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

 

Ask Eden // The Quickie Guide To Blending Vs. Juicing

Hopping from Easter to a post-chocolate cleanse?
 
I hope you all had a holistically healthy holiday yesterday but if chocolate and sweets jumped their way onto the menu, you may be feeling in need of a little reboot today! A great place to start is to increase the amount of vegetables and leafy greens you consume to alkalinize the body and provide valuable fibre to push out the toxins. But what if you already feel pressed to incorporate enough into your diet on any given day? One of my favourite holistic life hacks to increasing your intake of greens is through green smoothies and juices, which leafs us with this week’s Ask Eden and one of the questions I’m quite frequently asked from clients;
“Which is better; juicing or blending?” 
 
The answer? I love them both! Both are beneficial when applied properly.
Saturday morning, for instance, I blended a large smoothie for a quick breakfast on the go as my best friend and I set off for a mini road trip.
A blend of; banana | coconut water | chaga | cinnamon | spirulina | acai | cacao (I love chocolate as an energy boost!)
Smoothie on the go
Last night, on the other hand, I was spoiled with a buffet of delicious food and veggie trays at my grandparents’ house in the country and woke this morning not feeling the need for a big meal. Instead of reaching for my regular green smoothie, I dusted off my juicer and pressed my favourite sunrise juice of orange, carrot and ginger and added romaine lettuce and lemon. The orange being graciously supplied by the Holistic Easter basket left for me with equal parts Giddy Yoyo dark chocolate and fresh fruit!
Holistic easter
So what is the difference? Is one more beneficial than the other? And how do you eat them to reap the most benefit from them?
It’s not the first time I’ve had this question asked and it’s a great one so without further ado, this is
your quickie guide to smoothies vs juices:
The WHOLE story
  • When you eat a smoothie, you are consuming the whole food and keeping the fibre intact to reap its full spectrum of benefits.
  • When you juice, you extract the water and nutrients and discard of the fibre. This allows you to make the nutrients more readily available to your body in much larger quantities. For instance, you could easily use an entire head of lettuce in a juice as opposed to a few leaves you might pack in your smoothie. However, you lose the beneficial properties of the fibre.

Smoothies are full of it

  • The fibre in smoothies will help to fill you faster and keep you satiated for longer as it provides bulk. This makes smoothies filling and suitable as a light meal. It is also the fibre that will bind to toxins to excrete them from the body when cleansing.
  • Without the fibre content in juices, you are likely feeling hungry faster. However, this makes a juice an ideal snack or addition to a meal when consumed 20 minutes beforehand (drinking too close to your meals will dilute your natural digestive juices).

Digest This

  • Smoothies are fantastic for digestion as they do much of the “breakdown” for your body. Blending your smoothie with a powerful blender (I use a Vitamix), breaks down the cell walls and pulverizes the food, taking a load off of your system which means more energy for you to go about your day. The high fibre content of a good smoothie will also help to regulate your bowels that may be compromised from poor diegstion.
  • With the fibre removed from juicing, it’s that extra step to make it even easier on your body  to digest and absorb the nutrients making it an ideal, energizing option when digestion is sluggish (after a delicious Easter dinner perhaps?).

 

The Nutrient Zap

  • The fibre in smoothies assists in slowing the digestive process to steady the flow of nutrients that hit your blood stream.
  • Without fibre, juicing creates a rapid surge of nutrients straight to the bloodstream so that you get the instant nutrient zap. The warning: this means that without the fibre, fruit will rapidly spike blood sugar and must be balanced with greens to avoid the potential jitters, mood swings, energy slumps and so forth that may result from imbalanced blood sugar.
Pressed for time 
  • With smoothies you simply blend and go with only the need to quickly wash out your blender.
  • Juices take more time to cut veggies and funnel through the nozzle into the blade. Then comes the washing of all of the separate parts, including the mesh cylinder.

 

Sunrise Juice

The above is this morning’s sunrise juice and the official sign that spring has sprung in our flower garden!

To Juice or to Blend, That is the Question!

My main beverage of choice? A smoothie! Quick, filling, and a whole food, smoothies are a staple of my diet and my number one go to through busy days. However, if I need a big dose of greens or my digestion is feeling a little sluggish, I will pull out my quality juicer and give it a go.

The key to blending or juicing? It is all about the right time, for the right person, in the right amounts.

A few keys:

  • Juices must, I repeat MUST be organic! Without the fibre to steady and bind to the toxic pesticides, you are absorbing those straight into your bloodstream. Be very careful of this when going to juice bars.
  • Because of the ability to jam pack juices with nutrients, it can be easy to overdo it on a given nutrient and aggravate certain conditions of the body. Be aware of this and practise moderation and variety.
  • Juices should be consumed ideally within the first 15 minutes of being made as light and air will destroy the vulnerable and valuable nutrients.
  • Smoothies MUST be chewed as drinking makes the body think that there is nothing to digest. The act of chewing stimulates the entire digestive system to prepare to digest food.

So, to juice or to blend, hopefully this post answers that question and whichever you choose for today, I wish you all an Easter Monday packed with green leaves and green hikes full of spring’s budding blooms!

 

Hopping into a juicy post Easter cleanse,

Suzanne Eden

Your Complete Guide to April’s Spring Cleansing Challenge

The spring equinox is upon us and the perfect time for cleansing and purifying the mind, body and spirit. I recommend a thorough holistic cleanse after winter as low sun exposure, an abundance of heavy, cooked food and often times less than ideal time spent in nature, leaves our bodies heavy with excess toxins. This is natural during the winter but spring, with its crisp air and budding flowers is the fresh start you need to refresh and rejuvenate for the warmer months (they’re coming, I promise!). In fact, our bodies are so in-tune with this natural cycle that it will often attempt to detoxify itself. If not supported, this can be a leading culprit behind the illnesses that surface during this time of year as your body tries to rid itself of toxins. Nature also shows the harmony behind the seasons as spring gives rise to naturally lighter, more cleansing foods. Before doing any extensive detox, it’s important to do a preliminary cleanse to prep the body. This holistic spring challenge is a simple start to cleansing and is catered to you so you can reap the benefits no matter your current diet or lifestyle!

flowerchild

What cleansing can do for you:

  • Renew your energy
  • Increase metabolism
  • Increase focus and mental clarity
  • Look and become more toned
  • Decrease digestive discomfort
  • Improve the look and health of your skin

I decided April first would be my time to get motivated and begin and I want to invite you to do this HOLISTIC SPRING CLEANSE. Are you in? Or in the words of “How I Met Your Mother” (with the finale upon us)… “Challenge accepted?!”
Here it is! And don’t be intimidated, this is your cleanse, you can choose one or all of the following food transformations.

The Challenge

For the month of April I am going sugar-free, dairy free, gluten-free, caffeine free, alcohol free, processed free and soy free. Many of these I already am and so the cleanse may be less dramatic than for some. If eliminating these is a major task for you, pick a few that resonate with you and commit to eliminating those. Here are some practical guides to going “whatever you choose free” and remember, stick to what you can commit to whole heartedly for one month.

Sugar free:

  • Going sugar-free is more than just eliminating white sugar. This means no sugary syrups, no dried fruit, no high glycemic LOAD (not index) foods and so forth. High glycemic load foods will spike blood sugar and should be avoided until the body is more balanced. Don’t be mistaken, bananas and other high glycemic LOAD foods are typically good for you so long as the body is balanced and blood sugar stabilized.
  • For me, sugar elimination also means no stevia and I highly encourage this. Why? Though stevia doesn’t spike blood sugar, these alternative forms of sweetness stimulate your receptors and can cause you to crave sweets. Another benefit of cutting this out is that it gives your body time to rework your taste buds. This takes time but eventually, your taste buds switch to taste sweetness in things you typically wouldn’t find sweet. The receptors are so sensitive that even veggies start tasting sweet! So even when you reintroduce some sweetness, you won’t need nearly the same amount nor crave it in the same way.
  • Another food to avoid? Bread and any simple starches. According to the book wheat belly, bread can spike your blood sugar higher than a chocolate bar! In fact, when you chew bread, you can taste a sweetness if you chew long enough because this starch is converted to glucose in your body. In other words, simple starches are also sugars.

Tips: when avoiding breads and pastas etc: opt for whole grains such as quinoa, steel cut oats and seeds such as chia and flax seeds. When you have a craving for sweets opt for sweet veggies such as red peppers, herbal teas or stevia only if absolutely needed.

Dairy free:

  • This includes products  that contain dairy. Look at labels, you’d be surprised how much dairy creeps into things in the form of powders etc. Also beware of bakes goods, butter is included in the avoidance of dairy as is yogurt etc. Most substitutes such as Daiya cheese are highly processed and full of body clogging ingredients so stick to whole food choices as much as possible.

Tips: opt for coconut milk or almond milk and homemade almond cheeses (you can find the recipes online if you’d like, they are relatively simple).

Gluten free:

  • Another sneaky one. This is great as awareness of the issues with gluten has forced companies to switch to many gluten free products. Just be sure you are not getting sucked into the health traps. Always read labels to see what is in it. Gluten free does not constitute as healthy.

Tips: here are whole food gluten free grains:

  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Wild rice

Coconut flour, almond meal, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour etc. are all great to work with in baking. You can easily look up their conversions online. As far as cleansing, however, try to stick to whole food choices to reap the benefits of the grain’s nutrients and fibre.
For pastas I am obsessed with raw zucchini noodles or kelp noodles.

What’s the deal with oats? For most people, oats are okay. The problem here is that though they do not naturally contain gluten, there may be a problem with cross contamination. If you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, you may want to avoid these and test them later to see if you have any reaction to them. Otherwise, steel cut oats are a great option for a cleanse as they are high in fibre and great for blood sugar stabilizing.

Caffeine free:

  • This goes for chocolate, green tea, coffee etc. Cut the caffeine.

Tips: opt for herbal teas and herbal coffee substitutes such as Teeccino (there’s even a chocolate mint and a hazelnut flavour!) which alkalizes the body. Here is the link: http://teeccino.com/ as well, some health food stores carry this.
Decaf coffee is usually full of unwanted toxins and should be avoided. As a bonus, by getting away from the taste, you will start to crave it less and as your body stabilizes, you won’t need to rely on it for energy any longer.

Soy free:

  • Another sneaky culprit so be sure to check labels. It is often masked as soy lecithin, soy protein and so forth and is hard to avoid. Miso and tempeh are allowed as they are unprocessed sources. Tofu is not.

Tips: The best way to completely avoid it? Eat whole! And when in doubt, go without.

Processed free:

  • This is huge! It will have you shopping in the aisles of vibrant fruit and exploring the cascade of veggies before you. This is the transformation to a whole food lifestyle. Keep to organic as much as possible to fully reap the benefits, at least for the dirty bakers dozen. This category includes staying clear of bottled fruit and vegetable juices.

Tips: cut up and wash your veggies as soon as you get home from the grocery store to save time later. We make a huge, and I mean huge, container of salad and store it in the fridge.
Always have some cooked whole grains (such as quinoa or millet) on hand to be thrown into a fast stir fry or pasta with your already prepared veggies for a fast meal.

Don’t think in terms of mono meals. When you make a meal, make enough to carry it over to another meal. A stir fry for dinner can be tomorrow’s lunch over a beautiful salad to switch things up. With any meat products, go for whole sources: grass fed, free range, antibiotic and hormone free. Do some quick research ahead of time to see where you can get this.

Must Read:
It is critical to understand that a good cleanse can stir up a great deal of toxins within you. It is important to make sure that your body is eliminating these toxins as they surface so that they are not being absorbed into your blood stream and back into circulation. To manage this, pay attention to how you feel. If you experience headaches, nausea, etc, simply eat some heavier foods such as cooked vegetables or quinoa. These foods will slow the detoxification process so that your body is not overwhelmed. Also, drink more water to help your body flush out the toxins from your system.

Additional cleansing MUSTS:

  • Oils to cook with: grapeseed and coconut oil used in moderation.
  • Drink your body clean!

At least 6-8 glasses of water/day, hydration is critical for digestion and to flush the toxins properly from your system. There is no leeway here: get your 6-8! Stop drinking 30 minutes before eating and refrain until an hour after eating. You can jazz it up with organic cucumber, basil and/or lemon as well for nature’s flavoured water.

  • Lemon water

This deserves its own category. Lemon water first thing in the morning improves digestion, boosts immunity, balances pH, cleanses the liver, reduces inflammation and far more. Drink warm water with 1/2-1 fresh squeezed organic lemon first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before food.

  • Fibre

To help push those toxins right out! 1-2tsbp of ground flax or soaked chia per day is a great way to incorporate more into your diet. You can put ground flax on top of your morning oats, or sprinkle them on salads. Green ands vegetables are another way to increase your fibre intake.

  • Do not eat past 7pm.

Your body cannot digest food properly when you are sleeping. It will not only offset your digestion causing the food in your stomach to ferment and create toxins (of which the point of cleansing is to rid yourself of this) but it will also offset your sleep. It may be hard to sleep or it may simply interrupt the quality of your sleep. Your body goes through certain stages during the night and detoxifying is one of them. If your body is burdened with digesting food, it will skip the detox portion. Going to sleep past 10pm may do this too.

  • Don’t nook the nutrients out of your food

For so many reasons including radiation and altering the composition of your food: this is a must! Microwaves are off limits and should be unplugged.

  • Go green

Greens are critical for an acid alkaline balance and detoxification. They are also light and easily digestible for most people so eat these in abundance.

  • Lighten up

This goes for your diet and mind! For the diet, choose lighter foods and eat only until you are 80% full. For the mind, laugh like a fool. This is no joking matter, laughter is a powerful detoxifier and the movement of a full body, stomach clenching laugh can get the lymph moving and strengthen the flow of oxygen through your body.

  • Get some shut-eye

7-8 hours a night for most people. You need energy in order for your body to properly cleanse. As I mentioned earlier, your body goes through natural cycles during the night including detoxification but in order for this to happen, you need to actually be asleep.

  • Get moving

If you don’t move, everything in your body stays stagnant. In order to get the toxins moving out of your system, you need to move. Yoga for 10 minutes in the morning and night with a strong focus on breath is great. If your stuck at work, do the stairs on your break. If you have a trampoline, bounce for at least 20 minutes a day. Anything to get the lymphatic system in motion.

  • Make breath your secret weapon

Though three deep breaths may not make your fiancé magically appear before you (last HIMYM reference, I promise), it may do even better! If you are feeling a craving coming on, take 5 deep breaths and move along.

Additional cleansing powerhouses:

  • Aim for a diet that is 80% alkaline to 20% acidic
  • Take your daily probiotics
  • Use digestive enzymes with every meal
  • Incorporate chlorella, garlic and ginger into your diet as well as spices such as cayenne pepper, cumin and turmeric
  • Soul reads / movies – I love any books by Eckart Tolle and a peaceful warrior is one of my favourite movies
  • Meditation
  • Keeping a food journal/ journaling
  • Multivitamin, fish oil, b complex

B vitamins support the liver and adrenals especially during times of stress where it is greatly depleted. It’s also important for energy and a critical component of mental health.

A good EFA complex works as an incredible alkalizer in the body and to reduce inflammation. They are important for water balance regulation, to boost immunity and balance sugar.

Proper detoxification happens in a body that provides and is rich in the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals for which the multivitamin is very important.

Talk to your holistic health practitioner about a supplement regime.

  • Sprout into cleansing! Sprouting instantly raises nutritional value and digestibility of a food. The enzyme content can increase up words of 1000%! These can  often be found at your local health food store and if you’re really adventurous, you can look into sprouting your own.
  • Vegan/vegetarian for a week at the end of your cleansing.

Though I do not recommend going vegan or vegetarian for the long term, animal is one of the most difficult things to digest and removing it for a short period of time allows the body a great chance to thoroughly cleanse.

A final note:
Your mind body and spirit are incredibly interconnected. Understand that as sludge is kicked up in your body, mental sludge will often arise too. This could show up as irritability, being overly sensitive etc. No cleanse is complete without incorporating some cleansing of these realms as well, which is why I highly recommend yoga and deep breathing as it will help to ring the toxins from your body while at the same time balance your mind and spirit. If you notice emotions arise, take a few deep breaths wherever you are. If you can, take a walk, do some yoga, read your soul read, journal or just sit and breathe. By the end of the month, you will have noticed such a difference!

I hope you will join me and invite others to as well! Get a group of people to join you that will keep you accountable and motivated and have fun with this challenge. Experiment with new recipes and develop new lifestyle habits. Take these last two days to prepare and organize yourself to stay on track and prepare for a spring of natural health and vitality!

Best of luck on your journey,
Suzanne Eden