Why I cleanse.

Morning Ghee

This has been my morning tonic for the last 10 days. Almond milk, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove and varying amounts of ghee. It took me a moment to wrap my head around drinking clarified butter but I've got it down now.

 So why clarified butter in my morning tonic? Isn't butter bad for you?

Ghee is butter from which the milk fat solids and water have been removed, and when made organically from grass-fed cows, the process renders the butter into a deeply nourishing, lubricating food for the body.
Ghee does not contain any lactose or milk sugar, and is therefore usually acceptable for those with dairy intolerance and it provides the essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 9 and Vitamins A, D, E and K.

Ghee nourishes the body and feeds the tissues on every level. It enhances digestion and absorption.  It strengthens the immune system and nervous system while decreasing heat, acidity and inflammation in the body.  It lubricates the joints, making them less prone to injury and damage. Increases sexual vitality. Benefits skin and eyes (I have definitely noticed this in myself!).

Ghee is used in Ayurvedic cleansing because it bonds to fat-soluble toxins in the body. As you are slowly increasing the daily amount of ghee you are taking in the morning, the ghee is gathering more and more toxins from throughout the body and carrying them into the gastrointestinal tract where they can easily be eliminated. Did you get that part? It's worth understanding! Like removes like... so the fat is bonding to excess fat in my body and carrying it away! YAY!

My early cleansing days:

The first cleanse I ever did was a week long food based cleanse with a group. I was an angry cleanser. When I say angry I mean lots of profanity, lots of tears and a headache that didn't stop. I was so upset that I could not eat meat and dairy. So upset. I felt like the cleanse was being done to me despite knowing that I'd willingly decided to be a part of it all. I credit that cleanse with cracking my outer shell and allowing the teensy tiniest bit of light in. Not only did I survive the week, I left it with a few keepers and changed the way I looked at food. Since that time I've found cleanses to be hugely illuminating, life changing and life affirming for me.

I lead cleanses now and help soothe those same angry feelings in others that raged inside of me in those early days. It's one of the true joys in my work. Seeing someone start a cleanse (or detox) skeptical, apprehensive and sometimes in a mood and then transform as the week progresses feels like riding a roller coaster, truly exhilarating. I love being a part of positive transformation. LOVE it.

So why this cleanse?

I am always conducting food experiments on myself to see what feels best in my body and practice something before I recommend it. This cleanse has been a long time coming. Last year I did a raw food cleanse and learned so much about my digestion. I believe that our body is intimately linked together and always speaking to us. It's that old "the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone" but deeper, more subtle and profoundly energetic.

Many of you know my breathing story. Here's the super short version. Started experiencing trouble breathing in 2004. Devastatingly long process to get proper diagnosis which eventually happened. The rare condition is called: Idiopathic Subglottic Stenosis (which translates to mystery scar tissue growing in the trachea). About 500 ish people, mostly women have it worldwide. Not 50,o00 or 500,000 just 500. Wild, right! Had a big surgery to remove the scar tissue in 2008. Experienced 4 years of easy breathing post surgery. The last 2 years I've been experiencing labored breathing again. And this is my big WHY.

We all have a big WHY. It's that thing that keeps us focused in on what we want. I want whole health. I want spontaneous healing. I believe with all my heart that I can have both. And beyond that I know it already is and I am taking the steps to remember and live into it. I AM whole health. I see my body giving me cues as to what's going in inside and I'm responding with as much love and diligence as humanly possibly.

Why now?

My body said it was time and Cliff is away so it's focused me time. Win/ Win.

What exactly am I doing?

I asked my friend Anne to create a cleanse for me. Anne is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, dear friend + the Campaign Manager for the Campaign For Confidence (doesn’t reading Campaign Manager just make you smile)! You can interact with her daily at the Campaign for Confidence Facebook page!

Basically I'm eating 3 meals per day. No snacks. No nighttime eating. No drinking alcohol. I'm making a lot of kitchari. Kitchari is an Indian one pot meal with rice, mung beans, spices and veggies. I'm also eating mung bean soup with veggies. I drinking copious amounts of ginger tea. I'm meditating daily for 40 minutes or more. I'm practicing visualization, writing, sitting in the sauna, scraping my tongue, oil-pulling, oiling my skin, moving my body and drum roll please... today I will begin sesame oil enemas. If it seems like a lot that's because it is. I'm all in. I'm intimately connected to my WHY.

How long is the cleanse?

I am not sure when it ends. My body will tell us. Anne and I check in, I share what's happening and she lovingly curates my next move. This cleanse has been deeply personal for me. Lots of emotion coming up and going out. Over the course of this experiment so far I've felt fiercely private, deep sadness, elation, pure arousal of the senses, joy, lethargy + energy to boot. I wasn't sure if I'd share it at all but I am trying to practice bravery and tell more of my story.

My word this year is ease and when I chose it I could see myself breathing with ease. When I sat down to "spend time in dreaming and giggling mode" (a quote from my sister, Kayla) to plan this year I saw myself without restriction of breathing or all the other old ways of being that hold me back. I saw myself running and playing with a huge smile, laughing and running around the house and the world with Cliff. And then my birthday arrived and I felt truly comfy in my skin. I recognized the culmination of so many years of good work. I knew it was time for the next chapter and here we are.

There are great Hippocrates quotes that read, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." and "Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease." I believe them. I feel them in my bones and moving through space and time.

If you're interested in doing a loving food experiment for your body, Veg Pledge is beginning on February 24th. It's 5 days of plant strong eating and you can read all about it here.

To the journey and all we discover along the way, Lacy

p.s. Anne and and I will be hosting a cleanse together similar to the one I am doing now in April. Sign up here if you're interested in receiving more information when we roll out the details.

Your History Is Not Your Destiny - Food based fall cleanse!

anika soup

Meet Anika! I am so excited to have her guest posting! We first met through MY health coach, Jennifer Moiles. It was Anika who taught me how to properly chop an onion and not my fingers. She taught me about nutritional yeast, about the power of dates, cashew cream and miso soup! Anika is filled with life. She's authentic and beautiful and a magic-maker in the kitchen! For her first guest post she's here to share her experience and recipes from a recent 3-day food based cleanse.

October is a perfect time for cleansing!  I suggest a 1 - 3 day cleanse at the change of seasons or anytime you feel like your body, mind and spirit need a break. I tend to do juice cleanses in spring and summer and food based cleanses in fall and winter. Feel free to ask questions in the comments, Anika and I will be happy to answer back!

To your health! Lacy


Your History Is Not Your Destiny...

These are the words I heard from an inspiring yoga teacher that lead me down the path to do this cleanse. Although short, cleansing is no small feat, and I bow my very lowest and deepest bow to anyone that may even attempt it. So I challenge you, to do a three day cleanse- cuz heck, why not?

Before we dive into it, bit of back story on me; A couple of years ago I went to an incredible alternative ingredients culinary school, Bauman College. Their philosophy is insistent upon a plant based diet. There I learned how to prepare foods surrounding plants, and also learned the importance/ benefits of cleansing. Three years ago (around this time of year) I planned to do a raw food cleanse for a month. But it did not sit well with my body, and after 3 weeks, I decided to stop the cleanse and return to cooked foods. My body was incredibly grateful. Over the past few years, Iʼve been vegan, vegetarian, and now I eat pretty much anything, but stick to a regimen of mostly plants. When I eat meats I make sure they are grass fed, fresh, and in small quantity. After College, I started my own Private Chef business, and am now the proud owner of Garden Cuisine.

So, two nights ago, I got an incredible surge of energy pushing me to do a small cleanse; an intro cleanse if you will. And that night, I immediately went to the grocery store, filled my cart with strictly fruits and veggies and left with a huge smile on my face. I happily strolled out the door and into the adventure that life had ahead ------because isnʼt that what this life is all about? Keeping it fun, keeping it exciting, and whenever possible, exercising our capability to be spontaneous!

As I had outlined for myself, I was going to do 3 days, strictly fruits and veggies. Which means no: Meat Dairy Nuts Legumes Oils Flours COOKIES! (what?) Yup!

Day One Overview:

It took about 3 hours of the first day to make a couple juices, and two soups. I picked all of my favorite things to eat, and kinda through them in a pot and ran with it. No oil of course giving me my first challenge, because how does a chef caramelize onions without oil? Answer: She doesnʼt. She grits her teeth and settles with letting the onions clear over with a splash of veggie broth and moves on!

Needless to say, I made two soups; a pureed Tomato Soup and a pureed Butternut Squash Soup, and two juices; a fruit juice, and a veggie juice.

>>>>>Recipes and directions at the bottom<<<<<

I started my cleanse on my day off, and ate whatever I wanted, whenever I was hungry within the cleanse guidelines. I drank juice for breakfast, ate a bowl of soup mid morning, had a massive bowl of guacamole with veggie crudites for lunch (avocados never tasted so good!), more juice for an afternoon snack, and a different soup for dinner. I snacked on bites of fruit here and there, drank plenty of water, and finished the day off with a cup of naturally sweet apple cinnamon tea.

Overall I had tons of energy the first day; I woke up and did all the cooking, cleaned my whole kitchen, went for a long drive into the mountains, came home, went to TWO heated hour long yoga classes, and slept like a baby.

Downfalls of the first day were pretty limited, overall I felt yummy, except for this weird acid reflux that was happening, which I have never had issues with in the past. I deduced it to an over-consumption of acidic foods, and planned for a more alkalizing day to come and that was that. But then, later when I laid down to go to sleep, I got a little overwhelmed with anxiety, which I knew was a common side affect of cleansing. I reached for my most comforting item (aside from food) my heating pad. Turned it on, snuggled up, and with a few deep breaths reminded myself that I was okay, and that change is good. A yoga teacher recently said

“keep going, when it feels hard push through, and you might just find out whatʼs on the other side of resistance.”

I pushed though and slept great. It was so worth it.

Day 2 Overview:

On day two I was back at work. Woke up early to pack my juices and soup (I had made enough on day one for day two) and flew out the door. Energy all throughout my 8 hour work day was very high and I felt great! But at the end of my workday (3pm) I felt h u n g r y! Once home and treated myself to another large bowl of guacamole and veggies and a bowl of soup. At this point I realized two things;

1. I sat down for way too long and was O V E R W H E L M E D with exhaustion, and

2. I was so sick of the soups that I'd made the day before I couldnʼt bring myself to eat either one of them for dinner.

I literally dragged myself to the grocery store, eyes watering with severe exhaustion and red from rubbing them. I barely kept my eyes open between yawns. I picked up all the ingredients for my 3rd and favorite soup yet, Broccoli Potato! Turned on my heating pad (do you see a pattern starting?), snuggled up and fell into a deep deep sleep for two hours. I woke up around 7:30 pm, made soup, and ate two bowls! So incredible! Day two highlight: I ate a late night bite of an overly ripe banana (which I have NEVER appreciated in the past) and it was heaven! Things were getting better!

Day 3 Overview:

Day three was the easiest of them all! By then I had the meals down, was back to regular energy, and worked/worked out comfortably, however my guacamole snack was no longer satisfying (probably a good thing). With the days that followed I added in grains first, then cheese, and then a few days later I began to eat meats and breads and whatnot. Overall it was an incredible experience and I would love to do another cleanse soon!


Tomato Soup

Ingredients: 1 onion, medium dice 2 large carrots, rough chop 3 large stalks celery, rough chop 1c cabbage, rough chop 1 large yukon gold potato, large dice (about 1/2 inch pieces) 1c veggie stock 25 ounces organic tomato juice (in a container) Salt and pepper Garnish: basil or cilantro

Directions: 1.Saute onions in small-medium pot with small splashes of veggie stock until translucent. (I would let the edges burn a bit and then deglaze the pan with little bits of veggie stock.) 2. Add everything else except the garnish and salt and pepper. 3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until everything is soft enough to cut through with a spoon. 4. Let cool, and blend to puree it or use an emersion blender. 5. Salt and pepper to taste Serve with fresh cracked pepper, cilantro or basil (parsley would be great too) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional).


Fall Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients: 1 small butternut squash (about 1-1.5 lb) skin peeled, seeds removed, med dice 2 thin leeks, rough chop 4 large carrots, rough chop 1 large apple, corred, sliced thin 4 large celery stalks, rough chop 1 avocado Water 1/2 large box veggie stock Salt, pepper, dried ginger, and dried cinnamon Garnish: parsley or cilantro, fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of blood orange (optional)

Directions: 1. In a medium pot, add squash, leeks, carrots, apple, celery, and enough water to barely cover veggies.

2. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until everything is soft enough to cut with a fork (about 30 min). 3. Add avocado and puree entire soup, adding as much veggie stock to the blender/ soup as necessary to get the desired texture you would like. (the avocado adds creaminess, do it!) 4. Return to pot and salt and pepper to taste. Then cinnamon and ginger to taste. This gives a warm fall flavor to the soup.


Incredible Broccoli Potato Soup

Ingredients: 1 large yellow onion, diced 6 large cloves garlic, minced 1 large yukon gold potato 1 head broccoli, rough chop (stem too, skin removed) 1c cabbage, sliced into 1 inch thin strips 1 large box veggie stock 1 tsp coriander Salt and pepper and nutritional yeast

Directions: 1. Saute onions with veggie stock until translucent (as seen above) 2. Add garlic, and saute until fragrant 3. Add potatoes and veggie stock, anbring to a boil; then reduce to simmer and cook until soft, about 15 minutes 4. Add broccoli and cabbage and return to a simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. 5. Salt and pepper to taste and add a good amount of nutritional yeast a small handfull), and the coriander. Stir well. 6. Garnish with extra cracked pepper, and another tablespoon of nutritional yeast.

I can not stress how good this soup is. My housemate (who is not on the cleanse, nor enjoys eating healthy) came out of her room to ask what I was cooking, and then asked if she could taste some. She continued to eat half my bowl! =) itʼs a winner


Green juice

1 head broccoli 2 large bunches of spinach 3 small honeycrisp apples 1/2 bunch parsley 1 bunch basil

Directions: Juice it all up!


Fresh Fruit Juice

6 apples 10 ounces strawberries

1 blood orange

Directions: Juice it all up!

Donʼt forget! You are alive, vibrant, and thriving!

<3 Anika Canton



For more recipes click here.

To change your relationship with food for the better join us at Group Health Coaching beginning Nov 7!