Super Salad – Detox Demystified

Michelle Edmonds, M.A.., M.Ed
Sr. Nutritionist
Serenity Weight Loss and Detoxification Program
Upon deciding to do this post and make you this pretty, colourful and nutritious salad I watched a documentary that got me sooo excited for you!  Hungry for Change is the perfect way to ramp up your nerve to make a change for 2013!   With a super line up of experts and testimonies from those who have succeeded and are excited to share how they navigated their way back to health you will feel ready to take action.  I do cleanses/detoxes often but after watching this I was craving veggies and green juice big time!
The discussion of ‘why don’t people juice their veggies’ ensues after looking at the statistics of health issues and weight concerns for those who struggle to lose those excess pounds but usually yo yo or fail altogether. The enormous benefits of detoxing that produce weight loss as a side effect is the focus a long with a simple guideline to demystify detoxing your bodyin which I add my two cents to below, of course!
When it comes to juicing tho, the question is ‘Why don’t we just eat our veggies instead of juicing them?  The answer is simply that…. Most of us just don’t eat our veggies. Period.  The volume of veggies that equates a glass of green juice for breakfast just won’t get consumed: a. not for breakfast that’s for sure and b. most likely not thru the day.  But get this, drinking a glass of green juice is like an express train full of nutrients to our cells cuz it only takes 15 minutes to assimilate and absorb giving us a burst of energy and fueling our cells with the ability to detox and release the nasties that are hanging about in our bodies.  The other thing is…. that most of us have digestive systems that have been beaten up over the years. Our poor GI tract has been trying to digest, extract nutrients and dispose the waste from the wrong kinds of foods and it would just really love it if we would just lay off! for gosh sakes!
Consuming green juice gives your digestion a break cuz it’s minus all the fiber that takes more work to break down and is so readily absorbed — just what those cells are craving in order to heal the gut!  As a trained holistic nutritionist I have been taught to recognize that the gut is the root of most every health issues that exists.  If we can’t properly digest and assimilate our food and then dispose of it properly then our body is missing out on precious nutrients to allow it to function they way it was designed to, while retaining toxins that are causing some serious damage.  The fact that a conventional physician doesn’t ever address digestion is perhaps the reason why the field of holistic nutrition was created and is in such demand these days!
I created this salad as a way to identify the volume of veggies that we should eat everyday. After making and eating this salad you will realize how many veggies it takes to feel satisfyingly full. And what if you juiced them?- how much quicker you could ingest them and how much faster you would assimilate them.  It took me a good 20-30 mins to chow down on this enormous, delicious salad that I thoroughly enjoyed consuming. 
Here’s the very simple recipe but scroll down for my continued summary on the documentary, Hungry for Change.
Super Salad
Yield: One Huge Salad
1/2 head of your favorite lettuce, I love butter or red leafy, washed, spun & torn
handful spinach
handful of baby kale, torn
10 stems parsley, chopped
10 stems cilantro, chopped
1 handful pea shoots
1 handful sprouts, broccoli, alfalfa, radish etc.
1/2 carrot, julienned or grated
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
6 radishes, quartered
1/2 stalk celery, sliced (I love the celery heart ribs)
1/2 watermelon radish, slivered
1/2 avocado, sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 lg clove of garlic, finely minced, not pressed
nice pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 drop liquid alcohol free stevia
Start with the dressing so the flavors can mingle.  Wisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.  Place greens as the base of the salad and arrange all the veggies in little groupings around the perimeter adding the pretty radish in the center.  Serve with dressing and toss salad well. Dig in and enjoy!
ps. this is the veggie mix I had on hand after a successful winter visit to my local market that sources incredible farm produce from surrounding growers.  Just do your best to get the finest and most organic source of veggies you can and just load ‘em up on your plate!
This is the most simple dressing yet flavourful and completely alkalizing, minus vinegar which harbours yeast, fungus and mold because it is fermented.  You can even ask most any waitress to have the chef wisk this up for you if you choose to eat out as they usually have these basic ingredients on hand.
Oh… and don’t forget the almighty avocado! It’s considered to be nature’s perfect food.
In the Documentary Hungry for Change the reason why detoxing is so important is explained, as are the dangers of not detoxing and why you won’t lose the weight if you don’t detox.
I recommend reading this paragraph below a couple times if it doesn’t make sense cuz this message is very important and perhaps my nutshell version is tricky to decipher.
‘Burning body fat will just put more toxins back into your body.’  Let’s dissect this, shall we?
• Toxic chemicals are lipophilic- they don’t dissolve in water- they attach to fat cells and become stored in the fat.
• If you just force the body to burn the fat during your work outs without detoxing (ie. creating the detox conditions where the body can cleanse, detoxify, neutralize and eliminate these toxins, making them water soluble so you can sweat and pee them out) you are still left with the previously existing toxins as the body sheds the fat cells. These stored environmental toxins, known as POP’s -persistent organic pollutants – were not doing any serious damage before because they were completely surrounded by fat. Burning body fat improperly will release and circulate these toxins via your blood all thru your body. These toxins that stay within the body can do some real damage!  Eating a lousy diet ‘to diet’ that is very low in vegetables but obsessing with exercise to balance out the calories going in is not the way to diet.  You must eat veggies to detox these harmful POP”s!
If you are retaining and taking in more toxins – more toxins than you are eliminating – your body is NOT going to let go of the all the fat because this is the protective mechanism the body uses to surround the dangerous toxins to prevent them from doing damage.  You HAVE to address the fact that you are being assaulted with toxins every single day that need to be detoxed before your body will allow you to lose all the weight. This may very well be the reason why some folks plateau in their weight loss and don’t lose all that they hoped.
Now get this, as I was writing this post the news that my hubby was watching caught my attention with a Headline- “Obese people can live longer lives than those that are thinner”.  They discussed the BMI (body mass index) and how it wasn’t a sure bet measure of ideal health and longevity but….. they neglected to explain WHY an obese person could live longer and the reason is the above paragraph. Their fat cells protect their major organs from damage by encasing the environmental toxins!  Those folks that actually manage to lose weight in what ever fashion, B12 shots or starving themselves etc. without properly disposing of body toxins end up with massive toxic overload where their organs become damaged by these toxins.  These must be the thin folks that they measured in the research for this story.  These thin folks initially appear healthier but then everyone is completely surprised when a nasty diagnosis arrives.
Basic Outline of a Detoxing Lifestyle
An alkalizing lifestyle, will naturally flush toxins to detox the body and allow it to return to it’s ideal body weight and be toxin free as best as can be expected considering the world we live in and the toxins we are exposed to, just by breathing.
• Alkalizing the body with chlorophyll rich green veggies naturally buffers the acids from an acidic lifestyle and assists in flushing toxins.  It’s pretty simple.
• A balance of 80% veggies to 20% healthy acidic whole foods – see alkaline chart here – is an everyday way to be constantly detoxing your body. Choose organic whenever possible to minimize your pesticide toxins of course and prepare salads like this one for a wonderful variety of colorful veggies as often as possible and juice daily if you can.
•  Start adding as much veggies and green juice as you can handle every single day and continually increase to the 80/20 ratio.
- Greens like cilantro are especially effective in binding with heavy metals like mercury from dental fillings and fish, removing it from your system.
- Parsley cleanses the blood, so add this to your green juice or toss in your salad.
- Gelantinous fibers like chia, (chia recipe here) aloe and seaweed move thru the intestinal track and absorb and bind fat soluble toxins from the bile salts that the liver excretes and help to eliminate them once and for all, avoiding recycling them back to the liver since without these gelatinous fibers we tend to reabsorb the toxins. We like Super Colon Cleanse.
-By removing man made highly processed foods and suddenly adding high water content foods in a vast array of colors via juice that every single cell will drink up, your body will absolutely respond and be on board and return you to optimal health!
Keep in mind….
The body does two things to defend itself- 1. it produces mucous to coat the unwanted chemicals that we ingest in order to buffer irritation or 2. it generates or retains fat to store the toxins, causing weight gain.  The mucous is basically what we call a cold.  It’s self induced.  You don’t catch a cold;   you  flush a cold by detoxing.  A drippy nose or sneezing is the first sign that a detox is in order, so that the mucous doesn’t get any stickier or go any deeper into your chest. Or you will experience cold like symptoms while detoxing as the mucous drags out the the toxins.
- Cleansing our bodies is not difficult- our body wants to cleanse itself.
- Getting out in nature is so nurturing for your body and soul so taking regular walks even short ones, is invaluable.
- Think of the weight loss as a ‘by product’ of the cleansing and focus on what is going in that is clean and pure
- Once you have completed the detox or the juice feast continue to then add more whole foods in from healthy sources that are more satisfying and nutritive, like this salad!
You will become not just fit and trim but you will feel healthy and vibrant in a body that functions properly for you and stays healthy forever.
- When your body is nice and clean do your utmost to avoid the bad stuff.  The worst offenders are fried and barbecued foods.  These are highly oxidative foods that destroy our skin and organs and are toxic, loaded with carcinogens, that are cancer causing and rob our skin of it’s vibrant glow.
- Eat super foods and your skin, in 30 days, will turn around and will look brighter.  It will be contagious and maybe your friends will start juicing with you!
Your skin tells all- your depth of colour and brightness and clarity show how healthy you are!  Broken blood vessels, blotchiness, paleness is the first thing you see when you observe another person who isn’t healthy.
- Also consider that using make up is just hiding the window to your true health and your healthy glow.  Most make up is a dumping ground for excess chemicals from the pharmaceutical industry-see this post here- that easily absorb into your skin and body. As women we put so many products on everyday to try to make our skin appear healthy and vibrant looking instead of making it healthy from the inside out.  How do you want your skin to be healthy? from the outside or the inside? and do you want to put toxins back in your body after you just detoxed??
- What about your mind, what is going in between your ears?  What’s eating you?  What else is going on in your life that needs sorting?
- If you are over weight what is it that is beneath the layers?   Are you satisfied in your life or under too much pressure or is a past event haunting you?  What is making you eat the foods you know you should be avoiding.  Working with a health coach or journaling daily can help you to excavate and move forward from some of these stumbling blocks.  I discovered with my herniated disc that underneath the layers I felt a lack of support in my life! Hmmm…..doesn’t my spine support my body? Is this just a coincidence that my supportive structure was physically compromised perhaps by these feelings?  I highly suggest exploring what’s going on to see if there’s a connection that makes sense and can help you break thru. I may sound like a looney toon here but we did a course in holistic nutrition school that was so enlightening called the Psychology of Disease. It convinced me that there truly are connections like this that contribute to our ill health and we can resolve them with a little self study and work or a with the help of a trained energy healer.
- How’s your sleep?  Are you getting enough rest?  Can you find ways to reduce your stress?  Sleep deprivation, dehydration, and stress make the body feel like it is in danger and a famine is happening and makes the body gain weight to protect itself. Cortisol and epinephren are the stress hormones that we generate far too much of with our crazy hectic lives. However, ample sleep digests these stress hormones as does exercise that metabolizes stress hormones that would normally turn to sugar and cause weight gain.
- Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you to attain what you desire- your ideal body can be visualized! I used it for my disc- to heal it – and it really worked. Make a visual image of yourself and look thru it for 30 seconds and then close your eyes and imagine yourself feeling this way. Your subconscious will better understand what you want to be.
- Anything that is sustainably pleasurable will decrease stress hormones – laughter works wonders, so watch funny movies often!
This quote by Anthony Robbins was from the documentary and says it all;
“What ever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.”
- Affirmations will help you to be reminded that you are worthy of living a vibrant healthy life and that you can get there, no matter where you are in the journey of achieving or maintaining such a life. Love yourself, you are amazing and you are a wonderful person who is precious and deserves to be healthy, whole and pain free in a body that makes your feel good.
- Louis Hay writes this for you to embrace; “I accept myself unconditionally, right now”
As you say this you can wait for the negative messages to arise, cuz they will. Let them go, just repeat this quote or your own affirmation daily and you will override the negative message with the positive. You will develop a muscle that strengthens your positive self.   Self love will thrive and you will improve your life and your outlook on life.
I hope you are inspired by the messages here and that these vivid veggies make you want to jump in your car and shop for lots and lots of veggies to ring in 2013 with some chlorophyll!!  That’s my plan, I’m about to start a New Years cleanse so I’d love to have you join me!  Drop me a line if you are thinking of doing a detox or if you are already on it cuz I so enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas of what’s working for you or helping you answer any questions you might have.

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