Spring Clean Sing and Fling
By Carolyn Allen

As spring arrives, our beautiful world creates its own spring cleaning festival. Day by day, dirty snow and grey days are replaced with longer days of sunlight, fresh spring-greenery, new blooms and celestial colors everywhere. Those of us with yards are required to pitch in with Mother Nature to remove dead debris and prune for this year’s new growth. Whether its trees, shrubbery, flowers, vegetables or fruits, there’s no doubt that nature needs a helping hand!

crocus iStock HenkBentlageA crocus emerges from the dead winter leaves. iStockphoto.com/Henk Bentlage.

It’s no different with our houses or our bodies.

I hope you’ve had a chance to see the movie I mentioned last week, Enchanted. If not, put it on your list! This delightful parody on almost every Disney princess is a treasure.

Watching Princess Giselle clean up the messy, New York City apartment of her soon-to-be True Love with the help of the birds, mice and rodents (mimicking Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) while singing “The Happy Little Working Song” sent us straight to the store to buy the audio soundtrack. The words and tune to this delightful ditty have brightened many days for us since:

Come my little friends
As we all sing a happy little working song
Merry little voices clear and strong
Come and roll your sleeves up
So that we can pitch in
Cleaning crud up in the kitchen
As we sing along
It’s such fun to hum
A happy working song
Oo-ooh – A happy working song

Well it’s time for a Spring-Fling Boogie and our own happy working song. Get up and dance and start the music! It is indeed wonderful to throw open the windows and let the fresh breezes in. This alone inspires getting out the Windex, mops and buckets.

Clutter that detracts from the beauty and functioning of important rooms can be managed one day, one job at a time with an overall plan such as that recommended by the simple, free program at www.flylady.net. She recommends a daily five-fling boogie where you either throw away or five away five things that you don’t need any more, or haven’t used in several months.

In exactly the same way we work out doors and indoors, our bodies and fitness goals, deserve and will immensely welcome a spring cleaning.

Here are five ways to do a Spring Clean Boogie to freshen up your body and goals. Maybe you don’t know the tune to Giselle’s “Happy Little Working Song,” but you do to Hymn No. 252, “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel,” and it has just the invigorating tempo we need to move the work of becoming fit along:

1. From the inside out: Our bodies are marvelous, miraculous machines created by the Master Creator. Simply by eating and breathing in our modern world, however, we acquire many harmful toxins. As efficient as the colon is in eliminating them, it may benefit from a gently spring cleaning to eliminate the toxins which inhibit complete digestion. Foods that are not fully digested often linger, then dry to the walls of the colon. These waste products reveal themselves as extra pounds on the scale (though not true body weight), which may cause the colon to increase in size, and as a result, may also create protruding stomachs and a host of seemingly unrelated maladies There are many ways to cleanse the colon. Fast Sunday alone is a blessing once a month, along with a daily emphasis on fiber and 6-8 glasses of water.

You may be interested in a gentle herbal colon cleanse that is nurturing weight loss and a remarkable overall increase of health for many of my friends and readers at my website. For me the added bonus of this product is how it also performs as a natural appetite suppressant. You can see it at my website when you click HERE or go to.

2. From the Outside In: A woman who attended my community weight loss meetings tearfully shared the day she hit the bottom: “On that day when the scales hit at an all time high, my spirits hit an all-time low. I was out of control and I knew it The scales in my bathroom forced me to lift the scales from my eyes: When I looked around my kitchen and home, I simply didn’t have the environment to become healthy! Yet, I wanted my life back.”

In the spirit of Giselle and true Spring Cleaning, she rolled up her sleeves and headed for the kitchen pantry, refrigerator and freezer shelves. “It felt wasteful to throw and give away expensive food – especially snack foods – but I knew that getting rid of them was cheap in comparison to the high price I was paying for them in terms of my body and my ability to stick with my program.”

(Homes where there is a range of needs and desires may find it helpful to set up personal shelves or plastic lidded containers so that tempting foods meant for special occasions, children, teens or others are “out of sight – out of mind.” It is even more helpful if these boxes are labeled with a date and time for use. Help your family help you by kindly communicating your needs and how they can help by preparing their own snacks, saving special foods for special times, and so on.)

3. Walk and Exercise Out of Doors: Is there anything like a walk (especially a pre-dawn walk) outdoors on a spring morning? To smell the moist earth, so old, yet somehow new again as it generates another year of fresh growth is a wonderful reminder that our bodies are also capable of renewal and can, in very deed, turn over a new, springtime leaf too.

Walking outdoors gives us time to walk down memory lane and may provide the added emotional lift of happy memories to start and sustain the demands of the day. President Spencer W. Kimball said:

I have heard that the sense most closely associated with memory is the sense of smell. If this is true, then perhaps it explains the many pleasing feelings that overtake me these mornings when I am able to step outdoors for a few moments and breathe in the warm and comfortable aromas that I have come to associate over the years with the soil and vegetation of this good earth (Ensign, June 1976).

4. Plant A Garden! Maybe you’ve never gardened before, but President Kimball’s advice to do so is still excellent. Perhaps it’s just some easy-to-grow marigolds, tomatoes in a sunny spot, or some herbs in a pot at the back door to perk up your salads and sauces. It doesn’t matter what, the fun of watching our Heavenly Father’s law of the harvest being fulfilled right before your eyes is a great opportunity to compare how our bodies also respond to our TLC and day-by-day grow into a visible, measurable, physical result.

A quick google search on “how to garden”) or a trip to the library or garden center will provide more than enough information to get you motivated and on your way.

5. Use the Produce Section at the Store: Oh, blessed springtime and the return of better prices on the foods that make us healthy! Strawberries, asparagus and other nutritious luxuries become more affordable. Spend more time in that department, then scoot around the perimeter of the store for your protein and low-fat dairy products. The aisles to avoid, of course, are the middle aisles. Many of them have foods that neither our bodies nor our budgets can afford, so we’ll spring-clean them right out of our shopping time.

No doubt about it, our wise and wonderful Father in Heaven has provided every delightful thing to make the challenges of earth life bearable: the smell of spring soil, sunrises, sunsets, babies, puppies, flowers – spring – and our wonderful bodies as gifts to enjoy it all.

Is there any better time to start anew to do the things that are within our reach to create personal health? Sing a song and get going!

Today’s Empowerment: “With spring in the air, I invite the spring of change into my own commitments and health with small seeds of action that will yield the blessings of physical strength and energy.”

Today’s Journal Prompt and Discussion Starters:

1. What are the things in your kitchen and home that prohibit a healthy weight-loss environment?

2. What foods can go? What foods can stay?

3. Schedule a spring-cleaning of those foods. Purchase the needed supplies to hide tempting foods meant for special times or other people.

Today’s Recipe: Instead of a recipe, here are 10 great snacks under 250 calories. You may want to print these out and put them on the refrigerator.

Life-Saver Snacks Under 250 Calories

1. 1 medium banana
2. 1 cup oatmeal (good any time of the day!)
3. A small box of raisins
4. A fruit smoothie with 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup orange juice, and 3/4 cup fruit
5. Peanut Butter (1 tbsp.)
6. 3 cups air-popped popcorn
7. 1 slice whole grain toast spritzed with butter-flavored spray and sprinkled with a little cinnamon
8. 1 string cheese
9. 1 baked potato
10. 1 cup orange juice

Bonus: 1 chopped hard-boiled egg with 4 saltines


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