Post 20 Vegetarian Marathon: Living in Israel believe it or not reminds me of summer camp: Song: “Is this a Country or a Country Club.” Time to detox to test food sensitivity, complete set of does and don’ts

So many things about Israel remind me of summers at sleep-away camp. I worked for several years as an Emergency Medical Technician, which gives one inside information. In camp, everyone has about the same space to sleep. That’s true about the majority of Israelis. The size of  apartments is about the same for each family. A few, and it’s still a few people, have “mansions”. When things get heated up, no-one can hide or run away. Where can you hide in a bungalow colony?  Maybe the closeness breads in Israelis the desire to always be on the move.

Also, the upstate squeezed together shacks that “our crowd” migrated to every summer were fueled by natural gas tanks. My stove in Israel today is fueled by gas tanks. So too for most apartments. I think it feels very temporary.

Ants, flies, mosquitos, are  waiting in the corners. Read a story by Amos Oz of his early life and his scalding baths. Israelis use an enormous amount of toiletries, deodorants, sprays. Every block has a spa and a hair salon and two cafes offering places to shmooze.

Food is a big part of the culture, as well as travel and leisure. I remember traveling up the coast on my first visit and seeing beach after beach. “Is this a Country or a Country Club?” I asked.

That’s why this song is here. Surprise Lake Camp was a no-frills sprawling summer home for city kids

Surprise Lake’s showers are a’ bustling and teeming

At the crawly and slimy rodents and all of us screaming

And here come the now-crowd a buzzing and a  creaming

All the while busily planning and scheming

Young kitchen help toilet cleaning teeny boppers

Spray mousses on  their 200 dollar cut moppers.

And  take turns as lookout for sweet smelling skunk

Trade trinkets and treasures and mama’s post hippi junk

And your camp cooking  is tasty, your soup is steaming

And under the moon the Camp City lies dreaming

If the sights and the sounds and the smells you delight

Then you’ll know you’ve come home and the place is just right

While twinkling from Cold Springs a garland of light

Sends a message of welcome and bids you good-night.

Once you experience how good you feel -balanced, energized and with more clarity than before- you may not want to go back to eating the same old way. This is called keeping it pure and simple.

Keep in mind that around the third day you may feel tired, irritable, or just plain icky. Some people sail through this without a hitch, but you may experience symptoms of withdrawal and detoxification. Remember to drink plenty of water and exercise, even if it’s only walking briskly. Sweat in a sauna or steam bath if you can, as that helps push toxins out of the body.

Foods to eat for a detoxification diet:

Liquids: Filtered water, herbal teas (detox teas are an option, and may include milk thistle, burdock root or dandelion to help the liver and kidneys), green tea, green drinks, (wheat grass, spirulina, chlorella). Fresh pressed vegetable juice (carrot, beet, celery, cucumber, cabbage, parsley, ginger, greens, etc), vegetable broth or dashi, aloe vera juice (for mild intestinal cleansing)

Grains and breads: Brown rice, wild, wehani, or red rice, millet, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, sprouted grain bread (wheat-free). After the detox re-introduce gluten and take note if any symptoms arise such as digestive distress, sluggishness, aching joints; these can be indicators of gluten sensitivity.

Protein: Fresh small white fish; wild salmon; lentils; split peas; chickpeas; black, kidney, adzuki, white, pinto or any other variety of dried beans.

Dairy substitutes: Rice, almond, or hazelnut milk. (Soymilk is one of the foods to avoid, as soy is a common allergen). Keep in mind that these are considered processed foods, and may be mucus producing. If you are committed to a very strict cleanse these can be eliminated.

Nuts and seeds: Raw or dry-roasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and nut butters made from these (nut butters should not have any added oils or sugars).

Vegetables: 9 servings per day are ideal. Vegetables should include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onion, daikon radish, burdock root, turnips, rutabaga, leeks, dark and leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard, turnip, or dandelion greens, bok choy, tatsoi, chicory, watercress, radicchio) and field greens (arugula, organic mesclun, romaine, red and green leaf lettuce). Other vegetables are mineral rich seaweed; carrots; beets; green, yellow and winter squash; sweet potatoes, parsnips.

Fruit: Seasonal fruits, organic whenever possible. In the temperate zones such as the Northeast, fruits should be non-tropical and non-citrus (except lemon and lime, which are very cleansing to the liver). Apples and pears -in season- are great cleansers.

Fats: Avocado, nuts, and flaxseed oil, olive oil, and fish oil, for a daily dose of good fats and fatty acids. Don’t heat flaxseed or fish oil.

Sweeteners: No sweeteners would be used in a very strict detox protocol, so use these sparingly. Only natural sweeteners should be used, and in very small quantities: brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, agave nectar, and stevia.

Herbs and Spices: Cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, star anise, fennel seed, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, cilantro, sage, basil, marjoram and chives.

Foods to omit during a detox protocol:

Many of these foods are general offenders and should not be in our diets on a general basis, so the detox can actually kick-start a new lifestyle. Keep in mind that the most common food allergens are milk, eggs, wheat, tree nuts, corn, peanuts, shellfish. Add these back into your diet one at a time if you believe that you might be sensitive to any of the above listed foods. If you are, after not consuming them for a couple of weeks you will notice a marked negative response.

Liquids: Soda, coffee, black tea, alcohol, milk. Soymilk should be omitted or consumed in very small quantity. Fruit juices should be consumed in limited quantity or not at all, and restricted to unsweetened cranberry juice and fresh pressed juices.

Grains and breads: Omit all white bread, white flour, white rice, wheat, and all grain and flour containing gluten. These include barley, bulgur, couscous, durum, farina, graham flour, kamut, matzo, rye, seitan, semolina, spelt, and triticale. Corn is  a very common allergen, so cornmeal, corn cereals, grits etc should be eliminated temporarily.

Protein: Soy products should be avoided, and reintroduced only in organic form as tofu or tempeh. Other soy products are excessively processed. Seitan (which is gluten) should be temporarily eliminated. Do not eat any animal products except (optionally) a small amount of fish as listed in recommended foods above. If animal foods are part of the regular diet, restrict consumption to small amounts of free range and organic beef, lamb, turkey and chicken and eggs. (Keep in mind that in Europe a serving of meat is 3-4 ounces). Cold cuts, canned meat, shellfish, farmed non-organic salmon, large predatory and deep sea fish (such as marlin, shark, dolphin, tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi) should be avoided.

Dairy: Omit completely. After the detox, small amounts of goat or sheep products can be reintroduced.

Nuts and Seeds: Peanuts and peanut butter (very common allergen), cashews Brazil, and macadamia nuts.

Vegetables: Avoid nightshade vegetables: potato, tomato, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, cayenne, tomatillos, paprika and pimentos. It should be noted here that tobacco is also a nightshade.

More on foods to avoid:

Fruit: Excessively sugary fruits like grapes should be eaten in very small quantity or avoided; black and red grapes are more vitamin rich than green. Make sure all grapes are organic. Tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, banana and pineapple should only be eaten in a warm climate or in the summer months when their cooling properties are beneficial. Excess citrus should be avoided, especially orange juice, as it is mucus producing. Whole citrus fruits may be tolerated on occasion. Due to its high sugar content, dried fruit should be limited to occasional consumption.
Fats: Margarine, butter, shortening, hydrogenated fats and oils, mayonnaise, and “butter” type spreads should be eliminated.
Condiments: Ketchup, mayonnaise, bottled salad dressings and sauces, regular table salt. (use sea salt or tamari instead and sparingly).
Sweeteners: All processed sugar including evaporated cane juice, demerara, succanat, and brown sugar; corn syrup, artificially or sugar-sweetened jams and marmalades. Use fruit-only spreads.
L Hitraot,Ida


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