As the New Year arrived, I was strongly aware of a heaviness in my body. Feeling stiffer than usual, symptoms that are usually occasional, small annoyances were talking to me more loudly. “Time to cleanse!” I told myself. So, I decided to go ahead and do that even though I prefer to do it in the spring. I just couldn’t wait to get started.
My first step was to focus on a lovely 7 Day Cleansing Feast that I got from the beloved Dr. Bill Kneebone, who passed away last year. I started the day with a cup of hot lemon water with cayenne 15 minutes before breaking my fast. Then breakfast, a full 8oz. of freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice. Topped off with a 1/2 lb. of fresh fruit – apples, pears, persimmons and 5 Tbsps. of cottage cheese.
Freely snacking on fresh fruits and veggies throughout the morning whenever I felt hungry. My biggest challenge was getting enough water in. The requirement is 12 large glasses a day. It’s more than it seems and in the first few days, I felt like I would wash away to sea. Make sure you actually drink this much or the toxins that are released during the cleanse will not get flushed out of your system properly!
Lunch was a lovely big salad with a mix of at least four fresh veggies – lettuce, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, anything seasonally fresh! Sprinkled with lemon or lime juice, olive oil and salt. This is so tasty, you won’t believe it. Alongside the salad goes a full 2 cups of freshly made vegetable broth.
Veggie Broth recipe: Please use organic vegetables, it’s very important!
1 bunch celery 5 large carrots
1/2 bunch parsley 1 bunch spinach
Cut the washed vegetables and place in a large soup pot with about 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit until cool. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon. This photo shows onions as well which are not part of this cleanse.
Dinner consisted of 2 more cups of the delicious broth and a large plate of steamed vegetables topped with a small pat of butter. It’s important to avoid potatoes, jerusalem artichokes, legumes and meats on this cleanse. All other vegetables are fine. I especially enjoyed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, carrots, kale, chard and beets. It’s enough variety to stay enjoyable.
I must admit it was challenging for me to do in January. We were having an unusual cold spell that week and I found that I couldn’t stay warm as easily while on the cleanse. I only did it for 4 days instead of the usual 7. And I had to have a few handfuls of nuts each day, which is not usually allowed.
In my eagerness, I made the mistake of jumping right in. It’s best to change your diet gradually over a week or so to prepare for the full cleanse. Start by removing meats, grains and processed foods and sugars from your diet.Choose what to let go of first. Then each day remove something else. This will help you avoid the problems I had. Even so, it was worthwhile.
By the end of the first day, I was already feeling a difference in my stiffness. A few days later, my massage therapist said I was more mobile than usual. My muscles felt softer to her touch. After two days, I was truly enjoying the simple foods immensely and not having any cravings.
Here’s a lovely recipe I found in Sunset magazine for a tasty way to get your kale greens! I prefer cooked kale, so I steamed the kale first until wilted. It was so good I made it again and doubled the recipe. Yummy!
Festive Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts
1/2 cup organic walnut halves or pieces
1 large bunch organic lacinto or dinosaur kale
1 organic orange
1/4 c. organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsps. orange juice (squeezed from half the orange)
1 1/2 Tbsps. lemon juice
unrefined sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. organic dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet, and toast in oven 10 minutes, or until fragrant and crisp.
2. Wash kale, and pat dry. Remove center ribs, slice leaves into thins strips and place in large salad bowl.
3. Zest orange, and reserve fruit. Place orange zest, olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a cup or small jar, and mix.
4. Add cranberries and toasted walnuts to salad. Add dressing, and toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand on countertop at least 1 hour.
5. Peel rind from remaining orange and chop fruit into small pieces. Add to salad, and serve.
I’m continuing to eat lightly and have decided to slowly add back some grains and meats to my diet. I’m starting with fish and a little chicken or turkey. Baking my own gluten-free foods will also help to keep the process gradual.Check out my next post for some yummy gluten-free stuff I’m experimenting with.