Happy New Year to you all!! I am so incredibly excited to dive head first into 2011! 2010 was a wonderful, blessed year filled with many great moments and though I experienced a few tough and trying moments in 2010, I have tried my best to look at all of those experiences as times where my strengths are tested and I learn just what I am capable of. I personally decided to make 2010 the year I tried to relax and not take everything so seriously, to take each moment for what it is and to love myself more. I have always made sure to see the positive in things and to realize things could always be worse, 2010 was the year I really made certain to keep that mindset in the forefront. I have also decided to focus on all that I have and how lucky I am to be healthy, happy and loved. I truly feel that each day is special and that I am lucky to have a loving husband, an incredible family, and a job and career that I not only love, but am immensely proud of. For us, both personally and professionally, 2011 is already shaping up to be an incredible year and I am elated for each and every moment to come!
One of the things I accomplished in 2010 that I am quite proud of, besides shedding 30lbs of excess weight, is the ability to be so in tune with my body and my health that I can sense when it is off-balance and needing a clean-up. I kept with my lifestyle and eating habits through the holidays, but it is inevitable that you are just consuming more food and drink than any other stretch of time throughout the year, at least for me anyhow. It is a week of excess, in all facets of life. I knew just before New Year’s eve, when I felt some sniffles coming on and I was feeling a bit more sluggish than usual, that I was in need of a good cleanse. I decided I would do a 2-week cleanse beginning today.
There are many different cleanses and detoxes out there, some are VERY intense and limited to just liquids, others aren’t nearly as strict, still allowing poultry and fish. I think the type of cleanses I practice, fall somewhere in the middle. I always avoid added sugar and salt, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, caffeine, and alcohol. Of course my cleanses also always include my usual no gluten and no processed foods. This time around I am also avoiding soy and corn. To most people this sounds limiting and difficult, but I actually look forward to it and think it is an exciting time. I love the focus on fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, herbs and spices. Life tends to get crazy and meals get rushed and these important elements often get forgotten and overlooked.
I find that these cleanses allow my body to not only detox but to also get back to a clear digestive tract that is able to do its job at it’s fullest. I have also done a bit of reading on Ayurvedic healing and learning to avoid or focus on foods specific to you and your body-mind type (or your dosha) and it’s needs. When I cleanse, I don’t follow the Ayurvedic cleanses per se, I just include that general focus on food types, herbs and spices and the importance of yoga and meditation when cleansing. There is big emphasis on digestion-enhancing, detoxifying spices in Ayurvedic healing such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, clove, ajwain, fenugreek, dried ginger, Chinese cinnamon and fennel. According to Ayurveda, each meal should be a feast for all of your senses. When your plate reflects an appealing variety of colors, textures, flavors and aromas, your digestive juices start freely flowing in anticipation and your body, mind and heart are all fulfilled by the eating experience.
I am by no means an expert on cleansing or Ayurvedic medicine, I simply know my body and have tailored a cleanse to me and what I need, so please don’t take any of what I am doing as “medical advice” or anything more than me keeping a journal of my journey through this cleanse.
I plan to cleanse for 2 weeks, longer if I feel I need it. I will be posting many of the recipes here on my blog as I go. Hope it helps any of you looking to try out a cleanse or maybe you are just looking to add in some very healthy, clean detoxifying recipes! Happy New Year and happy clean eating to you all!
This recipe will be the first of many smoothie recipes I will feature. I think they make great breakfasts and if you include different ingredients each time, you won’t get bored. I decided to add flax seeds to this smoothie (and will likely do so often through this cleanse) to get some added fiber and healthy omega-3 fats, it is great for adding to smoothies as it tends to keep you a bit more satisfied, a bit longer. Flax seeds are also great sprinkled on salads, cooked vegetable or added to breads or cereals. This smoothie had a ton of flavor and it is now over 3 hours since I drank it and I am still quite satisfied. This is one I will for sure be making again.
Banana Pom-Berry Smoothie
1/2 orange, peel and pith removed (I used a cara cara pink navel, any orange will work)
1/2 cup organic 100% pomegranate juice (no additional ingredients and definitely no sugar added)
1 organic banana, halved
1 tbsp ground organic flax seed (I buy them whole and grind them myself)
1/2 cup frozen organic mixed berries
Add all the ingredients to your blender, blend until smooth. Enjoy!