There always comes a time when you know your body is just needing a bit of a break. You don’t have time, nor do you want to put yourself through the washer of a big cleanse or detox. Your body just needs a moment to breathe and calibrate.
Whilst a life a richness, pleasure and an array flavours is something that I completely back (and truly believe is a vital ingredient to good health), sometimes to simplify things down for a day or so actually will only contribute to the richness in the long run.
A breath. A moment. A shift. A recast.
Knowing how to gift yourself with these moments is really what holistic healthcare is about. It’s not about levitating like a yogini with frangipani flowers in your hair, glowing from that raw green juice you just drank after a morning of asanas and meditation (although this is fun to do sometimes).
It’s about learning how to read your body and having a few little tricks and tools up your sleeve to bring out when you need to fine tune your energy so that you can continue on with as little hoohaa as possible.
This is one of those little tricks I have learnt along the way. After a couple of big weeks of (delightful) running around compounded with having a couple of extra dinners and events on (and all the glasses of lovely wine that ensued), I was left feeling a bit average and slow. After all the nutrition study I have done, I have always found the most useful and wise insights to food and eating through food memoirs.
One such memoir that I happened across a couple of years ago was “French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure” by Mireille Guiliano. I was intrigued, as after spending a couple of months living in France as a teenager, it was a question I spent a some time pondering. Surely something was going all. All that bread, cheese, cream and pastries…surely there was something genetic going on.
But no, just good common sense, an eye for balance and moderation and of coarse pleasure.
It’s a really delightful read. And even though it has been publisized as an elegant handbook for women who enjoy the finer things in life, its philosophy and heart is one of the same as holistic healthcare. The essence:
“You owe it to your loved ones as well as yourself to know and pursue your pleasures.”
- Mireille Guiliano
This is a little trick I learnt from Mireille, which I have found far simpler and enjoyable than my previous naturopathic go to of lots of herbal tea and juice for a day of detoxing.
All this one takes is a trip to your green grocer in the morning to buy a kilo of leeks, come home, chop them up and have a gentle day planned ahead. Mireille suggests a leek soup weekend, which is great if you have two days to lie low. But one day is also enough to reap plenty of benefits.
Magical Leek Soup
Serves 1 for 2 days.
Filtered water to cover in pot.
1. Clean leeks and rinse well to get rid of sand and soil. Cut end of green parts leaving all the white parts plus a suggestion of green. (Reserve the extra greens for soup stock.)
2. Put leeks in large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer with no lid for 20-30 minutes. Pour off the liquid and reserve. Place the leeks in a bowl.
The juice is to be drunk (reheated or room temperature to taste) every 2-3 hours, a cup at a time.
For meals or whenever hungry, have some of the leeks themselves, ½ cup at a time. Drizzle with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season sparingly with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley if you wish.
Break the fast the next morning with a light, nourishing breakfast.
You’ll be surprised at how delicious and delicate this soup is. Leeks have a slight diuretic effect, and being a member of the onion family, helps the liver with its workload. Which is why to you may find yourself going to the bathroom a lot and experiencing a slight headache. Just drink lots of water and read a something soul noising. As you’re taking quite a load off the body for a day or two, you’ll be surprised at what other sensations you’ll experience as you’re body is recorrecting itself.
You’ll be left feeling a lot lighter, clearer and focussed the next day. Like a soft cloud.
About the Author
Naturopath Clara Bitcon is endlessly inspired by nature. Her days are mostly filled by following the curiosities nature ignites and using its wisdom to help people feel better. Her private practice is based in Melbourne, Australia and she runs a little herbal company conceived from a marriage between scientist, healer and artisan called Elm Botanicals.