During the Fall and Winter most of us naturally eat a bit more, with the desserts of the holidays, the rich comforting casseroles and other foods that help sooth, warm and nourish us during the cold rainy winter months. Many holistic health care experts suggest some kind of Spring cleansing process, today we’ll explore a Fall cleanse, intended to prepare our body for the upcoming seasonal change and the fall/winter festivities.
First of all it is very important to make sure all of your elimination pathways are working before beginning a cleanse. This next part may be a bit indelicate to some, but it is actually normal to poop as many times as the meals you eat. Yes Virginia, that means if you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, then three productive toilet visits is normal. There is no point in exploring how to support the detoxing we do in each cell, via our lungs, kidneys, lymphatic and digestive system if we are not ”regular.” Eating a nutrient dense diet including high fiber vegetables and fruits will help with regularity. Another way to improve regularity is to visit the restroom when your body signals it is time. Each time we ignore this signal, the signal gets weaker, until we no longer get it resulting in constipation and a ”back-up” of waste. Exercise is important; we remove wastes as we perspire and as our lungs work harder. Walking or jogging will stimulate the lymphatic system to remove waste, and if we are properly hydrated our kidneys will have a healthier volume of blood to filter.
Among other duties, our liver is charged with transforming and eliminating harmful chemicals we ingest in our foods, beverages. Part of the liver’s detoxification process even creates harmful chemicals and free radicals that cause oxidative damage to our cells. This is one of the times free radical scavenging antioxidants come into play, for the liver the antioxidant nutrients in turmeric, and foods in the brassica family such as, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are important.
A cleanse that is appropriate for any season is the Fast Track Detox Diet, developed by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD (her book should be available at your library). This diet’s prequel includes important preparation so that you can get the most out of your cleanse.
Each day during the prequel you will choose foods from five categories of liver-loving foods such as:
Crucifers including cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli;
Green leafy vegetables such as parsley, kale, chard or collards;
Citrus juices from orange, lemon or lime;
Sulfur rich foods including garlic, eggs;
Liver healers such as artichoke, asparagus, and beets.
Daily, you will choose two of the following ”colon-caring” foods, powdered psyllium husks, acacia fiber, ground flaxseeds, carrots, apples, pears or berries, and drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. The prequel also includes two tablespoons of either flax or olive oil daily.
Each prequel day include two servings of protein in the form of lean beef, lamb, skinless chicken or fish. It is suggested that if you are vegetarian you include in your prequel at least two tablespoons of high-quality blue-green algae or spirulina.
Gittleman supplies a list of ”detox detractors” to avoid which include: Excess fat, (especially trans fats from margarine) sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, gluten, soy protein isolates, alcohol, caffeine, mold (from over-ripe fruits), milk and cheese.
The author stresses that the seven day prequel is key to this plan working. She suggests that if you do not follow the prequel for the full seven days do not attempt the One-Day Detox. She has found in trials that as a consequence of not doing the prequel for seven days, participants were more bloated, constipated and toxic than before.
The second part of this program is the One-Day fast. Avoid fasting under the following circumstances: if you are pregnant, nursing, recovering from an illness or injury or have a weakened immune system. It is also suggested that those people with type I diabetes, many heart issues or mental illness should not fast. If you are under a physician’s care, or using prescription medication – consult your physician before starting a fast.
For the One-Day Detox, a delicious blend of cranberry and citrus juices spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg called ”Miracle Juice” will stave off hunger, balance blood sugar,and rev up your metabolism. In her book, ”Fast Track Detox Diet,” Gittleman suggests a schedule for a day alternating each hour with a cup of the ”Miracle Juice” and a cup of water. To support detoxification ,she suggests a fiber drink upon arising and at the end of the day.
Miracle Juice recipe: (makes 2 quarts)
Cranberry water (8 ounces unsweetened Organic Cranberry Juice)
56 ounces pure water
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
Stevia to taste
Bring cranberry water to a light boil, reduce heat to low and add spices in a tea ball or loose. Simmer 15 minutes then cool to room temperature and add citrus juices and stevia.
To seal in the results of the fast she offers a three-day sequel. During the three day sequel, choose from the same categories as the prequel and add a probiotic food to restore ”friendly” bacteria to the colon, such as raw sauerkraut or plain yogurt, and follow the same steps and instructions as outlined in the Prequel. Salud!
At Natural Grocers in Eugene, where I am the store’s Nutritional Health Coach, we offer free classes that include plenty of information about healthy eating choices, and free one-on-one health coaching sessions (call 541-345-3300). Please ”like” our Natural Grocers-Eugene Facebook page. Find our store’s schedule of free classes at: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/store-location/eugene/.