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Lighten up in Spring
It’s spring cleaning time. A great opportunity to lighten the load on the body and bring balance back to mind body and soul.
During winter we generally tend to exercise less, eat more stodge and stagnate. Literally. This is not helpful to health. Feelings of heaviness, tiredness and sluggishness need movement and cleansing foods to renew freshness and vitality. Visualise for a moment a stagnant pond or river (not pretty I know) but this is how the body becomes when it doesn’t have clean fresh food and movement.
Whether this movement is by drinking lots of water that’s literally like giving yourself an internal shower, or movement from breath awareness or by walking and yoga . . . movement is a gift that the body wants and needs.
Spring epitomises new L I F E, freshness, vitality, lightness and all things good to balance health and wellbeing.
The liver does a massive job. It’s the food, chemical and emotional processing ‘factory’ of the body. Most of the time it is overloaded with crap. This makes us feel tired, irritable and sluggish.
Begin with these 6 simple things you can do daily . . very easy, very doable
On rising drink a large glass of water and lemon juice – if you’re not acquainted with drinking fresh lemon juice and water now is the time. Your liver with thank you. Begin gently otherwise you won’t drink it. Start with a squeeze of a lemon and work your way up to atleast half a lemon. Have the water warm to soothe and wake up the digestive system. Lemon juice is cleansing and balancing to liver function, easing it’s load of the massive metabolic processing job it does – it’s like the whole digestive, chemical, physical and emotional processing plant in the body – pretty much whatever goes in be it food, toxic crap, drugs, alcohol, emotions – are all metabolised by the liver.
Drink water!!! Lots of it. Drink many glasses of quality filtered water daily. An adult body is about 70% water yet we fill it with stodgy doughy rubbish. This creates congestion. Water hydrates the brain and cells so that they can function effectively and flush out waste from the body. Drinking filtered water is essential due to the toxically contaminated nature of most tap water (chlorine and fluoride to name just a couple).
A fresh salad a day – the digestive system loves a good salad. It primes and prepares the digestive system to do it’s job of ‘digesting’ food. It’s also of course cleansing, adding a myriad of vitamins and minerals your body enjoys receiving. Use some dark leafy greens, you can add more bitter ones than in this photo which was shot using butter leaf lettuce. You can add rocket, parsley leaves or English spinach leaves – whatever appeals and is fresh and vibrant. Scroll down for the Pear Avocado and Walnut Salad recipe at the end of this Blog.
2-3 pieces of fruit a day to give you life, vitality, freshness, essential vitamins and minerals that all add to the healthy cleansing functioning of your body. Choose fruit in season and preferably organic – lighten the load on your liver.
5 rounds of sun salutations to energise and get the body moving, like putting bubbles and movement through water to clean it out . . . makes sense huh?! Embrace the energy of movement through the joints and muscles with Life Prana Breath moving stagnation in body and mind to cleanse and vitalise every cell of your body. The body likes to move. It needs to move. Otherwise it gets stuck. Literally. It seizes up. Whether theses are simple breath salutations for a gentle remedial version or more energising classical salutations to suit.
10-15 minutes of conscious breath awareness / meditation – the mind can do with a breath of fresh air too. How your breathe either leaves you feeling tired and depleted or refreshed present and energised. Good breathing is essential for a balanced nervous system and cleansing stale waste from the bottom of the lungs. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair with your feet on the floor. Focus your attention to the breath, observe the traffic of thoughts, reactions, drama moving through your mind. No need to ‘get rid’ of any of it . . . just observe. As you observe your breath you may find that you get distracted and / or there starts to be a bit of space that opens up – space between thoughts – like a breath of fresh air. Keep it simple. Observe your breath, observe the pause between each breath . . . Be with yourSelf.
Ensure you turn off your mobile phone and shut your computer!
This is one of my favourite ‘change of season salads’, making the most of the last of this season’s pears, which have been delicious! I like to use the Bosch pears for their firm crisp clean sweetness.
Pear Avocado and Walnut Salad with Citrus Dressing
Serves about 6
1 head butter or mignonette lettuce
2 avocadoes, ripe but firm
2 pears, ripe but firm
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped and lightly roasted (in a frying pan or oven)
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
honey to taste if you wish
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Discard any outer damaged leaves. Wash and spin-dry.
Arrange in a salad bowl or platter.
Slice the avocados in half and remove the seeds.
Lie the halves cut side down and slice them crosswise.
Cut the pears into quarters and remove the cores. Cut into slices lengthwise.
Combine the lemon and orange zest and juice with the olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk or shake together in a jar. Adjust flavour with a touch of honey if you find it too tangy – or challenge your tang factor!
Gently toss the avocado and pear in some of the vinaigrette.
Arrange avocado and pear amongst the greens,
Pour the remaining dressing over the lettuce and avocado.
Sprinkle over the roasted walnuts, parsley and freshly ground black pepper.