Tagged "spring cleanse series"

Spring Cleanse Series: Your Mind

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

The second installment of our Spring Cleanse Series is all about clearing up one of the most cluttered spaces we have: Our minds! Yep, if you're finding that you're feeling distracted, worried, anxious, disorganized or just downright stressed lately, this post is for you. So let's get to it. 



The biggest reason for our distracted and disorganized states of mind? Technology. Yep, as we've written about recently, our smartphones and laptops might make us feel more connected and productive than ever, but they are quite literally draining our valuable brainpower. This is because responding to texts, "liking" Instagrams and fielding emails might seem like easy, basic tasks, but they actually require significant amounts of energy and a constant need to process information. Resultantly, we're less present, less energized and more scattered than ever. Furthermore, we've come to crave these interactions with our screens; studies like this one show that we're increasingly addicted to our technology -- and experience withdrawal symptoms when we cannot access things like our phones or the Internet. This is why it's more important than ever to shut down our screens and find time to "detox." Use this new season as an opportunity to instate rules limiting technology use. We personally try and do four hours tech-free on Sundays, which is a relatively easy place to start. 


Regardless of your political orientation, does anyone else feel like the news is bringing them down lately? It's a topic we've discussed on the blog -- and an area that we're always working on -- but we struggle with the increasingly fraught state of affairs here in the United States and beyond. While meditation and calming techniques can help, sometimes stepping away from the acrimonious and polarizing news cycle is a necessary (and totally healthy) coping mechanism. In lieu of watching your evening news, then, try reading a book or taking a bath. If you still like to stay in the loop, subscribe to a newspaper or a weekly magazine and use your "current events" time for thoughtful reading, not depressing TV punditry.


Although exercising can be amazingly mind-clearing, intense workouts can sometimes have us thinking "I wish this was over" versus "Isn't this lovely?" Long walks are a great way to use your body, clear your mind and engage in some thoughtful time with yourself or with others. Aim to do 1-2 long walks per week, either by yourself or with a partner. Listening to music is fine, but if you can handle it, try going totally tech-free. Use this time to observe your surroundings, organize your thoughts and feel your body and breath.


Love cooking? Into knitting? All about DIY-ing? Get out of your head and channel some of that pent-up energy into physical work. You may find that some of the issues that are causing you to engage in mental gymnastics will naturally work themselves out while chopping some veggies, plus you'll give yourself a much-needed (focused) distraction from all that's going on inside of your head. Added bonus? This stuff can be fun! 


It's springtime after all -- so get outside! Use the season's milder temperatures, greener pastures and lighter days to alleviate some of your mental burden. This can mean anything from walking home from work instead of cramming into the stressful subway, eating lunch outside versus at your desk, opting for a morning run in lieu of a stuffy gym or simply stepping outdoors and breathing. If you live in an urban area, seek out locales with greenery, as research shows that spending time in natural, foliage-filled areas can have immediate positive impacts on our brains, particularly when it comes to city-dwellers. Park date, anyone? 

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Spring Cleanse Series: Your Diet

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

Spring cleaning: Whether it's emptying out our sweater-filled closets, engaging in some serious Swiffer-ing (yes, that's a verb), or embarking on a new clean-eating plan, we all attempt to do it in some capacity. But, let's face it, the motivation to full-on cleanse doesn't necessarily come naturally. That's why we're sharing our tips to how clean up all areas of your life in our new, ongoing Spring Cleanse Series. First up? Your diet!

(PS: Watch the space for a revamped BusyHappyHealthy cleanse comin' atcha soon...) 


Spent the winter hunkered in, fortified by cheese and wine? It's time to back away from the brie and Bordeaux and use the new season as an opportunity to shift habits.

Below is a plan of attack, which focuses consuming quality, whole foods, eliminating toxins and addictive substances, and staying super hydrated. While doing all of these things at once might seem overwhelming, they really are best instituted in tandem. With that noted, any progress is great progress, so feel free to slowly integrate each change until you're in full Spring Cleanse mode. Godspeed. 


Begin by upping your daily water intake, which is a supremely easy -- and effective -- way to stay healthy and detox. We recommend you drink about half of your weight in ounces daily; increase that amount if you happen to be very active. If you're feeling bored with plain old H20, add a bit of alkalizing fresh lemon juice to your water.


Refined carbs -- you know, the fun stuff like cookies, white bread and rice -- are certified diet killers. They'll spike your blood sugar, throw your hormones out of whack, and keep you from functioning like a lean and mean fighting machine. But this doesn't mean you need to go entirely carb-free. Opt for quality, complex carbohydrates that won't send your blood sugar skyrocketing. Think: Ancient grains like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, or gluten-free rolled oats.


Your beloved "healthy" granola bar might seem like a cleanse-friendly selection, but it is likely filled with processed ingredients and loaded with sugar. This isn't to say that there aren't great bars (or packaged foods) out there, it's just to underscore that many of them aren't so great. Use this cleanse to eliminate them entirely; if that's too difficult, allow yourself 1-2 packaged items per week. 


Eating a diet heavy in plants -- from leafy greens to colorful veggies -- is a cornerstone of a clean, healthy eating plan. Doing so ensures you're getting all of the essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals you need, helps keeps calories in check and maintains a healthy blood sugar level. 


Yes, we want you to eat plenty of plants while cleansing. But that doesn't mean that meat needs to be the enemy. In fact, lean and organic meats are wonderful natural sources of protein (which keeps you fuller longer), along with other vitamins and nutrients. Along those lines, healthy fat is awesome, too. Eat regular servings during your cleanse to further nourish your body and keep you satiated. Need a benchmark serving size? Go for one-fourth of an avocado or a tablespoon of olive oil per meal. 


New research continues to show that refined sugar is basically like poison to our bodies.  Okay, that might sound sort of extreme, but here's the deal: Eating too much sugar causes a cluster of symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, increased blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure. This is why it's more important than ever that we regulate our sugar intake, particularly refined sugar -- you know, the kind that goes straight into your bloodstream. If you are using sugar while cleansing, use only natural sweeteners like agave, honey, and dates... and use sparingly. 


We saved the worst news for last. Sorry. While we won't entirely demonize coffee and alcohol, they are highly addictive substances and can contribute to a slew of health problems -- from adrenal fatigue to weight gain. If if you really want to Spring Cleanse, these two have got to go in order to have our body function optimally and for you to see the cleanse magic actually happen. Cheers! 

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