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This month, I am going from campus to campus to meet with people who want to learn about Bauman College professional and community programs. The Open Houses are from 6-7 pm on Thursday evenings, followed by a book signing at 7:30 pm. I was in Penngrove last week, and will be in Boulder this Thursday, June 14th, in Santa Cruz, June 21st , and in Berkeley on June 28th.

I love sharing the Bauman College mission, which is to bring the Eating For Health™ model to our  community and to the world. I also introduce our philosophy of the health benefits of eating fresh S.O.U.L. (seasonal, organic, unrefined and local) foods. In our programs we provide our Nutrition Consultant and Natural Chefs with a grounded approach to working in community or clinical settings that is bioindividual and person centered, rather than belief or disease based.
During the Open Houses, we’ll be providing our guests with a refreshing and health supportive snack of cool hibiscus tea and a delicious and nourishing haystack confection, made from nuts, seeds, oats and maple syrup.

At the Open House in Penngrove, I had the chance to connect with Christian, a 15 year old boy who is passionate about health, sports and nutrition. He came with his dad, who wanted him to meet me and see if there would be a way for his son to gain some experience doing community service with me or the college this summer. I suggested they organize a class for Christian’s friends that I could teach and have him be my assistant.  I asked him what his buddies ate, and he reported, “lots of sodas, chips, pizza and ice cream.”  He was different as he realized that his mental and physical performance would be best if he ate mostly whole foods rather than the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) his friends chose.

I suggested we offer a Nutrition Heroes and Nutrition Bandits class with food samples for his friends to taste and recipes for them to make at home and share with their parents. We were both excited about introducing tech savvy kids, motivated to succeed in sports and in school, but clueless about the consequences of eating packaged, processed, chemically treated food, to an Teen Eating for Health class or series. I suggested we offer classes for the youth, classes for the parents, and then a family class, where we could all cook and eat together. What an impact this would have all thanks to Christian and his dad’s request.

In a world driven by advertisements for fast food, and instant gratification, I can bring Nutrition Consultant and Natural Chef graduates with me to open up the eyes of our local youth, the leaders of tomorrow, on how they can grow up strong, smart and beautiful by eating more fresh food instead of the artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives and high calorie, low nutrient foods they enjoy and in some cases, are addicted to. We could also plant a community garden where they can grow and then harvest super fresh vegetables, fruits, such as berries, herbs and spices. When youth or adults connect with nature, they see and feel the intrinsic value in eating lower on the food chain and thinking about sustainable nutrition and healing themselves and the earth. This is how Eating for Health™ paradigm can create the culture of health to which we aspire, one request from youth, one bite, one class, one garden at a time.

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Fast Forward


What a fantastic Vitality Fasting Retreat we had on May 10th – 13th.  After 28 years of leading fasting retreats, our spring fast was the best ever. Why so? It’s always about the group.  In this case 35 guests and 9 staff.  About half of our guests were newcomers to the retreat and to fasting. The other half were returning guests who come year after year to reconnect and enjoy the personal gift of a seasonal cleanse.

At each retreat the goal is to set the scene for people to have a life and health changing experience. We create a space that welcomes exploration and connections. We allow people to work at their own level and pace to enjoy a mixture of solitude and group interaction. From opening, to closing circle, this May’s group shared a desire to regain inner balance. Guests were supported to work through layers of physical, emotional, mental, relational, and chemical toxicity. From the start, our guests engaged in meaningful conversations, walks, activities, and social learning. Our practitioners offer private sessions in massage, acupuncture, facials, and nutrition consulting from morning till night. When fasting, energy opens and, as a result, buried wounds and issues become amenable to insight, nourishment, and resolution.

The love of the teas, juices, mineral broths and smoothies inspired our magnificent chefs to bring forth new and ever more delicious blends like Turmeric Ginger Morning Tea, Apple Berry Juice with Lemon Ginger, Apricot Vital Scoop Smoothies, Carrot Citrus Lunch Juice with a Basil Pesto Drizzle, and Savory Shiitake Mushroom Broth with variations on the Spice of Life seasoning (seaweeds, chili, oregano, rosemary and thyme) from the new Flavors of Health Cookbook.

Our Vitality Fasting Retreats are an exciting adventure, which inspire guests to continue exploring healthy and flavorful cooking at home. Herbs and spices not only accentuated detoxification, but add a pizzazz that increases circulation, alkalinity, tissue repair, improved mental acuity, and for many, elation.

Three themes emerged during the retreat: the need to (1) create and follow a daily morning and evening self-care practice, (2) eat and live more mindfully, and (3) sustain community by staying in touch with each other, hosting dinner parties and helping each other deal with stresses of family, work and aging.

Retreats help us see that we are all dealing with the same issues that alone overwhelm us, but that together we can manage.  At the retreat we created a delightful community. We had an excellent structure (daily events), function (participation), and outcome (letting go of bad food and stress) to regain a feeling of well being that we lacked when we began the retreat. We could call this process a fast as it accelerates our evolution and self-healing process.

I hope to see many spring retreat goers at our summer program, August 4-10th as well as those of you who have always wanted to rejuvenate with a fast, but worry about crashing if you stop having sweets, meats, stimulants and TV. No worries. The redwoods, the spa, and the holistic programs will help you adjust and gently cleanse. Imagine yourself smiling, surrounded by new friends, enjoying health activities, and nourishing beverages.

Thank you all for a wonderful Vitality Fasting Retreat. I very much look forward to seeing you all in August.

The Bauman College Spring Vitality Fasting Retreat is this weekend.  Our next retreat is from August 4-10th at the serene Stillheart Institute, in Woodside, CA. I’m looking forward to the next few days of relaxation and rejuvenation, and facilitating this unique cleansing program. If you missed our spring get together, you can still enjoy fresh juices and healing beverages at home, any time.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to use to heal your digestive and eliminative organs, while you strengthen and balance your nerves and endocrine glands.

Try a Fresh Green Drink

Blend and add water to dilute. Juice the following:

  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup cucumber
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • ¼ inch or teaspoon ginger root
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  • 1 apple
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

For Breakfast: Have a Vital Scoop™ Smoothie

  • 1-2 Scoops of the Vital Scoop™
  • 1/2 – 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 T. dried coconut flakes
  • 1 T. almonds or almond butter
  • 12 oz. fresh juice, coconut water or nut milk
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon, nutmeg and/or cardamom
  • 1 tsp. Ginger or Turmeric powder (optional)
  • Blend together until smooth; drink half and refrigerate the other half to enjoy in the afternoon.

VITALITY RECIPES

The Vitality Juice Fasting Retreats produce some incredible juices, teas, and broths. Here are some of our favorites that you can make at home. Each year we make juice based upon the produce available and our remarkable inspiration.

MORNING SUNSHINE JUICE

  • 4 Granny Smith or Gravenstein apples
  • 2″ fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 Meyer lemon, peeled
  • 4 oz. water to dilute

GINGER GRAPE JUICE

  • 2 cups red grapes
  • 2″ fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 Meyer lemon, peeled (optional)
  • 4 oz. water to dilute

PEACH CHAI

  • 4 peaches, pitted and juiced with 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. each cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, ginger
  • Boil spices for 20 minutes. Cool, then mix the peach juice with the chai.

LIVER-FRIENDLY Green LEMONADE

The name says it all.

  • 1 Tbs. Vital Scoop
  • 2 Meyer lemons, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh apple juice

LUNCH TIME JUICE

In a juicer, add:

  • 4 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 beet
  • 1-cup fresh greens
  • 2–4 oranges, skins off (add if carrots not sweet) onions, ginger, horseradish or garlic juiced, if desired
  • Dilute with 4-oz. herbal infusion of 2 Tbs. each of basil, dill and cilantro simmered in 1-cup water for 10 minutes)

ALMOND MILK

Blend or shake well together:

  • 1/3 cup almonds, ground
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 cup purified water or milk (soy, rice, and oat)
  • Dash almond or vanilla extract
  • Optional: raisins or dates
  • Can be used with any nuts or seeds. Add spices or herbs as needed.

HEALING FROM THE GROUND UP!

Eat S.O.U.L. (seasonal, organic, unrefined and local) food to nourish the essential you. From this, seeds of well being will sprout. Cook with love, share kindness, juice daily, smile, count your blessings and Eat for Health™!

Remember, the most important ingredient in any food is love.

Dr. Ed Bauman

Fresh juices, herb teas, mineral broths, and smoothies have been the mainstay of the Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreats which are held every spring and summer at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, California.  These healing beverages increase the alkaline-forming minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, which cleanse the blood and tissues and revitalize digestive and eliminative organs. The healing beverages are also a wonderful source of antioxidants that protect the body from harmful environmental toxins and acidic metabolic waste which can trigger a systematic inflammatory response. At a fasting retreat, a person will drink up between 16 to 24 ounces of juice, 16 to 24 ounces of herbal tea, and 8 to 12 ounces of mineral broth per day.

Bonus: These nutritive beverages neutralize acids and protect against free radical damage that is caused by excessive coffee, soft drinks, sports drinks, alcohol and tap water.

Here is a program you can do at home.

1)      Start the day by making 2-4 cups of loose herbal tea, in a blend of mint, rosemary and lemon verbena, or  a heartier blend of licorice, dandelion and burdock roots, or a red tea, called rooibos, taken plain or mixed with lemon and honey. A general rule of thumb is to use 1 TB of loose herbs to one cup of near boiling water.

2)      Later in the morning or at noon, make 16 ounces of fresh juice by juicing fresh carrots, celery, cucumbers, and an apple. Drink half now and the other half later in the afternoon when you begin to get a bit tired.

3)      You can add the Bauman Vital ScoopTM a smooth and tasty superfood powder to the fresh juice to enrich it with protein, fiber and fruit and extracts. One scoop to 12 ounces of fresh juice makes a great breakfast or afternoon snack.

4)      For dinner, make and enjoy a warming mineral broth, consisting of the stock from a pot of vegetables that contain one third root vegetables, one third green vegetables, and one third a combination of herbs, spices, seaweed and flaxseed. Cover the vegetables in filtered water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3-5 hours. Strain and enjoy.  The complete recipe can be found in the Flavors of Health cookbook.

One might ask, “Why aren’t we taking in the fiber from these plants?” In this instance, by liquefying the fruits, vegetables, and herbs, we are maximizing our uptake of the essence of the plants and making it easier to digest and assimilate the healing carotenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. Unless you are on a fast, you can add any of these beverages to complement whole food meals.

Important: Make sure that the water you are drinking has been purified to remove chlorine, fluorine, bacteria, heavy metals, chemicals, and other unwanted compounds such as medical drugs that have been found in municipal water supplies. A simple carbon filter on your sink can make a world of difference in the purity of the water you take in. Remember to drink half your weight in ounces of healthful liquids every day.

“The prime object of natural healing is to give the principle of life the line of least resistance, that it may enable man the most abundant health.”
-Dr. Benedict Lust, the Father of Naturopathy, exactly one hundred years ago

THE HEALING BENEFITS OF DRINKING RAW JUICE 

  1. Raw juices release the pure liquids locked in the cells of plants which have definite therapeutic value.
  2. Just as herbs have specific curative values, so do juices which come from specific fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Fresh fruit juices are the cleansers of the human system.
  4. Vegetable juices are the regenerators and builders of the body.
  5. Grown in healthy soil, they contain all the substances needed for nourishing the human organism—provided the juices are used when fresh and raw, and without preservatives.
  6. When vegetables and fruits have been ripened by solar energy, they contain all the elements the sun and earth have buried deep within their fiber.
  7. Raw juices are second to honey in ease and speed of assimilation (on an empty stomach, juices will be absorbed by the bloodstream and glands 15 minutes after ingestion).
  8. Because most people consume a limited amount of pure raw food daily, a pint (16 oz.) or more of fresh raw fruit or vegetable juice daily will have a marked therapeutic effect.

Note: Those who have lived for years on highly-seasoned foods, abundant protein, pastries, and heavy starches may complain of distress when starting a rigorous raw juice schedule.  Such disagreeable reactions denote a disharmony within, an unhealthy condition of the stomach and bowels, or an acid condition of the blood.  I work in a gradual and gentle way to minimize a healing crisis cathartic reaction.

PROPERTIES OF RAW JUICE

CARROT JUICE

  • Carrot juice can generally be consumed in large quantities without difficulty. Because of its excellent vitamin content it is good for conditions where it is important to improve the quality of the blood.
  • Carrots constitute a powerful cleansing food, and are one of the most effective means of changing the intestinal flora from a putrefactive to a non-putrefactive type.
  • Carrots have some protein, are rich in carbohydrates, potassium, sodium, and calcium, and contain abundant alkaline minerals, a trace of iodine, and a good proportion of all vitamins.
  • It is very effective in aiding chronic infections such as tonsillitis, colitis, and appendicitis and in controlling anemia, stones, acidosis, blood poisoning, faulty circulation and ulcers.
  • Rheumatic ailments are a result of nutritional disorders and respond readily to carrot and celery treatment.
  • One of the richest sources of vitamin A, which the body can quickly assimilate, carrot juice contains an ample supply of vitamins B, C, D, E, G, and K.
  • Carrot juice helps to promote appetite and is an aid to digestion.
  • The minerals in carrot juice help to improve the bone structure of teeth.
  • The nursing mother should consume liberal quantities of carrot juice to enhance the quality of her milk.
  • Because of its strong alkalinity, carrot juice helps to combat fatigue.
  • Carrot juice offers resistance to infection and is a protector of the nervous system.
  • A glass of carrot juice daily is wonderful for skin health and beauty!

CELERY JUICE

  • A prolific source of magnesium, sodium, and iron, celery juice quiets the nerves and is conducive to sound sleep.
  • Celery juice contains as much sodium as calcium, which is valuable in arthritis conditions.

PARSLEY JUICE

  • Parsley juice contains properties that are essential to oxygen metabolism.
  • Like celery, parsley juice is a sedative, and an effective drug poison eliminator.
  • An important cleansing herb, celery juice is rich in vitamins and strongly alkaline, abounding in iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
  • It also has stimulating, invigorating, life-giving qualities.
  • Because parsley juice is highly concentrated, it is best used sparingly (2 oz.) and in combination with other raw vegetable juices and pure water.

CABBAGE JUICE

  • Cabbage juice is effective in cleansing the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestinal tract.
  • It provides high sulfur, chlorine and vitamin C; therapeutic only when taken raw.
  • Sauerkraut and its juice is an excellent form of cabbage.

LETTUCE JUICE

  • Fresh lettuce juice offers generous quantities of iron and magnesium. Magnesium has exceptional vitalizing powers, particularly on the muscle tissue brain and nerves. Magnesium also assists in maintenance of the normal fluidity of the blood, in the absence of which proper metabolism is impossible.
  • Fortified with calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon, lettuce is important in the proper maintenance of skin, sinews and hair and is a lymphatic cleanser.
  • Best to use the dark green varieties of lettuce such as romaine, spring mixes, arugula and baby spinach.

SPINACH JUICE

  • Spinach juice contains the finest organic material for cleansing, reconstructing, and regenerating the intestinal tract.
  • Properly prepared and combined, spinach juice will correct the most aggravated case of constipation within a few days or weeks.
  • It tastes good with apple or carrot juice.

Please note: It’s best to dilute fresh juices from 25-50% to lower the concentration of natural sugar in the juices, especially fruit or carrot juice. Adding the Bauman Vital Scoop or a quality protein powder to a juice is advised for anyone with a low or high blood sugar issue.

The spring Vitality Fasting Retreat is full. Best to reserve your place now in the August 4-10, 2012 program if you want to join us as the fabulous Stillheart Institute this summer.

The Summer Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat is August 4-10 at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, California. Stillheart Institute is a sanctuary on holy grounds supported by a genuine healing mission that permeates the facility.

Learn more: Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat Information and registration information.

 Next Blog – Cleansing Recipes!

When I heard that celebrity chef Jacques Pepin was doing a book signing in San Francisco at Omnivore Books, I decided to go. For those of you in the younger generation, Chef Pepin was the chef who brought French cooking to the American audience. He has been enjoyed in print with numerous cookbooks and has been the host of several delightful and enlightening PBS cooking shows. Jacques has remained a culinary star from 1960’s until today. I admire his work, style and taste.

He was a teacher, friend, and teaching partner for Julia Child, who we all know as the American who fell in love with French cooking, wine, and entertaining. In the movie Julia and Julia, Meryl Streep played Julia to perfection, with a strong supporting role for her husband, Paul Child, played by Stanley Tucci, a personal favorite of mine.

Chef Jacques is now in his mid-eighties. His book, Essential Pepin is a collection of his favorite recipes and cooking techniques.  He is a living culinary legend who relies on charm, craft, and simplicity to inspire joyful eating. Over time, he has embraced the core principles of Eating For Health™, such as S.O.U.L. (seasonal, organic, unrefined and local) foods. His food is wholesome, real, and oh so fresh.

I wanted to personally thank him for his lifetime body of work and let him know that he is an inspiration to me. As such, I wrote an inscription in the Flavors of Health Cookbook which I was determined to personally give to him and see how he responded.

When I reached the bookstore, it was crowded to overflow. I was one foot in and one foot out the door. I couldn’t hear all that he said, but I loved the energy he created and the laughter that bubbled up from the crowd when he told a charming story.  I purchased his book and bundled it with the Flavors of Health so that when my time came for him to sign my copy, I could present him with his copy of my work.

After 30 minutes of standing in line, my time came. I was next to him. The store provided a photographer to capture the “Kodak moment”. He asked me my name and looked me in the eye for a fleeting instant. It was great, albeit short lived. I thanked him and laid my book down next to his and said “Here’s a gift for you. I will carry on your tradition of good taste and joie de vivre.”  He said “merci”… and gave me a wry smile of appreciation.

And then it was time to move on so the next person could have their book signed. Our time together was very brief, but special. His inscription on my book read: “To Dr. Ed, Cook with Love”, and a scribbled Jacques Pepin signature.  Yes, he and I are cut from the same cloth.

Visit  Flavors of Health for more information about the Flavors of Health Cookbook by Dr. Ed Bauman and Chef Lizette Marx, and receive a free recipe!

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Jacques Pepin signs his book "Essential Pepin" for Dr. Ed Bauman

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Dr. Ed Bauman with his "Flavors of Health Cookbook", and "Essential Pepin" book by Jacques Pepin

In my previous blog, I suggested a gentle Cleansing Program, which is a nice prelude to a deeper body cleansing program. Did you go on the Cleansing Program? I invite you to share your experiences here.

Now, let’s learn how to take spring cleaning to the next level with a 3-day Fast!

A Fast is an abstinence from solid foods.

Fasting has a long-standing spiritual tradition, and almost every religion has some type of fasting ritual. The Fast is an intentional purification for health and/or spiritual reasons. It is a time to turn away from the stressors of everyday life, and to get deeper in touch with nature, self, and spirit.

A Spring Fast is a wonderful way to lighten up and reduce winter build-up as the Fast supports and boosts the body’s metabolic processes which are continuously disposing accumulated toxic matter. In traditional Chinese medicine, fasting is considered preventive health care.  Fasting is also a traditional therapy for people who suffer from conditions of food and chemical sensitivity, chronic illness and digestive disturbance, and to overcome food addictions that stem from a longing to be full and fulfilled. After fasting, being empty is not so scary. Most people have a hard time fasting alone and find it much easier fasting in a supportive group retreat setting.

Initially, I learned about fasting from my first mentors, Drs. Paavo Airola and Bernard Jensen nearly 40 years ago. They taught me both the physiological and psychological benefits of regular, supervised fasting. I have been designing customized individual fasts and guiding 3 and 7 day residential fasting programs annually since 1984. I, with my staff and nurturing approach, have guided over 1500 people with a wide variety of health issues to safely and joyfully fast.
The health benefits of fasting include:

  • Alleviating inflammation that contributes to all forms of ‘itis’ such as dermatitis, gastritis, colitis, arthritis, neuritis, sinusitis, hepatitis, etc.
  • Alleviating chemical, environmental and food sensitivity
  • Alleviating chronic muscle and nerve pain
  • Improving liver, bowel and kidney function
  • Improving mental clarity
  • Jump starting safe and effective weight loss
  • Breaking dependencies and addictions to unhealthy foods, substances and habits

A person might fast for one day to a week, or more. In its most restrictive form, a fasting person drinks only water and is confined to bed rest. I don’t advocate a water fast as it deprives the body of needed calories and nutrients.

There are several versions of Fasts, such as the Master Cleanser Lemonade Diet, a Fruit or Vegetable Juice Fast, or a Modified Food-based Fast with a blended menu which I developed to make it possible for more people to achieve an exhilarating and stable fasting experience.

One major difference between the Vitality Fast and the Modified Food-based Fast: In addition to drinking alkaline-rich beverages, our Vitality Fast guests learn how to self-administer an enema to facilitate colon cleansing. As the colon clears, the mind clears, often opening up spiritual channels that were blocked. When this happens, fasters experience exceptional clarity and expanded awareness, which is known by fasting experts, as the fasting high.

The Perfect 3-Day Fast

I suggest a 3-day fast for beginners to allow them to experience the health and lucidity that fasting brings. During the May Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat, solid food is eschewed in favor of beverages that include purified water, teas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices and mineral broth. We provide Vital Scoop smoothies for those who have blood sugar issues.

To insure a successful fast, begin with a gradual cleanse.  I suggest at least two days of cleansing for each day fasting, both at the beginning and at end of the fast. So a 3.5 day fast would have a week-long cleanse before the fast, and after the fast. (After fasting, eating is wonderful!) This way, the body will not be shocked by the sudden change and reduction in calories and nutrients. This process also mitigates the common side effects and withdrawal symptoms (fatigue, headaches, rashes and intense mental and emotional expression) that make it difficult for people to have a successful fast.

Note: For anyone with existing medical problems and taking pharmaceutical drugs, it is very important to consult with a qualified and experienced health practitioner, and have that person be on hand to monitor the fasting program.

Detoxification Programs Require Professional Guidance and Monitoring

A Detoxification Program is more focused and therapeutic than either a Cleanse or Fast. The intent in this case, is to eliminate specific harmful compounds from the body.

Detoxification may take place in a clinical out-patient setting, or included as part of a supervised cleansing or fasting program with a very skilled health professional. Close monitoring of a person is essential as symptoms will arise requiring a specific, immediate, and therapeutic response. It is also important to note that when people are in the midst of Detoxification Program, they often become agitated and emotionally unstable.

I have worked with a number of people who have become ill when they were improperly guided in what they were told was a detox program. A normal detoxification process, with a measurable successful outcome, takes many months to complete. One doesn’t clear pathogens, such as mercury, cadmium or lead, microbes such as a bacteria, yeast or parasite, or overcome an addiction to cocaine, heroin or alcohol in a predictable or limited time frame.

Many people and detox product companies advertise a four to six-week Detox Program with a list of benefits, most of which cannot be verified. Do not attempt to undergo a do-it-yourself detoxification program by following what someone suggests in a book or on the back of a product package. Detoxification requires professional assessment, individualized program development, and careful monitoring of the person.  I suggest natural health educators work with naturopathic or functional medical doctors to insure safety and professional oversight.

Join me at the 3-day Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat!

Are you ready spring forward? Do you want to lose some winter weight and congestion? Try the Gentle Cleanse and 3-Day Fast at home with a friend or better yet, let’s experience the fasting high together at the Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat, May 10-13th  at the beautiful Stillheart Institute in Woodside, California. Stillheart Institute is a sanctuary on holy grounds supported by a genuine healing mission that permeates the facility. Enjoy the experience of being clearer, cleaner, and more naturally, you.

For me, the Vitality Fasting Program is truly the Health Adventure of a Lifetime. It has changed my life and my health in a profound way. I now make many of the wonderful teas, juices, broths and smoothies Dr. Ed Bauman shared with us. I learn more and feel better with each fast I attend.
-Penny Michel, Artist

Spring invites us to shift into a lighter, brighter diet and lifestyle!

Spring has finally come, and with it, new beginnings and new life. Birds are singing. Trees are blossoming. Bulbs are sprouting up and flowers are blooming. Spring is an exciting and delicious time as the earth awakens and provides cleansing plant foods of mustard, dandelion, asparagus, and strawberries. The bounty and variety of fresh foods will increase through fall.

During the winter season, in a northern climate we sensibly eat warming foods. However, it is easy to overeat protein, fats, snack foods, sweets, treats, and other comfort foods to help us stay warm and feel secure during the dark, wet, and cold season.  In addition, physical activity diminishes. This equation of excess calories and less exercise, along with stress and insecurity, equals winter weight gain, moodiness, and sluggishness.

I want to clarify the difference between a Cleanse, a Fast and a Detoxification Program. They share similarities, but are also distinct. Each aims to improve health by supporting the body to discharge and clear stored cellular waste and provide tissues with restorative nutrients. 

Traditionally, a change of season calls for a change of diet and lifestyle. Spring is a perfect time to assist our bodies to release the winter overload.

A good starting place for a diet and lifestyle change is to minimize or eliminate eating non-nutritive substances such as refined sugars, flour, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, artificial sweeteners, and hormone-enhanced commercial meats and dairy products. Common food stressors such as gluten, dairy, soy, and corn are removed from the diet for a period of days, weeks, or even months.  The basis of this regenerative diet is seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local (S.O.U.L.) plant foods. Optimal hydration is also essential. I suggest we drink one-half of cup of water or other unsweetened beverage for each hour of waking time (e.g. 8 cups of fluid within 16 hours).

The Cleansing Diet and Lifestyle Change

After a winter of hibernation, we can spring forward by committing to a gentle Cleanse. Start by increasing your fluids, fiber, phytonutrients and physical activity.

A Cleanse starts with drinking healthy fluids throughout the day. Soft drinks, alcohol, tap water, non-organic juices, and caffeine drinks are gradually reduced or eliminated. The Cleansing Diet foundation includes whole, fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, clean fats, and lean proteins. Refined, allergenic and genetically modified foods are excluded during a Cleanse. Protein and fats are best organic, and eaten in measured amounts.

A Cleansing meal could consist of:

  • 1 serving of protein (3 oz. animal, 6 oz. vegetable protein)
  • 1-2 servings of good fats (1 T of olive oil, 2 T seeds, nuts or avocado is one serving)
  • 3 servings of whole vegetables and or fruits (1/2 cup of chopped vegetable, or 1 cup of leafy greens is one serving).

Hence, a large salad with spring mix (It’s spring!), tomatoes, avocado, grated carrots, beets, parsley and either garbanzo beans, wild salmon, or a hard-boiled egg, would be an excellent cleansing meal. Check out one of the luscious salad recipes from my new book, Flavors of Health.

The Cleansing Diet can be augmented with a variety of nutritional supplements which may include a protein powder, fiber product, enzymes, algae, and friendly flora. All of these are available in the Bauman Nutrition’s Vital Scoop in a safe and well balanced combination.  The Cleansing Diet with proper fluid, fiber, and phytonutrients (colorful fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices) is safe and effective when the diet is gradually changed, rather than suddenly and radically shifted.  As a person gets acclimated to eating more produce, he or she can increase the proportion of raw to cooked foods. The Cleansing Diet increases the amount of alkaline-forming minerals, especially potassium, magnesium, and trace elements that balance the blood pH, cool inflammation, and nourish organs, glands, and body tissues.

In addition to cleaning up the diet, during a Cleanse it is also vitally important to commit to a daily program of physical activity. This can include a variety of movement such as walking, dancing, working in the home and yard, and exercise that promotes strength building, flexibility and aerobic activity. Just as with changing the diet, a gradual change that leads to consistent habits, which avoids extremes, is best.

If following the Cleansing Diet causes to a person becoming dizzy, disoriented, tired or unstable, eating a balancing diet which includes equal calories from proteins and fats to carbohydrates can help lessen and eliminate undesirable effects.

The Cleansing Diet can be typically maintained for several weeks without supervision.

Next Blog: The Fast and The Detoxification Program

The Cleansing Diet is an excellent preparation for a Fast or Detoxification program, and a perfect prelude to the Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat.

The Spring Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat is May 10-13 at Stillheart Institute in Woodside, California. Stillheart Institute is a sanctuary on holy grounds supported by a genuine healing mission that permeates the facility.

A few spaces remain – so invite a friend and join me at the upcoming Vitality Fasting Retreat. Experience what it feels like to be clear, clean and refreshed after a Fast. You’ll look and feel years younger after enjoying this delightful long-weekend retreat!

Learn more: Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreat Information and registration information.