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    Ask the Chef: New Year's Cleanse

    By Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef | January 6, 2014


    Q: How do I incorporate superfoods into my new year's cleanse?

    If you're looking to start out the new year on a healthier foot, you're certainly not alone! More of us are rethinking their food choices than ever before, not just in the realm of a short-term diet, but in the bigger picture of a healthier lifestyle. One of the most popular ways to efficiently “hit the reset button†is through a cleanse - a healthy dietary program that lasts anywhere from a few days onto a few weeks. While some cleanses promote juices and others simply promote “clean†eating, one thing is for sure: superfoods ensure that you are getting premium nutrition while supporting your detoxification goals. In other words, superfoods keep us feeling good throughout the process!

    Chia seeds: Especially if your cleanse is one that is radically different from your normal eating habits (think juice cleanse, or switching from junk food junkie to pure vegan overnight), chia seeds are incredibly helpful dietary pacifiers. Due to their high fiber content and healthy fats, chia seeds are very filling superfoods despite their small size (they actually swell up, acting bigger and bulkier than they actually are, and fool the stomach into thinking it's full). Mixing in chia seeds into juices, sprinkling on salads, or mixing into your bowl of cereal (made with whole grains, of course!) can keep you feeling fuller longer, and help mute cravings.

    Wheatgrass: Since the beginning of its rise in popularity, wheatgrass has always been a touted cleansing superfood. Its high portion and wide diversity of vitamins and minerals make it an all-natural supplement boost, and its exceptional amount of chlorophyll helps to oxygenate the body and build the blood. Navitas' wheatgrass powder is a great way to enjoy all the benefits of wheatgrass juice at home, as it mixes easily into beverages like smoothies, can be added into fresh sauces, and even snuck into desserts like homemade sorbet.

    Cayenne: Especially around the beginning of the year, cleanses can be more challenging, as a colder climate begs for comforting foods. Cayenne pepper powder can help warm the body from the inside, igniting our “inner fire,†so to speak, and create biological satisfaction from lighter meals. Cayenne has even been linked to boosting the metabolism, which is especially helpful for those looking to decrease body fat. Because cayenne pepper is so spicy, it must be used with a light hand - rather than try and make one dish unbearably spicy, it's better to add small pinches to meals throughout the day to accumulate a healthy quantity over time (such as ¼ teaspoon daily). A little bit of heat is a surprisingly delicious addition to so many dishes, from homemade raw chocolate to soups to hummus.


    Camu: Camu berry powder is best known for its astoundingly high vitamin C content - an antioxidant vitamin that is responsible for a vast array of body functions. It's important when undergoing a cleanse to take care of the body nutritionally-speaking extra well, so that proper cellular “repair†is made (aka the “new youâ€). Vitamin C can contribute to this repair due to the nutrient's essential impact on cellular development and repair. Add pinches of camu berry powder to any recipe that's uncooked (or after it's cooked), such as smoothies, salad dressings, or jams.

    Smoothies: Superfood smoothies are an easy way to get healthy nutrients that can help you feel full longer and get the nourishment you need, which can decrease cravings for those bad-for-you foods. Try the Tropical Detox Smoothie - one of our most favorite gentle cleansing blends.