The Cleanse


To begin the new year, Brian & I have decided to give our bodies a break. We were certainly blessed with a bountiful table these last couple of months and it was all delicious but, well, we’re feeling a bit sluggish ya’ know? So, we will be starting every morning in January drinking a lovely detox drink made of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.


Lemon juice has so many health benefits. It promotes fresher breath, ensures balanced pH levels in the body, improves digestive function, strengthens the immune system, promotes skin repair, cleanses and revitalizes the urinary tract, detoxifies the liver, promotes faster healing and regeneration, and effectively curbs appetite. Plus it tastes and smells fantastic!


Cayenne Pepper has anti-irritant properties, has the ability to east upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs,  and diarrhea. It is an anti-cold and flu agent, aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. It has anti-fungal properties and can also aid in migraine headache prevention. It also has anti-allergen properties, is a digestive aid, a joint-pain reliever, and has antibacterial properties.


Maple Syrup has higher levels of beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemical than white table sugar, making it an excellent natural sweetener. It can also lower inflammation and better manage blood sugar.


We are starting each morning with a glass of this lemon drink (recipe below) before drinking or eating anything else.


So far we are really liking it.


In addition to this routine, we’ve also decided to do without coffee / caffeine. We’ve really only had one cup of coffee each morning, but lately we both have noticed that we’re not even finishing that. I think our bodies are telling us something. We’ve opted for a naturally decaffeinated green tea and are finding it quite refreshing.


Of course our diets need a bit of an overhaul too. We have found our portion sizes a bit too large and are not eating as many leafy greens as we should so this month we will be making a concentrated effort on that. To help with this, I’ve picked up this book


The Food Lover’s Cleanse by Sara Dickerman for Bon Appetit. Each year for the last 6 years Bon Appetit magazine published a two week cleansing meal plan, complete with recipes. It has been such a hit they decided to create a cookbook that has a two week cleanse for every season…recipes included. Since it is Winter here we will be doing the Winter cleanse.

Now, we usually have wine with dinner and the cleanse plan does allow moderate alcohol consumption, but we’ve decided to pass on that this month as well. Water is a good thing and we haven’t been drinking as much of it as we should so that will be our beverage of choice…and maybe an occasional mocktail!

Here’s the recipe for the lemon drink in case you would like to give it a try.

Lemon Detox Beverage

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Tablespoon Maple Syrup

Pinch of Cayenne

10 ounces warm water.

I’ll be checking in here periodically throughout the month to let you know how things are going.

So, are you working on any new dietary plans for yourself and/or family? I’d love to know what your up to.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


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About Carol

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18 Responses to The Cleanse

  1. Barbara says:

    Sounds like the right thing to do starting the new year. When I get up in the morning I usually have a warm cup of lemon water before having my coffee in the morning. I know I really love it on the mornings I think to do that. Will give this recipe a try. I had a wonderful salad you might like and it will be on my blog later today. It is a real keeper, so good.

  2. Karen Olson says:

    Oh, Carol, this is perfect! I was trying to figure out what on earth I was going to do to cleanse my body. Going to order up the book right away.

  3. Diana Foster says:

    I too love my hot water and slice of lemon first thing in the morning. Love all your healthful inspiration in the post! We all need that. In addition…..the lovely photos.

  4. Jana Vargas says:

    Looks like a great plan for you guys, especially being such foodies, good to find a cleanse that includes all the food groups you enjoy. Will add the lemon drink to my morning regime too, thanks for the recipe and suggestion. No matter how disciplined we are the holidays inevitably bring too much sugar, butter, and quantities beyond our usual and I think we all feel a bit fluffy no matter what the scale says – January is a perfect time to begin anew and assess our goals and dreams, visualize our outcomes and manifest a new healthier way. Happy, Healthy New Year dear friends! – JBV

  5. Ann Davis says:

    I am excited by this month’s food inspiration. Being Vegan and with health issues I am excited to follow along. I also love the fact that your husband is such a partner in the journey 🙂

    as always

  6. Carolyn says:

    As always, a beautiful post with drop dead gorgeous photos. Always enjoy reading your writings. Have been very much in the background lately with all that is going on in our world, but always look forward to your updates.

  7. Bev says:

    What a fabulous start to the year! I drink lemon water throughout the day but will have to try your warmed version with the maple syrup and cayenne.
    I’m excited to see your posts this month that will be including this favorite of mine. Thanks for the great information and inspiration. Your beautiful photos are always such a treat!

  8. Susan Bolton says:

    Sounds and looks like the cure-all for anything that ails you! Very interesting facts about the benefits of these items…something most of us already have handy! Thanks for sharing, and the photos are awesome!

  9. Wonderful post Carol. Thanks for sharing the info gorgeous pics

  10. Carol says:

    You’ve grabbed my interest…I think I’ll also give this a try.

  11. Sarah says:

    I am excited to follow your progress on this. My daughter is wanting to do a detox this month as well. We both may give the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup drink a try. I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I do love my morning tea.

  12. I like the look of the book carol. My daughter swears by Tumeric in warm water with honey in the morning….

  13. Amazing light and gorgeous photos. I would have never thought that all this together would work.
    Learned something new today. Thanks for that . Happy New Year.

  14. Blenda says:

    As always your photos are so beautiful to look at…such inspiration!
    What a great beverage to start each morning with! Wow, cayenne pepper is choked full of good stuff. I had no idea. Now I want to sprinkle it on everything! Have a wonderful 2016. xoblenda

  15. Kelly Kardos says:

    After my hysterectomy this past summer I was doing a lot of research on how I could get my body back in balance. Anesthesia and losing girly parts wreaks a little havoc! I read all about lemons and have been drinking lemon daily. I even bought a a water bottle with a diffuser so I can take my lemon water to work with me. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Sherry Galey says:

    I love that I have you there to inspire me to eat and drink healthfully. And so I can ooh and agh over your beautiful images too. I love lemon water and drink it all day. I drink hot lemon too and add turmeric but may change it up to try cayenne. And coming from the maple syrup capital of Canada, of course I add a little magic syrup. Look forward to the next few weeks with you.

  17. Cheri says:

    I just ‘found’ you and am happy that I did. Lots in common including the new Food Lover’s Cleanse cookbook. I am a big fan of Bon Appetit and also of healthful living so when I saw the book I grabbed it, determined to follow the cleanse. We just got back from a ski trip with family so we are starting a few days behind. Nice to see how you are doing with all of it. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Cheryl M says:

    Boy am I glad I popped in today Carol. I’m going to try that lemon drink for sure! I’ve joined in Cathy Zielske’s “FIT” course this year, trying to adapt to healthy eating along with exercise. I’ve done well before but then reverted to that good ole country cooking. I’ll be checking in to see how you and your husband are doing. TFS!!

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