When we were in India, Ryan and I came up with a plan to do a juice feast or some other cleansing diet when we returned to help reset our systems and flush out any...tennants. We discussed even doing The Master Cleanse for a couple of days to really get things sorted out in there. It sounded like a good idea, especially with our bellies full of glutenous chapattis and sugary chai.
|lassi: full of friendly probiotics|
On returning, Ryan did some homework and decided that the Master Cleanse was the way to go...all the way...which is 10 days minimum of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. To top it all off, he purchased Sonne's 7 day colon cleanse, something that has been around for decades and that guarantees to excommunicate a nasty looking black tube of gunk from your intestinal tract. This cleanse also requires seven days of fasting, eating nothing at all except for spoonfuls of a clay concoction and some supplements.
|making lemon juice for the master cleanse...|
I have done my fair share of cleansing diets and fasts. While not fun per say, the tingly feeling you get when you know you are detoxifying your system is a sensation worth its weight in gold. Juice Feasting has been a personal favorite for me, giving the digestive system a needed break while infusing the body with valuable nutrients at the same time. The main drawback to Juice Feasting is that you really start to miss chewing. Master Cleanse didn't pan out for me but that is probably because I did it with honey (against all advice) instead of maple syrup. We ate raw food exclusively for over a year and that had its own healing properties as well as some negative side effects.
|juice stand in delhi|
Now that I have the veggie voyager, I am only more obsessed with food in all its veggie forms than ever before. When I think about not eating for 10 days I am overcome with a feeling of distaste and dread. On one hand, it would certainly be healthy (both mentally and physically) for me to step away from this intense love affair for a few days. On the other hand, I am not sure that I have the emotional capacity to do so. Of course, anything is possible, but I just don't want to. Ryan is now on his fourth day of the Master Cleanse. Usually we are in solidarity in these types of things...just not this time.
However, I would like to do something cleansing that still ignites my creative fires and satisfies my yearning for good food on a daily basis. I have been researching yogi cleanses and I have found one in the kundalini branch of yoga that seems cleansing, creative, tasty and fun. It is called the Green Cleanse and basically for 40 days you eat only food that is green. This includes vegetables, fruit, and some other green things including pepitas, mung beans, green lentils, nori, green olives and olive oil. Sorry, I don't think that green jolly ranchers, green jelly bellies, green beer, or other such items are on the menu. I did go to the market and stocked up on kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatillo salsa, parsley, broccoli, leeks, green onions, avocados, green apples, and zucchini. I noticed other green foods as well, including brussels sprouts, green beans, chayote, asparagus, sprouts and honeydew melons. I think it would be fun to create recipes from only green things, at least for a week or so. And the pictures would be fun too. But for 40 days? Maybe I'll do an abbreviated version. Maybe I'll love it so much that I'll keep going. What do you think about this idea? I would love your input or suggestions on this one. If you can't tell, I am crippled with indecision here.
While I do practice yoga, I am not a kundalini yogi...nor do I plan to become one. But I don't think there is anything wrong with embarking on a cleansing diet designed to "alkalize the body, lose weight, clear the skin and cleanse the liver. It is also useful in relieving a toxic mucous condition."
Another cleansing fast I came across was the mung bean, rice, and yogurt cleanse, a nutritious, healing yogi diet that can be followed for years and years if desired. I noticed that many of the spices and additions to yogic cleanses included the full spectrum of Indian spices (toted as purifying and healing), lentils, rice, fresh yogurt, and basically, most of the foods I enjoyed while in India. In retrospect, the Indian diet really agreed with my system. Even though I was eating wheat the whole time, I had stellar digestion, clear skin and even lost a few pounds while there. Considering the amount of eating I was doing, this is all amazing news. I believe that there really is something magical about the Indian vegetarian diet.
|idli: easy to digest fermented rice and bean cakes|
|the same goes for dosa.|
And then, my friend Shelly did this cleanse she saw on the blog coconut and quinoa, and she loved it. She said that she felt clean and energetic afterwards, and that it wasn't too difficult to stay on the cleanse. So many decisions! This one looks very doable and quite easy as it is only 5 days long. It involves broth, salad, lemon juice, and herbal tea.
I realize that this is a lot of writing to precede a recipe that isn't even part of this green cleanse (or any cleanse for that matter), which I haven't even decided if I want to do or not. I might, probably. Or I just might lighten up my diet for a few weeks, concentrate on eating fruits and vegetables and cut back on the baking and other starches. Some kind of hybrid of a raw food regimen, slow-carb, vegetarian and gluten free, using ideas culled from several different food philosophies I've picked up along the way. And I probably won't stop eating rice, as it seems to really agree with my system.
|ting momo: delicious but full of sticky gluten|
Without further ado, here is a recipe for a soup I made recently. Nothing too original, but very tasty, pretty light, and a start to the cleansing food habit I am embarking on. Set next to Ryan's Master Cleanse it seems rather decadent, but in the full spectrum of possibilities, healthful and easy to digest. The carrots and cashews blend into a velvety purée, and the zesty chutney provides a garlicky tang that completes the dish marvelously. Maybe next time I'll post an all-green recipe.
Carrot Ginger Bisque with Parsley Chutney
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 head garlic (6 cloves or so), chopped
- 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger
- Oil to Sauté
- 1 1/2 lbs carrots (about 5 carrots), chopped into chunks
- 1/2 TBS herbes de provence
- 1/2 cup cashews (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- 4 cups water
Sauté the onions and garlic, add rest of ingredients and simmer until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Using a standup or immersion blender, purée the soup until it is thick, smooth and velvety.
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice of 1 regular sized lemon or 2 small lemons
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- Pinch of salt
- Small amount of water to help with the blending
Put all ingredients except water into the blender, and blend. If needed, drizzle a little more water in to get things going.
Ladle soup into bowls. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of chutney and a sprinkling of black pepper. If you are not trying to be too good, a pat of butter stirred in before you add the chutney is quite nice.Bon appetit!