After the trip to Missouri and only one side run to a natural foods store, my body felt the lack of fresh fruits and veggies, greens and healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil. So for the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, I’m doing the raw food detox outlined in Ani Phyo’s book “Ani’s Raw Food Detox.” When I purchased it a couple years ago, it was called “Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast,” and I disliked the title so much I re-covered the book. But the information and menus are so wonderful I’ve used it several times.

She offers so much food daily that I tend to only do half the recipes for each day. Starting with three days of shakes and soups (sweet and savory smoothies, really) is a good quick-start, though I really miss chewing.

Any special food plan or detox is more work to my mind, because I have to plan and prepare more than I usually do. But it’s the main way my body is willing to shed the excess, and I try to do some sort of detox 3-4 times per year. This spring my schedule didn’t allow it, and then the trip….. oh man, can I tell the difference.

My sense is that no matter what we weigh or how healthy we try to eat, just living in the U.S. at this time in history means that we are exposed to many chemical and energetic toxins. Detoxing is a way to counter that exposure, and even the most health-conscious people I know feel the need. Ani Phyo’s is a nice, gentle way to introduce your body to the idea. And summer is a great time with the abundant fresh food.

Another pink smoothie! But one of my favorite shakes from the book is the Simple Strawberry, and I’ve adapted it a bit and use it even when not detoxing. I bet you’ll enjoy it too.

Adapted from “Simple Strawberry Shake” in Ani’s Raw Food Detox book

Makes 1 pint (one serving)

Living in the Pacific Northwest is berry heaven, but no matter where you get them, they are packed with antioxidants, are low on the glycemic scale, and generally are healthy deliciousness. Cashews (remember their mood uplifting qualities), coconut and vanilla add additional yumminess.

This shake can be a meal on hot summer days, refreshing and filling. I quadruple the recipe and store it in a half-gallon canning jar in the fridge. It doesn’t have time to go bad at our house.

1 cup berries- strawberries or other (raspberries, blackberries both delicious)
¼ cup cashews or walnuts, ideally soaked in filtered water overnight, drained and rinsed
1 ½ teaspoon virgin coconut oil
1-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste, optional
¾ to 1 cup coconut water (or filtered water,or yerba maté tea)

Note: I’ve also added about a teaspoon of loose dried yerba mate tea leaf to the smoothie in the blender.

Place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth. You can store leftovers in the fridge for a few days and still yummy. Enjoy!

To Amazing Life!