Yahoo!! The sun is finally back and flowers are blossoming again in Caledon, Ontario. The snow and ice have melted revealing green grass and we have just about cleared up the mess from the ice storm that felled so many trees last December. I even see signs of life on Daffodil Hill, Bob’s favourite spot at our home that is completely planted with daffodils just about ready to pop. It’s Spring! I’m overjoyed to see the clean-up happening outside but it’s also time to clean up our closets, home and diet. I like to think of the spring as a time for this kind of rejuvenation because it feels so darn good to shake off winter’s heavy layers. Honestly there are so many dust bunnies under my bed I can’t wait to whip out my new crush, Dyson (LOL – the vacuum, silly) and start cleaning. Let’s Clean Up together. I’ve already begun by clearing my mind, de-stressing, and reviewing my eating and fitness habits to get myself – mind and body – ready for spring and well, life!! It is hugely energizing for me to Clean, Clean, Clean – I’m Dutch after all.

MIND We have just gotten off the speeding train of hectic family events including Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter and who knows what else in your personal lives. The planning, shopping, hosting, and eating that come along with these occasions add more to your plate, metaphorically and literally. It is all too easy to drown in the details. I call it “a state of overwhelm.” You run and gun so hard you forget why you are doing it and you realize you are completely out of energy.

Today I invite you to S-T-O-P. Put your hair in a pony tail, pull on your leggings, lie back and breathe. Suck in beautiful, fresh, lung fulls of oxygen and feel the O2 molecules fill you with life. Hear the air rushing into your body and stay in the moment of breathing, just breathing, nothing else. Breathing is a critical part of yoga too and that is where my yoga teacher and friend Angelika taught me to S-T-O-P and breathe. Stress – especially stress built up over time – has a huge negative impact on your motivation to eat well and stay active but even worse, your health. Come on, let’s breathe together, as I have taught you, for five minutes today and every day after that. I’ve already started.

Another piece of my personal Spring Cleaning that I can’t live without, is my journaling. I have to write things down. You can tell can’t you? I love words. They help me make sense of what is floating around in my head. They make ideas, realities. They help me tell my story. They will help you do the same. I spend 10 minutes every day writing in a journal and sometimes if I am limited on time, I just talk to Siri and wait for her to respond. (Have you ever asked her to sing? Hilarious.) Regardless, make your thoughts come to life with words.

BODY I have to evaluate where I’m at with the Eat-Clean® lifestyle no matter what time of year it is but Spring is critical because we wear a lot less clothing so the evidence of winter can’t be hidden. If you are just starting your journey, are you taking baby steps to ensure a lasting foundation for success? If you have been living an Eat-Clean® life for years, are you challenging yourself to push it to the next level with each workout? Are you sure you are willing to sweat more, hurt a little and linger in the pain? Good! Now you will get results. Don’t let a little pain stop you from being your best YOU ever. It’s time.

With the weather heating up, you will likely spend more time on patios and in sleeveless shirts where the evil of all evils will be exposed. Yikes! Batwing arms! I can help you tone up those arms in no time and because arm muscles respond quickly you will have results by Mother’s Day! Focus on engaging your biceps and triceps through repeated movements; it can be anything from washing your dishes by hand to dumbbell curls and triceps extensions with a medicine ball. Try skipping with a weighted rope too. Your arms are turning the rope and getting gorgeous while you skip. What a workout!!

Good Job! Nice work! Can you hear me cheering? Regardless of whether this spring marks the first time you have given yourself permission to make changes that lead to your fulfilled self, or a period where you push yourself to try new Eat-Clean® recipes or more challenging exercise routines, remember: you are not alone. I am right here cheering you on! So are the Ambassadors and everyone at the Kitchen Table! You have supported me through my triumphs and tragedies, and I am here to support you as we take on this season of change and growth together!

Tell me what YOU need to get ready for spring in the comments below, or at the Kitchen Table, Twitter or Facebook. This post is Part 1 of a multi-part series I’m doing on getting ready for spring, so let me know what you need to get to where you want to be!

Eat Clean for Health and for Life. Remember, I am always listening.

xo Tosca