Fruit and Vegetables for Detox
I recently attended a talk to which I had been drawn in an attempt to get the “secrets to a flatter stomach”. My son had his interest piqued, so he went along with me. As it turned out, the session was about diet, the function of the liver and how toxins affect the human body.
I was already aware of the need to have a diet made up of mostly fruits, vegetables and lean meats. What I found fascinating was the need to have a liver that is functioning at its optimum. The liver works to filter the toxins from our food and in time it could get sluggish and not do its job properly. We were told we all probably needed to do a liver detox.
I decided to try the Fast Track Liver Detox. This program required a special diet 7 days before day of the detox. I really didn’t mind having to eat so many vegetables, since I already eat a good variety. I was pleased to see that my favorite vegetables, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower were on the list. I wasn’t too keen about having to learn to eat beets or to give up my sweets for one week, but was willing to do whatever it took to properly prepare my body. The one day detox consisted of a specially prepared juice. It was followed by a three day follow-up of much of the same diet as the seven days before the detox. We were also required to take a few supplements in addition to probiotics.
I am now past the detox process, and I must say I did enjoy the foods on the diet although I found it difficult at times to eat such a variety of foods in one day. I was pleased to find that I lost 7 pounds in 8 days. I must admit that I cheated a little; I found it necessary to drink some coffee on a couple of days when I had a considerable amount of driving to do. I found that I do feel better after the detox but the first two days were difficult. I found myself to be a little cranky on the second day; I am assuming that it was because I was craving coffee.
It has been about 2 weeks since I completed the diet and one result is that I am more careful about what foods I have in my diet. I have cut down on my sugar intake as well. I recommend this plan to anyone who is interested in clearing toxins from their system in a short period of time.
Natural Use of the Cucumber
As I was getting ready for work one morning recently, I was drawn to the television by a doctor on the news, discussing ways to keep the skin hydrated during the winter months. He said that cucumbers are natural moisturizer. I was fascinated because when I was a child my mother would peel cucumbers and tell me to rub the peel on my face. She would tell me that she learned as a little girl that cucumber juice would keep the face soft and wrinkle free.
Out of curiosity, I decided to do a little research about the benefits of using cucumbers as part of a skin care regimen. Evidently, cucumbers do have properties that fight inflammation and aging. They can be used as an astringent to clean your face. It can help tone the skin on your neck as well. Cucumbers can soothe sunburn because of its high water content.
It is beneficial for the skin around the eyes too. Placing cucumber slices on your eyes can reduce the dark circles under your eyes. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in slices on the eyes can reduce puffiness.
As it turned out, Mother was right. I’ve had many people tell me that I look much younger than my years. When I’ve inquired as to why, I am usually told that I appear younger because I have so few wrinkles.
So the next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a cucumber or two. It can be an inexpensive and natural alternative to skin care products that may or may not be as beneficial.
Cuban Potato Recipe
Since I am an avid eater, I am always on the lookout for new recipes. Recently it occurred to me that I really don’t need to go any farther than my own kitchen. My mother is in her 90s but still is able to whip up some pretty tasty dishes. I thought I would share some of my favorite Cuban desserts.
Boniatillo is a dish with only a few ingredients: boniatos and crème of coconut. You will need 4-6 boniatos. Boniatos can be found at a grocery store that carries products from Latin America. They are sometimes called Cuban sweet potatoes or batatas. Wash the boniatos and place them in a pan; cover them with water and add a little bit of salt. Bring them to a boil. You will need to check them after about 15 minutes. It would be best to remove them from the heat before they get too soft. Remove the skin and mash them with a fork. Mix in a can of crème of coconut. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and then refrigerate. That is all there is to it!
Dulce de Toronja also has just a few ingredients, but the preparation process is a little longer. This dish will require about 4-5 grapefruits. You will need to cut the grapefruits in half and remove all the fleshy fruit part. Peel off the hard, orange exterior peeling. Then cut in half again; there will now be 4 pieces to each grapefruit. Put them in a pan to boil for about 20 minutes. Strain them, discard the water and place them back in the pan and boil again for about 20 minutes. Repeat this process about 2 more times. This is necessary for the grapefruit peels to lose their tart flavor. Once the grapefruit peel is soft, it will be necessary to remove the pieces and squeeze the water out of them. Place each piece in the palm of your hand and press down with your other hand. When you have done this to all of the pieces, place them back in the pan and add water (enough to cover all the grapefruit peels), 1 cup of sugar and 4-5 cinnamon sticks to the pan. Bring it to a boil and let it boil 10-15 minutes. Refrigerate and enjoy!