It’s that time of the year again: spring “cleanses”, “detoxes”, and “resets” are being marketed at us in full throttle.
By: Kiki Athanas, Calii Love’s In-House Wellness Expert & Founder of Me by Kiki™
In the following post, I outline what you need to master FIRST, before jumping into any restrictive or regimed “get-fit-for-summer” program. This isn’t just some usual “self-care is important” advice – what I share below could save you not only time & money, but more importantly: your health. This information is intended to minimize the chance that you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
Wait – how can a healthy “cleanse” do any harm?!
While nourishing your body with foods that help support detoxification, such as leafy green vegetables, berries, and olive oil, is generally health-promoting and safe, you still need to be mindful of what you’re reducing in your diet. Cutting out entire food groups unnecessarily can be detrimental to your long-term health – and your sanity. For example, while the social media trends of today seem to be #glutenfree this and #ketofriendly that, completely knocking grains out of your diet – especially if you are NOT 1 in 100 that truly has a gluten intolerance – can be health-reducing rather than promoting. Many “gluten-free alternatives” are not only pricey, they are loaded with extra fat and/or sugar. In reality, a fresh slice of sourdough or whole-grain wrap is a heck of a lot better than that expensive gluten-free coconut muffin.
Most importantly, labelling food as “good” or “bad” can lead to living a life filled with fear and guilt, which certainly isn’t conducive to fostering your utmost health and happiness. While setting boundaries and following guidelines can be empowering and freeing in many ways – you just need to be mindful of when your restrictions start to take over. A spring reset in which you reduce some of your trigger foods and beverages (goodbye coffee, hello matcha!) and add in more of the goodness you genuinely enjoy is a safe and sustainable way to go about things – physically and spiritually.
Think: what do I love that I know makes me feel great? Incorporate more of goodness that in! If that’s not exciting enough for you, and you’re up for a bit more exploration – get creative in the kitchen! What fruits, vegetables, or other ingredients do you walk by in the grocery store and have no clue what to do with? A spring “cleanse” is the perfect opportunity to bust out your reusable cloth bag and head on over to the farmers market to pick up some items you would have never otherwise tried. Have a conversation with the farmer (seriously, it’s possible at these markets!) and get their top recommendations and suggestions.
The above goes for activities as much as it does for food. Reflect on what makes you feel like your best self and commit to doing more of that. Even if you have to “schedule in” more friend dates and time for evening yoga classes…send yourself the calendar invite and make it happen!
Last but not least: always stay conscious of where you’re at, and be proud of how far you’ve come. That might simple be deciding that you’d like to make some positive changes for the better – it’s indeed something to celebrate! While laser-focused diet plans can be a source of motivation for some, they also leave little room for “error”, and can lead to binging if you “mess-up”. Rather than beating yourself up about not feeling or looking exactly how you want to, embrace your small wins and keep on keeping on! Guilt is a wasted emotion.
So with all that being acknowledged – am I claiming that doing a “spring cleanse” is a bad idea? Absolutely not. In fact, I’m hosting my very own (check it out here)! The important message here is to be mindful about what you need, supportive and respectful of your body at all times, and incorporate only the parts that fit what health, happiness and success looks like for YOU. Whatever the season, you deserve to be nourishing yourself in a way that fits your reality!