Cultures worldwide eliminate certain foods for a period of time in the spring to allow the body to detox the heavy foods of winter. Lee and I have practiced occasional detox diets and short fasts in the spring but have found them too depleting after wading through tough winter months (and their accompanying colds). This year, however, we have devised a gradual spring cleanse to eliminate excess, alkalinize the body, and particularly heal the gut, the part of the body that suffers first from rich winter foods.
Our general plan is as follows:
Phase 1 - vegetables only, lots of soups and ferments (natural pickles, sauerkraut, miso, umeboshi vinegar, shoyu); no dairy, meat, processed foods, sweeteners grains, beans, nuts or fruit
Phase 2 - vegetables and whole grains, still lots of soups and ferments; no dairy, meat, processed foods, sweeteners, beans, nuts or fruit
Phase 3 - vegetables, grains, beans, soups, ferments (add to the ferments listed in week one tempeh and natto, two fermented bean products); no dairy, meat, processed foods, sweeteners, nuts or fruit
Phase 4 and beyond- add back in fruits, particularly cooked fruit dishes, fish, bread and cracked grain dishes, nuts, dried fruit, and grain-based sweeteners; consume dairy, meat, refined sweeteners, and processed foods no more than twice monthly apiece to support a healthy plant-based diet.
I will list our daily menu in upcoming posts, beginning with cleanse day 1, and let you know what works and what doesn't. Leave questions and comments below! I'd love to hear about your cleanse experiences.