How to Do a Winter Detox

By Dr. Ben Kim
DrBenKim.com

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 does one 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 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 a cleanse, you'll need:

1 whole onion, halved
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
Any leftover greens like Swiss chard, beet tops, or turnip tops, chopped

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Give your Yukon gold potatoes, zucchini, carrots, and celery a rough chop - bite-size pieces will do.

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Chop your onion in half and peel off its skin.

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Combine all vegetables in a large pot.

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Fill with spring or filtered water until vegetables are fully covered. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and leave it to simmer with the lid on for one hour.

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Here's what your broth and vegetables should look like after you finish simmering:

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As you strain, use a large spoon or spatula to squeeze liquid and nutrient value out of softened vegetables to maximize yield.

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Be sure not to transfer the hot broth into a glass jar before cooling. 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 use this broth as a base for a soup, just season with sea salt to taste.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe without photos, click here:

Vegetable Broth Recipe

Please note: If you are able to get substantial physical and emotional rest during your cleansing period and you want to maximize cleansing benefits, don't use potatoes in making your broth - just add more celery and/or leafy greens.

Hope this recipe for cleansing comes in handy one day - if you have any questions about this topic, please post at our facebook page here:

Dr. Ben Kim @ Facebook

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