Tuesday 7th March 2017

Spring into vitality with simple detox

Spring into the summer months full of vitality by following a simple diet high in seasonal vegetables to help your liver spring clean excess fats and toxins.

By shedding the winter build up, your body will be ready to open up to embrace spring and summer, with a lighter mood, more energy and flexibility.

Especially good for detox are green vegetables like spring cabbages, kale, leeks, celery, purple sprouting broccoli and watercress – all coming into season now.

Fermented pickles such as sauerkraut and gherkins are also helpful for the liver and gallbladder, along with fermented vinegars and small amounts of lemon.

Leading macrobiotic author and teacher Oliver Cowmeadow recommends a two week light detox diet at this time of year (see below).

“What happens,” he explains, “is that you feel lighter, your body becomes more flexible, your mood lightens and you might lose a bit of weight – you get rid of old stuff stored in the body and become more vital.

 “In the Oriental medical understanding, it’s a good time to get rid of the excesses built up over winter when there can be a build up of fat, protein and toxins.

 “In spring, nature’s energy is rising and opening, called the Tree or Wood energy, which makes it an easy time to do the same in our bodies, to detox to prevent stagnation.”


If you want to find out more about seasonal cooking for detox, and strengthening the liver and gall bladder, our Love Health Love Cooking weekend (April 1st– 2nd) could be for you. 



Two week detox diet:

• 50 – 60 per cent vegetables (by volume on your plate) in total each day
• Include plenty of leafy greens such as kale, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, watercress
• Include wholegrains, pulses and a daily tablespoon of seeds for essential oils
• Include white fish if not vegetarian/vegan
• Explore different ways of lightly cooking the vegetables to give a variety of tastes, colours and textures
• Include sour tastes such as fermented pickles and sauerkraut (avoid cheap pickles that aren’t fermented), as well as lemon and fermented vinegars
• For sweetness, make desserts using the natural sweetener of dried and fresh fruits
• One dessert spoon of good quality oil in cooking
• Get plenty of exercise in nature – breath deeply to pick up spring energy and help the discharge process
• Eat supper before 7pm and don’t eat for two and a half to three hours before bed

• Dairy foods, meat, eggs, sugar, alcohol (these are mucus producing and can lead to an excess of fat in the body)
• Heavy baked food such as bread and pastry
• Deep fried foods
• Nuts and nut butter

If you want some personal guidance, or help with specific health problems, Oliver Cowmeadow gives individual consultations at the school, just outside Totnes.