I have been doing a bit of Spring cleaning in the last few weeks. All those lovely weeds in the garden being removed, a summer vegetable garden being planted in place of the winter one and the cupboards being removed of all things not needed anymore. What about Spring cleaning our body?
Its a great time to clean out the bathroom. After the Winter cold there is often a build up of mould on windows and in cupboards due to the condensation build up. This mould can lead to illness and allergies. You can use vinegar and clove oil to help kill the mould spores.
Clearing out the out-dated cosmetics and if you need to replace them look for more natural options. There is so much choice at health food stores and if you have been using the same products for years it might be time for a change due to our skin changing over time. There is some great mineral make up that lasts as long as the commercial brands, deodorants that are not aluminium based that actually do work and hair colours that do not contain as many chemicals, and do cover the greys.
How many containers, bowls and utensils do you really need? How many cleaning products are really needed for general cleaning? Does the pantry contain things that you will never use, or is well past the best before date?
It amazing how much more organised you can feel after a pantry clean out because you actually know what you have. I personally use old jars to store the majority of my pantry items. They seal really well to avoid things going rancid and are easy to clean. I try to avoid using plastic as much as possible and as things need replacing I replace with a glass alternative if I can.
Its a great time to get rid of any of the foods, condiments and other items that you know should be avoided. Swapping stock and gravy powders that are really just salt and MSG for better quality stock liquids or powders, white sugar substituted for raw honey or coconut sugar, white rice for brown rice and alternatives for sugar and salt laden tomato sauce ready for the Summer BBQ's.
Looking at adding things you may not have tried before to the pantry. Chia seeds, quinoa, legume or spelt pasta, buckwheat flour, hemp oil - get a bit adventurous and try new things.
It is time to start clearing out the winter vegetables and planting up for Summer. Who wouldn't love an abundance of fresh homegrown tomatoes, fresh basil and cucumbers. Even with out having a large space you can still plant up a single big pot with a tomato, capsicum or chilli bush and some basil and parsley or a blueberry plant. Its a great way to teach kids where food comes from and perhaps some responsibility as they look after their own little garden plot.
During Winter exercise has been less and couch and snack time has been more. As the weather warms up lighter foods are best for the body. Fresh greens, sprouted seeds, fruit salads, vegetable juices and herbs such as mint, basil and fennel. In the Winter our body has often accumulated a little bit of extra insulation in the form of fat and by taking the burden off the liver and gall bladder by eating less fats and heavy foods this will help remove a few extra kilos, improve energy and decrease allergies. Adding in some prebiotic foods that help to feed the good bacteria and help improve digestive function. These foods include apples, bananas, chicory, leeks, onions and garlic. Probiotics in yogurts, kefir, fermented foods and pickles will help to keep a healthy gut microbiota.
Helping support the liver, digestion and gut health with herbs such as tumeric, milk thistle and dandelion . Support gut healing with amino acid glutamine, slipperly elm as well as probiotics and prebiotics to improve the gut flora. Supporting digestion with the addition of apple cider vinegar in water before meals or a digestive enzyme can help in the breakdown of foods and improve bloating after meals. Drinking plenty of water and eating fibre will help to eliminate toxins and improve constipation.
Remember it is also a time to Spring clean the mind. Holding on to any damaging and negative emotions can also hinder health. Release negative thoughts and processes, give thanks for the small simple things that occur during the day and each night remember one positive thing that happened during the day (it may be as simple as your child smiling in their sleep as you tucked them in, or a new flower bloom in the garden) so you fall asleep with a positive attitude.
In Health and Happiness