Every year during the early spring and fall I like to spend a few days cleansing in preparation for the impending seasonal change. I love the clarity cleansing brings and enjoy shaking up my routine. Plus, a cleanse will help break any habits that have snuck into your diet.
I’ve tried all sorts of cleanses and fasts from all raw blended drinks, alkalizing broth fasts, and gall bladder flushes to liver cleanses and brown rice fasts. Some have left me feeling great, others cold and weak. Since the weather is cooler, I wanted something that would be cleansing but keep me warm. I asked my nutritionist and friend Paul Pitchford for some suggestions. He recommended steamed greens and vegetables, raw sauerkraut and broths with turmeric and seaweeds. I made this broth based on the alkaline broth that I make for a spring cleanse featured here and added burdock (for its strengthening and purifying properties) along with ginger, shitake and winter squash, it tasted rich, sweet and soothing.
No one cleanse is good for everyone and I am posting this as I feel it’s not to harsh or difficult to fit into a busy schedule and can be adapted to suit your needs. It will work for people who get cold easily as the broths and vegetables are eaten warm. If you are someone who feels hot often then a salad can replace some of the steamed vegetables.
Before starting any type of cleanse it’s best to stop drinking caffeine, transition to green tea first. Eliminate any concentrated sweeteners or refined grains and flour products. This cleanse can be done for 3 to 5 days. I think it’s good to give yourself a week, so you can prepare for a day or two and then ease back into regular meals again afterwards.
Stock up on herbal teas to drink throughout the day, I like the ginger tea by Yogi Tea and fennel tea or an herbal detox blend.
I also take a powdered green drink called Green Magma, made from organic dried barley grass, delicious and slightly sweet.
Start each day with a lemon drink to help cleanse the liver. The drink has whole leaf stevia, which sparks rejuvenation in the liver and cayenne to enhance blood circulation and help stimulate detoxification.
This is how your days look.
Lemon water, recipe below
Cleansing broth, recipe below
Steamed vegetables; eg.kale, spinach and winter squash drizzled with a little flax oil and tamari. 1/4 cup raw sauerkraut
Fresh juice or Green Magma
Steamed vegetables; eg. collard greens, chard and turnips drizzled with a little flax oil and tamari. 1/4 cup raw kimchi or sauerkraut.
Incorporate at least half an hour of exercise into your day, like gentle yoga and/or walking.
juice of half a lemon
8 drops of whole leaf stevia, I use “Sweet Leaf”
pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup water, cool or warm.
Mix and drink on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
1 large burdock root, about a foot long
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cups diced winter squash, seeds and skin too
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
1 1/2 inches ginger, sliced
1/2 bunch parsley, leaves and stems chopped
3 dried shitake mushrooms
4 inch strip kombu seaweed
large pinch arame or wakame seaweed
1 tsp turmeric
filtered water, about 8 cups
Put all ingredients in a large pot, vegetables should be covered with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours or until all the vegetables are very soft. Strain and drink warm. Store in jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Makes about 7 cups. I made it twice on a five-day cleanse.
Click here for printable recipe and information on cleanse
There are lots of nice things you can do to enhance your cleansing experience some suggestions are;
Dry skin brushing, I recommend this the most and a great thing to do everyday.
Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath or any purifying and soothing herbal bath you like.
Dr. Hauschka clay mask or other natural mask you like.