Fall is right around the corner, and as the leaves on the trees change color before dropping to the ground—so does the human body begin to prepare for winter by dropping toxins.
As a result of this natural process, many people find themselves dealing with some kind of seasonal health flair-up, often expressing as itchy skin, rashes, acid reflux, sinus symptoms, asthma, chest colds, or even yeast infections.
Ancient wisdom has long taught of the importance of detoxifying during the transitional seasons as a preventative measure to promote good health. Fall presents us with an opportunity to align with the cycles of nature and promote the body’s natural purification process by doing a gentle, whole food detox.
A simple fall cleanse can promote many health benefits including:
–> Ridding the body of the accumulated damp heat of summer helping to clear up allergen and respiratory issues
–> Boosting alkalinity and putting an end to the body’s acidic inner ecosystem which breeds disease
–> Giving your digestive system a much needed rest
–> Reducing inflammation
–> Promoting the loss of excess fat stores (which house toxins)
–> Curing belly bloat
–> Cultivating a general sense of health and well-being
Clean Eating Basics for Vegans
Our food culture today has become extremely influenced by processed products making it all too common for refined, processed, and denatured foods to make it into the mouth of vegans and non-vegans alike on a daily basis.
In the spirit of getting back to the basics of clean eating, a three day detox will eliminate all of the goodies that are typically picked up while shopping at the local health food store. This means no nuts, tofu, soy products, rice, quinoa, or any type of grain.
When the digestive system is compromised these foods can lead to a wide array of uncomfortable mystery symptoms. If this sounds familiar, it is the perfect time to embark on an easy fall food detox.
The DIY Fall Food Detox Blue Print
For the three day cleanse you’ll need a blender, the fresh foods listed in the suggested meal plan, and a little extra time in your schedule for food prep and cooking.
The key to success is to plan ahead. Look over the foods listed, buy groceries in advance, and have a food prep day; make a soup, big salad and jar of dressing the day before you start the cleanse. For those who need extra protein, consider prepping red lentils, mung beans or aduki beans (because they’re easier to digest than most beans) to add to any meal.
For carb lovers, add 1⁄2 a cup of butternut squash, sweet potato, or red potatoes to your meals, or eat them anytime you are hungry as a snack.
All of your meal suggestions include small amounts of easy-to-digest protein and healthy fats to maintain energy levels and keep you feeling satisfied and nourished.
Your meals are based on highly alkaline foods like veggies, some fruits, and seeds and have been designed based on the fall season to support your body to detox. When you’re eating alkalizing foods your body cannot hold onto extra fat to store acid wastes, causing detoxification.
A Day in the Detox Life
Rise & Shine: Start your day with this purification potion. The Fall Detox Lemon Elixir is designed to improve absorption of minerals, enhance digestion, break down fat cells, and flush the liver, kidneys, and lymph nodes, supporting detoxification. Simply mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, juice from 1⁄2 a lemon, a pinch of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of raw honey.
Drink Your Greens: A balanced and delicious green smoothie provides a light, nutritious, and alkaline breakfast packed with plenty of energy to kick off your day. In your blender, throw a very large hand full of kale or baby spinach, 1 cup of your favorite frozen berries, 1 medium cored apple, some fresh ginger root, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds along with 1 cup of coconut, almond, hemp or rice milk (adding ice or stevia if desired). This delicious detox breakfast delivers phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the form of raw, living foods.
Mid-morning Snack: Smart snacking is encouraged during this food detox, in fact it is a requirement! Choose from 2 tablespoons of Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) on celery sticks; or Maca balls made with 1 tablespoon firm coconut oil and 1 teaspoon maca powder, formed into balls and refrigerated until firm.
Get Your Lunch On: You can still look forward to your lunch break while detoxing. Get inspired and pack a fun salad! A Basic Detox Salad is made up of 2 cups of fresh greens and any combination of colorful veggies including sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, chopped celery, grated carrots, snap peas, and a handful of sprouts. Add 1⁄4 cup of raw pumpkin, sunflower or hemp seeds and 3 ounces of approved beans for added protein. Toss with homemade oil & vinegar (3 tablespoons Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, sea salt and pepper—whisk while incorporating oil slowly). Pair with Carrot Ginger Soup (recipe)
Afternoon Snack Attack: Remember to never go hungry! When that afternoon crash happens and the cravings kick in, go for any of the snacks mentioned above or change it up with ¼ cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or a small portion of fruit such as an apple, grapefruit, persimmons ½ cup seeded grapes, kiwi, or ½ avocado with sea salt and dandelion leaves (great for cleansing).
It’s Supper Time: Roasted Veggies with Tahini Sauce (recipe) add a grounding, warm evening meal to your day. Mix 5 cups of root veggies, chopped uniformly (any combo of beets, turnips, rutabaga, fennel, carrots, parsnips) with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and a big handful of chopped parsley. Toss veggies with coconut oil and spread out onto a baking sheet; Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper; top with parsley. Pair with Avocado Bliss soup (recipe).
Dessert, Please: Detoxing doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dessert. Healthy desserts enhance detox success when eaten in moderation. Try a Baked apple (slice an apple and mix with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and stevia. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes) or Chia Dessert (2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut and stevia and let sit until the chia turns into a yummy pudding) or a Frozen Banana Rama treat (2 bananas almost frozen, cut into chunks and placed in blender until smooth).
Follow the detox eating plan for three days, making it your own. As you can see, a whole food fall detox doesn’t have to be full of deprivation. The nutrient density ensures that the body does not suffer, but rather thrives.
Seizing the purification process during the transitional season of fall provides the opportunity for great gains in our health and well-being. A fall food cleanse will jump start weight loss, banish belly bloat, boost the body’s defenses—and rekindle that spark within, readying you for the winter to come.
Also in Detox: Raw Vegan 101: How to Use a Dehydrator
Photo: Unsplash; Peaceful Dumpling