Easy Mini Cleanse

With so many social events and family gatherings, the holidays can leave us feeling a little worn out. Add rich foods and plentiful drinks into the mix and come January, we often feel a bit sluggish. Many of us partake in cleanses in the New Year, to reset our bodies and start fresh.  These cleanses can be rejuvenating and cathartic, but they can also be challenging and, depending on the cleanse, stressful for your body. 
            To minimize these less than desirable effects, why not try to incorporate some cleansing habits into the holiday chaos. Smoothies are a great way to keep your body running efficiently and help you feel great. They’re also a great way to get any extra nutrients you might need.  Depending on what you choose to put in it, you can counter bloating, nausea, puffiness and any extra pounds you’re trying to avoid. Here’s a list of some helpful ingredients:
Cucumber is high in vitamins A and C as well as manganese, folate and potassium. It can help to regulate blood pressure as well as neutralize acidity, which makes it soothing for gastric and duodenal ulcers. Cucumber is also cooling, which is obviously great for hot weather but is also useful for drier months. As a natural diuretic, cucumber encourages waste removal and reduces water retention, meaning it’s a great way to avoid a puffy or swollen face.    

Ginger is somewhat of a miracle root. Fresh, raw ginger is a great cure for nausea (if you get airsick or car sick during any of your holiday travels), stomach cramps, flatulence, joint pain as well as throat and nose congestion. Additionally, ginger also improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients to the body. This little root has also been credited as an aphrodisiac! 

Parsley is loaded with vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as folate and iron, calcium and magnesium, potassium and zinc. When consumed regularly, parsley can help with anemia, atherosclerosis, arthritis and urinary tract problems. In addition, it helps to eliminate excess fluid to avoid bloating or water retention. Parsley is also considered an immunity booster and, when applied topically, can stimulate hair growth. 
Lemon is another immune boosting ingredient; one lemon provides approximately 88% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. These fruits are dense with nutrients, some of which include calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin and limnonene. They are also effective digestive aids and help to cleanse the liver, which means they are ideal solutions for problems related to indigestion or constipation. Lemons are also great for controlling high blood pressure and treating rheumatism and arthritis. 
Here’s a smoothie recipe I’m loving right now. It doesn’t include all the ingredients listed above but feel free to get creative and modify this recipe, or even better, make up your own smoothie tailored to your body’s needs! Hopefully it makes that January cleanse a little easier or renders it completely unnecessary. 
Morning Mini Cleanse Smoothie
2 stalks celery
1 gala apple (core removed)
1 lemon (peeled)
1 cup packed spinach
Small handful (or more) of parsley
1-2 cups of water (depending on your preference)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well mixed.  Enjoy!


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