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

 

 

Your Holistic Guide to Healthy Snacking at the Theatre & my Chocolate, Cashew Drizzled Popcorn

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”

~ The Imitation Game

These past few days have found me enchanted by elves and hobbits and mystified by the mind of Alan Turing as all good movies seemed to pop their way into theatres just in time for the winter chill (in which I rather fittingly become much like a hobbit myself).
~*~
Now just think: movie theatre food, and what is likely the first thing to pop into your mind? The beloved popcorn of course! But what is lurking in that seemingly bottomless bag of buttery kernels? I did a little digging and found some sticky facts on one of Canada’s favourite movie treats and created a better than butter alternative to satisfy all of your popcorn popping indulgences.

 

Popping up some facts:
  • Popcorn MUST be purchased organic. Non-organic corn is heavily sprayed in pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers which wreak havoc on our health and the health of our environment.
According to the Globe and Mail published in 2011:
  • a large Cineplex popcorn unbuttered is the calorie and fat content equivalent of two McDonald’s Big Macs
  • The same bag having nearly a day’s worth of sodium intake

 

and that’s without butter.

According to Cineplex Entertainment’s Nutrition and Allergen guide, their liquid margarine contains these ingredients (plus a few others):

  • Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Salt
  • Soy Protein,
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Artificial Flavour

 

This ingredient list is high in processed soy and oils which alters their chemical composition causing them to be toxic to our bodies. Also present are artificial flavourings, preservatives and, once again, salt. Its shelf life: a minimum of three months! Real food rots. If it does not go bad, what exactly are we eating?

 

A few tips to snacking during a flick:
  • Eat when you are hungry

A movie snack is a cultural habit. Food is meant to be enjoyed when we are hungry. If you are not hungry, skip the snack and just enjoy the film.

 
  • Be a delinquent and bring your own food & drinks
  • Eat mindfully : if eating, eat BEFORE the movies

Eat during the opening credits and pay attention to the taste and flavour. You’ll be satisfied faster, longer and enjoy your food more.

  • Don’t eat during or even before a suspense, thriller or horror film.

The stress you feel in these movies actually puts our body into the “fight or flight” mode. This state activates our
sympathetic nervous system which tells the body to stop digesting so that you have more energy to flee. Of course, you’re not going anywhere but your body doesn’t know that and your digestion is compromised as a result.

  • Make healthier versions.

 A better than butter alternative popped up in my kitchen for Monday night’s movie ventures, though it was admittingly gone before I had even left for the theatre!

popcorn

 
  • Better Than Butter Popcorn:
Organic homepopped Popcorn (NOT microwaveable!)
Coconut oil
Sprinkling of Himalayan salt
Simply mix some coconut oil into your warm popcorn, tossing it around so that it melts and coats your popcorn as would butter. Sprinkle a little sea salt in and enjoy!
~*~
  • Chocolate, Cashew Drizzled Popcorn

Organic, homepopped Popcorn (again, NEVER microwaveable)

Raw, vegan dark chocolate

Raw cashews

Himalayan salt

Simply melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. This will prevent it from burning and keep the delicate cocoa oils from denaturing. Lay popcorn flat on a sheet of wax paper and drizzle the warm chocolate over top, sprinkle with sea salt and pop into the fridge before enjoying. Keep cool.

Popping out of the hobbit hole for a movie date treat,

Suzanne Eden

Manifest Monday // Your Guide To De-cluttering Your Mind

This week is dedicated to ridding ourselves of the old to make space for the new and in the spirit of all things cleaning, this Manifest Monday we’re exploring how to de-clutter our minds.
trail om
Why? 
Have you ever listened to the little voice in your head and realized that it never stops talking? The one that’s saying “yes” or “no” or “what is this lady talking about?” as you read this post right now. That one. It’s the one that clutters our minds with incesent chatter and worry and nothing that’s ever truly important and like a messy room, when we have so much clutter, we can’t see things clearly. We can’t think clearly.
  • One thing that might happen with meditation is space. Finding those moments where the internal chatter ceases and there is a nothingness, a no-thing-ness. But how we do begin to clear out our minds? We meditate!

 

Now one of the greatest hurdles most people face in starting their meditation practise is.. Well.. Starting! It’s why one of the top things I’m asked about my lifestyle is: “how do you meditate?” and I love answering this question because it’s simple: I meditate differently all the time. I do what I feel like that day, in that moment and that’s exactly what I want you to do. Do as you feel! You can’t go wrong. So first things first, forget what it’s supposed to be! It’s not supposed to be anything, no-thing. If you are silent and observant, you have found your om in meditating.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you read through my guide to decluttering your mind:

  • Shift happens
There is no one outcome to strive for, nothing to expect. Transformative shifts in meditation happen in their own time.
  • Meditation is nothing serious, seriously!
Let it be simple, let it be fun, let it come easily. Laugh at the voice in your head, smile to yourself, enjoy it. Meditation is nothing more than sitting and observing. Through serious  meditating you will come to see that there is nothing serious about it!
  • You are not your thoughts
That voice in your head? You’ll come to know it through meditation and you will see that it is not actually you. When you know this, you can observe it and you won’t take what it is saying so seriously anymore.  But don’t force it, simply observe what the voice has to say and put nothing to it, it’s just a voice after all.
 
  • You don’t have to clear your mind
There is no harm in having thoughts. Pay attention to the space between them, eventually that space becomes bigger, but for now, simply choose which thoughts you care to listen to and allow the others to pass. In the same way you would let go of something old in your room, release any thoughts or beliefs that don’t serve you.
 
Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.
– Deepak Chopra
  •  Keep at it
To maintain peace and balance and clarity, you must continue to practice the things that bring this to you. Meditation has no finish line, it has no end. Commit to it everyday, if only for 5  minutes a day and it will start to become a habit and eventually, a lifestyle.

Suzanne Eden