July '08 Food and Recipes

Why Cleanse?
by Stacy Plaske

Ideally, the body wants to stay in a state of health and balance but it needs the correct "fuel" to run optimally. Yet, even with the correct fuel, the "oil" (blood) needs to be cleaned every so often just like a car. 

We think nothing of filling our gas tanks with the proper good quality fuel and bringing the car in for a tune-up, oil change, or an emissions check. Why wouldn't our bodies need the same thing? Unfortunately, we often put the incorrect, harmful fuel into our body and then expect it to run, never changing the oil nor cleaning the filters. 

Cleansing the system gives you the opportunity to recharge your battery, clean your oil (blood) and cleanse your exhaust system (colon cleansing, kidney detox, liver detoxification and lung purification) by taking stress off the organ systems while eliminating old, toxic debris and residue from your tissues. The end result can be a body unfit for dis-ease, full of energy and lightness, with a clear-thinking, and positive mind. 

When to cleanse?

There are many times of the year when it will be beneficial to cleanse. For example, after the holidays when you want to cleanse the body of all the sugar and alcohol you may have consumed and also lose some weight by following a healthy eating plan. The new moon of each month is always a wonderful time to start anything new because of the grounding, supportive energy the new moon brings. Maybe you'd like to cleanse right after January 1st, starting off the New Year feeling your best. Or, if you're in a state of sluggishness, physically and/or mentally, a cleanse is a wonderful way to brighten, lighten, and refresh yourself! Ideally, to keep it simple, cleansing four times per year with the change of seasons is a great way to keep you in harmony with the cycles of nature. This allows 3 months time between cleanses and prepares your body and mind for the new climate and new energy upon you.

What does it mean:  a body, mind, and spirit cleanse?

Aside from the many physical benefits of cleansing, the emotional and mental state are also positively affected, bringing on a happy, and peaceful feeling. As you cleanse the organs of the body, you may also flush out old, unprocessed, negative emotions and memories. You may experience moments of anger, sadness, and frustration that seem to come out of nowhere. This is the "emotional body" cleansing itself. On a brighter note, you may also experience many moments of pure bliss, contentment, and happiness as you feel better and better.

Here are some delicious recipes to try.  Enjoy!

Spinach & Orange Lentil Ayurvedic Soup

1 c. organic baby orange lentils (you can substitute yellow lentils or mung beans)
16 oz. pre-washed organic baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 c. filtered water
1 clove organic garlic, sliced thin
1 organic serrano green chile (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. organic mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp. organic cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. organic chili powder
1 tsp. Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt
1 tbsp. organic first cold pressed olive oil

In a pot, add the lentils, spinach, water, serrano chile, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 25 minutes. You may need to add more water if it boils away. Once the lentils are cooked through soup is done, remove from heat. In a separate pot add the olive oil, once hot stir in the cumin, mustard seeds. When the first seed pops remove completely from the pan and pour all the seeds into the pot with the spinach and lentils. Stir in the chili powder.

Almond Milk (days 1&7 of Ultimate Energy Cleanse)

1 c. sliced almonds
3 c. water
1 tsp. raw organic Agave Nectar

Soak the almonds for 24 hours in a large bowl with plenty of water. Rinse and drain the almonds. Put in a blender with 3 new cups of filtered or bottles water and Agave Nectar. Blend. Strain all the excess almond bits. Chill.

Indian Spice Almond Milk (days 1&7 of Ultimate Energy Cleanse)

2 dates, pitted (soaked to cover in filtered water for 3 hours, retain soaking liquid)
¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 filtered water ice cubes
8 oz. almond milk (see above )

Blend till smooth, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to over blend, as this will warm the liquid.

Coconut Water "Cocktail" (All days of Ultimate Energy Cleanse)

Feeling left out during cocktail hour? Here's a way to keep things fun. Serve this drink straight up in a martini glass or frozen in a margarita glass

4 oz. fresh coconut water
1 kiwi, peeled and seeded†
2 oz .fresh pineapple†
lime juice, dash
honey, to taste

Puree kiwi and pineapple in food processor until smooth. In a martini shaker, add coconut water, fruit mixture, lime juice, and honey. Add ice, cover and shake until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of lime. For the frozen version, put all ingredients in a blender and add ice. Blend well and pour into a margarita glass. Garnish with a slice of lime and a straw.

†Note: feel free to experiment with other fruits

The last three recipes are included in the Ultimate Energy Cleanse Recipe Book.  For more information about the Ultimate Energy Cleanse, please visit www.ultimateenergycleanse.com.

Stacy Plaske is an authorized Ashtanga yoga teacher and the owner of Balance Yoga & Healing Arts Center in Huntington, NY. She is a Holistic Health Counselor and co-creator of The Ultimate Energy Cleanse; a 7-day, whole body, vegan alkalizing cleansing program that uses delicious vegan foods, organic herbal formulas, juices, teas, and baths to cleanse the entire body.

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