Spring, spring, glorious spring! That time of year when everything comes to life again. Flowers break through the earth and burst into blossom, trees begin to grow leaves…
Spring invigorates us all, brings us out of winter hibernation and fills us with life energy again. We want to break free and be active and get clean; on the inside, and out. On today’s blog I want to talk to you about spring cleaning your home and give you some tips on how to spring clean your body as well. Along with those topics I’m going to give you a version of our cleaner you can make at home as well as a delicious recipe!
SPRING CLEANING YOUR HOME
Whether you love cleaning your home or not, there is a satisfaction in doing it and a benefit to your well-being when it is done. A clean home can improve your mood, calm your brain and reduce stress levels. It can signify, and in fact, foster a calm mind. When you can see things organized and evaluate your space clearly, your thoughts will reflect that same level of organization and clarification.
When it comes to what cleaners you use in your home, it is super important to use a natural, non-chemical cleaner. More and more studies are showing the negative effects chemical cleaners can have not only on you, but your little ones, your furry ones and the environment. The good news is there are now natural and affordable alternatives on the market that really work (like us!). If you’d like to know about the damaging effects that come with most chemical cleaners, please read this in-depth article by the Environmental Working Group.
We love being able to supply the market with totally green, all natural cleaners that really, really work. The best part...Our All Purpose Cleaner is made of only 4 basic ingredients. Lemon peels, distilled vinegar, distilled water and essential oils. We even get our lemon peels from a local green smoothie company! Owl & Goose make the most delicious green smoothies (you have to try them if you haven’t already!) and one of their main ingredients is lemon, which they peel to add to their smoothies. They graciously save the peel for us, which we then make into cleaner. Cleaners don’t have to be toxic and complicated to work. When they’re made with the right ingredients, they can clean almost anything and be safe for everyone.
So, because we care and we want to do what we can to make your life more blissful, we’d like to share our all purpose cleaner recipe with you! Two cost effective and simple ingredients, and a mason jar is all you need. This recipe does take some brewing time but is super easy, and so effective.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
What you’ll need:
Distilled white vinegar (we like Allen’s because it’s Canadian and plant based)
Lemons (specifically their peel)
500ml Mason jar with lid
Prep time: 5 mins
Brew time: 1+ months
Step 1: You’re going to need the peels from at least 4 lemons. You can either collect lemon peels over the course of a week (keeping them refrigerated) or, you can halve some lemons, juice them and use the fresh peel. Side note: I will give you a great use for that lemon juice later on!
The peels should be free of almost all of the fruit because it’s the oils from the rind that will make the cleaner effective, not the fruit.
Step 2: Place the peels into the mason jar and fill the jar to the brim with vinegar. Try to place the peels in the jar in such a way that they will stay submerged in the vinegar the whole time. Carefully place the lid on the jar and put the jar away on top of a shelf or in your pantry.
Step 3: Let the jar sit for at least one month. It seems like a looooong time to make cleaner but the time is what makes it so potent and effective! As the lemon peels sit in the vinegar, the oils are extracted. You will see the vinegar change colour from clear to bring yellow as the oils come out.
When the mix is ready, you can strain the concentrate out of the jar into a clean one. You now have enough concentrate to refill our cleaner bottles twice! Simply place half the concentrate in the cleaner bottle and fill the rest with water. Save the other half to refill the bottle again later.
If you don’t have time to make your own cleaner right now or, if you are waiting for yours to brew, remember you can buy ours here
SPRING CLEANING YOUR BODY
Our bodies naturally want to cleanse and renew themselves in the spring. It is the perfect time of year to break out of the winter funk and get our bodies clean and clear of stagnation before summertime hits. You will begin to notice an increase in energy levels, especially as the days get longer and sunnier. Follow the flow and get outside for brisk walks, runs or even simple stretching. The key is to move your body and follow your body's natural inclination to be more active.
There are a few simple ways to do this with food as well, without intense diets and cleanses. The easiest way is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. It sounds too easy but it really is the most effective way to help rejuvenate your body. Fruits and vegetables are so full of vibrant life and nutrition. When you eat a diet high in these foods your body starts to perform more efficiently. It supplies your body with the vast array of vitamins and minerals it needs to function at optimal levels.
What does this look like? Fill your plate with 65-80% vegetables. This can be fresh salad, steamed veggies, raw veggies, baked veggies… The rest of your plate can be a mix of proteins and carbs. Your veggies don’t have to be boring either. Spice them up or make some dip or dressing to have with them. Remember how I mentioned a use for that lemon juice? Well here it is!
STEPH’S SIMPLE SALAD DRESSING
½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup Lemon juice (fresh) or Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (use whole seed, if available)
1 Tbsp Tahini
½ tsp Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and Pepper, to taste
The most important thing to remember through all of this is to be kind to yourself! Have fun and have patience with yourself. Happy spring cleaning!
Do you have a favourite spring recipe or cleaning tip? Share in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
About the Author:
Stephanie graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition with honours in 2010. Since then she has created cooking classes, nutrition programs and e-books on vegan nutrition. Really Great Goods is now her main focus and she loves using her knowledge in nutrition and wellness to create really great products and content for you!