When talking about celebrating the “new year” in Thailand, you need to first ask, “Which one?” since there are many of them.
On the January 1st New Year, much the same as the rest of the world, the Thai people celebrate the new year by attending countdown events around the country. At the stroke of midnight, there are fireworks and a lot of cheering. However, Thai people have only been celebrating the 1st of January as the first day of the year for less than 70 years. Before that, the Songkran Festival, usually in March or April until the date was fixed, was the traditional start of the year. However, Thai people will still celebrate the Songkran New Year in a much bigger way. The third “new year” celebration in Thailand is the Chinese New Year which usually comes at the end of January or in February. Many Thais have Chinese blood so they like to celebrate this festival too.
In the lead up to 31st of December, Thai people often exchange gifts and cards. Quite a few people will attend countdown events or just watch them on television. As the new year is often over a long weekend, many people will go up-country for a short holiday. Popular destinations are places like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai that have cool weather at this time of the year. However, not everyone will spend the new year partying or drinking. A number of Thai people who say that they will attend meditation retreats over the new year. Others will visit their local temple to make merit either on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
Like elsewhere in the country, the local people came out in their thousands to take part in chanting sessions and to give food and other essentials to the monks. People with Chinese ancestors go to local Chinese shrines. Others go to their local temple to receive blessings from the monks. They make merit by giving food, releasing birds or fish and also listening to sermons by the monks. People will also wear new clothes as they believe that all of this will bring them good luck in the new year. So, as you can see, although Thai people love to have fun, the new year holiday is not all about getting drunk.
The Christmas and winter holiday season can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year. For many people the month of December is spent visiting family, friends, and attending various celebrations. Great meals, beverages, and treats are plentiful while sleep, rest, and relaxation is often lacking. This can make the holiday season a very challenging time of year on the body. In this article we will focus on the top five tips to make your holiday season as healthy as possible.
In order to live a balanced and happy life it is important to practice moderation. Practicing moderation helps promote a reliable body. A reliable body is one that can handle some extra food, drinks, and treats from time to time because it has been provided good nutrition, exercise, and rest 80-90% of the time. With a reliable body it is okay to allow yourself to push the boundaries 10-20% of the time. Be sure to pick and choose the right times to enjoy a large meal or a few drinks or some extra treats. Don’t let the indulgences take over the reliable body you are building.
2. Eating Preventatively
Eating preventatively involves consuming snacks or small meals every 3-4 hours. This helps prevent blood sugar crashes, which often leads to headaches, fatigue, and malaise. Eating preventatively can be a very successful strategy to prevent overeating at one sitting. Don’t starve yourself all day so you can pig out at dinner. Enjoy the holiday dinners but make sure you are eating nutritious food through the day as well to keep you healthy.
This is the season to enjoy many tasty beverages but don’t forget to hydrate your body with clean water and non-caffeinated teas. Most people need somewhere between 1.5 and 3 litres of water each day to stay optimally hydrated. However, each cup of coffee or serving of alcohol dehydrates the body. Therefore, it is recommended to drink an additional glass of water for each coffee or alcoholic beverage you consume.
When we fail to plan we often plan to fail. Take some time to plan your activities during the holidays. Try to spread your activities relatively evenly to prevent rushing around, excess stress, and burnout. Planning is a key part of preventing problems that come as a result of a lack of preparedness.
5. Know Your Limits
Setting realistic boundaries with your time, energy, and commitments can be very important for staying healthy during this time of year. Setting boundaries with your food, treats, and alcohol can also be very important. Burning the candle at both ends is one of the most common reasons people catch colds and other infections during this time of year. Set boundaries to keep you healthy.
Now that you know the tips and tricks to enjoy your Christmas Holidays, we wish you a season full of fun, health and happiness!
Meanwhile, if you feel a little tired, you can always drop by to get yourself a pamper and be ready for the Christmas celebration!
You may have tried Chinese fried rice already. But you know, Thais also have another popular fried rice too! Shrimp paste fried rice with side ingredients called “Khao Kluk Kapi” in Thai. Not easy to find in present but some time can be found on street food. In this recipe. The trick to successful fried rice is to use steamed rice that’s been cooled in the refrigerator for at least four hours or even overnight. This helps to harden the rice which allows it to keep from breaking when fried. For best-tasting results try to use a good quality of shrimp paste main reason is because of smell. Bad shrimp paste is terrible smell.
4 cups cooked rice
1 Tbsp shrimp paste
4-5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Peel garlic, wash dirt, and mince.
Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat, when oil is hot, add garlic and fry until fragrant.
Add shrimp paste, stir well until shrimp paste is soften, then add cooked rice.
Stir to mix thoroughly, then remove from heat.
Ingredients for side serving:
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp thin soy sauce
1 Green Mango or Apple
1/4 cup dried shrimps
2 fresh chillies
200 g. long green bean
Preparation for side serving:
Thin Sliced Fried Egg
Beat eggs, add thin soy sauce, and mix well.
Heat oil about 1/2 Tbsp in a wok on high heat.
When oil is hot, spread the oil, pour the egg, and spread it in a thin layer over the wok.
When the egg set well, roll up, and remove from the wok.
Cut cooked egg into thin slices and place on a plate.
Fried Dried Shrimps
Heat oil about 1 Tbsp in a wok on medium heat.
When oil is hot, add dried shrimps, and fry until crisp.
Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Peel shallots and remove chili stems, wash dirt, and pat dry.
Thinly slice shallots, slice chilies, and cut lime into pieces.
Wash apple and long green bean.
Peel mango or apple skin, thinly slice, and shred.
Soak in cold salted water (mix 1/2 tsp salt and 2 cups cold water) for 5 minutes to prevent oxidation.
Drain, rinse in cold water, pat dry and set aside.
Slice long green bean into small pieces and place on a plate with other side ingredients.
Some love it, others dread it. One thing’s for sure: we can’t avoid it, because the holiday season is upon us. With all of the holiday-related tasks we busy ourselves with, it can be daunting to make extra time to properly take care of ourselves.
The following tips will help you hold onto your health, sanity and maybe even your waistline and a few relationships this holiday season.
1. Follow the 90-10 rule.
Many of us associate the holidays with our favorite comfort foods, some of which are less than healthy. It’s completely OK to indulge, if you follow one simple rule: 90% of the time, eat healthfully, and for the remaining 10%, go ahead and allow yourself some less healthy treats without any guilt at all. Just remember to listen to your body, and only eat and drink what you’ll truly enjoy. When the urge to overeat rears its ugly head, simply ask yourself: do I really want to eat this, or am I simply thirsty, hungry for better nourishment or for something else besides food (a hug, great conversation, a warm bath and some quiet time)? If you still feel like you really want that treat, then have it without reservations and enjoy every last bite. Food isn’t the enemy.
2. Treat your kitchen like a sacred communal space.
It’s very difficult to make good food out of stressed energy. So walk into your kitchen with calm intention and only prepare what you really want to prepare, without the pressure of living up to anyone’s expectations, not even your own. Lighten your load by asking people to bring a dish to the party, and learn to delegate. Remember that the kitchen is the heart of a home, so when people stand around chatting with you while you cook, put them to work! Nobody should be in a kitchen without a job to do. Anyone can chop up vegetables, clean lettuce, or rinse grains. They’ll be glad to help, and you’ll feel supported.
3. Give your baked goods a makeover.
Everyone loves irresistible holiday goodies such as cookies and pies, but consider experimenting with healthy and nutritious substitutions. Some baked goods taste just as great if they are made using gluten-free flours and coconut oil, instead of inflammatory refined wheat flour and vegetable oils (like sunflower, canola, corn, soy, etc.). Applesauce or ripe bananas can reduce the amount of sugar by half, and natural sugars like coconut palm sugar, maple syrup or raw honey are more nutritious and gentler on the body. The addition of oats, nuts, and whole grains into many batters will make baked goods more filling and nourishing, minimizing the desire to overeat.
4. Keep healthy snacks accessible.
It’s easy to forget to nourish ourselves properly when we’re running around, preparing for the holidays. Unfortunately, this often leads to a frantic rush for quick sources of energy (think high fat, high sugar) later on in the day when we’re too frazzled to prepare anything healthy. So, remember to stay properly fueled throughout the day by keeping healthy snacks at the ready. Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies; chop them up and store them as soon as you get home. Make a couple of dips high in protein, like hummus, and keep them in the fridge ready to go, so quick and healthy snacks are always right at your fingertips.
5. Resist the urge to hibernate…
There are plenty of opportunities to stay in shape that don’t involve a gym during the holidays. For example, you could try shoveling snow to make sure your path is clear; taking romantic walks to view the holiday lights in your neighborhood; bringing your pup to a dog park for a snowball fight; going with the family on a candlelight walk into town. Sure, the days are short and the weather is chilly, but your body still needs movement to thrive. Aim for at least thirty minutes of fresh-air activity each day and don’t forget to drink plenty of filtered water (or coconut water with chia seeds!) to stay hydrated.
6. …but make sure you do rest.
Perhaps most importantly, make sure you get enough rest! Proper sleep and relaxation will help keep your immune system strong, as well as relieve stress. After a long day of holiday preparations, sip herbal tea, meditate, snuggle up with a book, or watch a classic holiday movie with your family. Take the time to wind down so you can get a full eight hours of quality shut-eye. Don’t feel obligated to do everything and see everyone. Choose activities that truly give you joy, and forget about obligations. Let your to-do list get finished tomorrow. Or the next day. Or never.
And be sure that if you ever get tired of the Holiday Stress, you are more than welcome to drop by at our place for a moment of relaxation! Or if you are in a hurry, check out our services HERE!
Loy Krathong festival is a Thai tradition, which has been conducted a long time ago. Loy Krathong has been held since the middle of the eleventh to the middle of the twelfth lunar month, which is a great flood season, especially on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. When the moon shines at night, it makes the rivers clear and beautiful , which is suitable for floating Krathong. Nowadays, Thai people usually prepare natural materials to make Krathong. For example, they use banana trunk and lotus to make beautiful krathong then put stick candle, incense stick, and flowers in it. They always ask for good luck in the future and forgiveness Pra Mae Khongkha. At the temples and tourist places, they held the contest of making krathong and Noppamas beauty pageants contest. There are many entertainment shows and exciting fireworks at night. Below is a list of places that you can visit during the festival.
Loy Krathong Festival: Bangkok View the illuminated boat procession, Loy Krathong activities as well as illuminated buildings and historical sites on both sides of the Chao Phraya River.
Bang Sai Loy Krathong Tam Prathip Festival: Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province Relive the glorious past of Ayutthaya on this atmospheric night. Enjoy the traditional procession of beauty queens from all 4 regions and experience the relaxing surroundings of a floating market demonstration.
Samut Songkhram Loy Krathong : King Rama 2 Memorial Park, Samut Songkhram Province Experience Loy Krathong, which made of banana trunk more than 100,000 pieces, enjoy Thai folk shows, Noppamas beauty pageant and krathong contests, Bang Sai Loy Krathong and offering food to Buddhist monks along the river.
Sukhothai Loy Krathong and Candle Festival : Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai Province Experience the festival of the Dawn of Happiness city with chandelier lamp parades and fire blast, play small confection cup spark fireworks, enjoy traditional performance, local recreational games and markets.
Tak Loy Krathong Sai Festival: Rattanakosin 200 years Bridge, Tak Province Sightseeing floating 8,000 lanterns parade to be competed along Ping River at Hall of Fame Building where the handicrafts contest is held, shopping One Tumbon One Product or OTOPs and enjoy traditional performances.
Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival: Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai Province Enjoy traditional performance in Lanna style and floating lantern contest, join a demonstration of how to make Krathongs and Yee Peng lanterns.
Kang Som Cha-Om Khai is hot and sour curry with shrimps and Acacia Omelette or Cha-om Omelette, a famous dish usually eaten with Chilly Dip. The curry is characteristic for its sour taste, which comes from tamarind . The recipe uses palm sugar to sweeten the curry. Just this you can start to imagine how drooling it must be!
- 8-10 medium sized shrimps, cleaned, peeled
- 200 g. fish fillet (any meaty white fish)
- 4 tbsp hot and sour curry paste
- 4 tbsp of tamarind juice
- 3 tbsp of fish sauce
- 1 tsp of palm sugar
- Lemon juice
- 1 bunch of acacia leaf [thai : cha-om]
- 3 eggs to make acacia omelette
- Put the fish fillet in a boiling water and wait until it cooked.
- Then take out (debone, if necessary), and crush the cooked fish in a mortar with hot and sour curry paste until mixed well.
- Remove and set aside.
- Heat water in a pot, wait until boiling.
- Add the hot and sour curry paste and season with fish sauce, tamarind juice and sugar till tasteful.
- Add the shrimps and acacia omelette.
- When the soup boiling, remove from heat.
- Add lemon juice as desired taste.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve with hot steamed rice.
Prepare for Acacia Omelette:
- Wash cha-om and nip the leaves and young leaves then cut into 1-inch portions.
- Add the beaten eggs in a bowl, and also add the acacia. Stir until all mixed well.
- Heat oil in a wok.
- Add the beaten eggs with acacia in the wok, fry until cooked and golden, then remove and drain.
- Slice into cubes.
Each year we hear about some “deadly” new strain of flu and the hype about the new vaccination, which promises to eliminate these new viruses. But when it comes to prevention and treatment, nature power seems to win every time. Simple herbs work better and are far safer. They sill keep you from being laid low by illness even when people all around you are dropping like flies.
If you are generally healthy, yet lead a stressful lifestyle, the occasional cold is simply your body’s way of getting rest and clearing out toxins. However, if you find yourself spending most of the winter with your nose in a handkerchief, then it is time to take preventative action. Both colds and flu are viruses. There are many plant friends that can help protect from them. Viruses cannot replicate themselves without entering your own cells and altering their function. If you can prevent a virus invading your cells, you will stop cold and flu in their tracks. Giving your immune system a boost for the colds and flu season is the key to doing this. Eat well—plenty of fresh vegetables and some low-glycemic fruit, and cut out all the packaged convenience foods. They are worthless when it comes to protecting or enhancing your health.
At First Sniffle
The moment you feel you may be coming down with something, it’s time to listen to your body. You might like to stop eating cooked food and go raw. Animals stop eating when they feel unwell. So do children. The body needs all its strength to get rid of the invasion. Trust this. Boost your immunity by wrapping yourself in your favorite blanket, watch your favorite film or listen to music you like. Have a glass of juice or, if you prefer something warm, a bowl of tonic soup. Remember, your body is trying to clear itself of stuff that does not belong in it. Make time to let the clearing take place.
Good Old Vitamin C
Remember the discoveries of two Nobel Prize winners—back when the Nobel Prize still meant something: Begin by taking at least 4 to 8 grams of vitamin C a day. This may sound excessive, but if you are under-the-weather or your immune system needs a boost, you will soak up vitamin C like blotting paper. It’s worth remembering that we don’t make our own vitamin C like other animals. If we were goats, we would be making 5 grams of vitamin C per day or more for ourselves. The body simply flushes out any vitamin C it doesn’t need. If you find your bowel movements are loose, reduce the amount you are taking a little. You can rest assured that your cells are being adequately flushed in ascorbic acid. Look for a supplement that has bioflavonoids in it as well. And if you have a delicate tummy, go for a brand that’s “buffered.” When you feel a cold or flu, you may take as much as 3 grams of Vitamin C 3 or 4 times a day, until 2 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Astragalus is the root of the yellow vetch plant. Unlike many herbs, it actually tastes good. Creamy yellow, it’s a favorite among the Chinese for strengthening digestion, overcoming chronic weakness, and enhancing wound-healing. Astragalus brings deep strength to the immune system, increasing the number and quality of white blood cells used to fight infection. It even boosts the production of interferon. This is why it is often used with HIV and cancer patients whose immune systems have been undermined by chemotherapy or radiation. Astragalus is also an adaptogen, a plant which is often called a ‘medicine for well people’ that, taken over time, brings strength and support to the whole body.
Three cups of astragalus tea a day helps ward off colds and flu, so long as you take it consistently every day during the cold season. Chinese medicine defines ailments as being either ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ and herbs as being ‘warming’ or ‘cooling’. Astragalus is a warming herb to be used with ‘cold’ illness. Use it for protection as well as an immune boost after any bout of cold or flu.
Organic astragalus is increasingly available in herb stores dried and shredded. Bought from Chinese pharmacies and Asian markets, dried astragalus root looks like ice-lolly sticks. It is cheap and simple to prepare, and it makes a mild, sweet tea. Look for sticks which are long and thick, firm yet bendable with a few striations. They should have a sweet taste when you chew on them.
Elderberries from the Garden
Elderberries too make an excellent healing tea. It has been shown in trials to help protect from infection. If ever you do succumb to flu or a
cold, elderberry tea can shorten the length of time you are ill. If you are one of those people who tend only to be recovering from one illness when another hits, these wonderful berries can help break the chain and give you time to recover completely. The way it works against flu is fascinating: The flu virus breaks into healthy cells by piercing them with spikes on its surface. Elderberry appears to make these spikes useless, so defeating the virus before it has had a chance to do any damage. You can make your own Elderberry tea from the garden.
Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms not only taste delicious, they contain excellent immune strengthening compounds, among them the compound lentinan. This phytochemical helps lower elevated cholesterol. It also boasts anti-aging and anti-tumor properties. You can take Shiitake and Maitake in capsules or as extracts or you can cook it in your kitchen. All of these will help you to ward off colds if you make them a part of your daily life. You won’t get their full benefits, however, unless you support your body with a good supply of all the nutrients it needs for good health.
That’s it for health tip this month. We, at Sabai Thai Spa, hope that this will keep you away from cold and flu this winter!
Have a Healthy winter everyone!
This refreshing salad commonly includes ground pork, prawns and/or squid. Unsurprisingly, the dressing is made up of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and fresh chilies. The flavors chosen for this salad can vary depending on personal preference. Some may like it sour, some may not. Some would prำfer spicy and salty, but less sour. The freshness of cilantro adds a touch of herbal aroma that goes perfectly with the other ingredients. For those who like mushrooms, the wood ear mushroom is often a preferred choice.
- 6-8 Medium shrimp
- 1/3 cup Ground pork
- 1 bundle Glass Noodles
- 3 tablespoons Chopped coriander
- 1 small Tomato
- 1/2 small Onion
- 4-6 Chilies
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 tablespoons Fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons Lime juice
- Peel shrimps either removing or leaving shell on the tail.
- Clean and chop coriander.
- Peel onion and cut into thin slices.
- Clean and cut tomato into wedges.
- Clean and remove stems from chilies. Cut chilies into 1/8″ thick pieces. Optionally, cut chilies in half to reduce the spiciness.
- Soak glass noodles in room temperature water for about 10 minutes.
- In a pot, bring water to boil. Add shrimp into the pot. Cook for about 4-6 minutes or until they turn pink. Once they are cooked, remove from the heat immediately and run them under cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a pot, bring water to boil. Add glass noodles and cook for about 15 seconds. Drain and run them under cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a pot, add ground pork and break the ground pork with a cooking spoon or a spatula. Do not let it remain in big chunks. Stir frequently until ground pork is cooked, about 2-4 minutes.
- Prepare the dressing by adding lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chilies. Taste and adjust the taste to your preference.
- In a mixing bowl, add shrimp, ground pork, glass noodles, tomato and onion. Toss well to combine.
- Add prepared dressing into the mixing bowl. Toss to mix.
- Add chopped coriander into the mixing bowl. Toss again.
- Serve on a plate.
he Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most extraordinary religious festivals in the world. It has also become a major tourist attraction with thousands of people coming from all around the world to witness and even join the strange rituals and ceremonies. There is actually a vegetarian festival held throughout Thailand during this time, but Phuket has unique activities at this time.
Nine Days Vegetarian Festival
The event always takes place over nine days, starting on the first evening of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. This means the event always takes place in September or October.
History of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Phuket’s Vegetarian festival (or jia chai in local Hokkien Chinese dialect) began in 1825. The governor of Thalang, Praya Jerm, moved the island’s principal town from Ta Reua in Thalang District to Get-Hoe in Kathu District, where there were tin mines and Chinese miners. Kathu was then still covered by jungle and fever was rife. It happened that a traveling opera company (called ngiu in Thai or pua-hee in Hokkien dialect) came from China to perform for the miners.
When the whole company grew sick from an unnamed malady, they kept to a vegetarian diet to honor two fo the emperor gods, Kiew Ong Tai Teh and Yok Ong Sone Teh. The sickness afflicting the opera troupe then disappeared. This greatly interested the people of Kathu, who asked how it was done. The answer came that ritual vegetarianism with its attendant ceremonies had been the cause, with the result that people embraced the faith enthusiastically.
Thus the festival began: starting the first evening of the ninth lunar month, it continued until the ninth evening. The aim was to bring good luck to individuals as well as to the community.
It later happened that one familiar with the festival volunteered to return to Kansai, in China, where he invited the sacred Hiao Ho-le or Hiao Ian (incense smoke) and Lian Tui (name plaques), which have the status of gods, to come stay in Kathu. He also brought holy writings used in the ceremonies, returing to Phuket on the seventh night of the ninth month. The people, upon hearing of his arrival, went in procession to Bang Niao Pier to bring him and his sacred cargo back. This was the origin of the processions that figure so greatly in the festival.
As the leaves in the trees start to take on their autumnal hues, shifting from the lime, emerald and kelly greens of summer to the gold, crimson and ochre tones of fall, one does not necessarily think of spring cleaning. But as we start to snuggle into fuzzy layers of wool and unpack the long johns from the dusty corners of our closets in preparation for winter, cleaning is just what the doctor ordered. That is detoxing from the inside out.
Fall is a great time to do a cleanse. As we prepare for the colder months ahead, it’s good to beef up our immune systems in order to deal with all the runny noses and slimy, cold-infested, sneeze-covered rails on public transit systems and heated, enclosed spaces with recycled-air systems.
The basic premise for an autumn cleanse is this: When you take digestion out of the equation — which accounts for 10-15 percent of your total daily energy expenditure (depending on whether or not you had Domino’s for dinner last night), all of that energy can now be redirected toward your body’s supporting systems, like the liver, kidneys, lungs and lymph nodes. Most cleanses also require us to trade things like sugar, caffeine, dairy and alcohol for healthier alternatives, such as water, herbal teas, sleep and exercise. A cleanse can last anywhere from 3-10 days, and at the very least is a good opportunity to reexamine and change your eating patterns for the better.
It is a good idea to wean yourself off of the list of no-nos slowly. Start planning a week prior to the start date of your cleanse. Start by cutting out processed foods, white flour and sugars. Choose organic and whole grains. Definitely increase your water intake. Plan a reward for the end of your cleanse — something to look forward to. A great choice is a massage or a day at the spa; not two bottles of wine and a pasta dinner.
Then, choose the cleanse that best suits your lifestyle and activity requirements. It is good to choose a time when you are not full-throttle, crazy busy. Although cleanses are physical, it is just as important to slow down mentally so that you can tune into your bodily functions, changes and needs.
Types of cleanses
There are a couple of cleanse protocols which everyone knows about. But every body is different, hence you should know yourself well enough before going on a harsh cleanse. Here are some cleansing guidelines which you can pick for yourself.
The Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse involves a simple blend of white basmati rice and mung beans that you eat three times a day. It is a gentle cleanse that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry, although your taste buds might be a little bored. There are chutneys you can add to spice up your life, and steamed veggies are okay too. Everything is served warmed or at room temperature, which adds to the overall soothing nature of this cleanse. Continue this regimen for 3-7 days with a pre- and post period of whole, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables. And drink water!
With the 3-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, you bust out the blender, and for three days it’s nothin’ but liquid fruits and vegetables. The emphasis is on the green smoothie, so keep in mind that fruits have a high sugar content, and err more on the veggie spectrum. Use mostly kale, collard, spinach, cucumber…or even plain old lettuce in your smoothies, while trying to avoid juices or yogurts. Just add water and blend. Remember that digestion starts with saliva, so give the smoothie a swish around the mouth a few times before swallowing. Look out Popeye, this baby’s got your biceps BEAT! (Keep drinking that water.)
The Master Cleanse is the Grand Poobah of cleanses. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Basically, all you “eat” is a lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper concoction for 7-10 days, anytime you feel hungry. You will feel hungry. But then you won’t. Here’s why it works. The enzymes in the lemons loosen up plaque in the intestines, the syrup provides you with the calories you need to fuel you through the day, the cayenne pepper raises your metabolism and the Salt Water Flush washes it all.
The all-important colon
No matter what cleanse you choose it’s important to Contemplate the Colon. Toxins, antibiotics, meat, refined flours, sugars and other foods that don’t pass through the digestive tract properly rot and then build up in what is called a mucoid lining along the colon. And this creates colon plaque. Although this is totally gross to think about, what is even grosser is that it stays up there.
What to expect
The first few days of a cleanse are the hardest. You might feel sick and experience headaches or stomach cramps. Just know that this is your body ridding itself of toxins, and it usually passes. But trust your intuition. If you really feel like you should stop, stop. Even a 7-day diet of whole, raw and unprocessed foods will do wonders for your system.
So while putting away the flip-flops, changing over your wardrobe and preparing to cuddle under blankets and wrap your chilled hands around a steaming mug of tea, know that even though the leaves outside are turning brittle and falling, you might just be turning over a whole new leaf inside.