Thought I would share this great article by my friend and Holistic Nutritionist Yuri Elkaim who really got me excited about cleansing. But not the traditional cleansing that you may have tried, read about or someone that has done a cleanse with temporary results. Read these 3 healthy cleansing strategies that you can implement right away and Yuri’s sample meal plan that will make you feel better better. 3 POST-HOLIDAY CLEANSING STRATEGIES FOR A HEALTHIER 2013 From the desk of Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN Owner and Founder Elkaim Health Fitness Solutions, Inc. Creator of Total Wellness Cleanse Program PANTS A LITTLE TIGHT AFTER ALL THAT FESTIVE INDULGING? FEELING MORE TIRED THAN USUAL? Well, let’s get rid of those extra holiday pounds and boost your vitality with these 3 smart slim-down cleansing strategies that I’m about to share with you here. After all, there’s no better time to CLEAN your body of toxic gunk (thank you alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and chemicals) and excess weight than the beginning of a new year. It’s my mission (and duty) to help you start 2013 in the healthiest manner possible. So I’m here to deliver the goods. But before I do, I must confess that I’m not a fan of cleansing in the traditional sense. By that, I mean your typical “pop-a-pill” and spend all day on the toilet type of cleanses. The problem with almost all cleanses on the market is that they are completely focused on the WRONG thing. They want you to believe that by buying bottles of their herbal concoctions, supplements, or drinking gallons of “spicy lemonade” that you’ll be able to lose weight and feel more alive than ever. And although they may show quick results, they will rarely if ever lead to lasting change. That’s no fun if weight loss is your goal, for instance. What good is it to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks only to pack it right back on as soon as you revert back to your old ways to eating after your detox is complete? I want quick AND lasting change for you. I want you to enjoy incredible vitality and a body you can feel proud of. Not for just a few days but for good. And that’s exactly what the following 3 healthy cleansing strategies will help you move towards. Cleansing is important – if it’s done right. It’s not about relying on supplements but rather making small adjustments to the most important thing you do each day … EATING. Yes, you can eat more and weigh less. Yes, food can heal what ails you. And yes, these foods can actually taste delicious. But you have to know what you’re doing. LET’S START WITH THESE 3 STRATEGIES… #1 – GET YOUR AM DRINK ON Yes, that’s right… I want you to drink first thing in the morning. But I’m referring to water, and lots of it. I recommend starting your day with ONE liter of water before ingesting anything else. Why? Two reasons… First, you lose a lot water during sleep through breathing. Therefore, rehydrating when you wake up is important. Second, since you’re immobile during sleep, the toxins that your body produces and tries to get rid of build up in your liver and bile. Drinking water in the morning can help move those toxins out of your system in your urine and stool. Bonus tip: Add a squeeze of lemon to your morning water. Lemon stimulates gall bladder contractions, which facilitates the removal of those stored toxins. Lemon also awakens the rest of your digestive tract so you’ll find yourself hopping on the toilet quicker than by drinking a morning coffee. #2 – GO GREEN AND ENJOY A LIQUID LUNCH If I were to give you ONE strategy that could improve your body and health dramatically it would be to add more greens into your diet. And the easiest way to do that is by liquefying them. Because let’s be honest… Unless you’re a cow grazing the pasture, you’re most likely not going to be eating grasses and leafy greens all day long. But you certainly can throw greens like kale, parsley, swiss chard, lettuce, and any green powders into a blender, right? The power of green vegetables lies in their incredibly high levels of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Greens are also the major source of alkalinity within our food supply. Without getting too technical here, just realize that when you’re body is too acidic (from eating too many grains, sugar, and animal products) it becomes prone to sickness, disease, and lethargy. By eating more vegetables, especially greens, you can restore the natural alkaline pH that your blood requires for optimal health. Here’s my go-to lunchtime smoothie that I know you’ll enjoy too… 1 head of kale, Swisss chard, or dark green lettuce ½ handful cilantro 1 apple 1 pear 1 banana Juice of ½ lime 500 ml of water. Throw everything into a blender and you’ll get about 1 liter of cleansing power that tastes amazing! #3 – REMOVE COMMON CONGESTING AND ALLERGENIC FOODS (AT LEAST TEMPORARILY) Foods like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol are obvious ones to scratch off the list when cleansing your body of toxic build-up in a healthier way. But not many people realize that foods like corn, soy, grains, and most animal products (especially dairy) are very congesting and taxing on your digestive and immune system. Essentially, what this means is that by eating these “allergenic” foods on a regular basis, some of their proteins can be identified as foreign invaders by your immune system. As a result, they stimulate inflammation throughout your body, leading to mucus production, congestion, and shunted flow of energy. The best way to realize this is to experience it first hand. And the only way to do that is by removing these foods from your diet – at least for a few days. Then, once you notice that you have more energy, less congestion, better bowel movements, and have shed needless fat, then you can add them back into your diet (one at a time) to notice their effect on your body. You’ll be shocked – to say the least. Not sure where to start? Here’s a simple one day meal plan to give you some ideas of how delicious a proper “food-based” cleanse can be… BREAKFAST: Coconut Blue-Cranbery Smoothie 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 1⁄4 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries 250ml coconut milk 250ml water LUNCH: Leek and Onion Soup 3 leek stalks 1 large onion 5 garlic cloves, minced 5 stalks celery, juiced 1 carrot, juiced 2 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped 2 tbsp olive oil (optional) 4 cups water Fresh ground black pepper to taste DINNER: Roasted Veggie and Quinoa Perfection 1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 2 small zucchinis, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 small red onion, chopped 2 tbsp coconut oil 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped 1 yellow squash, peeled and chopped Juice of one fresh lemon Sea salt to taste 1. Roast chopped vegetables in the oven at 300°F until tender. 2. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium pot and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-12 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. 3. Place bed of quinoa on plate and surround or top with roasted vegetables and a splash of fresh lemon juice and sea salt to taste. I hope these ideas get your taste buds sizzling. Cleansing is absolutely critical to your health (since we’re all way too toxic) but I want you to realize that cleansing doesn’t have to revolve around crazy herbal supplements. Instead, it can and should be based on eating clean whole foods. That’s the only way you can achieve quick and long-lasting results. After all, you’re improving your dietary habits one day at a time – and improving your daily habits is what counts in the long run.