Clean Eating for Your Daily Detox!
I was just reading an article in Natural Foods Merchandiser about the decline of Detox Products as consumers realize that a clean daily diet negates the need for extreme detoxes.
This truly supports the principles behind Ayurveda, which emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed, fresh foods for each meal. While it can be difficult to take the time to from scratch, there are many steps that you can regularly take to keep your diet clean and eliminate or decrease the need for extreme detoxes or fasts. It’s really your daily habits that will determine your overall health and energy levels. Below are some Ayurvedic principles that I have incorporated in my life for a “daily cleanse’ that pay off big time!
• Drink a large glass or room temperate or warm water, preferably with a squeeze of lemon or lime, first thing in the morning, before tea or coffee.
• Make sure to drink ½ your ideal body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 ounces.
PLAN AND COOK EASY RECIPES THAT COVER LUNCH AND DINNER
• Take one day a week to plan meals for the next week. I typically like to do this on Sunday, before the weekly pressures start. (Or at the least, plan one day ahead) Shop for your ingredients beforehand so it’s easy to cook up fresh foods. I like to cook warm basics during the winter weekdays like split pea and lentil soups, chicken (baked breasts) with veggies, baked sweet potatoes, veggie stir fry with wild rice or quinoa (high in protein), fresh fish with veggies…you get the idea. Invest in a cookbook with simple, healthy recipes if you are not sure where to start. (One of my all-time favorites is Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar)
Many of these dishes can be eaten for multiple meals. For example, cook enough split pea soup for both dinner and lunch the following day, just make sure to eat it within 24 hours of cooking it so it is fresh and full of nutrients. Embellish with sliced avocado, pumpkin seeds and an apple and you have a delicious meal!
MY SECRET TOOLS: PRESSURE COOKER AND SLOW COOKER
• Invest in a good pressure cooker and slow cooker (Crockpot). These are life savers in my world. My grandma used a pressure cooker and I have to admit, it scared me. Now I’m a convert – this is a huge time saver, and modern pressure cookers are easy and safe to use. Picture this: Get home from work and take 10 minutes or LESS to chop a few veggies, quarter some potatoes and throw them in the pressure cooker with some chicken breasts, spices and perhaps a can of coconut milk. Set the pressure cooker to 6 minutes and walk away. Decompress while dinner cooks! You’ll be eating within an hour of arriving home. (Pressure cooker takes a few minutes to come to pressure)
• With the slow cooker, start your lentil soup before you leave the house for the day, and you’ll literally salivate when you walk in the door to the savory scent of a fresh cooked meal! Prepare your ingredients the night prior for quicker prep the next morning.
THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
• During the winter months, eat warming foods such as STEEL CUT oatmeal (not processed instant), amaranth (a grain like seed full of nutrients) or quinoa. Since they aren’t processed and may take 30 minutes to cook, simply start them, turn the oven to low, then go take your shower, etc. (I meditate) until ready. Add apple while cooking and sweeten with maple syrup, honey or stevia and add chopped nuts for a delicious, healthy breakfast.
A FEW MORE DAILY CLEANSING EATING TIPS
• Many of us constantly snack, having been taught that eating every couple of hours is good for us – not so for most of us. Your body doesn’t have the chance to digest the prior meal if you are constantly eating. See if you can teach yourself to go at least three hours between meals.
• In an ideal world, lunch is your largest meal, when your digestive fire is burning the best.
• Finish dinner early! Dinner should be more like “supper,” a lighter meal. Ideally you will give your body a mini cleanse every day between dinner and break – fast. That means finishing dinner by 6:30pm if you eat breakfast at 6:30 am. This is optimal for brain health, digestion and sleep. Eating late allows toxins to accumulate and sit in your body.
I’d love to share more tips with you on how you can keep your body clean so you don’t go through the ups and downs of detoxing then alternating with eating or living off balance. Come in for a consultation or ask me about my next workshop or Ayurvedic series!