The Holistic Guide To Winter’s Cleansing Challenge

I was hereby appointed the proud DDB (designated detox buddy) of New Years Eve!

  • As my friends’ personal consultant to their drinking escapades, I was set to cover everything from what to eat before a night of drinking (do be sure to eat!), to what to consume the following morning to replenish electrolytes and minimize hangovers. And for this, may I direct you here.
  • I was the one asked to come armed with niacin to assist in the metabolism of alcohol, and the one joking (and seriously contemplating) providing goodie bags for each of them to carry home with shots of wheat grass, vitamin C and milk thistle.
Though I’ve successfully fulfilled my duties to my New Year’s friends, I want to extend this service now to you!
Winter cleansing
Before you begin, read our last post on how to properly cleanse your body and take the rest of this month to prepare. Buy the groceries that you will need, scour Pinterest and this blog for recipe ideas, build up your motivational arsenal to keep yourself on track and have treats handy that you can savour on your cleanse: seaweed snacks, coconut water and kombuchas to get you started. And then, come February first, begin!

The Winter Cleansing Challenge

This challenge was already set forth for us back in the spring and is one that allows you to tailor it to exactly what you are looking for. Even choosing one section to eliminate will do wonders for your health!

This cleanse, however, was designed for our nutritional needs of spring and as these requirements change with the seasons as fluently as the solidity of our cabinet coconut oil, we need to change with it.

So as we embark on this challenge together, this is our guide to winterize our New Years cleanse:

 

Bring The Heat

What appeals to you? Raw salads and cold blended smoothies or warming soups and hearty stews?

  • Traditional chinese medicine holds that we should not be consuming cold salads during winter. But aren’t salads good? Throughout these cooler months, our bodies are working extra hard to keep us warm and this takes energy. Cold food, which reduces our internal body temperature can cause our systems to work harder to keep us warm, draining our vital energy and potential ability to absorb nutrients. Increasing our consumption of cooked foods will assist our bodies into working more efficiently.
  • Rather than raw salads, think of warming vegetable soups, lentil stews, steel-cut oats for breakfast, quinoa vegetable stir-frys and root vegetable hash.

Look To Nature

  • Nature always knows best! To eat locally is to eat seasonally as it is specifically tailored to our geographical and biological needs. It is wonderful to have the variety of cross climate agriculture readily available at the supermarket, but for optimal health, we want to look to what naturally grows or is cultivated in our environments.
  • These foods include: hearty sweet potatoes, beets, rutabaga, artichoke, cabbage etc. This is produce that was once store and/or pickled after its harvest to consume through the winter months.

Spice Up Your Detox

  • Thermogenic foods are those which the body naturally burns calories to utilize, thus  increasing our circulation to warm us up. For those of us lacking the natural internal furnaces (the “Pitta” dosha in Ayurveda) that keep us burning from the inside out, this is the way to do it! Not only will thermogenic foods ease the discomforts of winter but this circulation boost will also enhance the effectiveness of detoxification.
  • Examples include: cayenne pepper, ceylon cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and curry powder.

carob cookies

Featured above: Spicy superfood carob cookies : carob powder | rolled oats | chaga medicinal mushrooms | pure vanilla extract | grated ginger | ceylon cinnamon | cayenne pepper | a touch of stevia | coconut oil | Himalayan sea salt

Ferment!

  • Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, have been cultured in tradition as a way to preserve the summer harvest well into the winter months. They are whole food sources of probiotics for digestive health, rich in plant enzymes for the optimal breakdown and nutrient intake of our food, and are packed with vitamin C as a boost for your immunity.
  • I am a horder of mason jars, many of which find their home in the cellar packed with fermenting cabbage, carrots, caraway seeds etc. It is so simple to culture this cleansing superfood and inexpensive when fermented from home.

 

Hydrate The Ayurvedic Way

  •  The ancient indian practise of Ayurveda highlights our need for warm water for optimal digestion. Consider your Agni; your internal digestive “fire”. What happens when you dump cold water onto a burning fire pit? It begins to extinguish the flames. This is what happens internally when we shock our systems with cold water and in the winter months this can drain our digestive fire.
  • Instead of iced water, think of warm, hydrating and soothing drinks such as:
    • Luke warm water – The act of which stimulates peristalsis (the wave-like muscle contractions within the intestinal walls) to keep food and waste moving through our systems.
    • Tea – be sure that it is only herbal teas as caffeinated teas (black, green etc.) will have a dehydrating effect. Look to the ingredients label for true herbal teas free of inconspicuous “natural flavours”, colours etc.
    • Lemon water – either drank warm on an empty stomach to boost digestion or with organic lemon slices to raise the natural alkalinity and detoxifying properties.

 

I was well into my New Year’s cleanse (commencing January first), when I was informed that cleansing ought to be done after you’ve had a chance to savour some of your Christmas goodies. So while I continue this cleanse with a closet stocked full of Giddy Yoyo chocolate, this post is for you, in prep!

And of course, we couldn’t forget our complete guide to our New Year’s winter cleansing challenge: HERE!

The best way to enhance this challenge? Take it with others! Get your friends and/or family involved, choose which sections you’re commiting to, exchange recipes, set up your exact start and end date, and take this challenge with me 🙂

 

To our cleansing February’s,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

From Detox To Retox – What Everyone Needs To Know Before A Cleanse

How did you ring in the New Year? With lemon water and juiced beets? Or perhaps your liver (your major detoxification organ) could use a little extra TLC this month!

I LOVE cleanses and have been looking forward to January for this reason alone, but before we embark on any such cleanse, we need to understand what is happening within us first.

It’s time to trade in our New Year’s cocktails for our kind of plant-based mixed drinks, and rethink the meaning of detox to create lasting cleansing for the whole year through.

mixed drink

I don’t always drink beer… but when I do I choose green juice!”

~ Drew Canole

 

I want you to read this post, read it again, and share it with those you know who are cleansing this year because, done wrong, it can be extremely harmful, even dangerous to our systems, but done right, it can powerfully rejuvenating! Let’s begin:

Don’t Our Bodies Cleanse Themselves?

  • YES! They absolutely do. Our bodies are brilliant and come equipped with their own detoxifying devices otherwise know as the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system to name a few.
  • But here’s the catch: did you drink on New Years? Have you EVER drank? Do you eat sugar? Do you spray perfume, air fresheners or use fragrant soaps, moisturizers or shampoos? Do you drive a car, or walk past a running vehicle? Do you feel stress? Essentially: do you live modern-day life in the conventional, North American way…
  • ALL of these things tax our bodies. Detoxification is natural, but the environments we live in no longer are and this spells trouble. In fact, Alive Magazine estimated that we are exposed to 310 kilograms of toxic chemicals every second! So not only have we stressed and taxed our internal cleansing systems so that they no longer function efficiently, but we are also exposing them to far more toxins than they were equipped to handle.

So, We Should All Be Detoxing This Month?

Not exactly…

  •  The term “detox” has developed quite the hype as being a radical diet for a short period of time. This generally follows suit to the pharmaceutical views of “quick fixes” and weight loss diets, which do not provide sustainable results and can cause us harm.
  • In actuality, detoxing is really just that: the act of eliminating toxins from the body. Whether we realise it or not, we will all be doing this this month, the key is to optimize our bodies ability to do so.

How Can Detoxing Be Dangerous?

Detox -> Retox

  • Think of your body as the ocean with pollution as the toxins in your body.  If not cleared away from the water, this filth settles to the ocean floor creating sludge. This is what happens within our bodies, creating a buildup of stored toxins in our systems.
  • When we detoxify, we are taking these dormant toxins and mobilizing them so that we can excrete them, but here is where the trouble sets in:

A)  We need to make sure that we are not mobilizing more toxins than our bodies are equipped to handle or else they are free to go systemic and cause harm to our organs.

B) If we are not properly excreting these toxins (De-toxifing), we are re-toxifying.

  • Consider someone who goes on a radical diet and looses a substantial amount of weight fast, yet they didn’t have the proper support for their bodies. Excess weight is often a storage form of toxins as the body wisely deposits them into fat cells to keep it as far away from your organs as possible. Though a sign of deeper health issues, eexcess weight can be your body’s design to keep you alive longer!
  • When we lose weight, those toxins come out of fat cells and into the body. See the issue? If not careful, they are now free to damage our internal organs or contribute to other health problems.
  • These dramatic dieters often age faster, and come down with a major health problem a few years down the road. Remember, it can take a while before disease shows up which is why it is so fundamental to take care of yourself now, before you see any major health issues developing.

Detox -_ Retox

How Do We Properly Cleanse Our Bodies?

“Health is the body’s natural state. Your body is self-generating, self-repairing, self-regulating, and self-healing, but only if you don’t get in its way, and only if you give it what it requires.”

– Don Bennett

Before embarking on any set detoxification plan, I want you to check each of these off your list:

Stage 1 – Build Your Bottom Feeders

  • Bottom feeders of the ocean have a rep for doing “the dirty work,” the clean up of the ocean floor. Likewise, you first need to build up your body’s systems which will clean up your toxic sludge while cleansing.
  • To do so, we need to implement healthy diet and lifestyle choices first so that we can ensure our body’s capability to properly rid ourselves of toxins. This means focusing on high nutrient, dense, whole foods that provide optimal nutrition for our cells, tissues and organs.
  • Our bodies may also use toxic heavy metals as replacements for a lack of nutrients. Lead, for example, replaces calcium in our bones which can contribute to osteoporosis and why it is critical to consume the necessary nutrients to allow our bodies to excrete the harmful toxins.

 

Stage 2 – Keep Your Ocean Clean

  • The less toxins coming into the body, the less work it will be for our bodies to clear them away. It makes no sense to dump all of our pollution in the ocean only to have to clean it all up later. This same rational goes for our bodies too!
  • Reduce your exposure to dietary toxins, environmental toxins, and emotional pollution (with particular focus on managing stress).

Stage 3 – Keep your ocean flowing (By Process Of Elimination)

What would happen if the ocean stayed still?

  • None of the pollution would be cleared away, it would keep accumulating, settling and creating toxic sludge. The same is true for your body. Before you cleanse, make sure that you are keeping your system flowing so that it can eliminate the internal pollution.
  • Eliminate
  • Your bowels must be eliminating properly, this is essential and one reason I don’t often recommend strict liquid cleanses which lack the fibre to do so. A healthy routine is 1-2X/day.
  • To do this: drink 8-10 glasses of water, decrease sugar and caffeine, stop eating 3 hours before bed and increase fibre. If you need an added boost, take 1TBSP of chia seeds in unsweetened applesauce or a little water right before bed and drink at least one cup of warm water 20 minutes before breakfast.

 

  • Drink
  • While cleansing, our bodies have an increased need for water to keep our organs functioning and the toxins flowing out. You can boost the alkalinity of your water and detoxifying properties by adding slices of organic lemon.

 

  • Move
  • The only way to mobilize toxins out is to get mobile! In fact, this is the only way to stimulate the lymphatic system. More than focussing on exercising for an hour or so, think of being in continuous movement the whole day, as we were designed to do.

 

Stage 4 – Ease Yourself Into It

  • Avoid diving in head first and ease yourself into the cleanse over a week by focusing on swapping low quality foods with nutrient dense foods. This way, you will feel empowered in the process, cravings are reduced, pre-cleanse binges are bypassed, and ultimately, you will be better equipped to keep on track!

Though detoxifying is revitalizing when executed consciously, what we really want is to facilitate ongoing detoxification through our day-to-day life. This is how we truly become vibrant, light and clean beyond a short-lived period of time and it begins by charging our bodies with nutrients and optimizing the elimination of toxins.

Happy conscious cleansing,

Suzanne Eden

 

Resolutionize Yourself : The Psychology To Achieve Every Wellness Dream Of 2016

Dear friends, welcome to 2016!

This year, we’re taking the concept of New Year, New You to a whole new level! A revolutionized and resolutionized level of personal power in every facet of our being. That’s our theme. It is the intention to live to our highest potential, to thrive, to seek optimal wellness in every aspect of our lives. It is the power to take our lifestyle into our own hands and make conscious choices for the life we truly desire.

new years 2016

I want “snooze” to be banished from your vocabulary, sleep to be rejuvenating and refreshing, exercise to be a means of channeling your abundance of energy and bliss to be your default. I want you to fully experience what optimal health feels like, how you will radiate, broaden and redefine your beliefs around wellness and I’m taking this journey with you!

In preparation for the year ahead, this is our guide to conquer all of our wellness dreams in 2016 :

 First: Write Down How You Feel Now

  • Be precise. Write down all the aches and pains, the low energy, the cracked nails, the dry elbows,  everything you can think of because as you take this journey with me, things will have disappeared that you never even considered. All of a sudden you may find yourself thinking: “whatever happened to that?” Writing it down now will help you to reflect later to notice and celebrate all of the small and large changes unfolding along the way.

Second: Visualize

  • Visualize where you see yourself being one year from now. What healthy and vibrant looks like on you. But also visualize yourself during the challenges. The times when cravings surface or when you are with friends and family and surrounded by the foods that may trigger you. Visualize how you will stay motivated at the times when it is difficult to keep on track. Design your mindset now so that you will be better equipped for those times when they show up for you.

Third: Become Conscious

  • Of what you are putting into your body, of the thoughts you are thinking, of the choices you are making everyday. Notice them, become conscious of them and with each one decide if it is serving this new you. If it doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t deserve you.
  • Remember that in some ways, we are creatures of habit. But we are also creatures of novelty! We live for the excitement, the thrill of new challenges that progress us, strengthen us and catalyze us into being better human beings. The desire to achieve our highest potential is an inherent trait in each and every one of us.
  • In 2016, step into your personal power, to command only the best for yourself, to seek only the best in others, to power your plate with only that which is truly serving and deserving of you.

Fourth : Develop The Mindset of Growth

  • Neuroscience has made the distinction between the “fixed mindset” and the “growth mindset” which welcomes and facilitates change, creativity and development. This growth mindset is where we see that we are not “fixed” in our current lifestyle but can alter it, progress it and shift it to become better. It is one which celebrates advancement, challenges old patterns and creates new habits through the development and strengthening of neural connections in our brains.

Fifth : Write Yourself a Letter

  • This is for the times when things get rough, when the challenges get challenging and when you are just on the verge of your breakthrough but have to push your hardest. I want you to sit down now and write a letter, or perhaps a few, with encouragement, cheering yourself on, becoming your own best support group when you need it. Seal this letter in an envelope and tuck it away somewhere to come back to when you’re in search of a little added boost.

journal

Sixth : Get Hungry!

  • Ask yourself: WHY do you want health in 2016? What are the factors that are motivating you towards wellness? Write these down and place them somewhere you can see them each day to remind and motivate yourself towards your goals.
  • Keep these reasons positive. If your goal is “weight loss” I want you to shift your focus. Loss doesn’t hold the fuel of personal power and the motivation behind losing something doesn’t carry enough drive to keep you going in the challenging times. What will? Gain and achievement! Likewise, holding the intention of “I’m going to lose weight” is entirely counterintuitive to the process as we are consistently reaffirming weight.
  • Instead, ask yourself; “what will I gain?” Think energy, physical endurance, inner peace, etc. Get hungry for a positive outcome and let this be the drive behind your year.

Seventh : Get Thirsty For Knowledge!

  • To truly harness the full potential of your personal power, you need to become your own healer. As a nutritionist, I work with everything from auto-immune disease, Crohn’s disease and colitis to weight loss, hormone imbalances and skin issues but it I know from practise and experience that true healing comes from being an active participant.
  • You know your body better than anyone else, so research like crazy, experiment on your body and do so with the guidance of a skilled practitioner and this is where you will find true health. Use me as a facilitator and yourself as the driving force with a passion and thirst for knowledge.

Eighth : Create Your Motivational Arsenal

  • This is crucial to your success. With our grocery stores home to more aisles of processed food than fresh produce, our drives to work littered with fast food joints and chips, pizza and buttery popcorn as staples of our current culture, along with our initial hunger, we need the fuel to satisfy it. Prescription for resolutionary wellness: Every day, feast on motivation!
  • This may come in the form of nutrition books or soul reads, podcasts, YouTube videos, documentaries and/or blogs. I want you to build your days on the mindset of wellness and create the feeling of a close-knit community with people you don’t even know!

Here are a few to get you started:

Books: Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules ; An Eaters Manual”, Paul Robert’s “The End Of Food”, Michael Moss’ “Salt Sugar Fat”

Podcasts: Underground Wellness

YouTube: Brendon Burchard, Drew Canole

Documentaries: Food Matters, Food Inc., Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

Blogs: This one, you’ve already found! 🙂

***Note: Subscribing to my blog (through the email address on the side bar) or to these YouTubers means that you will get your weekly inspiration delivered straight to your mail box as another friendly reminder to keep you on track!

  • Feuling my day with motivation is a staple for me and the way I fit this in as a habit is to infuse it into my daily routine. I wake up and get ready while Brendon Burchard videos play in the background, I read nutrition books on breaks at work, I listen to podcasts while driving in the car and good luck at getting me to watch a movie that isn’t a documentary (unless it’s a Christmas movie, british comedy or Harry Potter).
  • When our goals become habits, this is where we find lasting, powerful results.

resolutions

2016 On The Horizon

Last night was spent chasing every last magical moment heading into the new year with one huge intention: to make 2016 our healthiest year YET!

This year’s posts will be dedicated to the fearless pursuit of optimal wellness through our bodies, minds and spirits, our whole beings. In January, we will be focussing on detoxification and cleansing our systems to reboot our healing process. We’ll examine the necessary components of cleansing, how to use it to properly to assist you on your journey to radiant health and how to transition your spring cleansing challenge for the winter.

Until then, drinks lots, move more, go green, step beyond your comfort zone, create empowered resolutions, and remember that the more profound your changes are, the more profound your transformation will be.

Welcome to your year of power,

Suzanne Eden