Maintaining that Cleanse Glow
It’s been several years now that I’ve been treating myself to a whole foods cleanse at the start of Spring & Fall. I know that the words cleanse and treat don’t normally go together, but in my world they do now.
By the time I was ready for my first cleanse it wasn’t about punishing myself for eating that whole carton of ice cream. Or trying to lose five pounds before a beach trip to Brazil. I’d already been there and done that, having spent precious time bouncing back and forth between extreme diets and out of control eating, which left me drained and depressed and my period MIA.
As you can imagine, five days of whole foods and plenty of rest felt indulgent at the time. But, it was exactly what my body and mind needed to begin healing my menstrual cycle, be fertile and feel vibrant from the inside, out. I still enjoy the cleanse as part of a healthy lifestyle that keeps me looking and feeling my best. I think my one year old daughter does now too (there’s nothing sillier than a green smoothie mustache).
For the five days of the cleanse, along with a group of women (and sometimes men!) from around the world, I turn off my alarm clock, let myself stay in bed a little longer each morning and meditate. I cut myself some extra slack when it comes to my to-do list, choosing to do the things that energize me and let go of those don’t.
I sip green smoothies, slowly, out of a wine glass. I mindfully eat big salads made with colorful vegetables and dressed in my favorite tahini- lemon juice-olive oil-mint dressing, plus lots of other whole foods throughout the week. I work harder than ever to savor every bite.
I confront emotions I’ve tried to hide from, in my journal each day. I fill my bathtub with detoxifying sea salts and uplifting lemon peels and soak in them every night.
All of that doesn’t just feel good to do. It’s also good for me, and for you - for both our minds and bodies. The cleanse was designed to boost the body’s natural ability to detoxify and restore hormonal balance. So, there’s some serious healing magic that happens during those five days. But, the magic doesn’t end there. Your approach to food, your lifestyle and how you care for your body transforms. Those healthy habits you developed on the cleanse that felt so good weave their way into your everyday life. Each time, I dive deeper and deeper and more and more my every day life looks just like a day on the cleanse.
Today I want to share two powerful shifts we make during those five days and a few practical ways you can incorporate to them in your lifestyle. Committing to these will help your body find the hormonal sweet spot at which you look and feel your best. And if you’d like to join us for the next cleanse in October, let me know, I’ll add your name to the waiting list.
Eat more green vegetables.
It’s easy to get into a vegetable rut. The typical go-to vegetables end up being something like corn, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. While these and all vegetables are filled with good-for-you nutrients, I consider green vegetables superstars. It’s worth the extra effort to get them in. Green vegetables are filled with chlorophyll, which cleanses the blood and helps your body detox excess hormones and endocrine-disrupting toxins we’re exposed to all around us.
Choose green leafy vegetables, the greener the better. Also, artichokes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cucumber, celery, string beans, zucchini, herbs, sprouts of all kinds, and even sea vegetables. If it’s green, go for it!
Kick things up a notch and make pesto. Or, keep things simple and enjoy your usual lunch as a salad tossed with fresh spinach dressed with olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, chopped mint, salt, black pepper and turmeric.
Make a green smoothie. Try this:
Pineapple Salsa Smoothie
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 ½ cups pineapple, fresh or frozen, cut into chunks
- 1 cup spinach leaves, washed and stems removed
- 1 ½ teaspoons red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cucumber, chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon jalapeño chile, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced, plus a pinch of its zest
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)
Place all of the ingredients in a blender in the order they are listed and blend on high until silky and smooth. Enjoy in a wine glass or your favorite cup!
Makes 2 servings.