True confession: I may have, err… “overindulged” this holiday season. Is anybody with me? This is the time of year when I always find myself longing to shake things up with my diet and health regime. This year I decided to enlist my good friend, Dan Pashman, to try a cleanse with me. We gave up dairy, meat, sugar, alcohol and even, sniff sniff, coffee for FIVE WHOLE DAYS!
While a cleanse may have you feeling deprived in certain dark moments, when done correctly they can actually add many things to your overall sense of well-being. We both agreed we felt more energetic, suffered fewer cravings and slept better by the end of the cleanse. Take a look at our experience.
While restricting foods for certain periods of time can help you restart your systems and reboot your immune systems – you might want to think about adding a few new foods to your diet as well. I’ve been poking around to find some of the most beneficial foods. Here are my ABC’S of cleanse-friendly foods — just a few out-there items to consider stocking up on the next time you hit the grocery store feeling peckish.
Laurie’s ABC’S of Cleansing Foods
A – AVOCADO: This superfood detoxifies the liver, helps the heart and makes smoothies, well, smooth. Although sometimes given a bad rap for being high in fat, these guys actually lower cholesterol and also block toxins that attack our arteries. So if you’re a fan of this climacteric fruit, eat up! If you really love this tasty snack, check out these instructions on how to grow your own avocado tree.
B – BEETS: Okay, they may do weird things to your pee, but beets also do many wonderful things for your body. They cleanse your blood, they’re an excellent source of folic acid and iron, and they contain betaine, a substance used to combat depression. They’re also delicious on salads, juiced and served with many beef dishes. Take a look at this recipe for a roasted beet salad that can’t be ‘beet.’ (Had to, sorry.)
C – CRANBERRIES: Let’s add some fruit to this party! Cranberries are known for their ability to help your kidneys and urinary tract, but did you know they have antibiotic properties as well? So if you’re interest in adding some vitamin C, dietary fiber or a tart taste to your salads and side dishes, check these babies out. You can even sweeten them up with this easy recipe for sugared cranberries.
‘S – SEAWEED: Because of its many nutrients, such as iodine, seaweed actually combats the effects of radioactivity. Dried seaweed snack packs are very popular at the moment, but you also might want to add a seaweed salad to your sushi order as well. Even better, make your own seaweed salad and enjoy this healthy treat at home.
Once you’ve added in the hardworking foods and filtered out most of the greedy groceries, I think it’s all about finding the balance. Dan and I were so proud when we completed the cleanse – and we definitely saw a difference in the ways we looked and felt. It was a success we were happy to toast to over (ONE!) delicious beer!
Hey, hops are antibacterial – did you know that? You’re welcome.