The potent symbolism of a new year escapes very few of us. Resolutions get made. Goals are set. I’m sure the words “get healthy” are said more on January 1st over any other day of the year.
Around this time, a lot of us may be considering a dietary cleanse of sorts — you know, to kinda to kick our new, better, and noticeably more awesome selves into high gear. A cleanse is essentially eliminating accrued toxins from the body and/or allowing the digestive system to “rest” by means of a full throttle consumption of detoxifying herbs, juices, elixirs or fancy concoctions . . . and not eating much else. Many times cleanses don’t even allow solid food.
A small cleanse (say, a few days long) can certainly have its place in a natural lifestyle. But rather than such a regimented approach, I prefer utilizing a style of cleansing I call “organic cleansing.” Instead of taking the extreme measures of a fast, simply eating really good-for-you food on a daily basis (essentially “cleansing” daily) allows your body to stay “clean” at its own natural and organic rate. Really good-for-you foods include whole, plant-based foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Also, eating more “raw” foods – foods that haven’t had many of their vitamins and enzymes destroyed by cooking and heat — is among the easiest and healthiest ways to cleanse (or stay cleansed!) at an organic pace. Basically: eating natural food keeps you clean & energized. It’s that simple.
Eating this way is fun, as you can genuinely feel good about each and every positive choice made. It feels like you giving to you, with, I imagine, the inner conversation going something like this:
Outer You: Hey, here, I made this smoothie for you.
Inner You: Oh, hey, thanks.
Outer You: Yeah, no worries.
Inner You: Wow this is GOOD! Yum yum yum yum.
Outer You: I know, I had some.
Inner You: Here, I have something for you too: it’s called “a lot of energy.”
Outer You: Nice – I like a lot of energy.
Inner You: Do you think you could make me a salad later?
Outer You: Sure, but we’re going for a long hike first.
Inner You: You’re the greatest.
Outer You: You are.
Inner You: No you.
Outer You: YOU.
Here’s 5 foods to incorporate right away to get your great tasting, group-hugging, “organic cleanse” on:
Juice – You don’t have to go on a juice fast to get the benefits! Make sure it’s fresh and not from concentrate. No juicer at home and no juice bar around? Even a handheld citrus squeezer to make some fresh-squeezed orange juice will make the difference – and what a heavenly difference at that!
Herbal Tea – Herbs are amazingly powerful (!) and steeping them in tea is an excellent way to take advantage of their benefits while staying warm inside at the same time. Right now I’m big into nettle tea and peppermint tea.
Smoothies – The no brainer approach to a better meal. Fill up a blender with fruit, a plant-based milk or water, and your favorite superfoods for a flavorlicious meal. I think if everyone substituted their breakfast for a smoothie each day, the world would be a better place.
Leafy Greens – Eat them. Have a salad, juice them, stick a couple in your smoothie, serve them as a steamed side; just eat them. Your body loves them, and the more you can incorporate them into your diet, the better and cleaner you will feel. Sea vegetables are excellent detoxifiers as well.
Kombucha – This 2000 year-old elixir is ideal for daily organic cleansing. Kombucha is not only a delicious bubbly beverage, but one that contains copious amounts of enzymes, micronutrients, and also contains lactic acid – a dietary component which increases oxygen in the blood.
And of course, here are more recipes for a natural diet.