Spring Clean Your Body. Reset Your Health.

MD Katie gives us her much needed advice on how to beat those winter blues and add a little ‘Spring’ to your step with the dawning of the season…

February and March are the toughest months in the year for Londoners, in my view. We’ve had months of cold, dark winter days, the excitement and rejuvenation brought on by the new year has faded, and summer still seems too far away. We may have started the year with health goals that faded as we rolled into February and the usual pressures of work and other commitments start to take over. That’s why I love to do some kind of reset right around this time of year. Each year I’ve done something different, but the aim is always to give my body and mind a fresh start, so I feel strong and healthy going into Spring.

This year, I was also craving a holiday. I hadn’t taken any extended time off since opening the studio and I was feeling it. So I started to research healthy holiday ideas and came across the Healthy Holiday Company (www.thehealthyholidaycompany.com). The website features destinations from around the world, ranging from Spain to Vietnam, and all trips are built around a healthy lifestyle. I wasn’t sure where in the world I wanted to go, I just knew I wanted to jumpstart my health and get away from London. Speaking to the team at the Healthy Holiday Company, I explained my goals for the trip and my budget, and they very helpfully took me through various destination and programme options. In the end, I settled on a programme at Absolute Sanctuary Yoga & Detox Resort (http://www.absolutesanctuary.com).

It turns out, I made the perfect decision. On arrival, I had an initial consultation and bio-impedance analysis with a holistic doctor. We discussed everything from my body composition and diet, to my lifestyle and emotional state. The week then featured daily meditation, yoga, pilates, two fresh juices a day, an extensive menu of raw, vegan meals, lots of massages and spa treatments, and daily colon hydrotherapy. My activities programme was not set, so I could pick and choose which classes I wanted to join – doing as much or as little as I wanted, which was perfect for me. They also offer more set programmes for people looking for more disciplined structure. The majority of people staying at the resort were travelling on their own, but there were also friends and couples, so any type of traveller would feel comfortable.

With each passing day, I felt lighter and calmer – both physically and mentally. I was particularly impressed with the caliber of the staff. The fitness instructors and therapists were well informed and each day I learned new techniques and tips for improving my health and lifestyle. I arrived back in London feeling completely refreshed – body and mind – ready to take on Spring and the rest of the year ahead. Mission accomplished.
You might not have the time or the resources to head off on a healthy holiday right now, but there are lots of other ways you can jumpstart your healthy lifestyle without going anywhere. Below I’ve shared some of my other favourite ways to reset my health:
  • One day: Whenever my body needs a reset, I will take one day of eating fruit and vegetables only. I aim to make it mostly veggies and stick to fruit at breakfast. For an even bigger impact, you can do all veggies. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after just one day!
  • One week: If I need a little more of a reset, I’ll follow a detox programme for a week. There are lots of plans available for free online and you can make the food yourself at home. This approach takes some planning, but if you like to cook and can make the time, you’ll finish the week feeling great. If you like to cook, you’ll also add a few new recipes to your arsenal with this approach. If you are lacking the time and/or inclination to cook, there are also several home delivery detox plans available in London. My personal favourite is the Detox Kitchen (www.detoxkitchen.co.uk). They offer delicious, super healthy meals delivered each day and you can choose from different packages depending on how intense you want to detox. However all programmes still have you eating food during the detox. If you want to cleanse longer than a week, you can always continue the DIY or delivery option beyond the week.
  • One month: Pick one new health habit to add to your routine each week. For example, the first week could be starting your day with hot water and lemon each morning. Continuing with the lemon routine, the next week you could aim to drink at least 2L of water a day. The third week (while continuing to drink that water!) could be to add leafy green vegetable to at least one meal a day. Finally, the last week could be finishing your last meal around sunset (this has benefits for your metabolism, sleep, brain, and all your body cycles!). These are just ideas – pick your own goals that you want to acheive each week and hopefully they will turn into healthy habits you carrying into summer.
You will notice none of these include the well known juice fast. I’ve tried juice cleanses in the past and they don’t work very well for me. Some people do great on juices cleanses, but I tend to rebound on the other side and cancel out all the good that I did for my body during the cleanse. Instead, I’ve found that food based cleanses work well for me. I suggest trying different things out over time and finding what works best for your body.

Happy Spring Cleansing everyone!

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