One of the questions I receive most often from folks doing cleanses is: “Why am I still bloated?”
This week, my Fresh Cleanse group is heading into Phase 3 of our 21-Day program.
If you’re doing a cleanse, and you’re well into it and still dealing with gas, bloating, indigestion or belching, let’s solve this here and now!
It’s quite likely that you need to emphasize less raw, cold food and more warm, cooked food. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we recognize that it takes more energy from the body to digest food when it comes in cold and raw. The digestive system is seen like a fire that needs to be fuelled in order to keep breaking down and dispersing all those nutrients into a form your digestive tract can actually absorb – instead of sitting around in your tummy getting fermented by bacteria and yeast, which produce gas.
If you tend to run chilly, have to undo your jeans button after lunch, or get achey when it’s cold out, or generally run on the depleted side, these tips will help you stoke your Digestive Fire to get you feeling your best.
How to do this on a cleanse? Follow these cleanse-friendly tips. If your bloating decreases, you’ll know you’re on the right track and you’ll need some time to heal before your gut will be able to digest too much raw food.
1. Just Add Water – That’s hot water, of course! Start your day with a hot lemon water instead of cold. Warm salads are also a great option for whenever the sight of a cucumber sends chills to your bones. At any opportunity where greens and other veggies are on the Meal Plan, you can toss them into a pan with a few tbsp of water, or even a little broth, and “steam-sautee” them until warm and tender. Continue with your sauce or dressing and voila, you’ve transformed that dish into something that’s going to be more digestible for you.
2. Spice, Girls! – Culinary herbs you’ve probably got in your kitchen right now can be a real blessing to your digestion. They’re both “warming” in nature and boost digestive juices. Add a cinnamon stick to your next hot herbal tea and let it steep for a few minutes. Slice some ginger into your hot lemon water, or add it to your next steam-sautee or soup as it’s cooking (around the same stage you’d add the garlic). Turmeric, curry powder, extra garlic or chili flakes will also let you turn up the heat – let your tastebuds be your guide. All of these culinary herbs are rich in antioxidants and are naturally anti-inflammatory, too.
3. Thaw Before You Gnaw – This is my #1 recommendation when the cold weather comes and your smoothies are getting you way beyond chilled out. Let your frozen fruit thaw in the fridge overnight, or even use warm water or warm non-dairy milk for blending.
4. Soupstock Rocks – In case I haven’t yet shard my obsession with bone broth with you yet, I do LOVE it for so many reasons. It’s as delicious and comforting as grandma’s chicken noodle soup, it’s sippable by the mug, anytime of day, and it’s the best base for nourishing soups. These days, I’m making a broth at least once per week, and either making a soup on the spot to serve as a side dish, freezing it into ice cube trays to mix into recipes I’m cooking, or just drinking it with a little bit of sea salt mixed in to bring out the flavours. Bone broth is rich in collagen, which heals the gut AND nourishes your skin (natures’s anti-wrinkler!), and minerals, which boost your bones and balance your electrolytes for a restorative energy source. Bone Broth is one of the most economical, nourishing, easy-to-prepare, versatile and enjoyable digestive and immunity-boosting medicines on earth! (PS If you don’t care to make it, you can pick some up from the wonderful Charleston & Katrina at What’s Good!)
5. Tea Time – I’m a Tea Granny at all times of year, and especially when it’s chilly out! During your cleanse you can drink a variety of herbal teas. Some herbs have more of a cooling property, such as green tea and peppermint. Others are warming, such as ginger and cinnamon spice. Others are more neutral in their energetic “temperature” and you can always add a little of the warming herbs listed above as your preferred herbal tea steeps, to taste. Best yet, take your hot tea into your detoxifying magnesium salt bath and get your heat doubly on! (Amazing treatment for cold and flu!)
Keep on sizzlin’!