Ancient practice of dietary cleansing gains followers



Sally Clinton of Blue Hill is a certified yoga instructor, breathwork facilitator, Ayurvedic yoga specialist and Ayurvedic consultant. PHOTO COURTESY OF SALLY CLINTON
Sally Clinton of Blue Hill is a certified yoga instructor, breathwork facilitator, Ayurvedic yoga specialist and Ayurvedic consultant.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SALLY CLINTON

A deep cleaning in spring exploring every dusty corner and crevice in one’s home is an annual ritual in many households.

For a growing number of people, a dietary cleanse is an important spring and fall ritual as well.

The idea is nothing new. Think of religious-based fasting, such as Lent, Ramadan and Yom Kippur.

For those who swear by cleanses, the goal is out with toxins, in with a squeaky clean digestive tract.

Others say that detoxing in a dietary sense only is needed if someone is exposed to radiation, heavy metal or poisons.

But tell that to Karin Wilkes, co-owner of the Courthouse Gallery Fine Art in Ellsworth, who signs up for cleanses regularly with Sally Clinton of Blue Hill.

“People have a lot of misconceptions about cleanses these days,” Wilkes said. “It’s more of a healthy, reset-your- clock kind of thing.”

Wilkes said the cleanse itself can be a challenge, but what is more difficult is adhering to healthy eating year-round.

But she has no doubt about the connection between eating well and feeling good.

“I had trouble with my sinuses in my 30s and found out it was food-related,” Wilkes said. “Food and the connection with health: that’s the insurance plan. But it’s tough. There are a lot of tasty things out there that are bad for you.”

She said learning about new foods that are foreign to most people’s edible histories is important, too, such as amaranth, a grain, and goji berries.

“What is most helpful with Sally is the booklet of recipes,” Wilkes said. “It’s like taking a course about why you want to eat this food and what it is doing for you.”

Clinton is multi-credentialed, counting among her certifications yoga instructor, breathwork facilitator, Ayurvedic yoga specialist and Ayurvedic consultant.

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine with historical roots in India. Therapies are often based on complex herbal components.

Unlike some cleanses, Clinton’s focus is not on fasting but on very healthy eating.

The Sally Salad on Steamed Kale COURTESY PHOTO
The Sally Salad on Steamed Kale
COURTESY PHOTO

Although the entertainer Beyoncé canonized the 10-day cleanse of hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, Clinton has a gentler approach.

The prep phase includes phasing out coffee and substituting black tea and then green tea.

For diehard coffee drinkers, Clinton recommends a few substitutes, Teeccino and Beyond Coffee, both available at health food stores.

She advises clients to let go of these substitutes during the subsequent cleanse week while at the same time increasing their water intake.

Phasing out sugar is part of prep week. Clinton recommends using instead raw stevia, a natural sweetener, and choosing fruit over pastry.

Tobacco also has to go, or at least be cut back. She advises substituting natural chewing gum, toothpicks, sunflower seeds.

Clinton said the prep and cleanse weeks take time and advises clients to schedule at least 30 to 60 minutes each day for food preparation and cleanse practices.

“As we clean up our diets, we cleanse the palate and create an opportunity to more fully savor the true flavors and subtleties of life,” Clinton says in literature accompanying the Prep Week.

She advises clients to also cut back on bread and wheat products, animal products, packaged or processed foods, refined sugars, baked goods and sweets.

“Try to focus on the healthy things you are adding in, rather than what you are eliminating,” Clinton said. “There is so much more life energy in healthy food.”

Some of the substitutes become favorites, such as Wilkes standby Date Pecan Turtle when those sugar cravings get rough.

The recipe for taking the edge off is one date, Little Lad’s Almond Butter, organic raw carob nibs, unsweetened, and one pecan.

Cut the date in half and press your thumb on the halves. Add a dab of almond butter, sprinkle with carob ribs and press the pecan on top.

Voila!

To learn more, visit www.ayushriyoga.com or www.sallyclinton.com.

Kitchari
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Kitchari is a traditional Ayuvedic food that is used as part of seasonal cleansing. It helps to balance blood sugar levels, kindle the digestive fire and give the digestive system a gentle rest while focusing on detoxification. Recipe courtesy of Sally Clinton
Kitchari
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Kitchari is a traditional Ayuvedic food that is used as part of seasonal cleansing. It helps to balance blood sugar levels, kindle the digestive fire and give the digestive system a gentle rest while focusing on detoxification. Recipe courtesy of Sally Clinton
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil or water
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon, or whole stick
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • ½ cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • ¾ cup mung dal, rinsed and soaked
  • 4-5 cups water, heated if possible
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • Sea salt to taste
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Wash the mung dal and the rice. Rinse and strain at least twice. Place sesame oil or water in the bottom of a large pot or pressure cooker. Add mustard and cumin seeds and stir occasionally over low heat until seeds pop or are aromatic. Keep an eye on it so you don’t burn the seeds. Add turmeric. Add boiling water and cinnamon stick. Add drained mung beans and rice. Cover. Turn heat down to low and cook until water is absorbed. It will take about 45 minutes stovetop or 20 minutes using a pressure cooker. If you are adding vegetables, you can add them near the end of the cooking time so they aren’t overcooked. Salt to taste to bring out flavors. You can add water to attain desired consistency.
Recipe Notes

Optional: Choose 2-3 vegetables to add at end: 1 cup chopped fresh green beans, carrots, peas, cauliflower, greens etc.

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Sally Salad on Steamed Kale
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Recipe courtesy of Sally Clinton
Servings
2
Servings
2
Sally Salad on Steamed Kale
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
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Recipe courtesy of Sally Clinton
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch kale, lightly steamed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 small beet, or ½ large beet, grated
  • ½ or 1 avocado
  • handful lentil or mung bean sprouts
  • sprinkle pumpkin seeds
  • Gomasio (Japanese condiment of sesame seeds and sea salt)
  • Sea vegetable condiment (optional)
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place salad ingredients on top of lightly steamed kale, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and gomasio. Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Recipe Notes

Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

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Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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