You have probably heard of spring cleaning for your home, but have you ever considered spring cleaning your body? Day to day and month after month, many of us consume foods that aren’t good for our health; perhaps it’s too much fat, too much sugar or too many processed foods. Maybe we’re eating the same types of foods on a daily basis; this can prevent us from getting the vast array of nutrients we need to optimize our health. Take advantage of the change of season to do a short cleanse.
A cleansing diet is based on eating whole foods and avoiding things like canned goods and fried foods. Vegetables and fruits can be eaten freely, they can be lightly sautéed, steamed or eaten raw. Now that the temperature is warming up, our bodies can accept more raw foods. Traditional Chinese medicine tells us that raw foods are cold in nature and are best eaten during the warmer months. A cleanse is a good time to choose organic produce, so that we can decrease our body burden of chemicals, even for a short period of time. Meat can be reduced or cut out, depending on the individual’s needs. All forms of sugar should be removed from the diet. A good staple to use is brown rice. It is a source of fiber and contains more nutrients than white rice. Following a simple diet like this, even for a short period of time, can give you the confidence to make other, more permanent, healthy changes.
As the temperature heats up, we want to spend more time outdoors. This is a great time of year to become more physically active. The city offers a multitude of parks where one can walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds of Beijing. For those who would like more intense exercise there are many beautiful areas on the outskirts of Beijing that are great for hiking, such as Fragrant Hills and The Great Wall.
Drinking more water is a change that many of us will benefit from. Our bodies need water for various functions, like facilitating digestion and lubricating joints. If plain water doesn’t appeal to you, try flavoring it naturally using lemon and sprigs of fresh mint. Green tea is an excellent health drink that contains many antioxidants.
Let the arrival of spring renew your commitment to your health. I encourage you to make some positive changes to your lifestyle today!
Dr. Melissa Rodriguez is a Naturopathic doctor who lives with her family in Beijing, www.drmelissarodriguez.com