April 4, 2011

A Guide to your Food Cleanse. ~ Craig King

As a chef, one of my favorite professional tasks is leading people on a juice/broth cleanse.

It is a rare and honorable opportunity to provide someone with an invigorating break from the day-to-day food habitual patterns that make up so much of our lives. The best sort of cleanse is to give your body a break from the constant demand of digestion. This process takes a tremendous amount of energy, and your body will appreciate the opportunity to rest. Most of us have also developed eating patterns that we would like to shift, and the cleanse provides an intermission in which to make those adjustments.

I provide my cleanse clients with one gallon of liquids daily—

> one quart fruit juice blend,

> one quart vegetable juice blend,

> and two quarts of a high mineral broth.

The juice is fresh pressed, and of course, organic and non GMO.

Photo: Erik Forsberg

Most bottled juices are pasteurized, and the heat of the pasteurization process kills the very living enzymes that are so vital. They are also full of pesticides and chemicals which, when juiced, become even more concentrated.

Most people are unaware that Naked and Odwalla are owned and distributed by Pepsi and Coca Cola. Providing an alternative to these is important to me and my food service.

The high mineral broth is a slow cook down of many vegetables and herbs, and often infused with miso or coconut milk to create a very tasty elixir which is full of minerals and vitamins. The vitamins and minerals from the liquids are all very “bio-available” to the system since there is no need for digestion.

I suggest you also incorporate Hawaiian Spirulina, both during the cleanse, and as an ongoing practice. Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and the particular strand of Spirulina which has been grown on the Kona Coast of Hawaii is perhaps the single best thing you can put in your body.

As a chef, I have searched long and far to come up with an ultimate source of nourishment that is readily available and affordable. I promise I have no stock in the company, and get no compensation whatsoever for plugging it. What’s truly unique about Hawaiian Spirulina is that it’s grown in large aquaculture farms using ultra-pure, mineral-rich ocean water drawn from a 2000-foot depth off the Big Island.

That means that the water is completely pristine, and unpolluted by modern civilization. The resulting Spirulina provides a rich mixture of calcium, magnesium, and trace elements—92 different minerals in all. A proper balance of minerals is essential to optimal health and vitality. Not only is it a crucial component of the internal environment and structure of the body, it is also crucial to the enzymatic reactions that create energy, build tissues, and protect the body.

Minerals, unfortunately, are also some of the first casualties of the processed food revolution. Thanks to decades of “progress” in industrial farming methods, super-fertilizers and other methods have been developed for growing vegetables and grains that travel well and look pretty, but are depleted of much of the nutrient complexity required to optimally support human life.

Photo: SweetOnVeg

Many of the minerals that are left get stripped out when these grains and vegetables are processed to make packaged foods. These foods are often preserved with chemical additives and fillers that can make any minerals they still contain impossible to digest.

All this adds up to a great need for mineral supplementation. It is also important to ensure that the supplements you take are in forms that are absorbable and bio-available.

Having led people in the cleanse for 20 years now, it is always exciting to see a client get into the groove of the cleanse. This usually happens around day three, as it often takes a couple of days to get used to the notion of not eating anything you have to chew. Surprisingly, you should have lots of extra energy while cleansing; the energy that would have been used in the digestion process gets freed up to be used in other ways.

The body has a clever way of ridding itself of toxins; once it goes into cleansing mode, the body starts to rid itself of the most damaged and diseased cells first. During the cleanse, the rate of toxins that show up in the bloodstream will be nearly 10 times the normal levels.

I think most people are familiar with the experience of being sick with the stomach flu or fever, and how you simply don’t feel like eating. When you’re sick, the body wants to shut down and heal. When you proactively decide to cleanse, the body and mind line up to do the same. After a couple of days, the tongue will normally become coated with a white film. This is a classic sign of liver detox. Because many of the stored toxins and accumulated waste get stored in the fat cells, as those cells breakdown and move out, so do the accumulated toxins.While the body is masterful at storing unwanted and unneeded chemicals and toxins, it is very happy to release them.

The longer you go on the cleanse, the more you directly see and feel the powerful effects of ultimate nourishment. You will want to stick with it for at least one week to get great effects. Many clients go two to four weeks for a deeper cleanse. It is a very personal thing, of course. As you break the cleanse, it is important to go easy at first. Eating a small apple very slowly is usually the best way to break the ice. You will see how full you get from simply eating an apple. Next you will want to incorporate a small salad.

Photo: Carissa Rogers

Going forward, this is a great chance to really dial in a food style that reflects your vision. Certainly, eating small meals is a great idea. Part of my service is to help you adjust and modify your diet.

While many people use this cleanse as a chance to change food behaviors, it is also a great way to transform mentally and spiritually. When I first did my big 28-day cleanse 20 years ago, I was living with my girlfriend in California. I went first and raved about it so much that she decided to try it. She was so clear after the end of her 28 day cleanse that she decided to leave me!

It wasn’t so funny then, but we are best friends still, and often laugh at the good ol’ days.

I will be offering the cleanse for clients here in Boulder throughout the Spring and Summer. I bring everything directly to your home or office everyday, and am happy to consult and troubleshoot day-to-day throughout the process—sort of like the juice and broth equivalent of a milk man.

Click to enlarge

I hope you enjoy the experience. Bottoms up!

-Your Chef de Liquid __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chef Craig King has been at the forefront of the healthy food revolution for more than 20 years. As the personal chef for some of the biggest names in the natural food business (Steve Demos, White Wave/Silk; John Mackey, Whole Foods; Michael Gilliland/Libby Cook, Wild Oats), as well as some notable Hollywood stars, Craig brings a deep understanding of food and its evolution to the show. He has a keen ability to create food that meets the client’s need in real time—knowing how to balance what the client wants with what the client needs. He recently created and directed “Here We Grow,” a documentary film highlighting our troubled food system. His latest venture has been helping to transform food in various institutional settings, including assisted and senior living centers. The installation of gardens in seven senior community centers helps highlight the beautification of the food transformation and demonstrate the practice of the farm-to-table philosophy.  Learn more here.

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