Spring is the time in nature for new beginnings; a fresh start where the force of energy, or Qi is at it’s most powerful state of regeneration.
We see new life all around us; trees blossoming, birds chirping, and the energy and excitement of a new chapter of life ripe in the air.
Just like the cycles that mother nature moves within during the change of seasons, our bodies follow a similar process of cyclic renewal, growth and healing.
With this knowledge in mind, there is no better time than spring to cleanse your body and mind. Through mirroring nature’s cycles, we can more deeply renew ourselves, recalibrate our Qi to balance our body’s organ function, and effectively heal ourselves from the inside out, setting the tone for the months ahead.
We sat down with The Beauty Chef’s founder Carla Oates to learn how we can cleanse and nourish our bodies, self-heal and balance our energy or Qi.
What we learned through speaking with Carla is that beauty really does start from the inside out, and by implementing some simple daily health rituals into our routines, we can all benefit from the addition of adding a little care, and calm to our lives. Ahead, some words of wisdom from our friend and ultimate health guru, Carla Oates.
The CALMM: Our liver is responsible for purifying our blood, ridding us of toxicity and ensuring we remain disease-free; it is our master detoxifier. During the spring, our liver is ‘active’ and therefore it’s important we support its function where possible. How do you integrate the practice of cleansing into your life?
CARLA: "Detoxification is a natural and ongoing process performed by your elimination organs: your liver, colon, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system and skin. And all day, everyday, your body is working hard to eliminate toxins from both internal and external sources.
For example, your liver is constantly filtering harmful or unwanted substances and converting them into less harmful forms ready for excretion. Some of these substances are made by your body – but no longer needed – such as cholesterol or excess oestrogen and other hormones.
Some experts will say that these automatic detoxification processes are all we need. And, if you are feeling energetic, your skin is radiant and your digestion is working well then perhaps they are enough. But, if you feel sluggish or fatigued, have trouble concentrating or sleeping, catch colds easily, suffer from allergies, have pimples or skin rashes, bloating or constipation or just feel like things are not humming along as well as they could be, then perhaps your elimination organs could do with a little extra support.
For many, the cosmetic signs of an overloaded liver are often the first to manifest and can include skin rashes or breakouts, eczema, rosacea and cellulite.
Detoxing is by no means a silver bullet that will fix all ailments and if a health or skin condition is troubling you then you should definitely consult with your healthcare practitioner. But gently cleaning up your diet is often a good place to begin improving your health. You could compare it to cleaning your house. You need to pick everything up off the floor before you can begin to vacuum – and you need to remove clutter before you can dust the shelves.
Likewise, avoiding processed or fried foods, added salt, refined sugars, trans fats, food additives, pesticides, synthetic skincare products, caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol are all good ways to begin cleaning your internal ‘house’. By avoiding these additional toxins, it can make it easier for your hardworking elimination organs–especially your liver–to work more efficiently and detox a little more deeply.
Nourishing yourself with vitamins and minerals from wholefood sources is another way to support your detoxification pathways. B vitamins (found in whole grains, lean meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds) are essential, as are amino acids (from protein-containing wholefoods) and sulphur (from onions, garlic, eggs and Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and brussel sprouts)."
The CALMM: As a mother and owner of a successful business you must be very busy, what are some of the rituals or habits you implement into your life to help promote a sense of calm from within to reset from daily stressors?
CARLA: "Being the CEO of a growing company, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working long hours and not taking breaks. To negate some of the screen time, I take my dog Wolfie to the park once I’ve finished for the day.
Cooking is one of my favourite things to do so after work I get in the kitchen. I love combining the joy of cooking with the science of nutrition, so when it comes to my recipes, both gut health and flavour are always top of mind. Depending on what’s in season, dinner could be anything from a salad with veggies and protein, or a piece of grilled or steamed fish with baked sweet potato and sauerkraut, a slow roast, a warming curry or a slow-cooked soup or stew with lots of veggies, herbs, spices and bone broth.
Then, after dinner, I do my best to wind down and switch off from the day by putting down my phone and enjoying time with my family."
The CALMM: What advice, products or practices would you give or recommend for someone wanting to do a cleanse to support their liver and gall bladder health?
CARLA: "You can support your body’s natural detoxification channels by making a few simple lifestyle swaps in order to reduce your toxic load.
Double down on your diet by minimising alcohol and caffeine, while also avoiding common allergens and gut irritants like wheat and dairy. Steer clear of inflammatory foods like refined vegetable oils and sugar and opt for produce that’s organic or pesticide-free. And of course, apply the same principles to any cleaning or beauty products you buy to ensure you’re not undoing all of your hard work.
You can also give your body a helping hand with a daily dose of The Beauty Chef’s CLEANSE Inner Beauty Support, which has been consciously created to support your body’s natural detoxification process and promote a healthy, happy gut. With fibre from green banana starch and Jerusalem artichoke, choline to aid liver function and fat metabolism, as well as enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy belly, our bio-fermented super-greens powder is a powerful and potent way to eliminate, purify and realign. Adding dry body brushing to kickstart the lymphatic system to your routine is a good idea, too."
The CALMM: How does your environment impact your mood and sense of self? And what do you like to surround yourself with to feel present, calm and grounded?
CARLA: "My environment has a huge impact on my mood and sense of self. I think a home should be comfortable and nurturing so for me, our home is filled with well-designed and purposeful pieces as well as lots of texture and greenery. I wouldn’t necessarily describe our home as minimal, but everything has its purpose and I am drawn to natural fabrics, lots of natural light and a neutral colour palette, so everything feels inviting, grounding and calm.
Being immersed in nature is also very important. It helps my mood and makes me feel calm and happy. Also being around people I love like family and friends, as well as things that inspire me, like books, art, and beauty."
The CALMM: How do you like to calm down? Is it tied to a place, person or process?
CARLA: "I try to walk most mornings. I love walking along Bondi Beach at sunrise, which is quite close to my house, or through Centennial Park, which is a more meditative route. I describe walking as a natural filing system for my brain—it provides mental clarity, gives me energy and helps to set me up for the day. I would also count a daily meditation practice, as well as talking to my husband and a few special friends who are great sounding boards."