With Passover behind us, after we have thoroughly cleaned our homes inside and out, it is time for an internal cleansing. It is very beneficial to rid ourselves of all the excesses of the Yom Tov diet, which consisted of matzah, unrestrained amounts of potatoes, eggs, sugar, fried and fatty foods, and meat at every meal. It is imperative that we give our system a bit of a rest of all the hard work it was subjected to over the holidays. Most people complained of the weight gain along with other symptoms like bloating and constipation.

Where does one begin?

Any cleansing program should begin in the colon, the last portion of the digestive system. The Rambam (Maimonides), who lived about 1000 years ago and was one of the greatest doctors in ancient times, advocated taking care of our colon as a first step to health and vitality. Our widespread colon problems begin with our unhealthy Western diet that is deficient in plant fibers. Fiber is indispensable in maintaining a healthy colon. A person with a healthy colon should be able to have minimally one bowel movement per day, if not two or three. With the help of fiber, elimination should be complete, fast and easy.

Why do a colon cleanse?

The colon's job is to compact the chime, absorb water, and receive B-vitamins produced by healthy intestinal bacteria.

One of the most renowned nutrition experts in the world, Dr. Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.D., author of many popular health books, states: "In the 50 years I've spent helping people to overcome illness, disability and disease, it has become crystal clear that poor bowel management lies at the root of most people's health problems. In treating over 300,000 patients, it is the bowel that invariably has to be cared for first before any effective healing can take place." (Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management,)

Our colon functions like a sewer system in a large city. Just imagine for a second what would happen if your local sewers became clogged by some debris. Within a short time the whole neighborhood would be filled with filth and an unbearable stench. This same process occurs in our bodies when the elimination system is not functioning properly. When the colon is clean and healthy, our excrement should not have an unpleasant odor and we experience an overall well-being. When it is congested with stagnant waste, poisons back up into the system and pollute the inner environment.

What would be a good first step?

Dietary fiber plays a crucial role in the proper function and maintenance of the colon. "Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet may reduce symptoms of constipation, diarrhea among other intestinal ailments such as fogginess, chronic fatigue and other symptoms, Fiber keeps stool soft and lowers pressure inside the colon so that bowel contents can move through easily. The American Dietetic Association recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day." (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse part of the National Institutes of Health)

Suggestions for a high fiber diet

Start your day with a glass of warm water and juice of 1/2 lemon. Breakfast: Eat fruits or a high fiber cereal like All Bran or cooked oatmeal sprinkled with ground flaxseeds.

Lunch: Green salad with a generous amount of sprouts and any other vegetable available

Snack: Fruits or natural nuts (unsweetened, unsalted)

Dinner: Combine one choice of grain (rice, millet, corn, quinoa) with a legume (beans of any kind, chick peas, lentils, split peas red, yellow, green)

Recipe Corner:

Chickpea corn salad

This recipe is delicious and very high in fiber

1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked
1 cup string beans cooked al dente (not very soft)
1 cup raw corn kernels
1 handful baby tomatoes
1 small sliced red onions
1 can sliced hearts of palm
Mix all ingredients well


Add: Salt to taste
3 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs mayonnaise (optional) or olive oil
Preparation: 30 minutes
Serves 6

Vegetarian chili

This dish was a real hit, especially with men who like spicy foods

1 lb kidney beans soaked overnight.
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves garlic
1 red pepper cut in strips
1 yellow pepper cut in strips
1/2 lb. string beans
2 corns on the cob kernels.
1 hot jalapeno pepper (optional, great for those that like hot stuff!)
1 Tbs Tamari sauce

Cook soaked beans in salt water till they are soft but not mushy, about 2 1/2 hours In another saucepan, steam fry onions and garlic in water adding some Tamari sauce for taste and color.

When onions are translucent add other vegetables, stir fry for about 20 minutes. Add the beans with their liquid, adjusting taste with HERBAMARE or sea salt and garlic powder.

Preparation time:20 minutes Cooking time 3 hours Serves 6

Apple crisp

This simple apple crisp is high in fiber and a good dessert anytime but I serve it especially Friday nights.

5-6 apples baking apples, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs lemon
Cinnamon to taste
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Distribute apples evenly in a lightly greased 8x8 baking pan. Pour maple syrup over the apples and then sprinkle cinnamon over it all, along with lemon juice to avoid apples getting dark. In a bowl, mix together flour and oatmeal. Add the applesauce, nuts, brown sugar, and mix until the flour is just moistened. Spread this mixture onto apples. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. Let it cool a few minutes and serve hot or cold.

Preparation time 30 minutes Serves 8