Mention the word ‘cleanse’ and most people will think of a new year’s detox or a juice fast on a health retreat. But cleansing – in all areas of our lives – is best done on a regular basis, whether it’s our body, our home or even our relationships. To reap the rewards of ‘life cleansing’, read on for tips on giving your gut, home and even your phone a revitalising fresh start.
1. Care for your gut
Our gut is the foundation of our physical health and a vital component of our immune system. Sometimes referred to as ‘the second brain’ for the surprising role it plays in our mental wellbeing – the bacteria in our intestines can influence the level of the feel-good hormone serotonin in our system. Many of us struggle with food sensitivities or chronic digestive upset, but even if your gut feels less than happy, take heart – there are many ways to improve gut health and a variety of cleansing, gut-supportive foods that we can add to our diets. Get set for a better-feeling belly with our top five tips below.
Drinking more water is probably the most important place to start if your gut’s feeling less than 100% – staying properly hydrated helps prevent toxic build-up and constipation. In addition to upping your water intake, you can get more liquids into your system by blitzing fruit and veg into smoothies. Unlike drinking juices, you’ll get all the added goodness of the all-important soluble fibre at the same time, which can help with IBS… (psst… did someone say Nutribullet?)
Tend to your gut microbiome
The bacteria in our digestive tract often work overtime to keep us healthy, so do everything you can to support them! Be sure to include plenty of prebiotic foods like leeks, apples and sweet potatoes in your meals (the bacteria feed on the indigestible fibres) and try to get a daily dose of probiotic, fermented foods. Some of the traditional fare making a come-back thanks to their beneficial effects on gut health include sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir. Probiotic supplements are also a good idea, if you think you might not be getting enough good bacteria from your diet.
Go for dark green
Think kale, rocket, mustard greens, spinach & Swiss chard. Packed with chlorophyll and fibre, greens make for a superb colon-cleansing addition to the diet. Chop and add to soups and stews or mix a few of your favourite types of greens in a bowl and blend half an avocado with a little apple cider vinegar into a dressing for an extra digestion-supportive punch!
Make friends with flax and chia
Prone to sluggish digestion? Soaking up flax and chia seeds in water turns them into a gel-like substance that not only has gut-cleansing properties but also helps to move things along. As a bonus, these little cleansing powerhouses are also packed with omega 3 fatty acids that help sooth inflammation. If you can’t face swallowing the slimy gloop, try adding a spoonful of seeds into your smoothies – job done!
Your herbal helpers
Herbs are heroes when it comes to keeping our bellies feeling good and you don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive herbal supplement to reap the benefits. Fennel seeds and peppermint are possibly already in your pantry and can be brewed into herbal teas that help to soothe digestive upsets and relieve intestinal gas and bloating.
2. Get a little help from crystals
Keeping crystals around the house is a wonderful way to increase a sense of harmony at home, and wearing or carrying them with us can enhance our wellbeing in many subtle ways. To benefit from the positive influence of crystals in your life, try one of the following:
Place them around your home and office
Cleanse the atmosphere and promote positive feelings when you place your crystals strategically in your living or working space. Try placing a hematite on your desk to help you stay focused, pop an amethyst under your pillow to promote restful sleep or take TLC to the next level by bringing the loving energies of a rose quartz into your bath!
Wearing and carrying crystals
Crystals lend themselves beautifully to being worn as expressive and stunning pieces of jewellery, though they can also be carried inconspicuously in a pocket or a purse. Consider carrying a black tourmaline for its grounding effects or give yourself a confidence boost by wearing a carnelian or an aventurine.
Meditate with crystals
Crystals make wonderful companions to a meditation practise. You can either hold a crystal in your hand during your meditation or use one as a focal point by softly gazing at it. If you’re trying the latter, be sure to place your crystal against a neutral background at a comfortable distance. A powerful healing stone, clear quartz is one of the best crystals to use as part of meditation.
3. Clean up – your cleaning cupboard
Many people have a cupboard filled with an arsenal of cleaning products and rely on heavy duty cleansers to keep their home spotless. Effective as they may be, cleaning products can leave behind chemical residues, make us more prone to allergies and be harmful to aquatic life – and most of the time a natural cleanser would have produced the same result. Simple liquid soap is usually enough for most household cleaning tasks, lavender and tea tree oils make for great natural disinfectants and there are lots of genius ways to use bicarb of soda and vinegar at home – google it!
To keep your beauty routine fresh, give your hair and makeup brushes a regular clean too: use a mild detergent followed by a rinse in warm water – simples!
Enjoy a complimentary Beauty Body Shower worth $18.70 with all purchases $50.00 and over during the month of March. A beautiful luxurious way to cleanse in the shower and makes for a fab effective makeup brush cleanser. Just a teeny tiny amount in warm water will effectively cleanse makeup brushes.
4. Is it time for a digital cleanse?
In this digital era, it’s common and even expected that we’re ‘connected’ and available through our mobile devices at all times. It seems that we can’t just switch off our phones and head to the beach for an afternoon anymore without giving an explanation. And while networking with people through social media and other online platforms has made it easier than ever to reach out to the old and new friends in our lives and to keep making new connections, it can also get overwhelming and ‘too much’ sometimes. If you ever feel like that (introverts, hands up!), it can be very liberating to go through our Facebook account and cut down our contacts to those people we actually know and want to keep in touch with. The same goes for our phone contacts – if you don’t recognise a name or have long since lost touch with an old acquaintance, it’s ok to remove them!
And finally, if you need that ‘offline’ time, go for it and don’t apologise – technology is here to stay, but we still have some say in how often we want to engage with it!2