Feeling tired? Good timing, for ’tis the season to detox!
If you’re looking at green things waking up and, contrarily, feeling low on energy and in lack of that zest, the elixir of the joy of life, it’s probably because you didn’t take good enough care during winter. I don’t blame you. How should you, if our modern society’s social life culminates in December, when we are really supposed to have a good night’s sleep. The Chinese theory of five elements and seasons teaches that winter is the time to hit the hay early and wake up late. If we go to bed before 10 pm, we are blessed with the healing effects of the sleep hormone melatonin, and growth hormones, who operate until 2 am in total darkness. Then again, if we only have forty winks during the night, we will lack our zest the next day; if we keep on missing on the restorative hormones for a period of time, we pay the debt in spring.
If we go to the woods in winter, we aren’t very likely to meet many of our animal friends. Most of them are sleeping, receptive, storage-oriented, just as we should be. Winter is kidney season, and kidneys take care of our vitality. We are surely in need of the latter as the spring comes, for spring is liver season and the time for action! Liver encourages you to be the liver of your life, fully and joyfully. Liver season is the never-ending cycle of go, do, be, come back, plant, water, dance and sing, and to keep up, we are bound to cleanse the liver (you can read more about liver here). And right now, dear friends, is the best time to ever do this, because Mother Nature has wrapped up some gifts of hers that can help us.
Detox yes or detox no?
The state of our liver depends upon our food choices, its quantity, and the intoxicants we might consume. But even all that aside, the fact that the winter season slows down everything within and without, including our bodily functions, remains. This of course happens around the same time that all of our Christmas socks are filled to the brim with candy. So our liver, the general in our bodies, who likes to keep everything under control, doesn’t hesitate: it takes care of the excesses, is late with other work, becomes preoccupied and eventually drained once the spring arrives. This is why I think it harms no one to bring some spring freshness into the body and mind, onto the plate, and into the home and wardrobe.
But that is not to say that everybody needs a spring boot camp and this post certainly does not favour it. In case you think your body might need an intense cleanse, the following al-Iksir (the effective recipe) is the perfect start, for it won’t leave you hungry while still detoxifying your body. What I think is the most important thing, is to choose the detox program that suits you: your body, mind and soul. For example, a water fast can do more harm than good in a person with an unhealthy relationship to food. Trust me, been there. So now, many years later, this spring brought about the decision to listen to my body, rely upon the wisdom of the nature and keep things easy. Therefore, don’t expect anything radical from this post; oh, no. A big topic in my life right now is balance, which won’t rob my plate off things, but rather add some wild greenness to it!
His Majesty, Wild Leek
Wild leek is a gift of nature – there’s just no end to the list of its healing properties. It contains between 20 to 50mg of vitamin C, which protects us from colds that are so common this time of year. It aids breathing difficulties, digestive issues, bloating, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. But the reason I use it in my Wild cleansing soup isn’t any of the above, but rather its ability to detoxify and cleanse the entire body. It cleanses the digestive tract, liver, kidneys, bladder and gallbladder, it flushes the toxins out and purifies our blood in the meantime. It also contains substances that keep bodily and spiritual abilities at level, and strengthens our immune systems. Whoa, what a job, huh?
Wild cleansing soup
The base of this soup are potatoes, red lentils and peas, all of which ensure long-term liver harmony due to their sweet taste. The lentils and galangal root are to be soaked the night before. Yes, you really do need red lentils for this recipe, for it’s the only variety that dissolves to such an extent, and thicken the soup. Yes, you may drop out galangal root; this supposed botanical mixture of pepper and ginger is thought of as the spice of life, for it gives us special powers. Add fresh wild leek to cooked soup just before you blend it
1 handful of spring onions, chopped 2 small potatoes or 1 big, cubed 1 cup of peas, frozen or canned ½ cup red lentils, soaked 2 handfuls wild leeks (or more, if you’re born to be wild) 1 tbsp Coconut oil 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed Pinch of galangal root, in pieces and soaked, or powdered Salt and pepper to taste a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
Slice the onions. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the onions, salt, pepper and coriander, stirring to coat. Cook while stirring. Add potatoes, soaked lentils, soaked galngal root if using, and peas if using frozen. When the pan becomes too dry, add water or vegetable stock, little by little. You will need 3,5 to 4 cups of water for these quantities. Let simmer for anywhere between 30 and 45 mins, or until the potatoes are soft and lentils almost beyond recognition. If you’re using canned peas, add them now. Add chopped wild leeks to cooked soup and blend until smooth. Ladle the soup into a bowl and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Enjoy the wild soup and let it remind you of the wildness you.
3 pillars of easy, yet effective detox
- Take one of these lovely spring weekends for yourself and only enjoy this soup for both lunches and dinners, both on Saturday as well as Sunday. Eat as much soup as you need to feel full and satisfied, but do not overeat.
- Breakfasts and snacks both days should include either a green smoothie, green juice, or fresh fruit. I suggest you substitute the banana in your smoothie with an avocado, because the good fats inside tackle the liver to work.
- By limiting the diversity of foods for two days, we give our bodies less work to do. Because of that, it can do its job quickly and use the excess time for rest and renewal, which is kind of the point of cleansing, right?