5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Body & Mind

I don’t know about you, but the winter months tend to wreak havoc on my body and mind — even when I’m conscious about squeezing in workouts and veggies into my every day.

But let’s be honest.

Come spring, March rolls around along with a few extra, well, rolls. By no means do I consider myself an out-of-shape person, but between Thanksgiving, Christmas, Latkes and the January lull, something gets out of whack.

Breathe.

Spring is almost in the air, and with it, I am determined to get back on track — as always, physically and mentally. The following will serve as a reminder of the 5 small things I hope to be doing in order to get me to that goal.

1. Stock up on greens. Salads. Superfoods. Blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong — I didn’t stop eating vegetables during the cold winter months. It’s just that, I might have added a bunch of warm, cheesy dishes that I might otherwise not have gorged on to counteract the chill. And to top it all off, an increasingly busy workday has made it nearly impossible to stop and eat a real, healthful lunch that doesn’t consist of cupcakes and a Diet Pepsi.

This pledge literally starts now, with a nutritious spinach, quinoa and brown rice concoction that I pre-made last night in anticipation of a meeting-heavy day.

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While I don’t want to commit to ridding my days entirely of scrumptious, gooey foods, I might just be a bit more conscious of it. Like yesterday morning, when Noah made biscuits and I decided to take one delicious bite instead of pocketing three and sneaking out the door.

2. Buh-bye, biscuits. Speaking of biscuits: Last week I resolved to get fit and cut out the crap. Then on Sunday night, Noah and I discovered a package of biscuits that had somehow gone uneaten, and all of a sudden, I was all, ME WANT PROCESSED FOODS.

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3. Taking up lifting…my niece and nephews. Following my update excursion, I spent a little while on Sunday evening hanging out with my little nephews and niece. Remy, the lady of the family, refused to stay still, instead insisting (via almost-tears) that I lift her up and down continuously. Conclusion: Move over, Jillian Michaels! Babies are heavy!

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4. Mix and match. I’ve been talking about this a lot lately — this need to incorporate a bit of variety into my fitness routine. I really enjoyed hiking in Woodstock this weekend, so much that, come Monday, I was still thinking about the thrill of the snowy terrain (even with a piriformis syndrome flair-up).

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Living in New York City is tough; the lifestyle doesn’t allow for much personal or free time that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a desk or guzzling a glass of wine or ten. That’s why running is so easy. I wake up. I do it. I barely have to think at all. Even with a bit of piriformis pain, I was able to do exactly that on Tuesday morning, covering 3 miles around Gramercy Park and Union Square, and back to my humble abode (the photo below shows the brownstones at Gramercy — neither humble nor my abode).

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This spring, I’d love to divert a bit of my energy from other areas of my life and re-focus it on things like hiking, trail running, maybe even a yoga class or three (it’s been such a long time since I’ve been to an actual studio).

5. Embrace change. I’ve really come to terms with something in recent months as I’ve contemplating this big spring clean, and that’s, although I want to be in tip top shape in many aspects of my life, I’m in no way obsessing about it as I might have done in the past. I think that’s part of getting older, or something. I’m more conscious of my abilities and limitations — and of how to pick and choose the things I want most. I know what’s important, and even if I don’t know the best ways to get there, I know some of the worst to avoid.

What I do know is that I’m on a path that I’m actually content with these days. Good friends. Great family. Quiet weekends.

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And a taste of work-life balance that I haven’t known in years.

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In a lot of ways, life has sort of worked itself out since the madness that was November. But as a self-professed neat freak, I could still use a bit of personal spring cleaning here and there.

  • How will you reassess and revamp your body and mind this spring?
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2 thoughts on “5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Body & Mind

  1. Love this post! Just reminded me how close the spring is. While I haven’t let myself get too far off track either, I’m not doing as great as I should be in terms of food choices. Time to buckle down though!

  2. Inspiring post, I hope there is something glittery in there for you as well! and this is going to sound very stupid, but you know, I’d never have thought of a brown rice/quinoa combo!! such a simple idea for the days when quinoa (much as I love it as a light salad addition in summer) is just not quite filling enough. A bit of brown rice would certainly lift that to comfort food level for me. I’m nearly half way through my annual ‘non-religious’ Lent fast (I should really do a post on it) which is my annual detox of sorts. For seven years, even though I’m an atheist, I’ve used Lent as a way of Spring Cleaning my bod after Xmas and before we go into the Southern hemisphere winter. I cut out chocolate (including cocoa powder), sweets, cake, and biscuits, and usually baked goods like scones/pancakes etc, and also try to cut down on sugar in other products like yoghurt. Last year I cut out meat and poultry and haven’t eaten it since. The first three weeks are horrible and headache filled and right about now I start to crave veggies, hurrah! It’s an exercise in self discipline which keeps me almost on track for the rest of the year, and a good lesson in what those foods really taste off when you go back to them after 40 odd days. Very picky about good quality chocolate for the rest of the year!! Instead of telling people you’re on a diet, say you’re doing Lent/a religious fast, peer pressure to eat crap stuff is suddenly not an issue!!

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