Cleansing for awesome periods? Can you pair “periods” and “awesome” together? Well yeah…sometimes you can.
I have an insanely good, spring-food, asparagus slaw recipe for you below. YAY! But first…
As you may know, I began this period series with the hope that sharing stories will make us all feel less alone through this thing that happens EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. It’s also meant as a source for nutrition wisdom and period recipes, so you feel you can tackle the craziness — physically AND emotionally.
The one thing I can say without question — periods are just better will proper nutrition. That is 100% A KNOWN FACT. And has been my experience my entire life.
When I remove coffee from my diet, I no longer get menstrual cramps. When I avoid processed foods and eat more bitter greens, my liver feels like it’s practically rejoicing with happiness. When I avoid things like salty chips and sweet chocolate, my bloating reduces and my cravings stop.
That’s just the way it is. There is no magic pill that can help with this part. You just have to get it together and eat better.
And why is that, anyway? Well…it really comes down to that hefty, valuable organ we all know and love.
Your liver is a pretty powerful control centre in your body. It regulates all sorts of things — but especially hormones, fat, digestion. AND TOXINS. The liver takes things like toxins and knows exactly what to do with them and where to put them, and how to direct them right out of the body, like a traffic controller.
When your liver gets overwhelmed, its job gets a HECK of a lot harder. You need it to be in tip top shape, so it can do its thing for you — like rid your body of excess estrogen. Because when hormones (like estrogen) are taking over, the real period problems begin. Bad or sluggish, heavy or scant, irregular or too often periods. Not good.
A good spring food cleanse helps ALL of that.
A decent cleanse (or something like it) helps remove the burden (of winter, toxins, life,) so your liver can do its job. It also helps regulate your wack-a-doodle blood sugar, reduce intense cravings (for sugar especially), give you more energy and helps you actually sleep. It’ll reduce bloating before your periods, and helps with other unnecessary symptoms like constipation and bloating.
Certain foods do NOTHING TO support your lovely uterus or your stagnant liver — and should be taken a break from on occasion. Like dairy and sugar and red meat and processed foods. Think about eating things that make your uterus and liver happy.
Healthy movement like yoga is amazing for opening up the hips and legs around the uterus, and keeps organs in alignment. Movement also flushes the lymphatic system, encourages bowel movements and sweating. And movement releases endorphins, making you AND your organs happy-go-lucky.
Stress throws hormones off balance more than anything else. And a poor diet DOES IN FACT lead to stress. You’re not getting all those wonderful nutrients you need for your brain. And sugar is a huge culprit. It messes up your adrenals and your blood sugar, making you feel all over the place. Cortisol also increases your cravings for sweet. A decent cleanse would never ignore the necessary moments of taking deep breaths and learning how to de-stress in a real way.
Sleeeeeeep. Sleep is insanely important and if you don’t realize this now, someday you’ll wake up and feel a hell of a lot older. It’s also important for healthy hormones. It’s sort of like having a detox every single night, giving the body a chance to repair. It prevents over-eating and sugar cravings. It gives you more energy (obviously) without coffee. It makes you feel less insane. (Tip: Make sure your room is dark and free of devices.)
Pesticides screw with your hormones, also. That’s simple. Eat organically — as much as possible. And think about where else toxins come into play. They’re everywhere: dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste, drinking water, plastic EVERYTHING. And let’s not forget the products you use INSIDE YOUR VAGINA. Dude. Your vagina needs a cleanse to. Stop using scary, toxic shit in there.
So yes, a food/body cleanse is a good idea. I mean, really it’s about changing things up (for good). Your poor liver…it doesn’t need the burden. Spring is the time when the liver is dying to do its thing and you need to let it. A spring cleanse makes sense.
In order to do one, not a whole lot has to happen. Not really.
What To Do For a Period Spring Cleanse:
Eat bitter greens daily.
Consume nourishing foods, that support you body, not deplete it.
Destress when you can DAILY… with yoga or meditation or whatever.
Eat organic foods.
Use natural menstrual products.
Drink water with lemon.
Join us on the Spring Dump if you really want to get serious about it.
As far as a yummy, detox-y recipe goes… this is the bomb. Asparagus is obviously a superb spring cleansing food. But it can get really boring really quickly.
This is one of my favourite recipes on the Dump. Taking a bitter green veggie and highlighting its goodness.
Asian Asparagus Slaw
- Juice + zest of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (optional)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chilis
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into long strips
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 bell pepper, julienned
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup EACH fresh mint, and fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews, toasted
- 3 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- Whisk lime juice, coconut aminos, fresh ginger, sesame oil, olive oil, chilis and salt and pepper.
- Combine asparagus, carrot, pepper, cabbage, fresh mint and cilantro in a large bowl.
- Toss gently with dressing and top with toasted cashews and toasted sesame seeds. Add additional fresh herbs and lime juice, if desired.