As the days get warmer and the plants start to turn green once again, many of us are feeling a renewed sense of energy and are doing a bit of spring cleaning! Now is a great time to not only declutter our physical spaces to start the season fresh, but also to focus on pressing our inner reset buttons, to gently start anew.
We all want to live as the healthiest version of ourselves, but wellness does not just fall into our laps – we need to work at it. Whether that means prepping healthy meals for the week, going on a daily walk, or drinking enough water throughout the day, these actions take discipline and commitment – especially when we first begin our journeys to prioritizing wellness. Boosting our immunity and optimizing our wellness should be something we focus on all the time for the betterment of our long-term health and happiness. It is also particularly important these days when trying to not get sick. Viruses don’t stand as much of a chance when fighting against a healthy immune system.
Sticking to a healthy diet is HARD. There are plenty of times where someone with good intentions will offer me a delicious vegan treat, but I know it is full of sugar, which wreaks havoc on my body. Whenever I have sugar, I am almost guaranteed a bad night’s sleep full of odd dreams and thirst, and restlessness. But even just removing refined flour and sugar (breads, cookies, etc) can do wonders for your body. You’ll also feel much of the benefits from deleting meat and dairy, too.
Luckily, The Kind Diet is a great resource for getting started with your health journey – by following the Kind Diet you will lose weight more easily, your skin will glow, and you will have tons of energy. When we really focus our attention on giving our bodies good, clean nourishment, we will feel it in every aspect of our life. You will feel more rested, increase your energy, your skin will glow, you will feel stronger, and your bodies regulatory systems will be working efficiently!
Additionally, the Kind Diet is cruelty-free and sustainable, so you can feel good about the choices you are making for your body AND the planet! If you are already accustomed to a plant-based lifestyle the Superhero section of the Kind Diet will offer you the absolute best results. If you are new to plant-based food, I recommend reading the whole Kind Diet book so you can fully understand why you may want to make these changes and where to start!
Whether you are just starting your health journey or are looking for an extra boost to reset yourself for the spring season, I have a few simple practices you can add to your daily routine to get clean and start feeling your best.
This may sound odd, but how we chew is SO important! Our body has the amazing capacity to convert complex carbs – like a grain of brown rice, a green bean, or even a hunk of squash – into Glucose. AKA sugar… the good kind! You come equipped with flat molars, a jaw that moves in little circles for grinding, and a special enzyme in your saliva, called ptyalin, that breaks down complex carbs into glucose. When this glucose travels to your brain, it gives you the most amazing feeling of satisfaction. You will feel nourished and centered, and your brain will be free to generate happy thoughts. And all this begins in your mouth! Truth be told, I am not always the greatest chewer, but I try hard to chew every mouthful 30 times, but often don’t meet that mark, or I forget altogether. That’s why we call these practices! It’s really about trying your best, and discovering that feeling of satisfaction that will motivate you to improve. A few tips to help your chewing practice:
- Eat some meals alone: It’s way easier to chew when you’re not expected to talk!
- Put your fork down between bites: This simple trick interrupts mindless gobbling.
- Really taste your food: You went through all the trouble to get it, by paying close attention to your food you can relax and enjoy every little bit of flavor.
- The first couple of times you really try chewing your jaw might hurt: When any unused muscle gets a workout, it feels it, and your jaw has been slacking off for years now! But like all exercise, it will get easier and your body will soon thank your jaw because you will perform so much better on chewed food.
Water is SO important. Water makes up 60% of our bodies – 75% of our muscles, and 85% of our brains! Yet studies have shown that up to 75% of American adults are chronically dehydrated. There is such a simple solution: Drink more water! In the mornings I try my best to have 32 ounces of water before anything else, and it makes all the difference. I admit I am not the best when it comes to hydration, I often will find myself realizing at 4pm that I haven’t had any water all day! Adding lemon and mint makes me love to drink and gets it in me much easier. When I do remember to drink enough water, I can truly feel the difference. If you find yourself having a hard time remembering to drink water, having a great reusable water bottle that you can carry with can help. Having my water bottle nearby is always a visual reminder that I need to be drinking water throughout the day. (Try this reusable water bottle to help you drink more water.)
Start Your Day with a “Green” Routine
Starting your mornings right sets you up for success throughout the rest of the day. That hour or two you take for yourself puts your body and mind in the right mindset from the moment you get up. As we just mentioned ideally, I will start my morning with 32 ounces of water. Then it’s great to get something green in your body to fuel up! I like to have about 16 ounces of celery juice or blanched green veggies, followed by a smoothie 45 minutes later. My favorite morning go-to smoothie includes protein powder, frozen fruit, nuts, and water or nondairy unsweetened milk, 2 dates or 3 drop stevia, and a green powder, although if I am in a rush or don’t want that much fruit I will do a simple combination of protein powder and water. Once you are all fueled up for your day, go for a walk! Getting some fresh air and light exercise in during my mornings always energizes me, and releases those good endorphins, the chemicals your brain releases that keep you feeling energized, happy, and focused!
Move Your Body
Speaking of exercise and endorphins, another really simple thing you can do to support a clean, healthy lifestyle is move your body! If you start to incorporate exercise and movement into your everyday routine, you give your body the cue that it needs to be energized and engaged every day! In addition to a daily morning walk, I try my best to do three strength classes a week, and yoga on the other days. Again, we all live busy lives and I am by no means perfect when it comes to this routine. I regularly miss my exercises, and that is OK! Forgetting a day or two—or a few weeks!— in a row doesn’t mean you’ve failed, just try your best to pick up the practice again when you can. I am working on making it a bigger priority, and this spring detox is a great motivator to bring this to the front of your to-do list. Exercise delivers your body oxygen and nutrients and helps improve your cardiovascular system. When you exercise it is truly like giving your body a cleaning or tune-up to make sure that every system is functioning to at its best all the time, as well as stimulates the lymphatic system, cleaning it out & promoting our cleanse!
Take Your Organic MyKind Vitamins
Keeping track of your nutrition can sometimes be tricky or overwhelming for some, but there is an easy way to ensure you are getting all of your daily needed vitamins and minerals. By taking our organic MyKind vitamins you can ensure you are keeping your body properly fueled. Our gummy vitamins are delicious and a great way to feel like you are having a treat, or an afternoon pick-me-up. Unlike most gummy vitamins on the market that pile on the added sugar, syrups, animal byproducts, and artificial dyes and colors, these gummies are actually good for you! They are totally free of added sugars and harmful ingredients, and they are deliciously sweet thanks to the inclusion of organic apples and peach puree! For stress there is Ashwaganda, and for restful sleep check out the Sleep Well Pills or Delicious Spray, and our newest elderberry sleep for immune support.
For more of a cleanse, you can follow this daily routine:
As I mentioned earlier, water is so important so try your best to drink 32 ounces before you eat or drink anything else, followed up with 16 ounces of celery juice, and 30-45 minutes after that a healthy smoothie. This should be more than enough for you to feel well fueled in the morning! Once you are feeling fueled up get some movement in. A walk, a dance class, a cardio routine, or a yoga strength training. Bear & I love BullyJuice on Youtube! He has a super cute & infectious personality and leads some great workouts.
A light soup or salad is a great fuel boost in the middle of the day. A dish I am loving right now is Carrot Ginger Soup – I make a basic roasted butternut soup and add some steamed carrots and plenty of ginger, blended all together, it is fantastic! I have also been loving having Split Pea Soup, or Immune boosting Miso Soup. For salads, I do a mix of of red leafy lettuce, red onion, mushrooms, raisins, avocado, tomatoes, tahini, lemon juice, flax oil, a little ume vinegar, and a little olive oil. Check out my book for tons of additional tasty & clean soup & salad recipes!
Another delicious soup or salad to fuel you through the evenings is great, but if you are wanting to get creative, you can experiment with lots of steamed veggies & sauces! Some of my favorites are Steamed Beets with Tahini Sauce or sauteed kale with lots of big slices of garlic, topped with sliced almonds, lemon juice, and a little salt. You can find my tahini recipe in my book or online here! You could also make any of the vegetable dishes in The Kind Life for dinner!
Be sure you are listening to your body. Try exercising enough throughout your week to keep your body and mind happy! 2-3 strength classes per week, complemented by yoga, hiking, biking, running, or walking to get enough movement during your cleanse, but if you are feeling tired be sure to honor that and take the time to rest! Something light like walking is a great way to incorporate movement into your day while still being gentle with yourself. Walking the dog counts, too!
Having a bedtime routine as well can really help with your rest and mindset! Go to bed early and be sure to digitally detox in the evenings (much easier said than done!) I promise, if you take the time to stop working, put your electronics aside, and read or bathe before bed you will feel so much more relaxed and well-rested! If you are looking for some great before-bed book recommendations check out Untamed, Happiness Project, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Red Tent, or, of course, any of my books.
Follow this plan for a week and I promise – you will feel lighter, happier, and more energetic. If you need a bite of your kids rice and beans, go for it, but this cleanse is meant to be vegetable heavy for a reason. Your body has been so busy digesting so many heavy things – this allows it to take a moment off.
After your detox you can keep your new healthy lifestyle up by slowly adding in all the other deliciousness from my book like beans & whole grains. And keep the motivation alive by visiting farm sanctuaries, going on walks, and noticing how deep and relaxed your breath is as you’re walking. Start shopping at farmer’s markets to be motivated to try new recipes with the freshest and most seasonal produce available, especially in spring.
Happy renewal, friends!
*If this is your first time ever doing a cleanse you may have some detox reactions – this is good! Not a sign that you need to eat a burger, just your body realizing how much it needs to do this. But be sure to always speak with your primary care physician before starting any new cleanse or diet.