Most people indulge a bit in goodies they would normally not have for the holidays and many may have a hangover from the start of the New Year. So now what? How do you feel? Was it all worth it? While many people may say absolutely, others may still be feeling the effects of the toxins looming in their bodies creating havoc. So, what can you do to expedite the healing process and feel better moving forward into 2018? Detox!
While the majority of chronic health challenges are caused by more than one factor, accumulated toxins over the long haul can result in one developing any one of the chronic diseases that are plaguing people in industrialized countries. The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant, hence why seasonal cleansing is so important. Cleansing will help rid the body of both endogenous and exogenous pathogens and toxins we accumulate through poor food choices, poor sleeping habits, stress and exposure to environmental and chemical pollutants.
It is important that you do the right type of detox for your body type and for the season in order to retain or restore health balance. Many people make the mistake of incorrectly detoxifying with raw cold juices, cold salads or a master cleanse, which is very healing in the warmer months, but can be cooling and depleting in the dead of winter’s cold. There’s a reason why our bodies crave hot soups and cooked foods during colder months. To ignore the need to support a minimum core body temperature is to allow significant enervation, which is never conducive to supporting optimal health.
If you are addicted to coffee, sugar, cigarettes or other varieties of drugs, wean yourself off a week prior to cleansing to avoid strong detox effects. Timing is important, make sure you don’t have party’s scheduled prior to or just after your cleanse, as your body will need to ease into and out of these dietary changes. Prior to starting a cleanse you want to make sure there are no temptations lying around your house, especially after Christmas to pull you off track. After you have cleaned your cupboards of any processed, packaged foods, plan on shopping for everything you will need to endure your cleanse.
During your cleanse, use organic and local produce whenever possible. Drink room-temperature water with a squeeze of lemon throughout the day. If you have not had a bowel movement after two days, use Smooth Move Tea, which is a gentle laxative to assure elimination of toxins.
When undergoing a cleanse, possible detoxification effects can include headache, nausea, fatigue, rash, constipation, and being more emotional. These effects are more common the first three days, by day five most people feel completely energized. One can decrease these effects and better their results by increasing filtered water intake, using a far-infrared sauna, herbs, acupuncture, meditation, Epsom salt baths, enemas or colonics and decreasing their stress load while cleansing. It is equally important to get plenty of rest while cleansing, however you may continue your exercise routine during the cleanse.
I recommend a simple soup cleanse this time of year. That’s all there is to it, just eat any vegan unprocessed soup at least three times per day and lots of water. No coffee, alcohol, or junk, just pure live food that will help you feel great again! Here’s a few to get you started:
4 cups water
1/3 cup miso
3 green onions (scallions), chopped
1 tablespoon shredded nori or wakame seaweed
1/2 block firm silken tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
Directions: Bring water to a slow simmer and add seaweed. Allow to simmer at least 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until miso is well dissolved.
Thai Vegetable Soup
2 cups coconut milk
4 cups water
1/2-1 small jar Thai red chili paste (to taste)
1/2 cup each of chopped carrots, broccoli, kale, mushrooms (or whatever veggies you have)
1/4 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
Directions: Boil coconut milk and water in a large pot, add chili paste and stir, add veggies and simmer until veggies are soft but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Pour over rice or quinoa and serve.
Lemon Greek Rice Soup
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/3 cup brown rice
1 12-ounce package silken tofu (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Directions: Bring broth and rice to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the rice is very tender, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer two cups of the rice mixture to a blender. Add tofu, oil and turmeric; process until smooth. Whisk the tofu mixture, lemon juice, dill and pepper into the soup remaining in the pan. Heat through.
Gingered Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
Directions: Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft. Add broth plus two cups of water, then add sweet potato, carrot and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Add soup contents into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth (use care with hot liquids in a blender to avoid being burned). Add salt and pepper to your liking.
If the task of cooking these soups seems daunting, purchase a crock pot and let it do the work for you. You can refrigerate these soups for a maximum of three days, after which you may freeze them and use as desired. If you are feeling like you need more time to cleanse, by all means turn this into a 14- or 21-day cleanse.