Last night I ate a whole umeboshi. It’s a plum that’s been salted and pickled and pressed with shiso leaves. It’s one of those ancient Japanese medicinal foods that macrobiotic foodies swear by. “They” say to eat one a day to ward off illness/disease…making it sort of the Far-East’s version of “an apple a day”.
It is extremely detoxifying. And I mean extremely! For example, like I said I ate a whole one and 2 things happened to me: 1. I went to the bathroom perhaps 25 times and then 2. I passed out as if I had been “ruffied”. Now…when my husband got home I did indeed try to blame my cats for having put something in my water with lemon but no one believed that story. But you never know what animals can do, I recently watched a video of a penguin in Japan shopping for dinner for his human family (you tube “penguin shopping” seriously!).
The fact is…I could have just passed out from the exhaustion of detoxing this whole month. You’d like to think that it wraps itself up at some point but depending on your overall health and diet before the cleanse, it can take weeks, months, even years (if you eat a lot of meat) to rid your body of toxins. And it takes a lot of energy to expel all this crap (literally! Ewwww gross!) from your body. I didn’t have the worse diet in the world…barely ate meat to begin with but..dairy, coffee, pasta, sugar, booze…holy umeboshi help me!
Don’t let my ruffie analogy scare you. I’m not exactly sure what the hell made me so sleepy. The fact is that umeboshi are actually quite energizing. I’ve had them in tea before…which is the most common use of them.
Umeboshi tea recipe (read as: ancient Japanese secret): Brew 8 oz of kukicha or bancha tea (I’ve used regular green tea or rooibus too) while that tea is steeping remove the pit of one tiny plum and finely chop the plum into pieces and place it in a cup. Add a few drops of shoyu or bragg’s liquid aminos (raw, organic soy sauce). Then add the tea. Drink the whole cup all while eating the plum bits! Sayonara hangover…hello detox from processed foods and too much sugary stuff…hello toilet…hello overall well-being!
Now, I should warn you…if you’ve never had an Umeboshi or heard of one, they are an acquired taste. Which might be why most people use the plums in tea or…use the paste in cooking, as part of something else. The taste is like…oh how to describe it…a giant salty pickly soft prune. Yum? And if you eat the whole one all by itself…your tongue will feel all fuzzy and funny. They are so salty that I actually thought I was going into some sort of sodium-induced shock and that I would begin hallucinating. But…I never did hallucinate…damn it! Some people actually suck on the plum’s pits which are even saltier than the plums.
I recently had a conversation with a friend and co-worker about cleansing and raw foods and how most of them seem to be designed to make you…well…poop a lot. So, if that’s what you’re looking for in your cleanse, look no further than the umeboshi Japanese sour salty plums!
Just be careful. Only buy the organic ones. They are more readily available and extremely inexpensive in Chinatown but those have MSG in them. Buy them online or at a health food store. No, they aren’t cheap. But, we’re New Yorkers…so that should come as no surprise. But, if used correctly they will last you a while. In fact, you could start out by only using half a plum in the tea.
On another note, the toot my own horn note that is, I’m on day 23 of this cleanse! No meat, fish, dairy, sugar, gluten, or alcohol. I’ve been juicing everyday, eating lots of whole grains and legumes and otherwise trying to eat mostly raw (about 80/20 everyday) or live foods. I’ve been asked everyday what it is that I’m doing different because apparently I look better (I know I feel better) and then when I tell people I’m on a cleanse (it sounds better than diet) they ask who’s cleanse or which cleanse. And I’ve found that difficult to answer in one sentence so my next blog entry will be dedicated to explaining exactly what cleanse I’ve been doing.