I love warming winter foods, but by the time spring rolls around I have had about as much beef stew as I can take. My body is telling me it is ready for a change of pace, ready to cleanse.
The words detox and cleanse are thrown around in infomercials and magazines and just about everyone is selling the product that will work wonders. But who wants to spend extra money on some products that may or may not work?
Besides, I am all about healing with real foods. You really needn’t look much further than the farmer’s market and your own kitchen to do a little spring cleansing of your own.
Give Your Body a Break
Photo by winemegup
Our bodies store up as much as they can in the winter, trying to keep us warm. By spring our liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract are ready to let go of all that they have held on to, including toxins. The best thing you can do is give them a break.
Cut Out Taxing Foods
- Sugar. Even unrefined sweeteners like maple syrup and honey are best avoided for a short period of time. Miss soda? Try making water kefir or kombucha instead (see sources).
- Caffeine. Notoriously hard on the adrenal glands, giving us a false sense of energy when our bodies need rest. Try some green tea instead, which is helpful in cleansing.
- Dairy. A common allergen, specifically in the homogenized and pasteurized form. Try cutting out all dairy for a while and then reintroduce it in it’s less allergenic forms: cultured, full fat, and raw. Easy substitutes are coconut milk and ghee (clarified butter).
- Gluten. Wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and non-GF oats all contain this problematic protein.
- Grains, Beans, Nuts, and Seeds. These are fairly heavy and difficult to digest due to anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors.
- Animal Flesh. Good meat is actually really nutrient dense, but even us avid omnivores can feel the need to cut back on the heavy meats. Try pastured eggs instead. And when you do eat meat avoid the hormones, antibiotics and unnatural fats of conventional products by opting for grass-fed alternatives.
Feed Your Body Only What It Needs
Photo by jenmaiser
You may look at the above list and wonder “what can I eat?” First off, realize that this is only for a short period of time: 4-10 days.
Try the following easy-to-digest foods:
- Probiotic Foods. Our gut health is crucial to our overall health. Add lacto-fermented vegetables to salads. For added insurance consider taking a good quality probiotic.
- Spring Greens. Dandelion leaves and roots, nettles, spinach. These all contain cleansing properties and can even be foraged from your own backyard. Eat them cooked and in abundance.
- Spring Vegetables. Think asparagus, peas, radishes, spring onions, chives, garlic scapes, and lettuce.
- Homemade Bone Broths. This is one of the most nourishing foods for your body. Rich with minerals like calcium, homemade bone broths provide healing for your digestive tract, and there is no store-bought substitute. I keep it simple by making it in the slow cooker. Use this as the base for lots of blended vegetable soups.
- Coconut Milk/Oil. Use in smoothies, soups, and beverages for added energy, necessary fats, and delicious flavor.
- Wild Seafood. One of the most nutrient dense foods available, add just a little bit to your cleansing greens.
- Low-Sugar Fruits. Berries, grapefruits, lemons, and green apples all fall under this category.
After the first four days, assess how you feel. If your body is telling you that you need more fat or protein, then add them in. Leave the taxing foods out of your system and you could be eating clean all year!
If you’re detoxing then you may not have a ton of energy to cook. No problem! Soups and salads are easy and light. Just be sure to add some fat and a little protein to whatever it is you’re eating.
For a treat try a dairy-free, sugar-free smoothie.
Photo by floridecires
|Coconut Milk-Raspberry Smoothie||
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cup frozen organic raspberries or other berries
- 3 ice cubes
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks from pastured chickens (optional)
- 12-15 drops liquid stevia, or to taste.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Other Cleansing Recipes
- Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
- Southwestern Egg Scramble (omit cheese)
- Asparagus Egg Drop Soup
- Carrot and Celery Root Soup
- Simple Roasted Asparagus
Are you feeling ready to spring clean from the inside out?