With the onset of spring comes warmer weather, sunnier skies and a yearning to bring that open airy feeling inside. Not just inside our homes but in our bodies as well. We spring clean our homes, so why not spring clean our bodies? Lisa offers an easy plan…
Detoxing is so trendy right now. It seems that everyone’s doing some type of “detox” or fad diet. Yet, if we simply move our bodies and eat healthily and moderately, the rest will take care of itself. Easier said than done; I know. So sometimes a little jump-start in the form of a short cleanse can be very helpful to tune up your engine. Let go of the heaviness of winter and get your body and your mind feeling like spring, light and energetic!
Personally, I HATE detoxes, mostly, because I just can’t stand being told what to do. But surely one can do most anything for a few days, especially if it’s simple, attainable, and makes you feel great! I recommend a five-day cleanse, but if you can’t manage five days, try three. You’ll find there is nothing magical about this cleanse. In fact it’s not really a cleanse at all, it’s simply a five-day meal plan that focuses on real, whole foods and eliminates sugar and processed foods. Pick five days when you most likely will be able to stick with the plan. For some of you that might mean during the week and for others it might be easier over a weekend when you can stay home and be more in control of your diet and have some quiet time. During your cleanse it’s helpful to eat your meals at home or pack a lunch to take with you to work. It’s difficult to control what you’re getting when you eat out or order take-away.
Foods to enjoy:
- Fresh fruits in moderation – even natural sugars are processed by your body as sugar
- Veggies – a colorful variety, the more the better, especially leafy greens. Avoid white potatoes and other starchy veggies. Sweet potatoes are okay.
- Kitchari – a porridge made of rice, mung beans and spices. It’s a traditional Ayurvedic dish often used for cleansing because it’s easy to digest. Of course it can be enjoyed anytime, not just when cleansing. (See my recipe.)
- Juices – fresh only and preferably veggie. A mix of fruit and veg is okay but all juices must be freshly made from a juicer or blender. “Fresh” juice out of a jug is not fresh.
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Herbal tea
- Seasonings: fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, thyme, etc.) lemon or lime, good quality (expeller/cold pressed) extra virgin olive oil or other healthy oils such as avocado oil, coconut oil or flaxseed oil.
Foods to avoid:
- Coffee and black tea
- Dairy, cheese and eggs
- Meat and fish
- Sugar, white or brown
- Pasta of any kind
- Bread, muffins and baked goods
- Processed or fried foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Soy products or meat analogs such as tofu and tempeh
- Foods containing any of the above
Here’s a sample of a daily menu:
AM: Start each morning with a cup of lemon ginger tea by adding hot water to a generous squeeze of lemon and some fresh ginger slices. Add a sprinkle of turmeric if you like. (Turmeric is nature’s anti-flammatory, and is very cleansing.) This will help stimulate your digestion and reduce acidity in your system.
Breakfast: Fresh veggie juice (see guidelines above), fresh almond milk (see my recipe) or fresh fruit.
Mid-morning snack: Cup of herbal tea, some raw nuts or seeds, a piece of fruit, or a veggie juice.
Lunch: Salad made from a variety of greens, raw or cooked veggies, avocado, raw nuts, seeds, dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil; or kitchari.
Afternoon snack: A handful of raw nuts or seeds, veggie juice, fresh fruit, or half an avocado sprinkled with lemon or lime juice – eat it with a spoon!
Dinner: A bowl of kitchari or a veggie plate made of a combination of steamed or lightly sautéed veggies, or a baked sweet potato.
PM: A cup of herbal tea, a warm bath or a walk. Early to bed, and you’ll sleep like a baby.
Find more healthy recipes at my food blog: Veg with Lisa.