Monday, January 9, 2012

Healing With a Cleansing Diet

Gentle Cleansing Diet

Just about everyone can benefit from a cleansing diet on occasion. We eat on the run, consume fast foods, and are exposed to chemicals in our air and water. These stresses add up to create toxins in the body.

A gentle detox is helpful to clean our organs and restore energy. So what's on the menu?

Choose plenty of vegetables, greens, some fruits, sprouts, and whole grains like quinoa, rice and millet, and some warming soups.

It's best to avoid meats, eggs, dairy, and sugar, pastries, breads and processed foods. If you usually enjoy coffee, try switching to green tea.

You may wish to try a green drink from a health food grocery, such as barley greens, alfalfa, or wheat grass. Or you may like the whole foods supplements chlorella or spirulina. Look for drinks and supplements without added sugar or fructose.

If you have a juicer, you may like to make your own veggie drinks. Carrots are sweet and a good base for a veggie drink. Then add in spinach, celery, ginger, and other greens or fruits. Your drink can be yummy.

As you eat lighter, your body starts releasing toxins and you may feel badly for a day or up to a week. Drinking pure water with a touch of apple cider vinegar or lemon may help you feel better. The lemon or vinegar helps the liver gently release stagnation.

If raw foods leave you feeling cold and weak, try some soup. Ayurvedic healing and Chinese medicine both recommend a soupy grain, called kichari or congee, for cleansing and balancing.

To make congee, cook ½ cup of whole grain like rice or millet, in 3 to 4 cups of water. Add in a few veggies and perhaps a small amount of beans. Mung beans and aduki beans are the easiest beans to digest. Add in ginger and cinnamon to help digestion. Cook for 4-6 hours over low heat. A crock pot works well for this. This soup is simple to digest and warming.

How long should you cleanse? Listen to your body. You may choose to eat lightly for one day a week as part of your regular routine, or you may choose to continue for one or two weeks, or longer.

When you are ready to eat the "regular" foods again, try to eat simply. Eat lots of produce, a few whole grains, and choose pure meats, fish, eggs and dairy if you need them. Choose whole foods of the best quality. This diet may bring you new insights and body awareness. You may have a transformation in your health.

Ann Slezewick is a healing chef. She believes in creating vibrant health with fresh, organic foods, and supporting sustainable farming and gardening for the health of our beautiful planet. Visit her website for tips and recipes at

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