|10 Tips for Spring Cleaning|
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by Elson M. Haas MD.
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- Become Current in your Life in this inspiring season. Embrace yourself honestly as you look at all of your habits and areas of your own life. Even with all the worldly concerns, care for yourself and your loved ones. Assess the various aspects of your life to see where stresses or weaknesses exist - your diet, exercise program, work or relationships as examples?and focus on the ones that need improvement.
- Look at your personal relationships and see how they affect you and how you affect them. Include your significant other, friends, or relatives to go along with you in a Spring Cleansing diet for their own good and for your support. For my cleanse groups, I find that personal support is extremely valuable for many people to achieve the success they want.
- Choose three habits that inhabit your life. How and when did they begin, and are you done with any? Which ones are most important for you to change or incorporate to create a healthier you? Do you need help or can you do this on your own? Mine are to eat more lightly at night so that I can digest more fully to be less full, to take more time for stretching and yoga, and to create with some other experts a nutritional plan to reverse some calcium plaque I have in my coronary arteries. It's easier to give stuff up if you start something new, like breathing more often, walking, dancing, romancing, and overall, making more time for health.
- Clean and organize your home?tis the season of Nature?s new year in clearing out the old and bringing in the new. I love this feeling of looking at my desk, my closet, and every nook and cranny around my house and office, and wanting to freshen it all. And it?s a good way to stay out of the kitchen (which also gets cleaner along with my frig) and look at other areas of my life. Of course, after all my years of accumulating and with all the communication and journals I receive, it?s harder to handle everything in my existence as it was in my earlier years of cleansing. Yet, I do what I can and sometimes have my support team keep moving things forward and recycling what we can. Then, my life feels and looks cleaner and lighter at the end of my Spring Cleaning, and has space for the new to land.
- Get outdoors and exercise?move your Body! Stay Fit and Stay Healthy. Friluftsliv is a Norwegian term for healing and de-stressing by going outdoors and exercising in the free and fresh air. Hike and explore your neighborhood and extended community or find a place you?ve heard about and wanted to visit. I love the lightness and easiness I feel when I am cleansing, and my body feels more flexible and able to do my aerobic exercise. A yoga class is a good experience to expand our flexibility. Breathe and relax as well. Play flute, dance, and make time for romance. Remember, it's Spring!
- Look at your dietary choices. What do you choose to put in that mouth of yours? And what do you fuel your other ?mouths? with?those areas of energy intake, like your eyes, ears, skin, and heart? Write down a few days of your typical diet, then assess it and write a new plan based on your knowledge of what?s right for your body. You may also wish to take a break from the TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people while you are purifying your life. It?s good to have a reference by taking a break, even with substances like caffeine and sugar (See The Detox Diet book), to see how you feel and what level your dependence is on your favorite substances. I can assure you that it feels good to release yourself from those habits.
- Next look at your Emotional and Spiritual aspects. How do you feel usually? Are you low or depressed? Or more positive and energetic? Ideally, we can feel a wide range of emotions based on our daily life experience and not dwell on one particular emotion, which is the real problem. Embrace the whys of moods and energy levels with greater honesty of your true feelings?that?s the beginning of healing feelings. And I can tell you that many factors ranging from your diet and digestive health to your early childhood learned behavior patterns influence your mood, energy level, and emotions, and thus your Spiritual Well-Being.
- Do some Cleansing or Detox Program for 1-3 weeks this Spring. This could include juice cleansing, the Detox Diet, or a period off sugar, chocolate, sodas, milk products, wheat, or whatever you believe undermines your health. To do this successfully, it helps to write out a plan and focus on what you will do and will eat, and not what you are leaving out. Make a list of your good foods, shop for them, and have them available whenever you are hungry. And drink lots of good water.
- Now let's look at your Nutritional Supplements. What?s the best ones to use during a detoxification diet? I suggest, with a food-based Detox Program, a simple age- and gender-appropriate multivitamin/mineral along with additional antioxidants that include Vitamins C and E (mixed natural tocopherols), and selenium as the basic supplement plan. Also helpful for most people are herbs that stimulate bowel function, and blue green algae (like Chlorella or spirulina) for energy and Detox support. I also suggest drinking plenty of water and herbal teas. Calcium and magnesium before bed can help with relaxation and sleep or a buffered vitamin C formula with those minerals plus potassium help to alkalinize and cleanse the body.
- Make your Overall Plan and Commitments. Begin by looking at the key areas of life?Health and personal habits, Love and relationships, and Career or work. And if LOVE moves into all those areas, that?s all the better as you?ll care for yourself and your life, plus your relationships in a positive way. Human love is temporal for many, yet love in the Spirit is everlasting. We are all blessed to share this garden, this Earth, which needs our Love and Protection. We must take the time to Nurture Nature, in order to Nourish and Flourish.
Copyright Elson M. Haas, MD, 2003 All Rights Reserved
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About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD
is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more