong, L.Ac.