Many people know me as the "Doctor of the Seasons,"
mainly because my first book—Staying
Healthy With the Seasons—focuses on the
natural cycles in the Earth, Sun and Moon, and
how we might align ourselves more with these
cycles to achieve optimal health.
I will never forget my first Spring after discovering the essential
truth about cycles and health. That season took on a
special new meaning for me since it was no longer simply a
time for the melting of snow or shift from damp and cold with
the greening and gradual warming toward the heat of Summer.
Spring for me became a season of true renewal and cleansing—
both inside and out. It came to symbolize the time of
change for me, clearing past patterns and a few pounds of
Winter to lighten up and create space for fresh and new ones
to emerge and bring greater vitality and health.
I have now seen 40 Springs since I became a doctor, and
38 since I did my first 10-day juice cleanse, a life changing path
for my health and career. I view Spring also as transformative
time with the opportunity to change the lives of others and
initiate them into shifting from old, unhealthy ways to create
new diets and lifestyles towards a more integrative, preventive,
and natural approach to health and wellness.
My thoughts of Spring are in a series of simple "tips"
which I have written about on my website www.haashealthonline.com. Following is a newer version for your review and motivation:
10 TIPS FOR SPRING CLEANSING AND RENEWAL
1. Become Current in Your Life
Spring is a time to shed your former self and shift the habits
that hinder your progress toward optimal health. It is a season
to embrace yourself honestly as you look at all of your habits
and areas of your life. Recognize Spring as a special season to
care for yourself and your loved ones. If you can establish this
practice now, there is a greater likelihood that you will continue
throughout the year. Assess the various aspects of your life to
see where stresses or weaknesses exist, including your diet,
exercise program, work, or relationships. Focus on the areas
that need improvement and develop a simple and achievable
plan to bring these areas current in your life.
2. Look at Your Relationships
Take the time to examine the health of your personal and professional
relationships. Sometimes, there can be issues in
these relationships that hinder you from achieving your professional
goals or your highest levels of energy and health. An
attitude of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness is one that
promotes both outer and inner healing. Consider including
your significant other, friends, or relatives to go along with you
in a Spring Cleansing diet for their own good and for all of your
3. Choose Three Habits That You Can Change
Think about three habits in your life and attitudes that are likely
to undermine your health and life. How and when did they begin?
Are they persisting or have they run their course? Which
ones are most important for you to change or incorporate to
create a healthier you? Do you need help or can you do this on
your own? My "top three" habits that I am changing include:
- Eat more lightly at night so that I can digest more fully to be less full for sleep;
- Take more time for stretching and yoga; and
- Create with some other experts a nutritional plan to reverse some plaque I have and to continue to clear my coronary arteries.
It's easier to give habits up if you start something new, like
breathing and relaxing more, walking, dancing, romancing,
and overall, making more time for health.
4. Clean and Organize Your Home
Oftentimes, your outer world can be a reflection of your inner
one. If your home and workplace are chaotic it could be a sign
that your inner life is also in need of some "Spring Cleaning."
I love the feeling of looking at my desk, my closet, and every
nook and cranny around my house and office, and wanting to
freshen and simplify it all. An added benefit of this activity is
that it is a good way to stay out of the kitchen and look at other
areas of my life. Of course, the kitchen can be one of the rooms
in your home that need the most cleaning and organizing, especially
if it has become cluttered with unhealthful foods, beverages
and snacks. When I can move things forward and recycle
what I can, my life feels and looks cleaner and lighter at the
end of my Spring Cleaning, and has space for the new to land.
5. Get Outdoors and Exercise
How many of you move less during the colder, dark winter
months? Isn't Nature wise in giving us the season of Spring
to emerge from our "hibernation?" Move your Body! Stay Fit
and Stay Healthy. Hike and explore your neighborhood and extended
community or find a place you have heard about and want to visit. I love the lightness and easiness I feel when I am cleansing, and my body feels more flexible and able to do my
aerobic exercise. A yoga class is a good experience to expand
our flexibility. Breathe and relax as well. Play flute, dance, and
make time for romance. Remember, this is the Spring season!
6. Take a Fresh Look at Your Dietary Choices
There is only one person responsible for what you put in your
body—that's YOU! What do you choose to put in that mouth of
yours? And what do you fuel your other "mouths" with; those
areas of energy intake, like your eyes, ears, skin, and heart?
A good way to gain some perspective about what you put in,
on, and around your body is to write down a few days of your
typical diet, then assess it and write a new plan based on your
knowledge of what is right for you. You may also wish to take a
break from the TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people
while you are purifying your life. And let's not forget "getting
off the grid" (the digital "grid" that is"). Regarding your diet,
it's good to have a reference by taking a break, even with substances
like caffeine and sugar (as in my book, The Detox Diet),
to see how you feel and what level your dependence is on your
favorite substances. I can assure you that it feels good to release
yourself from those habits. Remember, Better Choices create Better Health!
7. Take Stock of Your Emotional Life
Spring is a great time to take stock of your emotional and spiritual
life. It's an excellent time to ask yourself—without judgment—-
how do I feel generally about life and about myself?
Am I low or depressed? Or am I more positive and energetic?
Ideally, we can feel a wide range of emotions based on our daily
life experience and not dwell on one particular emotion, which
is the real problem. Embrace the whys of moods and energy
levels with greater honesty of your true feelings, which is the
beginning of healing feelings. And I can tell you that many factors
ranging from your diet and digestive health to your early
childhood learned behavior patterns influence your mood, energy
level, and emotions, and thus your Spiritual WellBeing.
8. Participate in a Cleansing or Detox Program for 1–3 Weeks This Spring
Spring is a season for true cleansing and natural detoxification.
Types of cleanses and detox programs range from very simple
to complex. I often recommend simple juice cleansing, the detox
diet, or basic elimination diets, such as a period off sugar,
chocolate, sodas, milk products, wheat, or whatever you believe
undermines your health. To do this successfully, it helps
to write out a plan and focus on what you will do and what you
are going to consume, and not what you are leaving out. Make
a list of your good foods, shop for them, and have them available
whenever you are hungry. And drink lots of good water.
At minimum, take a break from the Big Five:
9. Evaluate Your Nutritional Supplements
Supplements can offer benefits, cause some imbalances, or
be of no effect whatsoever (except on your wallet). Ask yourself:
What are the best supplements to use especially during a
detoxifying diet? I suggest, with a food-based Detox Program,
a simple age- and gender-appropriate multivitamin/mineral
along with additional antioxidants that include vitamins C
and E (mixed natural tocopherols), and selenium as the basic
supplement plan. Also helpful for most people are herbs that
stimulate bowel function to support the cleansing process,
and blue green algae (like Chlorella or Spirulina) for energy
and detox support. I also suggest drinking plenty of water and
herbal teas. Calcium and magnesium before bed can help with
relaxation and sleep or a buffered vitamin C formula with those
minerals (plus potassium) help to alkalinize and cleanse the
body. 5-HTP can help for sleep, at amounts of 50-150 mg at
10. Make Your Overall Plan and Commitments
Begin this Spring by looking at the key areas of your life, which
- Your Health
- Your Personal Habits
- Love and Relationships, and
- Career or Work.
And if LOVE moves into all those areas, that is all the better as
you will care for yourself and your life, plus your relationships
in a positive way. Human love is temporal for many, yet love
in the Spirit is everlasting. We are all blessed to share this garden,
this Earth, which needs our Love and Protection. We must
take the time to Nurture Nature, in order to be Nourished and