This article is an excerpt from " The Seasonal Detox Diet: Remedies from the Ancient Cookfire" and taken from the website

The beauty of eating seasonal foods and using cleansing diets is their simplicity and their ability to help balance the systems of the human body. Most anyone can achieve noticeable results in a very short time!

Though the methods are simple, there is still much to learn. The many recipes offered here are treasured for their effective healing abilities, and all involve some type of food and drink.

Food is vital because it is the primary source of gaining energy.

Everything around us has its own unique kind of energy or vibration.

Some foods increase energy more than others. Depending on the way they are grown, prepared, and eaten, foods have the ability to increase or decrease the vitality and the strength of body, mind, and spirit. This fundamental knowledge of foods has always been with us.

Today the quality of our earthly environment has a net effect on physical health. Commercial kitchens, supermarkets, agribusinesses, and systems of food distribution are industrialized and immensely complicated. Radiation, food additives, genetically engineered foods, and overprocessing are just a few of the problems we deal with today.

Our bodily elimination systems were not designed to decompose substances totally foreign to us. Pesticides, decayed matter, food additives, dead protein, certain inorganic minerals, and a number of other substances simply do not belong in our bodies. The condition of our bodies also reflects the condition of our environment, our world, and our future on planet Earth.

We can be overwhelmed by toxic accumulations as a consequence of fatigue, poor circulation, constipation, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, improper diet, and our environment. As the body becomes increasingly toxic, proper oxidation cannot take place in the tissues. Without oxygenation, we lack energy so the tired body continues the downward spiral. Restoring our own bodily systems after years of constant wear is essential for maintaining health and preventing disease. This creative process empowers us to become responsible for our own health and teaches us to care for this fascinating human body in its relation to Nature and the four seasons.

When the body is cleansed, the eyes sparkle, the skin becomes soft and clear, the mind is sharp, and the manner is calm and pleasant.

Everything gets better, including the memory, circulation, and digestion. These benefits are only the beginning. Health and happiness can become as contagious as disease. If we work on our health only when we are ill, we will usually return to the place where we started. Or, we can work on our growing health and not become ill. The willpower and discipline for proper care of nourishment, exercise, and self-awareness are not easy, but then nothing of value ever is.

Fasting has been likened to a surgeon's knife: It does away with toxins of all kinds. We must ask ourselves what is wrong with us, and then direct the fast to the purpose in the correct manner. In chapters 3 through 6, you will find time-proven therapies for healing used in many parts of the world and administered in the clinics of famous physicians.

Many of these practices are very simple, refreshing, and delightful.

Others are more time-consuming and regimented. It is important to choose wisely and become comfortable with your self-therapies.

Time, privacy, and peace are the perfect combination during a fasting experience. If you find it difficult to achieve all of the above, do not allow it to dampen your enthusiasm. Challenge yourself to be creative.

Each of us must find our comfort zones through trial and error. My mother did her first cleansing fast while working as a secretary, and she reported increased energy and elation throughout her 10-day fast. On the other hand, by the third day of my first two fasting experiences, I contracted a terrible headache that lasted through the night. I knew these were toxins being released and suffered through it. I felt weaker through the duration of a 6-day fast, but enjoyed a strong spiritual clarity and balance never before experienced. The first 24 hours of a fast can be the most difficult regarding the craving for solid food because the body is accustomed to being fed every day and is expecting to expend the large amount of energy it takes to digest each meal. Once the body attunes itself to this regimen, a new metabolism kicks in and directs the surplus energy to cleansing and purifying; the special foods help accelerate and assist the cleansing process.

If you wake up one morning and decide that the time is ripe to harvest the new you, by all means be spontaneous about it! As you integrate the idea of fasting into your lifestyle and begin to understand the processes of your body blueprint, you may decide to plan your fasting days to coordinate with the magic of the seasons, or special times of the week, month, or year. Seasonal restorative fasting attunes us with the cycles of Nature. Fasting can be a dedication or a ritual with special significance, purpose, and meaning or a cleansing experience to help your body overcome colds or flus.

Ask yourself what you want to achieve, then begin in full acceptance of your inner self. This is a good time to take a vacation from anything stressful, if possible. Some fasts are easily utilized while in working situations; others may require a more restful time for the body to heal.

Very inexpensive fasts can be planned throughout the cycles of the planting and harvesting seasons when you or your neighbors may have an abundance of fruits and vegetables on hand from gardens. These make excellent juices and foods for many basic cleansing recipes.

Author's Bio: 

Carrie L'Esperance has spent more than 25 years studying the healing systems of the world's cultures. A certified iridologist and former gourmet food professional, the author now specializes in helping clients discover the individual nutritional requirements that will allow them to feel and function at their best. She lives in San Francisco.