I know it's trite but I'm going to say it anyway. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the smell in the air, seeing the leaves change and eating my weight in apples smothered with almond butter.
It can also be a time of intense overwhelm. Combine the intense dynamics of friends and family with the ever present feeding frenzy that starts at Halloween and blazes on until the new year and you are destined to feel like a stuffed turkey whose seen better days. With everything we put on our plates during Fall, literally and figuratively, it is no wonder we beg for green juice and a vacation come January.
So here’s a righteous thought. What would it feel like to emerge from the holidays feeling satisfied and stress-free? What would it be like to not run around this Fall, hair on fire, with the only way to douse it out being a bottle of wine, sugar cookies and fudge?
This Fall you are going to harness that light and sprite feeling and all you’ve got to do is eat. You read me right!
Eating cleansing foods throughout the Fall and holiday season prevents the unappealing belly bloat and keeps your head clear to deal with your loving though infuriating family members. These cleansing foods will help your mind and body stay cool, calm and collected during a time of year that is anything but.
Here are my 5 favorite cleansing foods for the Fall. Get these into your diet and on the holiday table and you will be amazed at how light and energized you feel AND how easy the holidays become.
1. Kabocha Squash
Color is key when it comes to eating clean and Kabocha squash, aka Japanese squash, is loaded with it. Kabocha squash (plus pumpkins and sweet potatoes) is full of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and fiber. Cube, bake and throw into your favorite saute, soup, or green salad or braise it with apple cider and walnuts like this. So freakin’ good!
2. Dark Leafy Greens
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collards and turnips contain helpful sulfur compounds that aid the liver in removing toxins from the body. They also have the ability to neutralize chemicals and pesticides, making them a go-to when becoming a clean machine. Add a touch of curry powder, like in this recipe, and you will have an antioxidant bonanza.
Beets are super sweet and rich in the B vitamin folate, flavonoids, and beta-carotene, which support cell production and nerve and liver function. Roast them and drizzle with Dijon vinaigrette or grate them raw and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of orange juice. These will be your new favorite sweet treat...promise.
High in pectin, apples hold the ingredients needed for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. Besides smothering them with almond butter, I also love apples in salads or this soup.
Cranberries cleanse the body of harmful bacteria and viruses that may be lingering in your urinary tract. Not the sexiest pitch BUT with their antibiotic and antiviral properties they will certainly protect you from nasty bugs and your nephew’s cold.