03 Apr Nutrition: Spring Cleansing
This season often motivates us to Spring clean our home, tidy up closets and re-plant the garden, so why not also apply this same revitalizing energy to your body! One of the best ways you can do this is to cleanse your liver. With over 500 crucial jobs, your liver is one of your hardest working organs. In addition to its vital role of detoxifying harmful substances, your liver’s other main roles include, filtering your blood, manufacturing enzymes, building proteins, producing cholesterol & bile, regulating blood sugar and helping metabolize carbohydrates. Those of us with disabilities, who take prescription drugs, have even more reason to give our livers some much needed R&R. Many of the medications we take, while albeit necessary, do put extra burden on our liver to break-down and detoxify. When the liver is overburdened, it loses its ability to easily perform its essential functions, toxins build-up and this can lead to the body’s systems becoming unbalanced, which in turn can make us more susceptible to illness.
Signs and symptoms of toxic build-up in the body include headache, fatigue, joint pain, allergies, bad breath, rashes, insomnia, indigestion, constipation, frequent colds and anxiety.
While you’ll find many detoxifying kits in your drug store and cleansing programs on the internet, some of these products can be quite harsh on your system and unsuitable for our unique and somewhat compromised systems-not to mention expensive. Instead of providing you with a recipe in this edition, we’re going to give you a gentle, inexpensive detoxifying menu plan. Follow this plan for 3-5 days and avoid all caffeine, alcohol, dairy, sugar and refined foods. All of the fruits, vegetables and herbs listed are extremely nourishing to the liver. This cleansing program will not only help improve your liver function by removing toxins from your body, but you may experience the added benefits of increased energy, improved digestive function, weight loss and feeling more clear headed.
Spring is an ideal time to cleanse and detoxify — you’ll feel healthier, refreshed and your liver will thank you for it!
M E N U l Spring Cleansing Menu Plan
Follow this gentle, inexpensive detoxifying menu plan for 3-5 days. Avoid all caffeine, alcohol, dairy, sugar and refined foods.
M O R N I N G
- Upon rising, drink 1 large glass of water, with a half of a lemon squeezed into it.
- For breakfast, eat 1 piece (or handful) of fruit, such as an apple, papaya, peach, grapefruit, orange, blackberries, prunes, figs or strawberries. Chew well.
- 15-30 minutes later: 1 bowl of cooked grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth or millet. For flavoring use sea salt, turmeric, garlic, lemon, 2 tbs. of fruit juice or drizzle olive oil.
M I D – D A Y
- 30 minutes before lunch, take 1 large glass of water, with a half of a lemon squeezed into it.
- For lunch, take 1 or 2 bowls of steamed or blanched vegetables (used a variety), such as dandelion greens, artichokes, onions, garlic, radishes, brussel sprouts, beets, carrots, green beans, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, asparagus, peas, spinach, potatoes or turnips. Chew well.
E V E N I N G
- 30 minutes before dinner, drink 1 large glass of water, with a half of a lemon squeezed into it.
- For dinner, follow same lunch menu above.
- After dinner, consume no foods. Drink only water or herbal teas listed below.
Snacks + Special Drinks
Drink as much of these in-between meal as you like:
- Miso soup
- 1 or 2 cups of veggie water (saved from the steamed/blanched vegetables)
- Herbs, such as Dandelion Root and Milk Thistle strengthen, tone and stimulate the liver. These herbs can be purchased at your local health food store and made into a refreshing tea. Add 1 tsp of these herbs to 1 cup of hot water, steep 10 minutes, strain and enjoy.
L I N K S l Read previous nutrition blog topics by Joanne and Kylie:
- Breakfast Smoothies
- Nutrition for Bone Health
- Importance of Hydration