We think of spring as the archetypal season for cleansing—spring cleaning, spring detox, spring yard sales—but autumn is actually the more appropriate season to think about purging the old. Just like the tall maples, we must shed our leaves and cleanse before the winter. A fall detox cleanse will help to stave off seasonal colds, keep your immune system healthy, and prepare your organs for the colder months ahead. Best of all, the fall cleanse doesn’t require a straight-up fast.
WHY WE NEED TO CLEANSE IN THE FALL
According to Health Coach and Integrative Nutrition Specialist Jolene Hart, the fall detox should be all about the lungs and the large intestine. In both alternative and conventional medicine theory, these organs are linked to skin and breathing problems like asthma, eczema, rashes and dry skin—all of the most common things to ail us in the colder months.
To support the lungs and large intestine, Hart recommends limiting sugars, flours, dairy and alcohol for a healthy, mucus-free stomach. And for opening the nasal passages, drinking fenugreek tea. I love that warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves—the ones we use anyways in our fall baking recipes—actually support both intestinal and respiratory health, so it’s just perfect that they are good for both our health and the flavor of our foods during this season.
FALL DETOX JUICES
For a fall detox cleansing juice, stick with fall fruits and vegetables. Many believe it’s best to have fresh fruit juices in the morning and vegetable juices in the afternoon. Fall foods to use in your cleansing juices are grapes, apples, beets, leafy greens, and a hint of lemon (but don’t overdo the citrus). Here’s one of my favorite fall detox juice recipes:
DETOX BEET & APPLE JUICE
1 medium beet
1 large apple
1 cup fresh kale leaves
Place all ingredients in the juicer or blender and process.
FALL DETOX MEALS
You don’t have to simply fast in order to detox. By enjoying lightly-prepared seasonal foods that support your organs’ optimal functions, you’re also working in a very important cleanse. For your fall detox meals, enjoy lightly cooked whole grains, seasonal squashes, and cooked root vegetables. Even if you’re normally a meat-eater, now’s the time to rid the body of excess proteins and fats, so forgo animal products and stick to plant foods. And don’t forget to add those warming spices to your meals, which will enhance your lungs and large intestines. Try our staff’s favorite fall cleansing recipes:
Image: Will Merydith