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Spring invites us to shift into a lighter, brighter diet and lifestyle!

Spring has finally come, and with it, new beginnings and new life. Birds are singing. Trees are blossoming. Bulbs are sprouting up and flowers are blooming. Spring is an exciting and delicious time as the earth awakens and provides cleansing plant foods of mustard, dandelion, asparagus, and strawberries. The bounty and variety of fresh foods will increase through fall.

During the winter season, in a northern climate we sensibly eat warming foods. However, it is easy to overeat protein, fats, snack foods, sweets, treats, and other comfort foods to help us stay warm and feel secure during the dark, wet, and cold season.  In addition, physical activity diminishes. This equation of excess calories and less exercise, along with stress and insecurity, equals winter weight gain, moodiness, and sluggishness.

I want to clarify the difference between a Cleanse, a Fast and a Detoxification Program. They share similarities, but are also distinct. Each aims to improve health by supporting the body to discharge and clear stored cellular waste and provide tissues with restorative nutrients. 

Traditionally, a change of season calls for a change of diet and lifestyle. Spring is a perfect time to assist our bodies to release the winter overload.

A good starting place for a diet and lifestyle change is to minimize or eliminate eating non-nutritive substances such as refined sugars, flour, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, artificial sweeteners, and hormone-enhanced commercial meats and dairy products. Common food stressors such as gluten, dairy, soy, and corn are removed from the diet for a period of days, weeks, or even months.  The basis of this regenerative diet is seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local (S.O.U.L.) plant foods. Optimal hydration is also essential. I suggest we drink one-half of cup of water or other unsweetened beverage for each hour of waking time (e.g. 8 cups of fluid within 16 hours).

The Cleansing Diet and Lifestyle Change

After a winter of hibernation, we can spring forward by committing to a gentle Cleanse. Start by increasing your fluids, fiber, phytonutrients and physical activity.

A Cleanse starts with drinking healthy fluids throughout the day. Soft drinks, alcohol, tap water, non-organic juices, and caffeine drinks are gradually reduced or eliminated. The Cleansing Diet foundation includes whole, fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, clean fats, and lean proteins. Refined, allergenic and genetically modified foods are excluded during a Cleanse. Protein and fats are best organic, and eaten in measured amounts.

A Cleansing meal could consist of:

  • 1 serving of protein (3 oz. animal, 6 oz. vegetable protein)
  • 1-2 servings of good fats (1 T of olive oil, 2 T seeds, nuts or avocado is one serving)
  • 3 servings of whole vegetables and or fruits (1/2 cup of chopped vegetable, or 1 cup of leafy greens is one serving).

Hence, a large salad with spring mix (It’s spring!), tomatoes, avocado, grated carrots, beets, parsley and either garbanzo beans, wild salmon, or a hard-boiled egg, would be an excellent cleansing meal. Check out one of the luscious salad recipes from my new book, Flavors of Health.

The Cleansing Diet can be augmented with a variety of nutritional supplements which may include a protein powder, fiber product, enzymes, algae, and friendly flora. All of these are available in the Bauman Nutrition’s Vital Scoop in a safe and well balanced combination.  The Cleansing Diet with proper fluid, fiber, and phytonutrients (colorful fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices) is safe and effective when the diet is gradually changed, rather than suddenly and radically shifted.  As a person gets acclimated to eating more produce, he or she can increase the proportion of raw to cooked foods. The Cleansing Diet increases the amount of alkaline-forming minerals, especially potassium, magnesium, and trace elements that balance the blood pH, cool inflammation, and nourish organs, glands, and body tissues.

In addition to cleaning up the diet, during a Cleanse it is also vitally important to commit to a daily program of physical activity. This can include a variety of movement such as walking, dancing, working in the home and yard, and exercise that promotes strength building, flexibility and aerobic activity. Just as with changing the diet, a gradual change that leads to consistent habits, which avoids extremes, is best.

If following the Cleansing Diet causes to a person becoming dizzy, disoriented, tired or unstable, eating a balancing diet which includes equal calories from proteins and fats to carbohydrates can help lessen and eliminate undesirable effects.

The Cleansing Diet can be typically maintained for several weeks without supervision.

Next Blog: The Fast and The Detoxification Program

The Cleansing Diet is an excellent preparation for a Fast or Detoxification program, and a perfect prelude to the Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat.

The Spring Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat is May 10-13 at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, California. Stillheart Institute is a sanctuary on holy grounds supported by a genuine healing mission that permeates the facility.

A few spaces remain – so invite a friend and join me at the upcoming Vitality Fasting Retreat. Experience what it feels like to be clear, clean and refreshed after a Fast. You’ll look and feel years younger after enjoying this delightful long-weekend retreat!

Learn more: Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat Information and registration information.

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