When I was a little girl, I awaited with great excitement my mother’s annual ritual of Spring Cleaning. Although she was the kind of person who
generally kept a sparkling home, she took great delight in digging even more deeply into corners, closets and cabinets a few weeks after Easter, and spent days scrubbing and scouring and sprucing up surfaces that already seemed, at least to me, immaculate. My mother’s meticulous attention to her home reflected her desire to provide the most pristine environment possible for her family. Even though I was too young to understand exactly why that was so important to her, I loved the joy of her process and appreciated that she was doing something special to keep us healthy and happy.
Now, I’m the mom. Things certainly are different than they were when I was growing up and, although I like to keep my home as tidy as possible for my family, I am a bit more focused on a different type of Spring Cleaning. I think of cleansing our bodies on the inside as one of the most valuable ways to enable ourselves to enjoy our lives and, although there is no bad time to cleanse, spring seems the best time. We are more attuned to renewal in this season as the days grow longer and brighter, the flowers appear and open, and plants bloom and prosper. Let’s take a look at the value of internal cleansing as one of the ways we can prepare ourselves to be as vibrant as possible for the activities of summer.
Internal cleansing begins with the colon. Over the course of time, bits of undigested food accumulate in the colon and begin to fester as they await removal. Contrary to popular opinion, “regular” bowel movements are not those which occur “occasionally” or “every few days.” We eat three meals a day, right? Well, those unused, unabsorbed foods must be excreted 2 or 3 times per day…every day. Anything not eliminated becomes toxic in the colon and can lead to weight gain, improper digestion, sluggishness, bloating, gas, leaky gut, skin disorders, yeast infections and a variety of other issues. Bowel movements may not be the most popular topic of conversation, but the truth needs to be told because far too many of us just do not understand how essential bowel movements are to a healthy body. If you are going to the bathroom fewer that twice a day…you are constipated. Bowel movements should be painless, without strain, and fairly quick. You’ve heard the jokes about keeping reading materials in the bathroom…crossword puzzles, books, magazines, etc, are fun, but if you’re sitting on the toilet long enough to complete the Sunday Times puzzle, you’re constipated!
Conquering constipation is the route to a cleaner colon. A cleaner colon is the route to a healthier body. Although there are numerous over-the-counter products available for constipation, it’s important to stop thinking of constipation as a disease that requires a treatment; start thinking of it as something we create by denying our bodies the proper nourishment (fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds) and by supplying them, instead, with an overabundance of processed, refined, junky foods. We need the fiber of whole foods to create the movement necessary to clear the clogs in our colons…and that sort of fiber is not found in fatty, greasy, bleached, commercial, overcooked foods. Making some simple dietary changes is a quick way to clear the clog. Instead of drinking a glass of sweetened apple juice, eat an apple. Instead of eating a white bread sandwich, have 2 slices of whole grain bread spread with organic peanut butter. In a hurry for a meal? Instead of hitting the drive-through window, visit a salad bar and load your take-out container with raw veggies and some fresh chick peas, topped with extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Eating well is not enough, though. Chewing those good foods thoroughly enables them to be broken down sufficiently for the digestive enzymes in your mouth and stomach to do their work. Chew each mouthful until it is nearly liquid in your mouth. Sounds funny…but try it! Drinking at least 64 ounces of pure water daily, sipping the water instead of chugging it by the glassful, will help both digestion and elimination. Adding a teaspoon or two of liquid chlorophyll will further aid digestion, as well as deodorizing your body internally.
Using a packaged colon cleanse that contains herbs designed to support and nourish the intestinal tract while pulling toxins from the liver, kidneys and colon for elimination can be an efficient and relatively quick way to unclog waste. Many companies specialize in providing excellent packaged cleanses that provide the nutrients necessary to stimulate the colon to work smoothly without the complications (diarrhea, bloating, etc) frequently associated with over-the-counter laxatives. Two of my favorites are Nature’s Sunshine’s CleanStart and Nature’s Sunshine’s Tiao He Cleanse.
In order to make effective changes in your body, sometimes you simply have to make changes in your mind. The Bible says, in Rom. 12:2: “…do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Renew your thoughts…make a decision to eat, drink, chew and eliminate wisely and thoroughly so that you can be a stronger and healthier person. That’s a decision you never will regret.