A Fresh Start – Spring Clean Your Body

Post by Connie Linton C.N.P

It’s that time of year again folks, the layers start to come off and we truly see the ravages of winter… have you ever tried on a bathing suit in mid February? (you know what I mean 😉 ) If you’re anything like me, this winter was full of binge watching Netflix and eating comfort foods. Although I do try to eat unprocessed foods and to stay sugar, dairy and wheat-free, I found that this winter I just couldn’t control my portions very well. I felt like I was just eating, eating, eating… and could never get enough! I believe that this year in particular I was self-soothing with food, trying to accept that I live in this cold, winter climate (some days were so bitter I could hardly make it to my car). So I’ve decided that it’s finally time to “spring clean” my body! Could I lose a few pounds? Of course!  But that’s not the only reason to change an eating habit. Instead of going on crash diets that don’t work, I like to focus on getting back to basics and eat whole foods; nothing with a label or packaging. 

Detoxification – it is a wonderful way to help your body function at it’s best. For me, committing to a detox plan is easier when the weather warms up… there is nothing more uncomfortable than eating cold foods when it’s cold outside! Most of the foods on a detox plan are light, uncooked, and some are even liquid.

What is a Detox?

Detox is short for detoxification. It is the body’s natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body.  Toxins are anything that can potentially harm body tissue. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, blood, and lymphatic system work together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically into less harmful compounds and excreted from the body.

Going on a detox diet means using foods and herbs, and engaging in other methods like lymphatic drainage massage and infrared saunas (just to name a few) to help the body remove harmful toxins that could potentially damage these delicate systems of our body. Generally detoxing is “short term” and it helps minimize the amount of chemicals ingested.

During a detox it is important to emphasize food that provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.  These foods should be high in fiber and water, which helps to draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements.

Why Detox??

Research suggests that many chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air can deposit in fat cells in our bodies. These toxins include pesticides, antibiotics, hormones in food, chemicals from packaging, household cleaners, detergent and cigarette smoke. Additionally, a diet that lacks certain nutrients impairs our natural process of detoxifying, which further leads to a toxic buildup in the body. Think of your body as a barrel that continuously fills up, and then eventually overflows onto the floor, causing damage to the surrounding area. It’s the same in our bodies. This is known as the “barrel effect”

Benefits of Detoxing

  • Improved Energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Increased concentration
  • Some weight-loss

Who Should Not Detox

Certain conditions or health issues will prevent you from a healthy detox. You must always check with your healthcare provider before starting a Detox, and address any health concerns you may have. 

Tips While Detoxing

Drink a lot of water during your detox. The shakes and juices are meant to be liquid meals that help decrease the amount of work that your digestive system has to do.  Along with changing the way you eat during the detoxification, it is important to incorporate other principles of detoxing.

  • Deep breathing
  • Gentle Yoga
  • Take a couple of spoonfuls of Olive Oil at night to help stimulate the liver to eliminate bile and keep circulation moving.
  • Many toxins are eliminated through the skin so it is important to sweat either through exercise or sauna
  • Finally, make sure you eat whole, organic foods – which have the best chance of containing all the nutrients needed for liver and general detoxification.

 HHH’s 3 Day, Body “Spring Cleaning”

You can adjust the meals to your taste, but remember not to include dairy, grains with gluten, red meat, shellfish, anything processed, (including all soy products) all nightshades- potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, condiments, sugar and please no coffee or alcohol.

Day 1: 

  • Upon rising: a glass of room temperature water with lemon 
  • Breakfast: 1 cup of herbal tea with blueberry and almond smoothie 
  • Snack: coconut water
  • Lunch: avocado salad with flax oil and lemon dressing 
  • Snack: a handful of pumpkin & sunflower seeds 
  • Dinner: broccoli soup with white beans 

Day 2: 

  • Upon rising: a glass of room temperature water with lemon
  • Breakfast: 1 cup of herbal tea and very berry smoothie 
  • Snack: coconut water 
  • Lunch: arugula salad with grilled salmon
  • Snack: herbal tea with 6 almonds
  • Dinner: spicy lentil with green bean soup

Day 3: 

  • Upon rising: a glass of room temperature water with lemon
  • Breakfast: 1 cup of herbal tea and steel cut oatmeal with nut milk & grated apple
  • Snack: coconut water 
  • Lunch: sauteed kale with chickpeas 
  • Snack: smoothie
  • Dinner: curried carrot soup

Recipes: 

Day 1

Blueberry Almond Smoothie

  •  1 scoop of complete nutritional vegetable protein (I use, Vega protein and Greens)
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk

 Blend everything together. Enjoy

Avocado Salad with Flax oil and lemon juice Dressing

  •  1 head of baby green lettuce roughly cut
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro
  • ¼ Avocado, diced

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. Flax oil mixed with juice of ½ a lemon,  add a tsp. of honey

Combine the lettuce, onion, avocado in a bowl, drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.

Broccoli Soup with White Beans

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups canned cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets.
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  • Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a large pot
  • Add the onion cover and cook for 5 min.
  • Add the garlic and sauté another 2 min
  • Add the vegetable broth , the beans and bring everything to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Season with cayenne pepper and the lemon juice add salt a pepper.
  • Puree mixture in a blender and serve.

Day 2

Very Berry Boost Smoothie

photo 3 (15)

  • 1 ¼  cup unsweetened almond mild
  • 1cup of fresh or frozen blueberries add a couple of ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. of Vega Protein and Greens
  • 1Tbsp chia seed
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½-frozen banana
  • ½ cup spinach

 Puree until smooth in a blender

Arugula Salad with Broiled Salmon

  • 1 -5oz piece of Salmon wild caught not farmed
  • 1tsp of olive oil
  • ½ tsp. of dried dill weed
  • Pinch of salt &  juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½  cups Arugula
  • 1Tbsp almonds chopped
  • 1/3 avocado
  • dash of cayenne

Directions 

  • Place the salmon on a parchment lined baking sheet. And brush both sides with sauce (1 tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of dried dill weed, & pinch of salt with juice of 1 lemon). Broil both sides until browned and cooked through
  • Combine the arugula almonds and avocado. Sprinkle with a olive oil and a splash of vinegar your choice.

 Spicy Lentil with Green Bean Soup

  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • ¼ chopped yellow onion
  • 1 peeled and diced carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1-diced zucchini
  • 8 green beans
  • 2 cups of low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. of dried basil
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • 1 pinch of chili pepper
  • handful of spinach or swiss chard

Directions

photo 2 (19)

  • Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion the carrot the celery and hot chili pepper sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini and the green beans. Continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Stir in the dried lentils and add the 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce heat and simmer for 25- 30 minutes until lentils are tender
  • Toss in a handful of spinach or Swiss chard season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Puree in a blender

Day 3

Kale and Chickpea Sauté

photo 1 (20)

  • 1 head of Kale
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ tsp. of chili pepper flake
  • 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 -19 oz. can of chickpeas rinsed.

Directions

  • Remove Stalks from Kale and wash leaves and chop finely.
  • In a pan heat the olive oil then add onion.
  • Once onion is translucent add the garlic and sauté until aromatic (like it starts to smell garlicky in the air)
  • Add the chili flakes.
  • Add the chickpeas and let them get golden.
  • Add the chopped Kale and a little water. 2 Tbsp.
  • When the kale is wilted the dish is ready.

Curried Carrot Soup

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp red curry paste (Thai Kitchen Brand)
  • 1 Cup of vegetable stock
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in 3 quart pot over low heat
  • Add the garlic cloves the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the carrots, the red curry paste , and then the stock , salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil reduce heat and cover for 20 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the coconut milk.
  • Puree soup in a blender until smooth.

EAT. LIVE. RENEW.

Connie Linton C.N.P.

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