5 Tips for a Healthy Start to Spring
- Written By:Ariel Okin
- Photography:Sarah Elliott & Jon Paterson
The beauty of the fresh start is a clean slate: the change in seasons allows you to focus inward, listen to your body’s intuition, and figure out what you really need to feel your best in the coming months. It’s time to reset your pace and focusing on self care. This might mean signing up for a 5K or undergoing a pantry sweep, below we’ve gathered some of the best tips on beating the bloat and feeling your best.
1. Keep it dry
Refraining from drinking alcohol for an entire month, has become a trend for many reasons; the first being, it allows your liver precious time to detox after taking on the burden of rich food and one too many cocktails. If you find yourself missing the warm comfort of a glass of red wine when you come home from work, check out this handy guide for Bon Appetit Magazine- approved beverages that will fill the void.
Staying on theme, infrared saunas (the definition of dry heat) are a great way to pump out toxins and leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. Places like HigherDOSE in New York and Sauna Bar in Los Angeles offer 30 or 60 minute sweat sessions, leaving you feeling light as air and incredibly relaxed. Just remember to replenish with electrolytes after – Nuun tablets, coconut water and maple water are all great options.
Lastly, the value of incorporating a dry brushing practice into your routine ahead of beach season cannot be overstated. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to detox, look no further. Dry brushing, an ancient ayurvedic practice, is said to boost circulation, sweep away dead skin cells, stimulate the lymph nodes, improve digestion, improve the appearance of cellulite, and help the cells and body in general remove waste. For a detailed guide on the why’s, how’s and what’s of dry brushing, check out this piece by goop.
2. Try an elimination diet
Over indulging can cause an onslaught of digestive issues – the main reason being that our bodies weren’t meant to consume that much butter, sugar, white flour and wine. An elimination diet, traditionally in which you cut out gluten, dairy, caffeine and sugar, can leave you feeling bright eyed and invigorated after the a slump.
If you’re worried about willpower or unsure of the right steps to take, Dr. Frank Lipman and Dr. Alejandro Junger both offer two wonderful cleanse systems with great educational support. Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman and The Clean Program by Dr. Junger each come with their own infrastructure of health coaches, participant groups, cleanse approved recipes, and more – every step of the way. Having embarked on both cleanses multiple times, I can say without a doubt that these are the two best methods for resetting post-indulgence (they are also a great way to gear up before a big event).
3. Incorporate detoxifying foods
If you’re really feeling that winter sludge, consider working with a nutritionist or Chinese medicine practitioner to help you incorporate nourishing, detoxifying foods into your diet. Fruits and vegetables like apples, beets, avocados, artichokes, asparagus, ginger, kale, lemons, pineapple and spinach are fortifying and detoxifying foods filled with fiber, vitamins and nutrients that will keep you full and reduce bloating. Consider adding in some spices such as turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon to get your metabolism in gear.
A great morning elixir to replace that cup of coffee? Warm water with lemon, turmeric, cayenne and cinnamon. The warm water and lemon help your digestion get moving, while the antioxidants in the turmeric will activate your immune system. Cayenne gets your metabolism going, while cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar. Delicious, and effective.
4. Get moving
Another key way to feel your best after a long time of indulgence is adhering to an exercise plan. Yoga and pilates are wonderful ways to get your body back in balance without risking injury; hot yoga is a particularly effective way to tone, sweat and gently rehabilitate the body, while pilates lengthens and strengthens, particularly focusing on strengthening the core. If you aren’t one for namaste-ing, Y7 Studio, currently in NY and LA, is a fun alternative: candlelit hot yoga set to hip hop music; traditional, it is not. Any type of exercise where you’re twisting is a great way to wring out the system and reset the body.
Regardless of whatever exercise you choose, make a plan and stick to it. Aim for two to three workouts per week, and try to inch your way up to five or six by the end of the month. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit – so why not start now?
And if you’re feeling sore from your new regimen, incorporate a classic detoxifying ritual: Epsom salt baths. Soaking in a hot Epsom salt bath for twenty minutes will reduce bloating, ease tense muscles, and help you drift off to a peaceful sleep. Add in some essential oils and a scoop of coconut oil for the ultimate relaxing soak.
5. Take a deep breath
The benefits of meditation have long been proven, yet in today’s fast paced times, people are turning to the ancient practice more and more. Meditation is like a guiding light that can bring you back to center if you’re feeling off kilter. Apps like Headspace, Buddhify and Inscape can all teach you how to meditate over the course of a few weeks. The ability to track your progress and learn along the way also serve as a bit of coaching encouragement.