Time To Build
Turning the page into the new calendar year somehow enlists a huge cleansing craze and media blitz encouraging us to start fresh by introducing certain agents that help to purge out the toxicity of the year gone by. I find this ‘tradition’ to be one that is so unseasonably inaccurate it causes more harm than good. Cleansing the body, detoxification, takes energy and one needs access to live, fresh foods, full of nutrition and vitality to assist in the great task of taking out the garbage. Winter is a time to naturally slow down, reserve our energies and resources, build and nourish.
I like to look to nature to see how I should be living. Right now as I glance out my window I see a cold, thick blanket of snow covering the ground, wrapping the earth up for a long snoozy sleep. When I check in with myself I recognize that life is a little more challenging this time of year. Its darker more often than the sun is shining, accessing freshly grown and harvested foods is difficult if not impossible having me rely on storage foods for my nutrition. Most folks immune systems have taken several hits over the holidays; stomach viruses, head colds, have all been prevalent. Add to the fact that most have experienced stress over the holidays with travel, exposure to foods they normally don’t eat, higher consumption of convenience and refined foods and emotional intensities that are known to surface during this dynamic time.
This does not set up a good scenario to do a cleanse, even if that online superstar blogger is telling you to or the health food store has a special on the cleanse kit. Instead of following the sheep to the purgative and punitive bottle of pills that promises a clean colon and a new lease on life why not frame the start of this new calendar year by including good, healthy habits and nourishing herbs and foods that will strengthen your body, mind and spirit, encourage a healthy immune response, help you to have big satisfying, painless poops, sleep like a champ and wake rested and excited to start your day? This sounds so much better than a restricted diet, a mountain of supplements and regular, griping trips to the bathroom.
Here are my favourite FIVE helpers for fantastic foundation health. Easy to implement and safe for everyone these additions to your day to day routine will allow you to complete that cleanse if and when you want to, in the spring, when the fresh greens sprout from the ground, the waters run freely again and the sun shines high in the sky.
- Water. This is a simple and obvious helper and I can hear your eyes rolling now. But, really, when is the last time you took inventory of your water consumption? What is your water source, where does it come from? How often and when are you drinking water? What do you drink your water out of? Plastic or Glass, Stainless Steel? Are you thanking your water? Seriously, the healthier your relationship is with water, the healthier our collective relationship with water will be. This step alone will bring change and provide more access points to wellness.
- Broth. Whether its bone or veggie broth, daily consumption of mineral rich broth is the best way to alkalize and hydrate the body, strengthen connective tissue and bone, help to create strong nails and hair and so much more. Not only does broth help us, it helps the environment by encouraging us to use what normally we would compost and turn it into nourishment. Those veggies and bones that we use for our broth then compost faster and will be soil, back in the garden before you know it.
- Sprouts. Back when I was a young girl the craze of the Chia Pet came out. I wanted one so bad, the amazing sheep that grew a sprout coat that you could trim. What I didn’t know was those Chia sprouts were jammed packed, filled with amino acids/proteins, micro minerals and vitamins, enzymes and so much more. Knowing that this time of year, the kale I purchase from the health food store is picked 2 -3 weeks before I steam it into my food has me seriously revisiting my Chia Pet and getting my sprout garden growing. Luckily in the Slocan Valley we have Prism Greens providing locally sprouted greens every week. Search it out in your community or access resources to start your own sprout and micro green garden.
- Fermented Foods. Give your digestive system a bit of a break and a hand up by including ferments every day. There are so many, many ways to incorporate ferments into day to day life, in the Winter, Cold Months. Take a look at this article for ideas on incorporation ferments in colder seasons. Did you know the Annual Fermenting Intensive Workshop is now open for enrolment?
- Gratitude Practice. A powerful way to reconnect you to what is supporting you, what is encouraging you to be the best version of yourself is to recognize those components each and every day. Write it down, type it out, draw it in a picture, shout it from the top of the mountain, whichever way you choose to express your thanks for your reality, just remember to do it. And, Do it Daily and often. Especially before you eat the beautiful food that will nourish you. Focus on the things that are working in your life, flow the energy to these components. Be your own best friend and offer yourself the kindness you easily give out to others. Make this the year that you see yourself as I see you, the most amazing person, with so much to offer.
I encourage each of you to find a way to build that strength that lives within you, take away the components that are polluting you and causing ill health most certainly, but focus on the ways you can build. It is a time to build, to nourish and sustain. Happy New Year and best wishes in 2018.