By: Wai Lana
Out with the old, in with the new. Come spring, this theme seems genetically encoded in every single one of us. From the bear emerging from his long hibernation to the trees and flowers blossoming, the waking world makes its annual fresh start each spring. In harmony with the season’s revival, our bodies also shift into high gear, letting us experience a welcome burst of energy. Intuitively, we clean out our closets, swing open the windows, and let in the fresh air. But why should spring cleaning apply simply to our closets and cupboards? After all, our bodies could use it as well.
According to Ayurveda, March to May is the body’s natural time for cleansing and detoxification. A spring detox renews your energy, enlivens your skin, and boosts your immune system. It also helps you lose winter weight and eliminate stored toxins.
During the winter, it’s easy to accumulate toxins in our bodies. This is because we spend most of our time indoors, we breathe less fresh air, we don’t exercise or perspire as much, and we’re usually less active—after all, who wants to go biking in the biting cold when they could stay in, order a pizza, and watch a movie? But following the season of short, chilly days, limited sunshine, and comfort foods, the energetic spirit of spring stirs our excitement and enthusiasm for freshness, cleansing, and rejuvenation.
One step ahead of us, Mother Nature is ready to meet our needs. Tender asparagus and crisp baby veggies, such as beets, carrots, green beans, and new potatoes, begin overflowing the market stalls. Purifying fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley are again robust and local. Such vibrant produce is concentrated with quality nutrition and vitality—perfect for making quick, cleansing broths, crunchy, colorful stirfries, and, of course, powerful detox juices.
Generally speaking, it’s also wise to eat less this time of year and give your body a break. You may even consider doing a partial fast on juices or light soups. Steer away from rich, heavy foods that are difficult to digest. Include mostly warm, light foods that counter the damp coolness of the spring season. Use spices such as coriander, fennel, cumin, and turmeric to improve your digestion—as well as your complexion. In place of coffee, cleansing ginger tea or hot water with lemon are great ways to warm up. Be sure to include plenty of nutritious spring veggies in your diet and allow them to stimulate the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract to release long-stored toxins. Extend spring cleaning to your body and experience complete rejuvenation.
Bursting with vital nutrients like beta-carotene, essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, and silicon, this delicious cleansing juice is a wonderful health tonic.
1 cup sunflower sprouts
2 celery stalks
1 pinch ground cumin
Roughly chop your veggies into pieces small enough to fit through the juicer hopper. Beginning with the sprouts, juice the first 4 ingredients, stir in the cumin, and serve. Makes about 1½ cups.
Juice with 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, then stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and a pinch of cayenne.
These combined ingredients help cleanse and soothe the gastrointestinal tract. This juice also has a diuretic action, promoting the elimination of wastes from the kidneys. Sunflower sprouts promote fat metabolism and nourish the adrenal glands to sustain your energy. Rich in silicon, this recipe strengthens and tones all body tissues, including skin, hair, arteries, and muscles.
Wai Lana hosts the long-running TV series Wai Lana Yoga, which airs nationally on PBS and the Wisdom channel. She is the author of Wai Lana’s Favorite Juices and the upcoming Wai Lana’s Favorite Soups. For more information, please visit wailana.com/juicing.