Healthy Living: Raw Food Cleanse

I hope you enjoyed your holidays and have embraced the New Year and New Decade with gusto. Thus far, my 2010 has been spent shoveling snow. Lots of snow. Too much snow.

The white stuff began flying on New Year's Day and basically hasn't stopped. It now reaches the window sills on my little cottage. Of course, my Siberian husky Maya thinks she has died and gone to heaven.

I'm getting a heck of a cardio workout, several times a day. In addition to shoveling, Maya makes certain I'm out hiking. I let her forge the way, cutting a trail through the woods. And let me tell you, traipsing through deep snow really gets your blood pumping. I'm tempted to pop on a pair of skis and let her pull me, but then I flash back on our rollerblading adventures of summer and decide maybe it's not such a good idea after all.

I've also been juicing up a storm with the sexy new Hurom Slow Juicer that Santa brought me. In fact, I've consumed virtually nothing but fresh juices for the past five days. I really hadn't planned on it, but after procuring an advance copy of Penni Shelton's soon-to-be-released book, I got all jazzed about doing a cleanse.

Many of you are familiar with Penni through her site Real Food Tulsa and the raw food meet-ups she hosts. Her book Raw Food Cleanse will be released this month by Ulysses Press and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon. Trust me, this is one you'll want to have in your personal library.

The book contains four detailed cleanse protocols, complete with menu plans and recipes:
  • 3-Day Energy Boost Cleanse
  • 7-Day Rejuvenation Cleanse
  • 14-Day Deep Detox Cleanse
  • 28-Day Total Body Reset
Anyone who's ready to take control of their own health and well-being can greatly benefit from following these dietary guidelines which give the body a chance to rest, restore and rejuvenate.

Sadly, in this day and age, you'd have to live in a hermetically-sealed bubble not to be exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis. And check out these startling facts:
Did you know that over 77,000 chemicals are produced in North America? There are over 3,000 chemicals added to our food supplies, over 10,000 chemical solvents, emulsifiers and preservatives used for food processing, and over 1,000 new chemicals introduced each year.
Yikes! When I read that Americans have between 400 and 800 chemicals stored in their bodies, I thought "Let's get cleansing!"

The 3 and 7-Day Cleanse are pretty consistent with how I eat on a daily basis since transitioning roughly 18 months ago from my unhealthy processed/fast food diet to a raw living foods lifestyle. So I opted for the 14-Day Deep Detox Cleanse.

I'm on Day 6 of nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juices, lemon water, herbal teas and what Penni calls Ecstatic Elixirs. I am over the moon for these delicious infusions of herbs, spices, tea leaves, and other goodies. Today I get to delve into Smoothies and blended Soups. Perhaps I'll try a Smart Cocktail. Oo la la!

Actually, all of the recipes I've tried thus far are keepers in my opinion. I'm looking forward to Day 8 when I can begin incorporating some of her other dishes into my day — Dressings/Dips, Salads, Sides & Snacks, Entrees, and yes, even Desserts.

But food isn't the only component of effective cleansing. The book also stresses the importance of daily movement, prayer, meditation, pure drinking water, getting outdoors, body work and proper elimination. Penni discusses feeding the spirit as well as the body. For long-term benefits, one must effect change on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Maintaining your detox and continuing to live a vibrant healthy life is the real challenge. One of the best things you can do to ensure lasting success is surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Well, today's your lucky day, cuz guess what Penni did? She went and created a support community just for that very purpose!

Perhaps you've already heard about the amazing virtual health haven called Raw Food Rehab — over 1,500 folks determined to take control of their health and well-being, all gathered in one place, offering support and encouragement to one another.

Raw Food Rehab actually began as a closed community of 65 individuals who volunteered to become Penni's research subjects for this book. Eager to try anything to lose weight and regain their optimal health, they signed on and agreed to follow Penni's program for 11 weeks.

These participants lost a combined total of over 900 pounds. The final chapter of Raw Food Cleanse is devoted to them — real people sharing their stories that will stir, motivate and inspire you.

If 2010 is the year you're ready to take control of your health and achieve your own personal best, then there's two things you can do right now:
  1. Order a copy of Raw Food Cleanse
  2. Join Raw Food Rehab for support and inspiration. A new 11-Week Total Health & Weight Loss Initiative starts on January 9th.
There's no magic pill. No counting calories, points, carbs or fat grams. What you will find is practical information on how to begin what has already been for many a life-changing journey to optimal health and permanent weight loss.

I can't think of a better gift to give yourself in this new year.

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