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Lean and Light Spring Cleanse

By April 18, 2024May 27th, 2024Cleanse

Spring is the season to lighten your diet and shed the excess weight from winter so you feel light and energized. The light fresh foods in this cleanse are designed to help your body release fat. You’ll have more energy, fewer cravings, lighter moods and less inflammation. It’s full of light nourishing gluten-free, dairy-free recipes. There are vegan and paleo meals to choose from.

This cleanse is an opportunity to slow down your intake of inflammatory and hard to digest foods. Giving your organs a rest allows your body to release toxins and get revitalized.

What Is A Spring Cleanse?

Spring is the season of renewal. Along with the creatures we awaken from the sedentary days of winter as the days become longer and warmer. This is the season for lightening your diet and welcoming purification.

During the winter we eat heavier foods and spend more time inside.  We may have put on a few extra pounds. No problem, this is as nature intended.

Come spring, it’s time to let it go. If kept on for an extended period of time, this extra fat congests the liver, the intestines and the lymph system and your body can’t function optimally.  From nature’s perspective losing winter fat is not a vanity thing, it’s a functional thing!

Spring is the ideal time to lighten up your diet and leave the heaviness of winter behind.

The meals in this cleanse are designed to energize as you release the fat needed in winter. Light is the key to spring cuisine: lighter foods, lightly cooked, and quite a bit leaner in terms of fat.

Since the mind and body are connected I include a few meditations to connect with yourself on a deeper level. As you cleanse, you’ll gently release emotions that may come up. These transformational tools create harmony in you body, mind and spirit.

You’ll emerge from this delicious spring cleanse leaner, lighter and energized.

Disclosure: I, Ingrid DeHart am a certified nutrition coach, not a medical doctor. I provide information gathered from reliable medical resources but if you have any specific allergies or food sensitivities, adjust the recipes accordingly. Always listen to your body. I recommend checking with your doctor before starting any cleanse.

Drink 12-16 ounces of water 15-30 minutes when you wake up and before each meal. Water before a meal allows your body to produce more digestive acids and enzymes, improving digestion. Drink 1/2 your ideal body weight in ounces of water each day, starting when you wake up. This is very important to flush your lymphatic system and support immunity.

Morning meditation is highly recommended to calm your nervous system and put you in the rest and restore mode where health and healing occur naturally.  Read the Benefits and Tips for Meditation. Choose one of the meditations listed below.

Sit in the morning sun for your meditation if that’s available. Read Sunlight In The Morning Amazing Benefits.

Drink 8 ounces of celery juice in the morning before breakfast.

You don’t have to follow the program exactly. You can enjoy any of the recipes any time of day. For example, you can have soup for breakfast, smoothie for lunch and salad for dinner, it’s up to you. Have your celery juice first thing on an empty stomach.

According to Ayurveda, lunch is the most important meal of the day because it is when your digestive fire, agni, is the strongest. Therefore, you should have your largest meal and your heaviest foods at lunchtime.

Taking 5-30 seconds to do deep breathing before each meal relaxes your nervous system, turns on your digestion and boosts your metabolism. See below for exact directions.

You may include 4-6 ounces steamed, grilled, canned, baked, or broiled wild fish or humanely raised chicken with lunch and/or dinner.

I highly suggest buying organic during this cleanse. Click here for a list of the fruits and vegetables that are important to eat organic. While cleansing you want the least amount of toxins coming in.

It is important to pay attention to your hunger even when cleansing. The goal is to lighten the load and consume less food this week. But it is important to listen to your body and eat if you are hungry. You don’t want to feel weak. Stay hydrated to keep your energy levels up. Listen to your body, if you need a snack, have it and enjoy it.

Green juice is the best snack, but you can enjoy chia pudding or raw or steamed vegetables with Life Enhancing Cilantro Pesto or any of the dressings. You can have a smoothie for snack but don’t have more than 2 smoothies a day.

Eating a light dinner before 7pm promotes the relaxation of your digestive system. You will be able to take advantage of the natural detoxification process that occurs overnight. If you do this, you will discover you sleep better, have more energy in the morning and you will probably lose more weight.

Walk in the morning, if possible. Walking or any movement in the morning helps reset your body’s natural normal cycle of cortisol. You’ll have more energy and sleep better. Walking after lunch or dinner is also good. (See body care below)

Foods to Include

The cleanse foods are light and fresh with an emphasis on smoothies, salads, vegetables and soups.

  • Vegetables: salads, sprouts, leafy greens, asparagus, dandelion, watercress, arugula, beets, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes and more
  • Fruits: berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries), cherries, apples, citrus (lemon, lime, orange), avocado
  • Seeds and Nuts: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, chia seedshemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, nut butters like almond butter or cashew butter
  • Oil: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oilghee 
  • Fish: salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel
  • Chicken: organic, grass fed only
  • Beans & Legumes: lentils, black beans, chickpeas and more
  • Gluten Free Grains: quinoa, basmati rice, millet, buckwheat
  • Herbs and Spices: cilantro, parsley, basil, dill, oregano, thyme, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and more
  • Pastured Eggs: As long as you’re not sensitive

Foods to Exclude

  • No Commercial and Processed Meats
  • No Diary except ghee 
  • No Refined Sweeteners – white sugar, corn syrup, cane juice
  • No Gluten – breads, pastas, cereals
  • No Vegetable Oils – soybean, canola, corn, peanut
  • No Coffee and Alcohol
  • No Red meat or Pork

This is a complete list of all the recipe. Scroll down to the recipe section to get the details.

  • Strawberry Smoothie Bowl
  • Alkaline Green Smoothie
  • Balancing Creamy Blueberry Smoothie
  • Lemon Green Smoothie Bowl
  • Lemon Chia Pudding
  • 5 Ingredient Blueberry Chia Pudding
  • Strawberry Beet Chia Pudding
  • Poached Eggs with Dandelion Greens in Broth
  • Cauliflower Buddha Bowl
  • Egg Roll In a Bowl
  • Kitchari
  • Stir Fried Soba Noodles with Asparagus
  • Lemon Garlic and Herb Crusted Salmon
  • One Pan Herb Lemon Cod with Spring Vegetables
  • Spring Vegetable Stew (can be made with chicken or beans)
  • Strawberry Fields Salad
  • Watercress and Avocado Salad
  • Mediterranean French Lentil Salad
  • Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula and Pea Shoots
  • Sauteed Dandelion Greens
  • Easy Sauteed Asparagus
  • Sauteed Spinach and Radicchio
  • Easy Sauteed Kale with Carrots
  • Avocado Herb Dressing
  • Turmeric Sunflower Dressing
  • Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Dressing
  • Life Enhancing Cilantro Pesto
  • Easy Cream of Asparagus Soup
  • Minestrone Verde
  • Spring Broccoli and Sweet Pea Soup
  • Creamy Dandelion Soup
  • Healing Carrot Soup
  • Thai Spinach Detox Soup
  • Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup
  • Beet Hummus
  • Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl
  • Chia pudding, smoothie or smoothie bowl
  • Kale chips
  • Raw Sprouted Nuts and Berries – 10-12 nuts and 1 cup berries
  • Steamed vegetables or crudités dipped in one of the dressings
  • 1/2 avocado with lemon juice and Himalayan sea salt

Daily Protocol

Your appetite naturally begins to wane in the spring. Unlike winter, now your body wants lighter meals. Challenge yourself to eat smaller portions this time of year. Your body starts burning fat as your appetite and cravings decline. You automatically boost fat metabolism and begin to lose the extra weight from winter. Do your best to slow down and take time to notice the way your food looks, smells and tastes. Feel the pleasure of eating. Remember to chew. Eat a little, rest, wait to gauge hunger. Eat more if necessary.

Morning

  • Wake Up – 12-16 ounces water
  • Pre- Breakfast – Celery juice
  • Meditation
  • Breakfast – Smoothie, chia pudding or soup
  • Walking
  • Morning Snack (optional) 2 hours after breakfast

Afternoon

  • 12 ounces water 15-30 minutes before lunch
  • Before Eating Breathing Process
  • Lunch – Main dish, salad, vegetable
  • Afternoon Snack (optional) 2 hours after lunch

Mid-Afternoon

  • Rebounding
  • Snack (optional)

Evening

  • 12 ounces water 15-30 minutes before dinner
  • Before Eating Breathing Process
  • Dinner by 7 pm, soup, salad, vegetable
  • Evening Snack (optional) – 1⁄2 of an organic banana, rolled in 1⁄8 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt with 10 raw cashews
  • Bedtime aim for 10pm

Tips

  • Go for a walk every day 5-30 minutes. Morning is best but anytime will be beneficial.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Aim for half your ideal body weight in ounces of water each day.

Mind and Spirit Processes

Quieting down your life and diet also allows you to connect with yourself on a deeper level. As you cleanse you can use these simple transformational tools to gently release emotions that may come up. As a result you’ll experience more harmony in your body, mind and spirit. 

Doing 10-30 seconds of deep breathing before each meal relaxes your nervous system, turns on your digestion and boosts your metabolism. A few seconds of deep breathing before eating transforms your brain chemistry and creates a deep sense of calm and well being. Notice what happens to your appetite and your relationship to the food you eat as you practice this simple act of awareness.

  • Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor; relax your face and your jaw. Close your eyes and mouth.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose to a count of 5 ( 1-2-3-4-5) filling your lungs 3⁄4 full & pushing out your belly
  • Hold to the count of 5
  • Breathe out to the count of 8 (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8) pulling your belly back toward your spine.
  • Repeat 5-10 times 

This mantra meditation from Deepak Chopra helps connect you to your body. It activates balance, strength and healing in the body. Your body is your friend and trusted ally. This mantra activates love and compassion within your body. When we connect to the love we have inside of us our whole life can harmonize. Love attracts everything possible, heals our wounds and calms our worries. Love is our true nature. Click here for the details.

Morning is a sacred time. It’s when we choose how we want the rest of the day to go. Starting the day in a state of joy and appreciation gets the momentum going on a high vibration.  

When you begin your day with this Magical Morning Tapping you’ll feel healthier and experience more ease. If you don’t want to tap, no problem, just say the affirmations. It will help you clear mental blocks, release resistance and set yourself up for a fantastic day. You’ll notice you’re happier and healthier throughout the day. Click here for the video or to print the affirmations.

Body Care

Rebounding

Rebounding is one of the best exercises you can do to stay healthy and age gracefully. I like it because it affects every cell of your body, it is fun and you can do it at home. Click here to find out why and how to do it correctly.

Walking

Making walking a daily habit has many benefits for your mind and body. It offers the physical benefits of exercise while also boosting your emotional well-being. 30 minutes per day is recommended but any amount of walking is beneficial. It doesn’t have to be all at once, either. A 15-minute morning walk and a 15-minute walk after dinner would count.

Sample Menu

This is a guide for 3 days of the cleanse. All the recipes are linked below. You can do the cleanse for 1-7 days, it’s up to you. You don’t have to follow the sample menu exactly. Choose the recipes you like the most and find easiest to prepare.

If you’re following the sample menu, the day before you start your cleanse make a soup and chia pudding. If you don’t want soup, make one of the salad dressings and have salad for dinner. The goal is cook once and eat leftovers the next day. This way you’ll only have to cook food once each day.

If you feel like you need protein at dinner, buy or roast a chicken to have on hand. If you’re vegetarian, make a pot of beans to include a serving with dinner. Canned sardines or salmon with lemon can also be eaten.

Sample Menu Day 1

  • Wake Up – Drink 16 ounces of water
  • Morning Beverage – Celery Juice
  • Morning Meditation while sitting in the sun
  • Breakfast – Lemon Chia Pudding
  • Walking
  • Snack (optional) – 10-12 nuts and 1 cup berries
  • Lunch – Spring Vegetable Stew (can be made with chicken or beans)
  • Snack (optional) – 1/2 avocado sliced with lemon and a pinch of salt
  • Dinner – Creamy Dandelion Soup (option to add 4 ounces chicken, fish or 1 cup beans on the side)
  • Snack (optional) – 1⁄2 of an organic banana, rolled in 1⁄8 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt with 10 raw cashews 15-30 minutes before bed (this will help you sleep)

Sample Menu Day 2

  • Wake Up – Drink 16 ounces of water
  • Morning Beverage – Celery Juice
  • Morning Meditation while sitting in the sun
  • Breakfast – leftover Lemon Chia Pudding
  • Walking
  • Snack (optional) – 10-12 nuts and 1 cup berries
  • Lunch – leftover Spring Vegetable Stew
  • Snack (optional) – Kale Chips
  • Dinner – Broccoli and Sweet Pea Soup (option to add 4 ounces chicken, fish or 1 cup beans on the side)
  • Snack (optional) – 1⁄2 of an organic banana, rolled in 1⁄8 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt with 10 raw cashews

Sample Day 3

  • Wake Up: Drink 16 ounces of water
  • Morning Beverage – Celery Juice
  • Morning Meditation while sitting in the sun
  • Breakfast – Strawberry Smoothie Bowl
  • Walking
  • Snack (optional) – 1/2 avocado sliced with lemon and a pinch of salt
  • Lunch – Lemon Garlic Herb Crusted Salmon with Easy Sauteed Asparagus
  • Snack (optional) – Kale Chips
  • Dinner – leftover Creamy Dandelion Soup (option to add 4 ounces chicken, fish or 1 cup beans on the side)
  • Snack (optional) – 1⁄2 of an organic banana, rolled in 1⁄8 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt with 10 raw cashews

Recipes

Celery Juice

Celery Juice Detoxes Your Liver and Heals Your Gut

Celery juice is one of the most amazing healing foods. It detoxes your liver and heals your gut. If straight celery juice is too strong, juice cucumber with it.

Breakfast Recipes

In this section you’ll find nutrient rich smoothie bowls, smoothies, chia puddings and a soup. They’re all delicious. You’ll start your day feeling nourished and satisfied.

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

This strawberry smoothie bowl will empower you with lots of nutrients and protein.  The frozen strawberries, cauliflower, and avocado will keep you going all morning long.

Alkaline Green Smoothie

This is the ultimate green smoothie for your health and you can make it in 5 minutes.

Balancing Creamy Blueberry Smoothie

This blueberry smoothie is a simple, healthy & nutrient-dense recipe that is perfectly balanced to keep your metabolism humming and blood sugar stable.

Lemon Green Smoothie Bowl

This is a simple lemony smoothie bowl packed with tons of nutrients turning your smoothie into a meal.  It’s a perfectly nutritious balance of protein, fats and carbs to start your day right!

Lemon Chia Pudding (Nut Free)

This tangy chia pudding with coconut milk is rich and satisfying with a light fresh taste. Super healthy and easy to make. It’s best to let sit overnight but it can be eaten after 30 minutes.

5 Ingredient Blueberry Chia Pudding ( Nut Free)

This recipe is a perfect super food breakfast loaded with protein, omega-3s and powerful antioxidants. It’s made with high protein hemp milk and tastes deliciously creamy with just the right amount of sweetness.

Liver Cleansing Chia Pudding

Strawberry Beet Chia Pudding

A delicious easy to make chia pudding that looks beautiful snd tastes great. The beets help detox your liver and cleanse the blood. Even if you don’t like beets you’ll love this recipe, you can’t taste them.

Poached Eggs with Dandelion Greens in Broth

In this recipe, the nutrient rich dandelions are simmered in broth with a perfectly poached egg on top. When eating, you get a little bit of soft runny yolk blending into the broth making it nice and creamy. 

Main Dishes

You can choose either a vegetarian recipe or if you need more protein one of the fish or chicken dishes. It’s best to eat your main meal at mid-day when your metabolism is at it’s peak.

Cauliflower Buddha Bowl

This Cauliflower Buddha Bowl is light and super satisfying. Can be made with chicken, fish or beans. It’s colorful and super nutritious with lots of vegetables and an antioxidant rich Mediterranean Vinaigrette.

Egg Roll In A Bowl

Egg Roll in A Bowl is a quick and easy meal that can be made vegan or with chicken, both are fantastic.  Top it with an Asian Tahini Sauce to make it even more yummy.

Healing Kitchari

Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic recipe that is gentle on digestion. This one pan meal is comforting, nourishing, and incredibly healing. It’s a delicious make-ahead-meal with lots of vegetables you can enjoy any time of day.  

Stir Fried Soba Noodles with Asparagus

A delicious stir fry of gluten free soba noodles with vegetables and a light, tasty sesame sauce.

Balancing Lemon Garlic Herb Crusted Salmon

Lemon Garlic Herb Crusted Salmon

This Lemon Garlic Herb Crusted Salmon is easy to prepare and only takes 10 minutes to cook but elegant enough to make you feel special. You’ll love that it’s full of healthy fat that satisfies you, reduces inflammation and  balances your blood sugar.

One Pan Herb Lemon Cod Spring Vegetables Tray

One Pan Herb Lemon Cod with Spring Vegetables

This One Pan Lemon Herb Cod with Spring Vegetables is an easy satisfying supper. The perfectly cooked cod and vibrant vegetables can be topped with a delicious green sauce but it’s good plain too!

Spring Vegetable Stew

A bright fresh spring vegetable stew with asparagus, mushrooms, leeks, carrots and turnips lovingly simmered to create a glorious broth. This recipe can be made with chicken or white beans.

Salads

Salads can be enjoyed at lunch or dinner. Spring is the time of year to eat lean. It’s time to reset the digestion and cleanse out the weight of the winter. Salads are full of nutrients and fiber to cleanse your body. Sprouts improve digestion. Add chicken, fish or beans for additional protein. Choose one of the dressings or enjoy your salad with lemon and olive oil.

Easy Strawberry Fields Salad

This is a beautiful summer strawberry salad with mixed greens, arugula, radishes and avocado! A slightly sweet, lemon thyme dressing enhances the flavor of the strawberries and ties it all together.

Watercress Avocado Salad

This easy-to-make salad combines slightly bitter watercress with the sweetness of apple and creaminess of avocado, giving it the perfect balance of deliciousness.

Mediterranean French Lentil Salad

This healthy French lentil salad is full of mediterranean vegetables with fresh summery flavors and textures. You can prepare all of the ingredients while the lentils cook.  If you’re keeping for more than 3 days store the arugula and herbs separate from rest. 

Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula and Pea Shoots

A bright fresh salad that’s easy to make and deliciously supports digestion and detoxification.

Vegetables

Cooked spring vegetables are easy to digest and provide lots of nutrients. Enjoy these vegetable dishes with soup or simple roast chicken, grilled fish or beans.

Sauteed Dandelion Greens

Sautéed dandelion greens are tender, full of flavor with just a little bitterness. They taste delicious and have more nutrients than kale or spinach.

Easy Sautéed Asparagus

An easy asparagus recipe sautéd quickly with garlic and ginger allowing the fresh sweet asparagus flavor to shine through. It’s a delicious vegetable dish you can make in 10 minutes.

Sautéed Spinach and Radicchio

A quick and easy saute to serve as a side dish. The sweet spinach contrasts nicely with the bitter radicchio.

Easy Sautéed Kale with Carrots

This is one of the easiest and most nutritious vegetable dishes you can eat. The bitterness of the kale mellows as you saute it with garlic and sweet carrots.

Dressings

These dressing are full of enough protein and healthy fats to turn your salad into a meal. They can also be used as a dip for steamed vegetables or crudités.

5 Minute Avocado Herb Dressing

A delicious green sauce that’s easy, healthy, versatile and delicious. Great as a salad dressing or dip.

Turmeric Sunflower Seed Dressing

Turmeric Sunflower Seed Dressing

Enjoy this high protein dressing full of anti-inflammatory turmeric. It can be used as a dressing for salads, steamed vegetables, turkey burgers or any place you use mayonnaise.

Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Dressing

Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Dressing

Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Dressing is a creamy herby sauce that’s perfect for salads, steamed vegetables, fritters, wraps, and more!

Cilantro Pesto

Life-Enhancing 15 Minute Cilantro Pesto

A life-enhancing pesto you can use on fish, chicken and steamed or grilled vegetables.

Soups

Soup is the perfect dinner for your spring cleanse. Eating a light dinner before 7pm will support your detoxification and inner balance. Soups can also be eaten at breakfast. You can add protein, salad or a vegetable dish along with your soup for dinner.

Easy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Easy “Cream” of Asparagus Soup

A smooth and silky creamy asparagus soup made without any dairy.

Minestrone Verde (Paleo or Vegan)

Minestrone Verde is a light, fresh, vibrant brothy soup with lots of green vegetables and tender white beans or chicken. It’s filled with the bright flavors of leeks, peas, kale, and snap peas.

Spring Broccoli Sweet Pea Soup

This is a vibrant green spring soup full of vegetables that make you want to get out and run around in the sunshine.

Creamy Dandelion Soup 3 bowls

Creamy Dandelion Soup

This  is a delicious soup that’s nourishing, immune boosting, comforting and easy to make. It will help you feel calm and satisfied.

Healing Carrot Soup

The carrots seasoned with bright spices stimulate the digestive juices.

Thai Spinach Detox Soup

Thai Spinach Detox Soup

This is a quick and easy soup that helps your body detoxify and boosts your immunity.

Cleansing Turmeric Vegetable Soup

A delicious anti-inflammatory brothy vegetable soup.

Snacks

Even though the goal of this cleanse is lighten up and consume less food, it is important to listen to your body and eat if you’re hungry. If you ignore your hunger your blood sugar drops and stresses your body. Cleansing is different for everyone, listen to your body. Here are few snacks you can make. See other snack suggestions in the guidelines above.

Chocolate Protein Smoothie Bowl

This creamy thick chocolate smoothie bowl is packed with protein, fruits and vegetables but tastes like a decadent dessert. Easy to make in just 5 minutes. 

Beet Hummus

This delicious bean-free beet hummus is simple to make and super creamy. It’s a great dip for people on a paleo diet.

Conclusion

This Lean and Light Spring Cleanse can be done anytime this spring. You can do it for 1 day or 7 days. Choose what works for you. If you have questions or need support as you go through your cleanse, leave a comment below and I will get back to you within 1 day.

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