Green Juice w/ Apple & Fresh Oregano

Why Use Oregano? Oregano helps with the common cold, coughs, asthmacroup, bronchitis (nobody got time for that), heartburn, bloating, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract disorders including urinary tract infections (UTIs), headaches, heart conditions, muscle pain, acne, dandruff, toothache, bloating, intestinal parasites, earache, fatigue, and even repelling insects. You can also take oregano oil to prevent and cure these ailments. Drink up!

Ingredients: 1/4 cup water 1 apple, cut into about 8 pieces 1 clementine 1 lemon, skin cut off, deseeded 3 oregano sprigs, picked from the branch 1 piece of ginger, about a 1/2 inch piece, peeled and chopped 2 pieces of celery, chopped in 3rds 1/2 cucumber, sliced into about 8 pieces lengthwise

Instructions: Throw all into a Vitamix and set to the smoothie setting and it will turn off when it's finished. In a normal blender it's important to read the instructions to see what can be put in there as you don't want to ruin the blades. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

Green Juice: Pear

I just got a Vitamix and I am so excited to finally be able to make my own juices. I can't stand spending 10 dollars on a juice from Organic Avenue or Juice Press when I can make the same thing at home for 1/3 of the price. And Organic Avenue opens at 8am, which is waaaayyy too late in the morning for someone who gets up before 6am.

I made this juice with pear because I have them, but you can really prepare a green juice any way you like. I'm into a mix of both fruit and veggies combined with a little lemon to make it tangy, but if you don't like lemon, just skip it! This is the beginning of many smoothie ideas, so stay tuned!

Ingredients: 1/4 cup water 1 pear, cut into about 8 pieces 1 clementine 1 carrot, chopped into 1/2 pieces 1 lemon, skin cut off, deseeded 1 piece of ginger, about a 1/2 inch piece, peeled and chopped 2 pieces of celery, chopped in 3rds 1/2 cucumber, sliced into about 8 pieces lengthwise

Instructions: Throw all into a Vitamix and set to the smoothie setting and it will turn off when it's finished. In a normal blender, you may want to chop everything a little smaller and I'm not sure if you can put carrots and such in there, so read the instructions.

Thailand / Spring Cleaning Detox

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand Three words: food, beer and food. Or maybe that’s two. Anyway, after a vacation in Thailand with two of my favorite people (Jodi and Mike), I decided that my body needed a rest.

I have done cleanses in the past, but this time I actually really enjoyed it. And Jodi joined me, so we cooked the meals together and shared the joys and pain of it all. It’s always nice to have a partner, whether it’s someone to work out with, go on a run with, or, to eat with. ☺ Having her on my side made it much easier to reach my goal: finishing the cleanse.

Why, you may ask, do I do these silly cleanses? The simple answer is: to give my body a rest from all the toxins (caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and hard to digest foods). Your digestive system, especially your liver (the body’s main detoxifier), works hard to rid your body of toxins, so every once in a while, it needs a little vacation, too! In preparation for your cleanse, try to eat fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats/cold water fish, grains, and fiber to prepare your body.

Some people experience headaches, nausea and fatigue with a detox-type diet, but I felt so energized this time…and I still feel good! My goal was accomplished!! I usually end my cleanse with somewhat unhealthy options, but after the three days, I continued eating detox-friendly foods (see after cleanse meal below)! Also, remember to give your body some exercise, but not TOO much - keep it simple with some yoga or low impact cardio just to get the body moving.

The last cleanse I did was a juice cleanse, but I wanted to eat some food so I went to back to my favorite, which was shown to me by my acupuncturist in NYC, Laura Kauffmann. If you go to her website, click on newsletter and then inner body cleanse – this will show you how to structure your cleanse, but I added and changed a couple things. She also has some great products (She Beauty) to use while cleansing; my favorite is the She Washing Grains - try them out!

During the cleanse, remember to: Eat plenty of veggies Drink lots of filtered water and herbal tea Steer clear of caffeine, alcohol, soda, red meat, sugar, flour, processed and refined foods, and anything artificial Move your body! Exfoliate daily Sweat it out in a sauna or steam room

Some people take part in the Master Cleanse, but drinking just lemon water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup doesn’t seem healthy to me, so I will probably never take part in that one. Because people swear by this cleanse, I decided to incorporate it into mine: for a pre-breakfast drink to wake up my system. You know what, that drink is really good, but after 10 (or even one day) days of just that? No, thank you.

Day 1 Pre-breakfast: Master Cleanse drink: 10oz of water with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, pinch of cayenne and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (grade B) Breakfast: steel cut oats with soy milk, cinnamon and agave Snack: strawberries and pineapple chucks Lunch: rice with zucchini and broccoli, topped with soy sauce, garlic and fresh scallions and tofu Snack: herbal tea and more strawberries and pineapple Dinner: rice with zucchini and broccoli, topped with soy sauce, garlic and fresh scallions and tofu

Day 2 Pre-breakfast: Master Cleanse drink Breakfast: steel cut oats with soy milk, cinnamon and agave Snack: one orange Lunch: brown rice with asparagus, garlic and onion, topped with fresh scallions Snack: strawberries and pineapple chunks Dinner: quinoa with kale and onion and steamed turnip with garlic

Day 3 Pre-breakfast: Master Cleanse drink with psyllium husk (natural fiber powder) Breakfast: quinoa with soy milk, cinnamon and agave Snack: strawberries and pineapple chunks Lunch: brown rice with zucchini, garlic and onion with a small piece of salmon Snack: apple Dinner: quinoa with kale and onion and steamed turnip with garlic with a 3oz piece of salmon

Day 4 (no longer on the cleanse!) Breakfast: regular oatmeal with soy milk, cinnamon and agave and a cup of green tea Snack: green juice from Trader Joes (celery, spinach, parsley, cucumber, kale, and romaine) Lunch: brown rice with soy, salmon and avocado, with a fresh carrot juice Snack: prunes and pear sauce (like apple sauce) Dinner: sashimi, edamame and vegetable roll

Ending the Cleanse

Well, folks, I only made it to day 3 (*sigh*). I broke the cleanse at 8:30pm on day 4. I woke up that day feeling very, well, off and I was constantly thinking of food and what I could eat that wouldn't be detrimental to my cleansing...or what could be. After work, while sipping on my last juice (water, lemon, cayenne and agave), I decided to bite the bullet and eat something. Now, I made the smart choice by choosing a salad with kale, celery, avocado, tomato and cauliflower topped with some amino acids accompanied by mashed avocado with sea salt and lemon. I was proud of myself. Day 4 was a Thursday, and it just happened to be my friend's birthday party at Chinatown Brasserie...oh the torture of being at one of the yummiest Chinese (Americanized) restaurants in NYC, albeit the party was downstairs away from the food. All was fine and dandy at first, but there weren't very many people at the party yet, so my roommate (also doing the cleanse), a friend of mine, and I made the rash decision to go and eat. My roommate was instrumental in this decision, but she didn't have to twist my arm too hard. Note: Do not end a cleanse with heavy or fried food, meat or dairy or your innards will be mad. I followed one of these rules: no dairy.

Break the Cleanse Meal: Turnip Cake Soup Dumplings with Pork & Crab Chanterelle and Red Bean Dumplings Red Steamed Tofu with Mushrooms

Turnip Cake

After the meal, my tummy had mixed feelings; it was full, yet grumpy due to overload. I went home with a headache and bloated stomach, so that I could "sleep it off." In the morning, I had two of the juices before lunch, but continued eating normal and healthy items for the remainder of my meals; that day, and all days following.

While doing this 5-day version (I mean, 4), I pondered why it was that I was doing this cleanse. The initial decision was based on the premise behind any cleanse: giving your body a rest. I did feel better and lost 3 pounds, but eating in moderation from this point forth will do me just fine. The bottom line is that I really, really, really, really love food. Food is what gives me brain power to function and the energy to workout.

My advce: If you are ever in a situation that makes you question the decision to be in that situation, get out. For me, that was eating a yummerific meal. Happy eating!