5 Detoxifying Foods

Partaking in a cleanse or detox program for each seasonal change is a fantastic way to keep your body healthy and functioning at maximum efficiency. Just like we clean and organize our house after a long cold winter, we should do the same for our precious bodies. Clearing away the junk that has accumulated allows us to free up our energy and have a balanced state of well being. There are a number of ways one can cleanse such as fasting, juice feasting, herbal cleanses, and colon hydrotherapy. I've listed 5 common and familiar foods you can start to incorporate into your daily diet until you're ready to try a program that works for you.

Leafy greens - alkalizes the body and helps to cleanse. The number one food group you should consume raw on a regular basis. Collards, kale, baby spinach, watercress, arugula, swiss chard, dandelion, and cabbage to name a few. Fresh green juices, smoothies, and salads are an easy way to get your daily dose.

Garlic - used medicinally for everything from cleansing the liver to containing anti-bacterial properties to support a healthy immune system. Worried about scaring away family and friends because of the smell? Try Kyolic's Odorless Aged Garlic Extract. It's also certified organic and vegetarian.

Lemons - alkalizes the body and contains Vitamin C, essential for ridding toxins. You can make a tasty lemonade with filtered water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, and touch of agave nectar to sweeten. Add ice for a refreshing drink and sip throughout the day. The sea salt helps to quench your thirst and the agave nectar allows for you to have a touch of sweetness without the refined white sugar.

Sprouts - anti-cancer fighting and full of enzymes which are vital for everyday functions such as walking, talking, and breathing. You know it's good for you but you're not too keen on the taste you say? Try disguising the flavor by blending a small amount in smoothies or adding to salads and lettuce wraps.

Fruit - a great cleanser for the body. Watermelon, cucumber, and pineapple help to rehydrate and cool the body down. So, the next time it's a scorcher out, opt for the fresh fruit instead of the refined sugar drinks. Your body will be sure to thank you.

What is the best way for you to cleanse your body? Do you have any favorite supplements or techniques that aide you in doing so?

Herbal Walks and Wild Edibles

Philadelphia is an amazing city with plenty of resources for eating fresh locally grown foods, but how about so fresh that you can literally pick the food yourself straight from the ground. Every week a man by the name of El Ha Gahn, herbalist, naturalist, healer, nutritionist, and ecotourism specialist teaches these workshops held throughout the area.

For those of you unfamiliar with the benefits of wild edibles, they are more nutritious than any greens you will ever find at your grocery store. Wild edibles are undomesticated and therefore extremely vital and full of vitamins and minerals . Someone new to eating them may be turned off by the strong acrid taste and that is why I suggest at first to try eating them by blending it into a fruit smoothie or modestly mixing into a salad. Eating them raw without heating allows us to get the maximum health benefits out of the wild edibles. Due to the tough cellulose fiber of greens, the blender is an ideal way to consume them because it acts as our teeth and masticates them to a small enough consistency that we can actually absorb the nutrients.

Many of you with gardens probably have a few of these so called weeds already growing in your backyard. The most common ones you've likely heard of are dandelion, nettles, lamb's quarters, and purslane. Others include burdock, mustard greens, and chickweed to name a few.

Dandelions contain inulin, which can help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. They are especially good this time of year because of their cleansing properties for the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and stomach. They are pungent so if making a salad you can add a fat like an avocado to cut the bitterness. Nettles are usually known as stinging nettles because if not picked carefully they can literally sting you and leave your skin feeling irritated. Nettles have been known to increase circulation and are very high in protein. It's also known to purify the blood and act as an anti-inflammatory. Purslane tastes great in salads and has been used as a natural remedy internally for things like inflammation and constipation and externally for insect bites, eczema, and sunburn. It has more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy green and the stems and leaves are chock full of vitamins and minerals.

If this has sparked an interest in you and you're wondering how to learn about which wild edibles are safe to eat in your area, you can learn more about El Ha Gahn and his upcoming seminars and workshops by visiting his website. He also teaches classes on reflexology, arthritis prevention, healing plants, colon cleansing, keeping your children healthy, and many more. I can't wait to take one of his workshops and learn about the medicine cabinet growing in my own backyard.

For more information: Herbal Walks, Philadelphia, P.a.

Photo credit: Morgana

Have you ever been on an herbal walk and if so, how did you like it, what did you learn?

Where To Find Raw Food Meals To Go?

Raw foods are uncooked and unprocessed foods under 115 degrees. They consist of fresh fruits, veggies, leafy greens, herbs, sea veggies, sprouts, nuts, seeds, and super foods. One of the most important reasons why raw foodies (people that eat at least 50% raw food) do not cook their food is that vital enzymes, minerals, and nutrients are lost in the process. By continually consuming too many processed cooked foods it starts to take a toll on our bodies and can become extremely taxing to ones energy, digestive system, and overall health.

Eating fresh raw and organically grown food has the ability to provide you with glowing skin, boundless energy, a clear mind, natural weight release, and can serve as illness prevention. In fact, many people claim to have healed themselves from a number of ailments and diseases such as diabetes, depression, IBS, and even cancer!

Many people think this way of eating sounds good in theory but have no idea where or how to start, let alone where to even purchase raw food. Don't limit yourself to thinking it's just carrot and celery sticks with lots of restrictions. It's quite the opposite indeed and thanks to a local company based out of Bridgeport, PA called Awesome Foods, chances are you can purchase their food to go at one of the many locations in the Philadelphia area. They will also ship to your home or business anywhere in the United States.

Awesome Foods makes mock dishes resembling your favorite cooked food ones like pizza, burritos, sandwiches, chips, breads, crackers, pates, and yes even dessert. Owners Bruce & Marsha Weinstein started the company back in 2005 with the goal to provide raw healthy carb foods. As taken from their website, "We were inspired to make foods that were really healthy for people and tasted awesome. Thus, the idea for Awesome Foods was born."