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Unclutter Your Body

Most organizers agree that the state of your home and the state of your health are directly related. Oprah regular Peter Walsh says that “home, heart, head and hips are intimately connected.”  

Karen Kingston, author of “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui,” devotes an entire section of the book on clearing clutter internally. Since the last big chocolate holiday, Valentine’s Day, is now behind us and Passover and Easter are several weeks away, it’s not a bad time of year to do some internal decluttering.

 I recently talked with holistic chef Adina Niemerow, author of “Super Cleanse: Detox Your Body for Long Lasting Health and Beauty” about how to organize a cleanse and better nutritional habits in general. 

Disclaimer: Check with your physician before embarking on any radical nutritional changes.

Angela Hoxsey: First, what’s the difference between a cleanse and a diet?

Adina Niemerow: A cleanse is done for a short amount of time; it doesn’t have all the nutrition you need for an everyday diet. It’s mean to jumpstart a new way of eating.

AH: Being prepared — organized — before you start a cleanse is a big part of whether you’ll be successful or not in sticking to the program. 

AN: Right, so first choose a cleanse that appeals to you and learn the routine. I offer nine different cleanses in my book. Decide if you’re really ready to commit to a cleanse; you’ll need to make time to take walks, sleep and relax as well as prepare the juices and broths you’ll be drinking. Then make sure you have the equipment, like a juicer or blender, and all the ingredients you need in advance.

AH: What are the essentials of a good cleanse program?

AN: I believe there are seven essential elements to a successful cleanse. Drinking lots of pure water — I recommend a liter for every 30 pounds of body weight per day — is No. 1. Breathing exercises, plenty of sleep, gentle exercise and eliminating waste are four more essentials. Trying to get to a sauna or steam room to sweat is very beneficial. It is also very important to nurture the mind and spirit daily, whether through meditation, writing or simply reading a book with a positive message.

AH: In her organizing book, “”Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston talks about the importance of colonics and keeping your system “clear.” Why would the average person need a colonic and why do you recommend them during a cleanse?

AN: During a cleanse, clearing out the old intestinal sludge is crucial. Health begins in the digestive tract. It’s not for everyone, but in my experience, colonics are very beneficial. You could also use herbal laxatives to keep the bowels moving.

AH: How would a person phase out of a cleanse?

AN: There’s a whole chapter in my book on breaking the cleanse. I recommend sticking with some of the new ideas you learn, like making green juices. Also, we don’t need as much food as we think we do. We may not be as hungry and we need to check in with that and not just eat out of habit. Your cravings, especially for sugar and caffeine, may change. You might notice you get a runny nose if you reintroduce dairy to your diet after a cleanse — pay attention and see how your body reacts when you reintroduce foods. There’s so much you can learn about your body from a cleanse, and everyone’s different.

AH: What are your favorite kitchen tools for a healthy diet?

AN: I prepare a lot of raw meals, so I love my VitaMix blender. I have a Cuisinart to make raw vegetable pâtés and other fun things. A fine sieve is necessary to make nut milks. Knives, of course, and a good cutting board.

AH: What are your top three tips to organize yourself nutritionally?

AN: First, I love shopping at the farmers market on weekends for all my essentials. Second, on Sunday nights I write out my menus for the week. I like to eat mostly vegetarian and make one-pot meals like soups that I can have with salad and other things all week. Third, when I buy vegetables, I clean them, cut them up and store them in glass containers in my refrigerator. If they are prepped and  ready to go  I am much more likely to eat them all, and I hate wasting food. 

Adina Niemerow lives in San Francisco. For more about Niemerow and her cleansing programs, visit www.adinaniemerow.com. Copies of her book, “Super Cleanse,” are available at www.amazon.com.