January 1 is a fresh start. The holidays are over and we can turn our attention back to our health. Many usher in the new year by wasting money on seldom-used gym memberships or equipment and unhealthy crash diets – both of which cause the loss of only one thing: your mind!
Health is more than a new gimmick diet or machine. Health is (you know what’s coming next) a lifestyle that begins with making intelligent health decisions, which leads to positive healthy results.
For example, rather than commit (and inevitably de-commit) to a fad diet, consider embarking on a cleanse. For many, the prospect of committing even short-term to eating a predetermined group of notoriously healthy and nutrient-rich foods without deviation is unthinkable! But when you consider that a diet in specific nutrient-rich foods is no more drastic than a diet consisting of only meal replacement “bars” and “shakes,” the idea of a cleanse gains perspective.
I did my first cleanse almost 4 years ago. It was a truly life changing experience. My life long stomach aches went away. My battle with chronic fatigue subsided. I slept better and worked out harder. I finally figured out gluten was my body’s enemy and discovered that my body functions better without meat or dairy. But had I not tried a cleanse I would still be suffering from debilitating stomach pains and unexplainable fatigue. The 7 basic rules of the cleanse are simple but immovable:
1. No dairy
2. No meat or eggs
3. Limit caffeine to 1 small cup a day
4. No sugar
5. No gluten
6. No alcohol
7. One green smoothie a day
The cleanse runs for 21 days, which is long enough to start changing your habits and feel the cleanse change both your mind and body! Not convinced? Consider this:
- Do you regularly eat 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day? Probably, not right? By incorporating a daily green smoothie into you diet, you will have met your intake goal before lunch! Green smoothies only take a few minutes to make, only require rinsing your blender and you can drink them on the go! By blending your dark leafy green vegetable, you flood your body with chlorophyll and a powerhouse of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
- Did you know major research studies that show that a plant strong diet can reverse major diseases such as heart disease and cancer? Yes, I said REVERSE!
- Are you that person that gets every cold that goes around? Switching to a plant-based diet naturally lowers your body’s pH, which decreases inflammation and dramatically improves your immune system. Say “Hello” to broccoli and “Good-bye” to sick days!
- Are you more concerned about the earth? If every American could simply give up one meal of chicken per week and replace it with an all-vegetable meal, it would be the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the roads!
- If you went vegetarian today, it would slow climate change more effectively than switching to a hybrid car!
Don’t you love knowing that YOU have the power to change your life, even the world, by making changes to the food you put in your mouth? What’s the worst the could happen? You try it, decide it’s not for you, and then you revert back to bars and powdered shakes. Change start with you. Why not give a cleanse a shot and raise your fork to change your body, your mind, and the world!
Here is a sample day on the cleanse:
Breakfast: Green Smoothie (visit kellird.com for lots of smoothie recipes)
Lunch: Salad topped with beans, avocado, lots of veggies and dressed with a vegan/gluten free vinaigrette. Serve with a few gluten free flaxseed crackers or my favorite: a roasted sweet potato!
Snack: 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts and a piece of fruit
Dinner: Asian Noodle Pasta Salad
7 A Day Green Smoothie
7 A Day Smoothie
- 1 big handful organic baby carrots
- 4 inches organic cucumber, skin on only if it is organic
- 1 big handful organic cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups organic kale
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 apple, cored
- ½ frozen banana
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup ice
- sprinkle of stevia, if desired
- Put all the ingredients into your blender.
- Blend for about 60 seconds, or until everything is smooth and combined.
Asian Noodle Pasta Salad
- 1 box pad thai noodles (you can even use brown rice pasta, but I love the pad thai noodles!)
- 1/2 cup asian salad dressing (Bragg’s makes a great gluten free option!)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter)
- 1 bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 bag grated carrots
- 1 cucumber, sliced thin
- 1 avocado
- scallions and cilantro for toppings
Bring a pot of water to boil.
While waiting, combine peanut butter and dressing in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Prepare the cucumber, scallions and cilantro.
When the water boils, add the noodles, edamame and grated carrots. (If you are using noodles that take longer than 4 minutes to cook, add the edamame and carrots when there is 4 minutes left on the timer.)
Drain the noodles, edamame and carrots. Add them to the large bowl with the peanut/dressing mixture. Stir, stir, stir to combine.
Add the cucumber and stir again. I like to serve this room temperature. When you ready to serve, top each bowl with some scallion, cilatro and avocado. I sometimes like a little extra dressing on top too.