Its been a full summer and as many of you know I am deepening my practice of Ayurveda. Drinking liquids that nourish me instead of deplete me has been key in keeping me hydrated and helping to purify, stimulate digestion, help elimination, reduce gas and bloating, provide antioxidant protection, clear wastes and toxins from the body and helping me to feel nourished. I have been infusing herbs into water and adding the water to my drinking water throughout the day.
The overall purpose of this water is to keep it simple, nourish the liver and kidneys to help them function and clear out excess ama (waste material/toxins). This recipe must be made fresh each day. Use only whole seeds or tea-cut size pieces of ingredients. Use only organic, food grade flowers and petals, without stems or leaves.
Basic Wise Water Recipe:
- 1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 quart of blessed water
- steep for 15 minutes
- add to water or drink straight up throughout the day either hot or warm to room temperature.
Why are these spices so important? They deliver hormone balancing effects at the same time that it gently clears out cellular wastes that may otherwise block the action of the hormone on the tiffs.
Coriander Seeds have a cooling effect and enhances urine flow and the removal of toxins from the blood, liver and kidneys. Overall it balances all three doshas (the three energies that define every person’s makeup) but especially pitta (fire and a little bit of water).
Cumin Seeds are cooling overall but this miraculous spice is a key digestive aid in many recipes and is especially helpful in moving gas and clearing out bloating. Cumin has specific detoxifying effect on the whole body. It helps to reduce inflammation. It also purifies both the blood and the uterus and enhances the reproductive essence.
Fennel Seeds are a premier digestive aid and are especially helpful in moving gas downward and out of the intestines. It helps reduce spasms. Balancing for both vata (air & ether) and pitta. It is also mildly phytoestrogens and balancing for the reproductive system of women.
You can also add other nourishing herbs and spices! I have been adding brahmi, it is known to rejuvenate the mind, enhance memory, improve concentration, and to directly influence the quality of consciousness. Alma is used to support normal ranges of blood sugar, build blood and support liver function. Cardamom aids in digestion and fat metabolism without creating excess heat in the body, and it tastes delicious! Rose petals can benefit your body in a number of ways, not only are they great for the skin but they can also help you relax and even relieve digestive issues.
Making this everyday has given my water a little flavor and the health benefits are numerous! Start making your own today!
Its amazing how good I feel after a juice cleanse! Three days in and I can feel the subtle changes happening. I start to experience higher energy, great sleep, glowing skin, no more sugar cravings…the list goes on….. Five days into a juice cleanse and I feel absolutely amazing! Juice Cleanses and fasts are of course are nothing new. Cleanses and fasts have been around for thousands of years. I love reading new research that backs why juice cleansing is so powerful and important. Especially with today’s environmental stressors.
Studies are showing that juice cleansing is a powerful and effective way to keep the body’s systems in check. Recently, I stumbled across UCLA an article on the health benefits of a three-day juice cleanse. Their research illustrated that juice cleanses increase beneficial gut bacteria, promote weight loss and improve general well-being. How amazing is that?
UCLA found that a three-day juice cleanse reduced body weight and decreased lipid per-oxidation, while increasing nitric oxide, both of which are associated with heart health.
Here is a breakdown of how a juice cleanse can benefit your health:
Give your Digestive System a Rest
Bloated? Irritated bowels? Sensitive stomach? A juice cleanse can help reset your gut. When you drink only cold pressed, raw fruit and vegetable juice, you’re greatly reducing the amount of input and stress that your gut experiences. This gives your body the time to heal and recharge, while also taking in essential vitamins and phytonutrients. Adding prebiotics and probiotics to your cleanse will help you get back to feeling how you want to.
Studies have shown that juice cleanses followed by a plant based diet can greatly reduce inflammation in your body. Everyday I hear of people suffering of chronic inflammation; from the air we breathe, from meat, dairy, alcohol and the processed foods that we eat, to the products that we use. Your body responds to all of these toxins creating an inflammatory response. When you clean things up and cut out those outside toxins, while at the same time adding the beneficial nutrients readily available in cold pressed juice, you’re allowing your body optimal toxin removal and cell repair. Eating a plant based diet can greatly reduce allergies, arthritis, IBS and even cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
Within the first two days you’ll start to feel a wave of difference in your energy. Juice cleansing floods your body with nutrients in their natural state creating a lasting, clean energy; not the ups and downs and crashes we can get from coffee and sugar. With cold pressed juice, the enzymes and nutrients are liberated from fibre allowing them to be quickly assimilated into your body. Give it 15-20 minutes and you should be feeling a nice boost after each juice.
Healthy Weight Loss
Juice cleanses can be a gateway to a more balance diet. A kickstart to your healthy habits. When you remove harmful, toxic, and processed foods, saturated fats and empty refined carbs, and replace these foods with vegetable and fruit juices and plant based foods you’ll naturally lose weight.
So many people I meet are chronically dehydrated. Drinking adequate fluids like water and low sugar, cold pressed juice helps the body function more efficiently, improves energy, and helps remove toxins more effectively. Drinking water throughout the day, even while on your juice cleanse helps keep everything moving. I always recommend people drink half their body weight in ounces of water. Hydration also makes your skin glow. Regular hydration, helps remove toxins while juicing helps bring your cells healing nutrients that can transform how you feel and look. Start glowing by adding enough water to your regular routine!
More details on the UCLA study.
For details on the next group juice here.
Cheers to better health!
If you have ever spent any time with me, you would know that I am a huge fan of a simple solution called Sole (pronounced Solay) Water. This magical water is made with Himalayan salt, it contains 84 of your body’s 92 essential minerals we need everyday to stay in balance. In order for your body to fully benefit from these minerals we take in from our food, the molecules must be very small. To make the minerals easier for our body to absorb we can make a solution of Sole Water.
Many experts tell us that our soils are depleted of essential minerals. All diseases of humanity can be attributed to the lack of minerals in our bodies. This slow degeneration of society and of humanity is directly related to the lack of minerals in our food.
“YOU CAN TRACE EVERY SICKNESS, EVERY DISEASE, AND EVERY AILMENT TO A MINERAL DEFICIENCY.” – DR. LINUS PAULING, TWO-TIME NOBEL PRIZE WINNER
Regeneration is what we really need to thrive. Sole and juice together really create an amazing foundation for health and wellness!
Because Sole Water keeps us highly mineralized everything in our body works better, our cells communicate to each other more efficiently. Himalayan mineral salt is a superconductor of ions that charge our body.
“In a nine-week study undertaken in 2003 at the Inter-University of Graz, Austria examined the effects of Himalayan Crystal Salt on physical and psychological functions of the body. It is the only salt ever to have been the subject of comprehensive double-blind scientific research. The results of the study, presented in the book, Water & Salt – The Essence of Life by Dr. Barbara Hendel, M.D. and biophysicist Peter Ferreira, confirmed significant positive changes in respiratory, circulatory, organ, connective tissue and nervous system functions. Patients also reported increases in quality of sleep, energy and concentration levels, brain activity, weight loss, enhanced consciousness, and noticeable hair and nail growth.”
Sole is a great way to start your day! One teaspoon in the morning on an empty stomach mixed in a glass of good quality artesian or spring water. Within minutes of taking this the whole stomach and intestines are being stimulated and absorbing the minerals. This in turn encourages healthy digestion and metabolism to get your day started off right!
How to prepare a Sole Solution:
Place enough Himalayan salt at the bottom of a mason jar or other glass container to cover the bottom inch of the jar. Make sure your jar has a lid so contaminants cannot get into your solution. After about 24 hours, look to see if the salt crystals have completely dissolved. If so, add a few more crystals. When the water can no longer dissolve any more salt the crystals will settle at the bottom of the jar without dissolving. At this point the solution becomes 26%, which is stable and ready for consumption. The isotopic parts in the upper part of the glass tend to be more bio-friendly and alkaline. In contrast, the enriched Sole in the lower part of the glass contains isotopes, which are less bio-friendly and tend to be more acidic. Therefore it is best if we only use the Sole at the top. This solution never expires or goes bad, so you can keep adding water and Himalayan salt to the solution as it starts to get lower in the jar.
Drink 1 teaspoon everyday in warm water. Do not use a metal teaspoon, use bamboo, wood or plastic. The metal interferes with the minerals amazing benefits. If its hot our or you are sweating excessively, you can certainly take more to restore you electrolyte balance.
Notice the effects in your everyday life:
- Consuming Sole helps the body re-hydrate.
- The minerals in Sole make it useful in the natural detoxification that the body already does. Sole is naturally anti-bacterial and can help remove bad bacteria in the body.
- The minerals and stored energy in Sole help boost energy throughout the day.
- Sole stimulates the digestive system promoting food absorption and regularity naturally.
- Some people note improvements in blood sugar levels after using Sole.
- Sole can work as a powerful natural anti-histamine. This action is likely due to its balancing effects on the body, and I have noticed this personally.
- There is a theory that a potential cause of Osteoporosis and other bone disorders is the body utilizing calcium and other minerals from the bones for survival and to neutralize acidity in the blood. Sole is naturally full of minerals and alkalizing, so there is speculation that it is helpful with bone health as well.
- By supporting the correct mineral balance in the body and blood, Sole can help reduce or avoid vein problems like varicose veins.
- Contrary to what we often hear, many people notice a reduction in blood pressure from using Sole.
- By improving digestion and nourishing the body on a cellular level, Sole can help promote weight loss.
- Sole’s high mineral content makes it great for healthy skin (and acne problems), and for hair and nail growth.
Activate your self healing powers with a sole bath! Its amazing! As you float in this sheer ocean of energy, your body and soul become harmonized, you senses are soothed and your muscles relax. Bioenergetic deficits are rebalanced and weak links become strengthened, reactivating our body’s electric current. The organs functions begin to resonate with the natural frequency patterns of sole solution. This activates the natural regulatory mechanism of the body and its self healing powers, begin releasing toxins, allowing your skin to now absorb the vital minerals, reducing acidity in your body and balancing your skin’s pH. You skin becomes hydrated, you are strengthened and energy is renewed.
Studies have shown that you can achieve the best results taking a sole bath during the change of the moon cycle. The minerals and energies stored in the sole can optimally be absorbed during a full moon. The body’s healing potential is at its peak, bioenergetically weak points are harmonized, and the body’s own energy flow is activated. During a new moon, the cleansing effects are optimized because the body’s capacity for detoxifying is at an optimum. The concentration of the sole bath can slowly be increased from 1% to 8%. The higher the concentration, the stronger the cleansing effect, and the more severe the body’s reaction. It has been my experience that some people have to work up to the thirty minute bath as well.
The cleansing effects of a 30-minute bath are equal to three days of fasting. This is because it increases the body’s circulation and because our skin is our biggest eliminative organ the toxins are released into the bath water through osmosis, while the minerals from the sole are absorbed through the skin. You will feel amazing after this bath, let the minerals really soak in and DO NOT dry off after!
How to Prepare a Sole Bath ~ your own personal ocean in the tub:
You can find numerous bath salts on the shelves of many stores. Most of these have been chemically treated and therefore have lost their natural qualities. Ideally, for a salt bath treatment, try to find natural, untreated crystalized salt. Add 1-2 pound of salt to your bath tub and just enough water to cover it. After about 10 minutes the salt will dissolve and now you can fill your bathtub. Do not add any other bath products or essential oils.
The bath water should have. temperature of 98.6 degrees. This is important so that the body does not have to sacrifice its own energy to balance out the temperature. The bath water will remain at this temperature almost continuously. This is because the biophysical structure of the sole solution is so strong, it causes the molecules to move in constant rhythm. Sole baths have a positive effect on many ailments. They are, however, demanding on the circulatory system. Be aware of this if you suffer from weak or poor heart circulation, a foot bath may be more appropriate for you.
Blessings to you and your health!
The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light. ~S. Ajna
This soup is nourishing and detoxifying, and when eaten regularly can help replenish nutrient deficiencies, boost immunity and restore vitality. Its delicious and you can use different greens to vary the nutrients and the taste!
1 Tablespoon Ghee or Olive Oil
2 Cups Blessed water or Tea (Astragalus, Pau d’Arco, Echinacea, Nettle, Chamomile)
1 teaspoon Masala
1 teaspoon Pink Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1/8 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1 Cup Crumbled Fresh Soft Cheese (dairy or non-dairy) ~or~ you could use 1/2 cup soaked Cashews or 1/2 cup cooked lentils instead
1 Pound Leafy Greens such as Chard, Beet Greens, Collards, Spinach, Arugula, Kale &/or Sprouts.
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley or Cilantro
Garnish with Fresh Lime Juice
In a medium saucepan add oil and spices, simmer and add 2 cups blessed water or tea and cheese. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. While cheese is cooking, prepare your greens: wash, stem and tear them so they blend well ~ this should yield about 8 packed cups or so. Gradually add the greens and parsley, turning them over until they wilt but still remain their vibrant color (about 3-5 minutes). Turn off heat and leave soup uncovered to cool down a bit before transferring to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Reheat to desired warmth.
Garnish with lime and serve hot.
*Adapted from the book What To Eat For How You Feel by Divya Alter
Enjoy! Many Blessings!
Thought of the moment:
Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is the capacity to change ourselves. ~Eknath Easwaran
Cleansing has to be experienced to be believed. Its amazing how either a mono diet of kitchari or a juice fast can help with energy, weight loss, detoxification, better sleep, prevent disease and actually create more connection in our lives. When you feel great, you naturally strengthen your own sense of inner peace and openness, this in turn will deepen the intimacy and connection within.
1. You get rid of omnipresent toxins
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the truth is that you are constantly surrounded by toxins and pollutants. There is pollution in the air that we breathe, in the products we use to clean our homes and bodies, in the food that we consume, and even in our homes. You can definitely work on reducing your exposure to toxins but you can not really escape them (even your own body produces metabolic toxins). Hence why a seasonal detox/ cleanse is an excellent way to help your body get rid of some of these absorbed toxins.
2. You give your digestive system a much-needed break
Most cleanses and detoxes are based on avoiding junk foods and allergens. This helps balance blood sugar, reduce cravings and you also feel the benefits in your digestive tract. Problems such as gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, and irritation can all be reduced (if not completely eliminated) via a cleanse. Indeed, during a detox, there is less of a burden on your digestive system and you allow your body to get busy with other important biochemical processes, such as detoxification and rejuvenation.
3. You get more energy & a better sleep
Nutrition and most particularly the kinds of foods that you choose to eat will greatly influence your energy levels throughout the day and sleep at night. The heavier you eat and the more sugary foods you consume, the more likely you are to experience severe mid-afternoon crashes and/or poor sleep. That’s because these kinds of foods are very taxing on your digestive system and require a lot of “work” to be processed by your body.
Removing sugar-loaded foods and most common food allergens (i.e. gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar) from your diet for a period of time can go a long way in terms of giving you more energy and definitely better sleep. Test it out.
4. You experience a new sense of clarity
For many people, food and emotions go hand in hand. We eat when we want to celebrate, when we are depressed, bored, scared, … Emotional eating is a real issue and one great way to break through it is to try a cleanse. Through the removal of your favourite “comfort” foods, you learn to make healthier eating choices and you find new ways to cope with your emotions (e.g. daily movement, a new hobby, or socializing).
Moreover, the kinds of foods that we crave when we are emotional (sugary, salty, and usually fatty too) are known to make our minds foggy and unclear. Once you go through a cleanse, you start to see things in a different light – the fog lifts up and you get a new sense of clarity. How refreshing is that?!
5. You access a new level of creativity
When you go through a cleanse, you are forced out of your comfort zone. It can be annoying and uncomfortable at first but then when you push through, you reach a new level of creativity. You start thinking of different ways to prepare your foods. And you inevitably try new recipes – better yet you may even create your own! Creativity will not just stop in the kitchen, it will also expand to other areas of your life. Again, give it a try and see for yourself.
I strongly suggest you cleanse at least twice this year. It could be a 7 day juice cleanse, a 5 day kitchari cleanse, a week without dairy & gluten, or even something as simple as 21 days without sugar. There are many combinations out there. Once you have done your research and have been advised by a health care practitioner or nutritionist, I am positive that you, too, will be convinced that doing a cleanse is good for you.
The other day I was asked about weight loss, I really didn’t know what to say. Honest. Society has positioned many people to believe that we can just magically lose weight by taking a pill or doing the right exercise routine rather than living a lifestyle of loving your body and eating and living well. Living your life in a way that gently, and continuously, and most importantly, healthfully supports your body’s natural detoxification pathways is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. If your Body just contracted a little bit by the word detox I am not referring to restricting, starvation or hunger. In fact, I am talking about the opposite. I am talking about how you can invite simple little acts of love into your life that healthily supports your body’s natural detoxification process. Our bodies are constantly in detox mode. It’s just one of those amazing ingenious internal processes like digestion, metabolism, reproduction, respiration, etc., our bodies just do for us. We don’t even have to think about it. However, because of the constant influx of 21st century toxins, chemicals, and chronic stressors — think: processed foods, environmental pollution, depleted soil, negative self-deprecating thoughts, staring at the computer for 10 hours, late nights, job-stress, energy drinks, I could keep going… — our detoxification pathways are constantly working overdrive. Here are 9 ways you can nourish every cell in your being, and glow from the inside out, for daily detoxification and total body vibrancy.
- Water. Proper hydration is the foundation for a healthy body and detoxification. When the body needs more liquids to flush out toxins, and there are insufficient amounts in the reserves, it will draw water from the bones, muscles and the of course the brain. Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water everyday helps flush out unwanted toxins from your body, prevents constipation, fatigue, acne and skin issues. It’s best not to drink water while you eat as it dilutes your digestive enzymes. Drink water 30 minutes before a meal or 30 minutes after a meal. Give yourself a huge helping hand through a rough day and get on the good stuff: clean water.
- Move. They say exercise is good. Do it 3 to 4 Times a week. Also, more importantly, walk 20 minutes everyday. You wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth, don’t go a day with out walking for 20 minutes. It doesn’t have to be continuous it just has to be done. Your body, mind and soul will love it too.
- Eat a rainbow of colors. 8 out of 10 Americans are not getting the phytonutrients they need. Green fruits and vegetables in particular help detox the body and in particular, dark green leafy vegetables because they are simply more nutrient dense than any other food group. They purify the blood, boost the immune system, promote a strong nervous system to restore energy and vitality, support eye health, cleanse your skin, repair DNA, assist in liver detoxification (especially cilantro and dandelion), improve bowel function, reduce acid indigestion, prevent anemia, and act as digestive magic. Make sure to rotate between your greens, kale is not your only option, there is, purslane, watercress, spinach, arugula, micro greens, mustard greens, radicchio, escarole, and dandelion, I could go on………. Green juice or smoothie anyone?
- Unfiltered Raw apple cider vinegar stimulates circulation and aids in detoxification of the liver and lymph nodes. It also contains live probiotics which promote healthy microflora (bacteria) in the gut. When taken regularly, apple cider vinegar helps with gastrointestinal discomfort, indigestion, and can help clear up chronic acid reflux. ACV may also aid in weight loss by stabilizing the blood sugar for a longer period and helping to control appetite. You may also add nutrients to the ACV, I like to make a four thieves vinegar or you can make traditional Fire Cider! Take 1-2 Tablespoons of raw ACV before each meal as a shot or as a dressing on salads and stir fry’s with your dark leafy greens!
- Cultured or fermented foods are imperative for our gut health and for a healthy body, clear mind, and total high-vibe health. Cultured foods help us absorb our nutrients. Consuming cultured or fermented foods on a daily basis re-establishes a healthy inner ecosystem and dramatically improves digestion and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, and coconut or flax kefir are loaded with digestive enzymes and gut balancing probiotics! Pro- meaning for and biotic- meaning life.
- Lemon is a great alkalizer! Despite their acidic taste, lemons have an alkalizing effect on our internal pH levels making them ideal for cleansing and detoxification. Lemon juice also stimulates the release of bile and digestive enzymes, purifies the liver, hydrates the lymph, and is a natural diuretic. Notoriously high in Vitamin C, one of nature’s key water soluble antioxidants, lemons help neutralize free radicals and therefore protect our cells from damage. Warning: drinking warm water with lemon in the mornings (before or, in place of your am coffee) will change your life. Brush your teeth after! If lemon is not your thing, try Coral Legend by Premier Research Labs available in my shop!
- Detox teas and tinctures from amazing plants create insane alchemy on the body and promote detoxification. It’s the little pleasures. Look for teas and or tinctures with dandelion root, ginger root, licorice root, burdock, or rose petals as they gently nourish your detoxification organs. In addition to your water, drink throughout the day!
- Emotional detox. Emotional health is biochemically linked to our physical body. Meaning, what we think and feel has the power to change the biology of our cells. Thoughts and emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration, fear, anxiety, jealousy, low self esteem you hold within maybe an even greater cause of stress, an imbalance in the system and eventually chronic dis-ease. Where do the actual toxic thoughts go? Hopefully not projected on the lovely people we share our lives with. Good old pen and paper really get the job done. Bitch it out, whine it out, sulk it out and just go on and on about it until you just can’t think of anything else negative to say. Then burn those pages up. Why? Because fire represents the alchemy of transformation and, it feels good to let it burn! Setting a little (safe) fire to can be joyously symbolic of your desire to release these negative emotions into ashes. Literally, burn that shit up.
- Screen detox. Start and end your day free of screens for at least the first hour of your day and the last hour of your day. Turning off your screen the first hour of the day will help you to listen to your internal clock and respond better to your internal clock versus responding to outside stimuli. The light coming from the screen delays your body’s natural release of melatonin, which is responsible for telling your body it’s time to sleep. Turning off screens an hour before bed help you sleep better. Also, no screens while eating. Be present with yourself. Taste your food! Enjoy life’s little treasures!
Each day this week invite one of these daily detox ideas into your life. The more consistent you are the sooner you will be able to see and feel results! What’s your favorite way to detox?
The protein myth is real. Growing up I thought that eating animals was how to get enough protein in my diet for optimum health. There are now thousands of scientific studies and doctors that dispel they myth and confirm that plant based protein is abundant, powerful and nourishing.
“If you eat a variety of whole foods of plant origin (vegetables, legumes, 100 percent whole grains and fruits) and not refined food-like products, it is very unlikely that you could be deficient in protein intake, even if your needs are higher (after major surgery, for example). In other words, if you get enough whole plant foods everyday, you get enough protein. The more protein—especially animal protein—one eats, the higher the risk of different chronic diseases. For example, in a recent study of more than 6,000 people in the best nationally representative dietary survey in the United States, those between 50 and 65 years old who reported high protein intake had a 75 percent increase in dying from any cause, a four-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years, and a five-fold increase in death from diabetes. Those with moderate intake had increased cancer death risk three-fold when compared with the low protein intake group! It is important to note that these associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived. The composition of amino acids, building blocks of protein, derived from animals is different than from plant proteins. What we need are amino acids, not the proteins themselves. As for the amount of protein we eat, it is not practical or very accurate to measure that on a daily basis. 0.8 g/kg is generous. According to the World Health Organization, 0.5 g/kg is adequate for good health. Make sure you get enough calories from unprocessed whole foods of plant origin and you will get more than enough protein.” ~ Dr Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, Cleveland Clinic
That is a powerful statement! There are so many amazing benefits that come with eating plants, like lots of important fiber (97% of people are deficient in this key nutrient!), phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and water. In fact, 97% of American get more than enough protein every single day, so why is everyone so obsessed? Well, protein does play a vital role in thousands of biological processes like giving cell walls their structure, transporting and storing key nutrients, repair tissues (such as bones, skin, hair and muscles) as well as helping the body rid itself of toxins and waste.
Here is a link to a video that contains information from NutritionFacts.org
Where do you get your protein?
Here is a list I made up years ago for my clients:
Many of these foods you’re probably already familiar with, and the great news is, these foods are so much better for your body than animal sources. Plant-based sources of protein are abundant in whole foods. These foods contain incredible amounts of nutrient-dense properties that your body and brain can use to help you feel your best. They also don’t lead to inflammation like animal sources and they’re much better for the entire planet.
The beauty of food as medicine is that it can start as soon as your next meal!
Living with intention is powerful medicine, cleansing is one of those things that help us to be clear about those intentions. Weather this is cleansing with the changing of the seasons or aligning your daily rhythms with the cycles of the moon. Cleansing is a way to reconnect with your roots and the ancient wisdom of self healing through food, breath and conscious movement.
There are many reasons to cleanse. Here are a few:
1) Rest the stomach. For the tens of millions of people who are on acid-suppressing drugs — and for older folks who often don’t produce enough stomach acid — making the stomach work less to extract nutrients can be a huge benefit. Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.
2) Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods (including saturated fats, refined carbs, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications (such as antibiotics or antacids), and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. There can easily be an imbalance in the gut microbiome (flora and fauna balance) as well as actual breaks in the intestinal barrier (“leaky gut”) — allowing substances into our bodies that should not get a free pass. Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.
3) Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. Problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle — with many passing unchecked into the general circulation to wreak havoc in distant cells. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.
4) Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach — although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.
5) Ease food decision-making. Juicing focuses on consuming fresh whole food produce every few hours — and reduces the enslavement of thinking constantly about what the next meal is going to be. Not only do we feel sated, but realize we are no longer slaves to our addictions with (often very harmful) foods.
6) Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). In my experience, this can help define what foods are causing our body problems.
7) Floods our body with super nutrition. Being on an all-produce diet gives us not only the vitamins and minerals but the all-important phytonutrients that are powerhouses for the clean-up and healing process. Juices are by nature raw foods — and retain nutrients that would be destroyed by cooking, including some B vitamins and especially (digestive and anti-inflammatory) enzymes.
9) Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energizing and healing nutrients than it has seen before.
9) Improve energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol cessation symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than you ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.
10) Rehydrate the body. Drinking sufficient fluids – half your body weight in ounces of water – makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy (often successfully removing the afternoon blahs/brain fog), and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.
11) Reduce physical problems. You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating/cramping/gas. Too much of the time our body is fighting off the things we do to it (especially with food — but also with lack of sleep, inactivity and stress). Take a break, rest the body (and mind) and flood it with nutrients.
12) Allow maximum detoxification. To optimally support all phases of the body’s natural detox process, you need a very broad range of plant-supplied nutrients like anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. By providing the body with super-nutrient dense foods juicing allows the body to have more of the resources it needs to support the phases of detoxification, and even to begin to help remove the cumulative toxins stored in the body.
13) Heal our cells. Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning.
A foundation for self care and nourishment is what we feed our physical bodies. Since what we eat literally makes up the cells in our bodies it stands to reason that eating well makes up our entire experience of life. Our skin, nails, red blood cells, liver, bones, and heart all renew over different periods of time. Some processes take longer than others but isn’t this mind blowing? The human body is literally changing before our eyes and you can see why giving them healing foods is so important.
How do you nourish your body??
This is an amazing immune boosting, cold zapping tonic! A small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic for your immune system. You may also take a few more teaspoons for a hangover cure or if you feel a cold coming on. Original recipe by Rosemary Gladstar.
Fire Cider Recipe:
2 – 4 inch fresh horseradish roots
1 or more fresh chopped onions
12 cloves or more chopped garlic
4 inches more grated ginger root
1 Tablespoon powdered Tumeric (I couldn’t find any fresh in Montana at the time I made my tonic).
1/4 cup dried thyme
1 lemon sliced
2 small sliced oranges
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2-5 Chopped fresh or dried peppers, should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.
Optional ingredients: Echinacea, goldenseal, cinnamon, schizandra, lemon, orange, rosemary, peppercorns, elder berries, astragalus, oregano, ginseng, ginkgo, cat’s claw, reishi, rhodiola, tulsi, licorice, cordyceps, ashwagandha, chamomile, Japanese honeysuckle, bee balm, calendula, clove, etc…… whatever your body loves!
Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches. Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid.
Place jar in a warm place and let for three to four weeks. Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.
After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.
Add honey ‘to taste’. Warm the honey first so it mixes in well. “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet. “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”
Rebottle and enjoy! Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry. But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.
Many people take 1-2 tablespoons throughout the fall/winter months as a preventative measure, or every three to four hours if symptoms are present.
Here are some more ways to use it:
🔥As a “wellness shot” – I actually love the taste, so I put about 1 oz. in a shot glass to drink straight up
🔥As a tea – Breathe in the steam as you sip to relieve congestion
🔥In juice – For little ones, it’s best to serve a small amount mixed in freshly-pressed orange juice or lemonade 🍋
🔥 Use as a marinade or salad dressing
Fresh horseradish is known to be effective against the flu and common cold, tonsilitis, respiratory disorders, urinary tract infections, and pathenogenic fungus.
Ginger is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain, upset stomach (motion and morning sickness and general nausea), gas, upper respiratory tract infections, and cough.
Onions are used to boost cardiovascular health, bone and connective tissue benefits, and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Garlic is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis, asthma, building the immune system, help level blood sugar, and is used topically to treat fungal infections.
Hot peppers boost your metabolism, and offer headache, sinus, and arthritis relief as well as releasing endorphins.
Oranges are great for heart health, as part of a best-case-scenario-anti-cancer-diet, fighting cholesterol, to help in weight loss, and to break up or prevent kidney stones.
Lemons are known to aid in digestion, alleviate Meniere’s Disease, kidney stones, and ringing of the ears, cure scurvy (chronic lack of Vitamin C), treat colds and flu, improve the function of blood vessels, and reduce inflammation and retention of water.
Turmeric is pretty much the be-all and end-all of health foods. It’s known to delay liver damage, reduce carcinogenic compounds in other foods, make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiation, inhibit the growth of malignant melanoma and breast cancer, alleviate arthritis symptoms and skin conditions. Heck, maybe I should let the experts describe what the main compound in turmeric -cucurmin- does. Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, “Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”
Thyme contains some of the same components as oregano and is especially high in thymol, which gives thyme its antimicrobial properties against bacteria and fungi, which is why it’s a first rate immune boosting food. Also an antioxidant, thyme has been shown to prevent oxidative damage to DNA in human lymphocytes. In other words, it protects genes. It also contains quercetin, found in onions, which inhibits histamine.
Cinnamon helps prevent infection and may stimulate immune activity, making it a welcome and tasty addition to this fire cider recipe. There’s considerable research indicating that cinnamon can prevent clumping of blood platelets by blocking the release of inflammatory fatty acids from cell membranes. It also inhibits the formation of other inflammatory substances. It also helps regulate blood sugar (a factor in inflammation), has antioxidant activity, and may reduce pain.
Raw apple cider vinegar (not plain old cider vinegar!) is known to be a good source of acetic and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), mineral salts, amino acids, and other key components of good nutrition, but it is also a well-loved folk remedy thought to ease digestion, fight obesity and diabetes, wash toxins from the body, kill lice, and reverse aging. How cool is that?!?!
Raw honey (locally produced) is a fantastic, all-natural fighter of seasonal allergies. Because bees collect pollen from flowers in your area and then convert it to honey to feed their hives, eating raw, local honey is like a tasty allergy shot. It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and makes a great, non-narcotic cough suppressant and throat soother.
I hope you all make your own batch of Traditional Fire Cider using local produce for your winter wellness.
“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” ~ Margaret Mead.