« November 2007 | Main | March 2008 »

January 2008

January 29, 2008

Post-Holiday Mini-Cleanse

In my experience, it only takes two or three days to change my dietary habits. I'm not talking about making major transitions like going vegetarian, I'm talking about cutting out some of the bad little habits that make their way back into my lifestyle.

Here's the plan:
For two or three days, eat only healthy food. Fruits, vegetables, small quantities of organic chicken or eggs, nuts and seeds, and a little oatmeal or other cooked grain for breakfast.

For two or three days, eliminate dairy, wheat, white rice and potatoes, corn, sugar, alcohol, coffee and processed foods. If it comes in a box or a can or frozen, don't eat it.

Get one colonic on the last day of your mini-cleanse. On the honor system, if you tell me you've followed this cleanse, I'll give you $5 off the usual price of $65! (805.646.8865 to schedule)

Breakfast ideas: Oatmeal (the real stuff, not the stuff in the package) cooked with water, lots of pecans, raisins and coconut butter. Apples or pears with nut butter. One hard-boiled egg. Black or green tea if you must have caffeine.

Snack ideas: Check out the great recipe for fruit/nut bars below! Or, try a hot cup of miso soup with some grated carrots and parsnips. Or try celery with almond butter.

Lunch and dinner ideas: Salads with generous handfuls of your favorite nuts, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and a torn up sheet of nori. Baked sweet potatos with walnuts, steamed chard or spinach or kale and olive oil. Roasted veggies like peppers, asparagus, yams, parsnips, turnips, onions and garlic. A small slice of chicken or tempeh roasted with them if you are hungry for it. Chop a head of brocolli fairly small, cook in boiling water for a few minutes, cool it enough to blend it smooth (water and brocolli), season with Bragg's liquid aminos, olive oil and basil to taste - a creamy, quick soup. You can make the same soup with red peppers or green beans or the new crop of sweet peas that are coming in!

Step the clean-up up: Add green vegetable juice or powdered green drinks to your daily routine. Fast one day on miso and green drinks. Try incorporating some other seaweeds into your daily routine. Rainbow Bridge usually has arame in their salad case - an easy one to try.

At the end of these few days, chances are you'll feel good enough to continue along this path, adding in smaller amounts of foods like meat, dairy and grains. Vegetables and fruits really should be the foundation of your diet, with proteins, fats and grains rounding it out.

Author Michael Pollan sums it up nicely saying, "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Fruit and Nut Bars, adapted from Sunset Magazine, January 2008

If you don't have a food processor, this recipe can probably work if you are willing to spend a little extra time chopping. They are worth the effort and so nutritious!

1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 c. whole dates, halved and pitted
1 c. whole raw almonds (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 c. dried apricots
1/4 prunes or raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds (unsalted, unflavored)
1/4 c. sunflower seeds (shelled and unsalted)

Preheat oven to 300. Pour orange juice over dates and let soak 5 minutes.
Place almonds and dried fruit in food processor and pulse a few times until mixture starts to stick together.
Add pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pulsing a few times to incorporate.
Using wet hands, scoop mixture onto a work surface and form into a log about 1 3/4 in wide and 1/2 in thick. Use your palms to flatten into a bar and cut into 8 equal pieces.
Arrange pieces about 1 in apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Turn bars over and bake another 8 minutes or until nuts are toasted but before they begin to burn.
Store for up to 4 days.

This recipe is easily adapted to raw preparation in a dehydrator.