Vegan & Gluten-Free Cherry Parfait to Strengthen Your Immune System

The New Year finds me doing a five day detox of whole organic foods- vegetables, fruits nuts, egg whites, lentils, brown rice and oats. I drink one cup of black tea in the morning sweetened with a teaspoon of local honey (I need a bit of caffeine). Then it is filtered water, warm water with lemons and fresh peppermint, and detoxifying tea for the rest of the day. I eat no gluten, dairy, processed foods, or saturated fat. Today is day 3 and I’m hungry. My big treat each day is a cup of Cascadian Farms Organic Sweet Cherries eaten partially frozen with a tablespoon of flax seed sprinkled on top. I know it is a long way from the champagne and truffles I ate during the holidays, but I must say the Sweet Cherries are addictive and nourishing. One cup of cherries has only 90 calories and 3grams of fiber. They are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries also contain plant sterols that help reduce bad cholesterol and stimulate the immune system. A healthy immune system is the key to good health. For more information about strengthening your immune system go to http://www.foodphilosopher.comto read about The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook.

On day 6, I will expand my diet to lean protein and non-dairy yogurt. My mid-afternoon treat will be:

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cherry Parfait

1 cup organic cherries (partially frozen)

6 ounces unsweetened coconut milk yogurt (like SO Delicious)

1 tablespoon flax meal

Sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

1 Hail Merry Blonde Macaroon, crumbled on top (optional) (

Place cherries in a soup bowl and top with yogurt, flax meal and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Crumble macaroon on top for a healthy sweet treat.

This delicious easy to assemble “meal” has only 355 calories, 9 grams of fiber, 1400 mg of omega-3 oils, and chock full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It is a great way to start the day or a healthy dessert option. 2011 is shaping up beautifully.