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Posted by Dr. Ben Kim
Traditional cleansing programs that call for freshly pressed juices, raw foods, and even room temperature water with lemon juice, maple syrup, and pepper may work for most people when the weather is warm, but how do you experience an effective cleanse without feeling exceedingly cold and frail during late fall, winter, and early spring?
There's a reason why our bodies crave hot soups and cooked foods during colder months. To ignore the need to support a minimum core body temperature is to allow significant enervation, which is never conducive to supporting optimal health.
I'm not a fan of one, two, or even three day water-only fasts - these short periods of deprivation do little but cause you to lose healthy muscle tissue (I go into detail on this topic here: Is Fasting One Day a Week Good for Your Health?).
To give your organs a significant period of rest and to experience a solid, system-wide cleanse during colder months, I typically recommend using hot vegetable broth. If you make your own vegetable broth with generous amounts of nutrient-rich vegetables, you'll have a mineral-rich liquid to fuel your everyday activities while you avoid slowing down your self-healing and self-cleansing mechanisms with large meals. You can sip on hot vegetable broth throughout the day. And whenever you feel like something more substantial, you can have room temperature vegetables and fruits - lettuce, celery, carrots, avocados, apples, pears, and persimmons are good choices throughout fall and early winter.
So long as you heed the desire to have some healthy, whole foods whenever your body calls for them, you can do this vegetable broth plus whole vegetables and fruits cleanse for one to seven days during colder months whenever you feel the need to rest, get lighter, and be rejuvenated.
To make nutrient-rich vegetable broth for this cleanse, you'll need:
2 small or medium yellow onions, halved
One bunch of celery, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
One bunch of leeks, roughly chopped
One large bunch of red Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Combine all roughly chopped vegetables in a large pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat and leave it to simmer with the lid on for one hour.
Turn off the heat, give your broth time to cool to a point where you can comfortably handle it, then strain, using a large spoon or spatula to squeeze liquid and nutrient value out of softened vegetables to maximize yield. Be sure not to transfer hot broth to a glass container.
Here's a look at what the color and clarity of your broth will look like:
This vegetable broth keeps well in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for several days. Just pour out a bit at a time to heat and sip on throughout the day. If you're looking to reduce your intake of coffee or tea, try having a mug of this hot vegetable broth whenever you have a craving for something warm - unlike coffee and most types of tea, vegetable broth is actually good for building and maintaining bone strength.
If you want to cleanse exclusively with this broth but you need more energy throughout the day, you can blend some of the cooked vegetables with the broth to form a creamy vegetable soup.
If you want to use this broth as a base for any type of soup, you may want to season with sea salt, to taste.
Hope this recipe for cleansing comes in handy - if you have any questions about this topic, please post in our comments section below.
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