Have you ever thought about a Spring detox?

Have you ever thought about a Spring detox?

#Ayurveda Springtime Health Tips: Let’s Talk About Spring Cleansing

In this article I’m sharing: 

  • A traditional Ayurvedic take on why we typically schedule our most important cleanses in the Spring

  • How you can boost your immune system and health through a few easy seasonal diet & lifestyle shifts

  • PLUS my personal take on what most people actually need to transition into a healthy Spring of 2024 

I’m saying “most people” because the majority of the people I see in my Ayurvedic clinical practice come to me feeling exhausted, stressed out and overwhelmed right now… like they’re running on a hamster wheel through life. 

In Ayurvedic terms, that means their Vata dosha is high - which is associated with excess wind element. (Is this Chicago or is it just windy in here?!

Even if that doesn’t sound like you right now, it still points to a SUPER important detail that you can’t afford to overlook. More on that in a moment. 

And if that DOES sound like you, then feel free to jump on down to the “What most people actually need this Spring” section of this article. 

But first, what’s the deal with Spring?

From a traditional lens, the springtime is considered the transition time between the Kapha season (late winter into Spring) into the Pitta season (the heat of the Summer). 

Winter is cold. In most places it’s also damp, rainy, soggy and gray. 

In an environment like that, Kapha dosha can get excessive and leave you feeling extra fatigued, “lymphy” (stealing that word from a friend/client), or with extra upset digestion - namely because things are either:

  • feeling heavy, cold or sluggish in your gut
  • sitting around for longer in your gut and undergoing an extra dose of fermentation - and thus extra gas, bloating and irritation that could have you running to the bathroom more often

It’s also a time when we’re collectively all more susceptible to those coughs, colds and sniffles that seem to always go around. 

You might still be feeling those urges to stay in and sleep in a little bit longer, or just roll over to the other side and pull the covers up again. 

So where do detoxes come in? 

During the Spring, if you just look around at nature, you will see how this is the time when things start to: 

  • warm up
  • dry out 
  • speed up 

Longer and warmer days means sweater weather now becomes shorts season

The cold, dampy, rainy (or snowy!) weather is replaced with more sunshine. 

More people are going out more, and re-upping on their running, biking or hiking habits. Outdoor events and live music seemingly start popping up everywhere like they were growing out of the sidewalk. Your social calendar is either starting to look fuller, or you feel that “should” energy creep in telling you to start filling it up. 

This is also the time that flowers start to bloom, and every tree out there seems to send a telepathic message to blast out as much pollen as possible, coating car windshields and triggering your allergies.  

You may not have been aware, but in your body, things are also changing during the Spring time! 

There are studies that show it's 100% normal to gain weight in the winter and lose more weight in the summer. 

I even saw a study that this winter weight gain is also observable in cats - so don’t just blame it on all your holiday feasting! 

It’s part of your body’s natural wisdom, having everything to do with your annual biological clock accounting for the shifting circadian rhythms of longer and warmer days. 

As a survival mechanism, it makes sense to pack on a few more extra pounds in case food gets scarce in the winter time as it normally did for us up until the last few generations!  

So if you’re still holding on to an extra few pounds or just have extra Kapha in your system when Spring rolls in, this means that this fat and stored nutrients start to melt back into your bloodstream like the melting snow caps. 

The result? Your blood plasma becomes richer, meaning your liver has more to deal with and your blood becomes a feeding ground for roaming pathogens. 

Ayurveda says that’s why Spring is also a time when you’re more susceptible to:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Allergies
  • Itchy and runny nose
  • Skin irritation, rashes and hives or rosy skin
  • Overly oily or heavy foods setting off your gut for days or weeks. 
    • If your liver can’t handle any more oil or nourishment, your gut is likely to speed up and get it out before you have the chance to digest and bring in any more. 
  • Increased sensitivity and emotional reactivity

We turn to a Spring detox to help clear up any of the excess nutrients, fluids or metabolic waste that your body may be holding onto - and to restore a balance of your digestive fire and doshas, setting you up for a fresh start. 

The idea is to slip-slide your way through Spring into the Summer without any of the preventable health kinks.  

And while we don’t all need to run out and book a 7 day detox retreat, here are four simple practices to boost your immune system from home this Spring: 

  1. Start to swap heavier “soul foods” for light, bright “spirit foods”.

Soul foods = think stews, meat and potatoes, mac and cheese, and things your grandma would have cooked for you. Most holiday meals resemble this type of food. 

My Spring time “Spirit” food suggestions = lighter and fresher (and preferably local) vegetables, berries and fruits. This is your chance to start eating the rainbow again! 

Imagine sexy rainbow chard, colorful radishes and parsnips, beets, carrots, vibrant leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Strawberries and blueberries are back! Yum.

Fresh Prana galore! I’ll take some in every color, please. 

  1. Avoid jumping into too many raw veggies and juices too fast. 

Your local farmer’s market is open again. I get it. 

But since this is a time where your digestive and metabolic fire (agni) still isn’t fully revved up and you may be busy processing winter nutrient leftovers , it’s still worth it to cook most of your food. 

Ayurveda would recommend most of us cook at least 80% of our food to “pre-digest” it and make the nutrients easier to assimilate. 

This is a great time to steam your veggies for even just 1-2 quick minutes on the stovetop or roast them in the oven or on the grill on nice days! 

And I know the green juices and juice detoxes might look so tempting! But this is the time to help your digestive fire process the extra nutrients it needs to, not to put out the flames with tons of raw, cold foods or liquids. 

Aim to be cognizant of how juices dampen your appetite - a sign they’re putting out your flames. 

And if you just CAN’T NOT give up juices or smoothies, consider adding warming and digestive-supporting herbs or spices like ginger or turmeric into your juices, cumin seeds or garam masala to your salads. Write back to me and let me know how that goes! 

  1. Tend your spark.

A teacher of mine once said, “It’s never about feeding your body fire, it’s just about tending to your spark.” 

This means that just because it’s warming up outside, that’s not nature’s starting pistol for you to blast off into heating foods and heating activities. 

Summer will be upon you before you know it, so be mindful to pair your jogging, Hot Yoga, or long, active and busy days with guided relaxation videos off Youtube or 5 minutes (or more) of meditation in the evenings. 

Pairing exertion with relaxation is like pairing good wine with even better cheese. 

You CAN skip one, but unless you’re lactose/relaxation intolerant, why would you?  


And if you are feeling like you still need to boost your immune system, warm up cold hands and feet, lift up low energy levels or help out your heavy, slow or cold digestion and low appetite - I'd recommend trying out our Té Kapha

  1. Get your lymph moving so your body can let it go with the flow.

Great ways to get your lymph moving include dry brushing, massage (include self-massage), and any activity that will get you sweating and your heart pumping. 

When your lymph starts to stagnate, that’s when it can provoke more irritation, inflammation and infections. 

So get it moving! 

Incorporating some of these practices will help bolster your immune system this Spring. 

Remember, your immune system isn’t just dependent on your respiratory tract! 

It actually starts with healthy digestion, a suitable diet for your body, proper hydration, and your ability to get rid of cellular waste when it's time to go! 

If you find you do need a little extra boost for a sore throat or cough, try out this easy and natural remedy here. 

What most people actually need this Spring:

So there’s some of you out there who are reading this thinking “ what the heck does it even mean to be lymphy?” 

My quick answer - if you know, you know.  

And if you don’t know, you’re probably more on the Vata spectrum of things. 

How do you know if you’re dealing with Vata dosha? 

  • You’re regularly gassy, bloated, constipated or get stomach cramps, aches and discomfort more than once a month
  • You might even be dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or another chronic digestive concern
  • You almost always have cold hands and feet
  • Your skin is dry
  • Your hair tends towards dryness, breakage or falling out in the shower
  • Your joints cracking and pop like nobody’s business
  • You constantly feeling tension or stiffness in places like your jaw, neck, shoulders, low back, knees, ankles, fingers, wrists or elbows 
  • You have frequent headaches that are sharp, pulsing, or feel like having a resistance band painfully tightened around your head 
  • You’ve been feeling worried, anxious, overwhelmed, stressed out, ungrounded or self-conscious for more than 3 days in a row
  • You’re having trouble falling or staying asleep at night for more than a week

Here’s the thing - like I said at the beginning of this article, most people these days are dealing with at least 2-3 of these symptoms. 

And it makes sense, Vata is fast moving - and so is our society. 

So whether or not you have a Vata type body or constitution, to keep Vata dosha balanced, you really have to stay on top of keeping your body and mind well nourished, avoiding the overwhelm trap, knowing your limits and setting healthy boundaries for yourself. 

Vata is our body’s wind energy - it doesn’t really know boundaries or limits. 

The problem is, without limits or boundaries you start burning your candle at both ends, overgiving, overdoing, non-stop. 

And if you aren’t specifically intentional about making your self-care practices really soft and nourishing, you are bound to burn out eventually.

What does this have to do with Spring? 

Well… remember how I said earlier that Spring is a time when things start to warm up, dry out and speed up? 

If you were nodding your head at the list above which means your Vata is already high, then Spring time is also generally a time when you’re starting to feel even more pressure to get out there and get it all done. Or you find yourself saying things like, “Wow, time is just going by SO fast, and I don’t even know what I’ve accomplished!”

The extra warmth might start to feel good for your skin, joints and cold hands and feet, but the accompanying pollen might also set off Spring allergies something fierce. 

The increase in dryness might exacerbate this by making your itchy, dry and burning sinuses even more vulnerable. You might have dry, red or scratchy eyes, or feel like your post-nasal drip just shifted into high-gear. 

The world around you speeding up can leave you feeling like you’re either being left behind and not doing enough, or like you need to go faster to get all the things done you set out for yourself at New Year’s. 

It could also be just far enough into the year that you’re already feeling just overwhelmed enough to want to throw in the towel and give up on those resolutions and goals - or you’ve lost sight of them altogether in the non-stop list of things that need to get done. 

If any of this sounds like you, here are some Spring tips to slow down to leap forward in your life:

  1. If you think you're TOO (insert adjective here)... Check your cultural programming at the door, boo! 

Too fat. Too skinny. 

Too far behind. Too late to the game. 

Too stressed. Too overwhelmed. 

Too lazy. 

Too… whatever to feel you’re not “ready” to jump in and make time to do the thing you’ve really been wanting to do. 

Here’s a little secret I’ve found: Any time you think you’re too (ANYTHING), you have just identified a really harmful and self-limiting belief. 

You probably picked up this belief from your parents, school, growing up, at a past job, from an ex. 

Wherever it latched on, Spring is a GREAT time to drop some of the baggage. 

Let yourself off the hook!

What if you were fine just the way you were and your weight didn’t have to weigh so heavily on your sense of self? 

What if you didn’t have to judge your personal journey based on other people’s metrics or comparison? 

What if you’re not lazy or behind, but just exhausted? What if dealing with your burnout were actually the rocket-fuel you need to propel your dreams forward? 

I repeat! Let yourself off the hook!

  1. Don’t just “Do a Spring diet,” or any diet for that matter. Figure out what your body needs to feel good. 

None of the diet and health experts or influencers out there on the internet, myself included, own your health or know your body like you do. 

To highlight this, here’s a quick haiku about my personal diet & Ayurveda journey: 

I tried to eat right

for my dosha type and I 

Stopped listening in

My tidbit of Ayurvedic wisdom and the moral of the haiku: Tend to what your body needs right now like a garden, and you will flourish! 

Your mind and your body are your own best vessel for your goals and dreams, listen in and care for them! 

  1. Here’s a two-fer: Swap the coffee for tea, and the crunchy for cooked. 

What I’m trying to highlight here is two big and harmful dietary trends I see in a lot of my clients and, frankly, our general culture. 

Here’s the T on coffee: You may drink coffee so regularly, you don’t know how good you can feel when you don’t. 


Some people can handle coffee. 

But if you’re dealing with gut issues, anxiety and stress, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, a sleep disorder, weight and even hormonal imbalances, I have seen these all get significantly reduced when clients swap their daily coffee or espresso for a little more hydration and an herbal tea. 

I’m not saying no coffee ever again.

I’m saying it’s worthwhile to experiment and take an honest look if coffee may be your crutch for having a yummy, comforting, warm beverage, or a morning moment to yourself, or for propelling your through burnt-out low energy levels, or if it’s contributing to more stomach cramps, gas, bloating, constipation or soft stools. 

If coffee shoots you straight to the bathroom, or you rely on it to have your first bowel movement of the day - here’s your sign. 

Second, the crunch! 

I find many people eat crunchy snacks because:

  • They’re convenient AF
  • The crunch is louder for just a moment than your mind’s incessant chatter
  • They help you “refuel” throughout the day - which is actually a hidden sign that your meals (or your digestion) aren’t cutting it

The big problem here is that pretty much everything that’s crunchy is dry or dry-ing (astringent). 

When your gut is bombarded with dry, that food leaches out your body’s fluids. 

This leads to dry skin, dry hair, dry sinuses and dry eyes (which leave you vulnerable for worse allergies and irritation), dry joints (the pop & crack), dry or slow bowel movements - constipation, and dried up/lacking gastric fluid which will lead to acid reflux, burning, gas, bloating. It also inevitably leads to malabsorption, weakening your immunity. 

My simple hack to try instead: See if you can have at least one warm, well-cooked meal a day before you start the crunch, the munch and the snacking. 

As an introspective up-level, when you get an urge to snack, ask yourself and your body, what am I really reaching for right now? What need or discomfort am I really trying to address? 

  1. One of the best solutions for overwhelm? Make a To-do list and a separate Today list. 

Set a time for 5 minutes. 

Write down everything you think you need or want to do over the coming month (or set a longer time-period if your mind just needs a place to voice its ideas and dreams). This is your To-Do list (or maybe it’s just an ideas brain dump). 

Then look over the list and circle THE ONE THING that you could take action on TOMORROW, given whatever else you realistically have going on that day. Bonus points if it’s the single thing that will most move your needle towards your big picture goals/dreams/vision. 

On a separate page, write ONLY that ONE THING. 

This is your TODAY LIST. 

Next, schedule a time in your calendar tomorrow to focus on doing that thing. 

Put the To-Do list away for now.

When tomorrow rolls around, ONLY look at the Today List and any important appointments or meetings you have scheduled. 

Did you do the thing? 

Amazing! Cross it off, pat yourself on the back. 

Now you can look back at the To-Do list and pick just one more important thing. 

OR (and this is really my current favorite thing to do!) just celebrate yourself for doing the most important thing on your list and take the rest of the day off from work to spend time outside, with your friends, your cat, your partner or doing something you love! 

Give yourself ALL the permission to be human and enjoy life.  

After all, I feel like that’s the party Spring is really an invitation to: 

The celebration of life, the remembrance that it’s all growing, healing, evolving and blossoming in its own right timing. 

If you enjoyed something in this article, do me a big favor and share it with a friend or loved one you think could benefit from a fresh start this Spring.



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