Favourite Summer Strategies for Weight Loss and Disease PreventionJulia Woodford June 1, 2012
Environment Canada is forecasting a hotter than normal summer this year, a prediction that is welcome news for some. But for others, the heat and humidity is something to be dreaded. Why? Because when environmental heat starts to cook our bodies, we can find ourselves boiling over with anger, irritability, hot flashes, insomnia, skin rashes, high blood pressure, and other symptoms of inflammation.
Fortunately, there are numerous strategies available to turn down your inner heat and maximize your enjoyment of the season. With the right tools in hand, summer can be a wonderful time for easy detoxing which cools the fires of inflammation while cleansing the tissues and accelerating weight loss.
What follows is a summary of nutritional strategies that I have used for removing toxic “heat” and increasing my comfort level in summer. Organized to meet you where you are on the health spectrum, these strategies start with Step One for beginners, Step Two for those who want to go further, and finish with Step Three for readers who are ready to go all the way. The one thing to remember is take it slow – gradual change is far healthier for the body than sudden, drastic alterations to one’s lifestyle.
Step One – Discontinue Meat and Bad Fats
The most basic step for those wanting to remove inflammation and toxic “heat” from the body is to discontinue meat consumption. This is ironic considering that summer is barbecue season, a time when beef, pork, and chicken can be found roasting on the grill in every back yard. Unfortunately, charred meat creates toxic “heat” (inflammation) in the body, along with increased blood pressure and cholesterol, bowel congestion, foul smelling sweat, and increased risk of cancer. So ditching the burgers and learning to love grilled, baked, boiled, or raw vegetables goes a long way towards keeping your body cool and comfortable all summer.
Another important part of Step One is to do an oil change. Specifically, make the switch to high quality fats and oils which work to clear inflammation, lubricate the tissues, and nourish the cells. One good formula is Udo’s Oil 3•6•9 Blend™, made up of organic, non-GMO, cold pressed extra virgin oils: flax, evening primrose, sunflower, coconut, sesame, rice, and oat bran. This oil blend can be used in any recipe that calls for flax seed, olive, or sunflower oil (however it’s not to be used for cooking). Here are two great recipes from a new booklet “Udo’s Choice® Superfood Recipes”, now available in health food stores.
Quinoa with Corn and Peppers
(Makes 4 servings)
1 cup quinoa
1½ cups frozen organic corn
1½ cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
¼ cup Udo’s Oil
2 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
Rinse the quinoa and place in a small pot with the corn, water, and the bouillon cube. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook and stir the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the peppers and cook and stir until soft, another 10 minutes.
Add the cooked quinoa and corn and combine well. Remove from heat and stir in the Udo’s Oil and half the parsley, if desired. Divide among 4 plates and garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve at once.
Kale Slaw with Fresh Turmeric
1 bunch Tuscan kale (about 15 stalks), washed and dried
4 oz enoki mushrooms, root ends cut off, stalks separated
2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise, cut diagonally into strips
2 carrots, grated
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
½ red onion, cut into slivers
½ cup basil leaves, packed
¼ cup unseasoned brown
¼ cup Udo’s Oil
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp sriracha sauce
½ tsp sea salt
4 fresh turmeric roots, peeled
Grasping the leaf portion of the kale, pull away and discard the stems. Stack the leaves and slice crosswise into very thin strips. Place in a large bowl along with the mushrooms, celery, carrot, red pepper, and onion.
Place the basil, vinegar, Udo’s Oil, garlic, sriracha and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Pour over the vegetables in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Divide among 4 plates. Grate 1 turmeric root over each salad and serve at once.
Step Two – Introduce More Raw Foods
Leslie Kenton, author of The Raw Energy Bible, is a strong advocate of eating 50 to 75% of your foods raw, which she believes can bring natural weight loss without dieting, rejuvenate the body in measurable ways, heighten energy, and bring greater mental clarity. Most importantly, raw food is very cooling, which works to douse the fires of inflammation. According to Kenton, “A living salad is the epitome of nutritional quality for ensuring fat loss.” Here are two raw recipes from her book:
Greek Delight Plus
This is a new twist on a classic Greek salad, with extra protein added in the form of feta cheese.
4 inch piece of cucumber
4 to 8 oz feta cheese
8 oz tomatoes
1 dozen black olives
3 cups fresh alfalfa sprouts
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp virgin olive oil or flax seed oil
Chop the cucumber, feta cheese, and tomatoes into small pieces. Mix them together in a bowl with the black olives.
Mix dressing ingredients together in a screw-top jar by shaking them. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Then arrange on a bed of alfalfa sprouts and serve on a platter.
Devil’s Delight Salad
Raw beetroot has remarkable properties for detoxification; it’s also an excellent source of vitamin C and minerals. And it’s delicious – particularly married with fresh apples. Once you taste it, you will wonder how you could ever eat this red root vegetable cooked.
3 raw beetroots
3 green apples
3 white radishes
2 Tbsp flax seed oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Meaux mustard
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
4 spring onions, chopped
fine ground black pepper
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
Grate the beetroots, apples, and radishes, preferably in a food processor, then mix together in a bowl. Put the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake. Pour dressing over the salad and toss.
Step Three – Raw Juicing
The founders of Nonpareil Natural Health Retreat believe that juice fasting is the best way to achieve a high level of wellness while losing weight and turning back the clock.
Since juicing is a powerful antidote to inflammation, it can work effectively to not only cool you down and prevent disease, but also reverse the disease process and aid recovery. Leaders in the health movement, such as the Hippocrates Institute and Gerson Institute, would agree. In fact, the Gerson Institute’s website states: “[Juice fasting] is a powerful, natural treatment that boosts the body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. Dr. Max Gerson developed the Gerson Therapy in the 1930s, initially as a treatment for his own debilitating migraines, and eventually as a treatment for degenerative diseases such as skin tuberculosis, diabetes, and most famously, cancer.”
I find that the biggest challenge with this approach is the time and effort it takes to shop for organic ingredients, blend or juice them, and make sure they are consumed immediately. At Nonpareil, guests relax and take it easy while the proprietors take care of the rest. Says Nonpareil co-founder Mano McNabb, “When our guests are in an environment where there are no distractions and they are being served, they feel totally cared for and nourished. They also comment on how quickly they see improvement on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.”
To give you a taste of the cleansing strategies used at Nonpareil, Mano and partner David Gouveia have supplied a list of formulas used at their retreats so that you can try them at home. Says Mano, “In our more than 20 years of hosting year-round organic cleansing and fasting retreats, we have found that our guests are amazed at how easy juice fasting is to do.” (Note: It’s safe to do juice fasting at home for a day or two, but for longer periods it’s recommended to be under the care of experts.)
Nonpareil Morning Tonic
The morning at Nonpareil starts with one cup of hot water to which is added the juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV), one tablespoon of organic maple syrup, and two dashes of cayenne pepper. This drink, taken on an empty stomach, works to alkalinize the body, stimulate the bowels, and boost the circulatory system.
Key ingredient: Organic Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar helps to rid the body of toxic wastes while improving digestion and strengthening the heart. It is especially recommended for arthritic conditions (uric acid crystals tend to collect in the bursae and joints of the body resulting in arthritis and bursitis. To flush uric acid crystals out, take 1 to 2 tsp of ACV with 1 to 2 tsp of raw honey in a glass of distilled water, 3 times a day. Joints will become elastic and flexible).
After a yoga class, guests receive a drink called the Nonpareil Sunrise: an entire watermelon is juiced and poured into glasses. This works to gently cleanse the kidneys and bladder. The watermelon is cool and refreshing, and rich in lycopene, potassium, and enzymes.
Nonpareil’s Vegetable Drink
In the afternoon, guests are treated to a fresh vegetable drink to keep blood sugar stable and energy high.
Key ingredients: Carrots are high in vitamins and minerals. Their calcium and magnesium tones the intestinal walls and strengthens bones and teeth. Carrot’s vitamin A and C nourishes skin, hair, and nails. Most importantly, carrots have a tonic and cleansing effect on the liver, helping it to release stale bile and excess fats.
Beets and beet greens have an abundance of chlorophyll, vitamins A and C, and alkaline minerals such as calcium and potassium. Beets are powerful cleansers and builders of blood, and they nourish the liver and cleanse the kidneys.
Parsley has a high content of chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals. It’s an excellent cleanser for the blood, kidneys, liver, and urinary tract.
- A sliver of garlic
- A piece of ginger, the size of 2 quarters
- ½ of a green apple
- 5 sprigs of parsley
- 1 kale leaf
- 2 stalks of celery
- ¼ of a beetroot
- 2 carrots
1) Blend and drink immediately.
Nonpareil’s Power Drink
This sturdy formula is as filling as any meal. At the same time, it is nourishing and easy to digest.
Key ingredients: Flax seed oil is the best available source of anti-cancer and phytoestrogenic compounds known as lignans. Flax seed oil is also an excellent source of omega 3 fats – a deficiency of which can result in fatigue, dry skin, cracked nails, thin and breakable hair, constipation, immune system malfunction, aching joints, depression, arthritis, and hormone imbalances.
Spirulina, a blue-green vegetable plankton, contains the highest protein and beta carotene levels of all the green superfoods, and is a rich source of GLA (gamma linolenic acid), a popular fatty acid with numerous health benefits.
Chlorophyll is a green, proteinous compound found in the leaves of plants and in grass. It is an excellent healer and cleanser, which works as a natural deodorizer to sweeten the breath and the sweat. It is also an effective rejuvenator and builder of blood cells. For a refreshing pick-me-up, try a glass of water with a splash of chlorophyll and sprig of mint.
Organic sunflower sprouts are a complete food abundant in vitamins E, B complex, and D, plus chlorophyll and minerals. They are also high in a digestible form of protein. As such, they are an excellent blood cleanser and rebuilder.
- 1/3 glass of almond or rice milk
- 1 Tbsp flax seed oil
- 1 Tbsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- 2 capsules of acidophilus (open capsules, empty into drink)
- 1 banana or mango, or ¼ avocado
- 1 heaping handful of organic sunflower sprouts
- 1 tsp of powdered Nu-Greens Spirulina
- 1 oz of liquid chlorophyll
- 1 Tbsp of rice protein powder
1) Put all ingredients into blender, blend thoroughly, and drink immediately.
– Nonpareil Natural Health Retreat, tel: (613) 395-6332, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit http://www.nonpareilholistic.com
– Gerson Institute: http://gerson.org/gerpress/the-gerson-therapy/
– Meals That Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk, RHN (Hay House; 2012), now available on amazon.com
– The Raw Energy Bible by Leslie Kenton (Vermilion, London, England; 1998)
– Detoxify or Die by Dr. Sherry Rogers, MD (Sand Key Company; 2002) http://prestigepublishing.com
NOTES AND CAVEATS:
1) Before you undertake a cleansing regimen, clear your liver and kidneys. This is important: if a cleansing diet starts flushing toxins from the tissues, those toxins need a pathway to leave the body. If all pathways are blocked, then toxins will start to re-circulate in the blood, causing nausea and headaches. To flush the liver and kidneys, add turmeric (or curcumin) to your diet, along with magnesium, a B vitamin complex, and vitamin C (3,000 mg/day). For a detailed article by Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur, ND, on clearing detoxification pathways, check out http://bit.ly/xRvwvM
2) Strengthen and clear your bowels. I found this out the hard way one year when attending a fasting retreat after getting dental work done. I had been taking antibiotics and painkillers for a few days after the dental work, and as a result was very constipated when I arrived at the retreat. By the second day of fasting I felt horrible. This was a dangerous situation caused by waste matter backing up into my bloodstream because it couldn’t get out through the bowels. It was subsequently cleared up with colonic irrigation (a procedure that flushes water through the intestines to clear out stubborn waste matter), followed by probiotics to restore friendly bowel bacteria which gets the plumbing humming. So consider getting a colonic irrigation treatment to clear out the large intestine prior to any type of cleansing regimen, and be sure to take probiotics daily.
3) Pay attention to your body. According to Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, MD who is curing cancer at his clinic in New York, some body types are more suited to vegetarian diets, and others are suited to meat-based diets. So be mindful of your body’s response as you undertake any dietary changes. If, after a few weeks on a new eating program, you don’t feel well, then that new diet is not for you.
4) Break a sweat. In summer, breaking a sweat is an easy way to accelerate tissue cleansing and clear inflammation. Doing yoga or tai chi outdoors, or going for a brisk walk on a hot day, may be all it takes to get the sweat glands working overtime. With increased sweating, waste matter is expelled through the skin, which in turn takes some of the burden off the liver and kidneys. After your exercise session, take a cool shower to wash away the heavy metals and other toxins that have been released through the skin.