4 Step Cleanse for Your Mind + Body + Fridge

Listen up. Because this ain’t gonna be easy.

You’re feeling sluggish. You’re not sleeping well. You’ve had a few too many pizza and Netflix nights this month. But that’s okay. All you need is a little reboot. We’ve created the essential four step mind and body cleanse to get you renergized and remotivated.

Step One: Clean your fridge

Toss it!

Spreads and sauces

Throw out the French onion dip, the blue cheese dressing, and the sugar-laced teriyaki. There’s a world of fresh salsas, vinaigrettes, mustards, and marinades that are healthier, tastier, and free of corn syrup and MSG.

Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt

“Sugar-on-the-bottom” is more like it. Packing more GI-spiking sugars than anything else, it’s time to ditch FOTB yogurt for Greek or plain. No lip quivering: Mix in your own fresh fruit and agave nectar. Major upgrade!

All things trans-fat

The label may say “trans-fat free” but many products still contain partially hydrogenated or fully hydrogenated oil. No trans-fat. No mercy.

Coconut “juice” + bottled “teas”

You had good intentions. But those sugar-laden “health” drinks have too many additives and too few vitamins. Say yes to coconut water for electrolyte hydration, not coconut “juice” which is pumped with fillers and sweeteners. And nix the green cans of Arizona; its black tea antioxidants are not worth the added sugars.

Step Two: Clean eating

Cleanse yourself of those winter comfort food cravings with a clean eating re-boot. Here’s how:

Bitter foods for digestion detox

Bitter foods stimulate gastric acid and digestive enzymes, helping the liver break down excess fat and eliminate excess toxins. Facilitate digestion and relieve bloating with bitter greens like endive, arugula, and dandelion. Or start your day with a half of a lemon squeezed into a mug of hot water.

Cook with new spices

Salt and pepper are for chumps. Shake up your spring with detox herbs and spices like cardamom, turmeric, milk thistle, and nettle. They’ll surprise your palate as well as cleanse the liver and help circulate nutrients.

Soluble fibers

That’s right, Grandma. Eat your fiber. Foods like Brussels sprouts, black beans, pears, prunes, and oat bran slow digestion and balance blood sugar. As soluble fiber moves through the digestive system, it absorbs water and flushes out fats and cholesterol.

Chlorophyll

Derived from alfalfa, chlorophyll extract dissolves into a glass of water. Packed with antioxidants, it supports circulation and red blood cell production, acting as a kick ass detoxifier.

Eat whatever you want. But follow this rule.

“The color rule.” This one guideline will force your lunchtime lazy-ass into eating nutritiously. It’s simple: include three (or more) colors in each meal, and two colors in snacks. Throw in some spinach and bell pepper into scrambled eggs. Add strawberries and apricots to green salads. Easy! One more rule: No whining.

Step Three: Clear your head

Start talking to yourself

It may sound crazy, but it works. Start your day with an affirmation. This habit of highly-successful people is a quick, effective way to focus and energize. An affirmation is a

present-tense declaration of intention. They work on the subconscious level to eliminate negative self-talk and project positive outcomes.

Think of it as half self-hypnosis, half pep-talk. The more you hear positive talk, the more you internalize it, and eventually act on it. Here are some examples:

  • I crave healthy, nourishing food.
  • I am strong and powerful.
  • No person place or thing has power over me. I’m completely free.
  • My metabolism is on fire.
  • My body vibrates with energy and health.
  • I wake refreshed and ready to start my day.

The My Well-Being blog writes, “Every thought, whether positive or negative, is an affirmation. Choose the positive ones and eventually you will begin to see positive change.”

Take an “emotional inventory”

An emotional inventory is like a subliminal stethoscope. “What is holding you back? What’s weighing you down?” asks author Alex Blackwell. “It could be something that’s keeping you from being promoted at work, something affecting your relationships, or a toxic person in your life.” In order to eliminate negative influences, first you have to identify the problem. That’s where an emotional inventory can help.

  • Write it out: Make a list of positive and negative forces in your life right now. Lifehacker devised this whole spreadsheet.
  • Meditate on it: Don’t force it; let it pass. Meditation helps release stress and negativity by untangling circular thought patterns. (More on that below.)
  • Give it the axe: Identify areas of your life you need to adjust (more alone time, less late night TV) or eliminate (closet clutter, toxic friends).

Download this meditation app

Don’t have time to meditate? That’s what they all say. Andy Puddicombe will prove how 10 minutes can ease stress and sharpen focus. His app Headspace is a free, 10-day guided meditation app, and it’s awesome.

Step Four: Clean your gym bag

Time to toss those smelly towels and exhausted resistance bands. Shake up your workout routine — no fancy equipment or gym membership needed.

Try a “3–2–1” circuit

This fitness hack comes from trainer Erica Stenz at FitBit. “Maximize your time at the gym with 3–2–1 circuits – this includes three minutes of strength training, two minutes of high intensity cardio, and one minute of core/active recovery exercises. Each exercise in the circuit is only 30–60 seconds.

Here’s a starter plan:

  1. Strength: Grab a set of dumbbells and perform bicep curls, overhead press and tricep extensions.
  2. Cardio: Alternate short intervals of jumping jacks and mountain climbers.
  3. Core/Active Recovery: 30 seconds of crunches and 30 seconds of bicycles.”

No more Jane Fonda

Still doing side lunges in spandex? Swap those out-dated DVDs for the new generation of YouTube fitness celebrities. Their at-home workouts are intense, efficient, and best of all, free. These are our favs:

Rock hard abs with a British accent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=v7g7-pcElAA
  • Alfonso Moretti aka The Angry Trainer

A bald guy with serious ‘tude, and quality at-home hacks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PA-x3pFysmo&list=UU_NvUYBwVZWnVK0SIoHbFpA
  • Cassey Ho of Blogilates

She may have a penchant for pastels, but she’ll kick your ass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-7cylyuk84o&list=UUIJwWYOfsCfz6PjxbONYXSg
  • Scott Herman

Great muscle-chiseling tips, narrated shirtless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&list=UUEtMRF1ywKMc4sf3EXYyDzw&v=kp1qOULDwXA

Go get ‘em!

Ok, sweet potato, we’ve been hard on you. But now you’ve got all the steps to clean up and buckle down — so there’s nothing stopping you!

Here’s to eating cleaner and thinking clearer.

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