Easy Spring cleaning …? ME Please

By now,  this time of year, it is pretty clear why we all, including myself, feel the need to press the digestion/metabolism reset button and are desperately trying to figure out how without bringing our busy schedules to a total halt.

Overindulgence post holiday rush, chronic stress that piles up, feelings of fatigue or sluggishness, maybe an antibiotic from a flu you need to clean out are the usual Winter suspects, but, regardless of those things , there are also positive grounds for clearing out the cobwebs on a regular basis such as simply checking in to be sure you are accessing the most energy you can from your body, that you have the vitality & higher levels of clarity you are looking for – that you are ready for ( I promise it is) Spring,  right around the corner!!

This time of year, I know the telltale signs for myself, and they usually involve a slight disinterest in eating (sounds crazy, I know, because my most happy place is in the kitchen).  Since I live alone with two little ones, I can sometimes lose sight of the total magic that food is when I am not on retreat preparing for everyone.  I find myself making excuses to cook – like, oh I’ll have a dinner party soon – and then I will start creating, shop for something yummy – I myself – um… I’ll just make that, oh whatever is in the kitchen thing tonight again – or better yet, I’m not that hungry…. and find myself around ten looking for that chocolate that I stashed (lol), or nibble of my kid’s plates once they’ve gone to bed ( lol you know this trick?!)  … Ya, it happens, to all of us. Even the chef!

But how can we make this re-boot really easy? The first hurdle for me is always the complexity of the cleanses that are presented to me. Long shopping lists, preparation, things to read and then the cost of the … supplements that may or may not be the best fit. Taking that into consideration, I thought lets design a super-simple plan this year with only two recipes and you can make the decision how long you want to go for.

One smoothie. One soup. Both are alkalizing, filling yet detoxifying, mega green but super tasty. In fact, I’ll wager that you’ll love both of these recipes so much that you’ll be enjoying them long after the cleanse is over! The Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie is luscious, sweet-and-spicy with cooling mint and creamy avocado. The Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup is like eating a crazy-delicious hug – but it is has a bit more SPRING in it than our last sweet potato already.

Below is a sample plan for the cleanse I dreamed up – and even a more simple solution if you are in Vermont is that you can purchase a TRUE GREEN JUICE and whip this smoothie up with even less prep. How long you ask? You can do the program for just one day, but I would recommend at least two to really feel the benefits. You can also go longer if you like, of course. 

  • Drink as much water as you feel like / need, but consume at least 1½ liters throughout the day.
  • Always begin the day with warm water with lemon, as this will assist in flushing your digestive system, preparing your tummy for food by increasing stomach acid, and alkalizing your entire system.
  • Herbal teas are acceptable, but choose ones that are particularly detoxifying. Burdock, cleavers, chickweed, yarrow, nettle and plantain are some of my favorites. 
  • You can eat your smoothie for breakfast and afternoon snack, but it also fills in for a lunch if that is all you feel like.
  • You can make up the entire batch for a day (the recipe makes about 3 cups / 700ml) if you know you’ll be on the go and sip on it when you need a pick-me-up. Or you can divide the ingredients in half and make it fresh if you’ll be near a blender.
  • EASIER YET – get a TRUE GREE JUICE and use that as your smoothie base. Add ginger, a pear, avo – BOOM – a bullet blender and you are good to go!
  • The soup can be eaten for lunch and dinner or as a snack too. I really like it blended, but feel free to keep it chunky too!


Upon rising: warm water with lemon

Breakfast: Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie

Throughout the day: water! Aim for 1½ – 2½ liters a day (about 6-10 cups), depending on your activity level

Lunch: Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup

Snack: Ginger-Mint Pear Smoothie

Dinner: Cilantro Spinach Sweet Potato Soup

Repeat on the following day, for as many days as you like. Add in any cold pressed juices you can find to supplement your plan. If you must chew, chew your juice, chew your soup – digestion starts in the mouth you see, and you will get more out of it!

Other than than that – water based snacks: cucumber, greens, but chew those guys, blend em if you can. The goal – to give your belly a break from chewing what you ( we) (me) normally inhale 😉 

Things to Avoid: caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, computer time, television, stressful situations.

Things to Embrace: sleep and rest, time outdoors, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, sauna, dry skin brushing.



  • Ingredients (all organic if possible):
  • 2 pears
  • 1 avocado, flesh scooped out
  • 1½ cups firmly packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 10-20 mint leaves (to your taste)


  • 1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. BOOM BABY 😉 



Ingredients (all organic if possible):

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 medium-large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch – ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (to your taste)
  • 2 cups cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • 2 cups  firmly packed baby spinach or kale 


  1.  Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot. Add onions and salt, stir to coat and let cook until onions have softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, stir, cook 1 minute. Add sweet potato and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. . Place soup contents in a blender. Blend on high until smooth, then add spinach, cilantro, lemon and cayenne. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy. Store cooled leftovers in the fridge.

Interested in learning more? Come on retreat with us! We will dial you in, and clean the blender too!  http://www.tnorth.org/join-us/