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

 

 

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