After 7 days of pre-cleansing, it’s time to embark on day 1 of the three week liver cleanse. See my previous post detailing the pre-cleanse.
Cleanses always hold the hope of possibility: it’s a time to clear your mind and body, quite literally. It’s a time to rid yourself of excess baggage, both physically and mentally. Physically, we shed pounds and abandon digestive problems and joint pain while welcoming clear skin and shiny hair. Emotionally, detoxification helps us uncover and express hidden frustrations, anger, resentments and fear and replace them with forgiveness, love, joy and hope. Because the liver is the seat of emotion (according to Chinese Medicine), repressed feelings can surface, and it is a time to recognize them and let them go.
This particular cleanse involves taking herbs that support liver and gall-bladder function and encourage removal of stored toxins. Antioxidants help counter-act any damage caused by excess toxins as they are released. I’ll make a cleansing smoothie twice daily and eat one regular meal. The smoothie is a functional food powder that contains rice protein (hypoallergenic, no dairy, soy, or whey), herbs, vitamins and minerals that assist in the cleansing process. I mix a green food powder (contains kale, beets, spirulina, and other superfood greens) in the smoothies along with flaxseed and psyllium to assist in colon cleansing. Psyllium binds with toxins and whisks them out of the body via regular bowel movements.
I start the days with hot water and the juice of a lemon with a dash of cayenne. Boy does that get things moving! This is an alkalinizing drink that is very liver-cleansing. I like the continue this ritual even after the cleanse is finished. After that, I do 10 minutes of meditation and deep breathing, then the morning smoothie. Off to work, or for an energizing walk.
I’m avoiding gluten and dairy (not much different from my normal diet), soy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. So for lunch, I’ll have a big green salad with fish or chicken, and maybe some grated raw beets and carrots with flaxseed oil and lemon and garlic dressing. I drink herbal teas and plenty of water throughout the day to help flush toxins. I’ll add cucumber or meyer lemons to the water to make it more “spa-like” and tasty!
I want to make sure and do regular yoga, including twists to help “wring” out my kidneys and liver, and long walks with the dog. I do skin brushing before hot epsom salt baths. The skin brushing stimulates the lymph and aids in removal of toxins. It’s nice to sweat if you have access to a sauna, as this is one way we detox. I also want to get plenty of sleep and take it a bit easy.
I also have a big pot of mineral broth on the stove; I’ll sip on it during the days and in the evenings (recipe below). This is a wonderful, alkalinizing broth that is very rich in potassium and other minerals. It nourishes the adrenals and is a wonderful complement to a cleanse, or can be used as the base for soups at any time. 2 weeks and six days left! Check back for updates.
1 c winter squash (butternut or yams or whatever is in season)
2 medium potatoes, any variety
1 c zucchini
1 c cabbage
2 c celery
1 c collards or chard
1 c kale
1 c onion
¼ c parsley
½ c beets
3 cloves garlic
½ c flaxseeds
6 slices ginger, size of a thumbprint
Handful of sea veggies (hijiki, wakame, kelp)
Use any other optional veggies you have on hand, such as broccoli or green beans
Scrub veggies and cut into chunks. Place in dutch oven and fill with filtered water to level of veggies. Bring to boil, simmer 4 hours or more. Add curry for zest if desired. Strain and keep the broth. Drink at least 1 cup per day. You may puree the vegetables and broth together in a blender and take as a heartier soup if desired.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.