The idea of undertaking a detoxifying body cleanse can conjure up feelings of hunger and images of glass after glass of unappetizing liquids. Not so with the Metabolic Cleanse Detox Program formulated by Dr. Bonnie Nedrow and Rod Newton of Hidden Springs Wellness Center in Ashland.

The idea of undertaking a detoxifying body cleanse can conjure up feelings of hunger and images of glass after glass of unappetizing liquids. Not so with the Metabolic Cleanse Detox Program formulated by Dr. Bonnie Nedrow and Rod Newton of Hidden Springs Wellness Center in Ashland.

To combat the fear of deprivation and to give clients additional tools for success, Nedrow collaborated with personal chef and caterer Jeff Hauptman to develop "The Cleanse Companion Cookbook," a self-published book with 66 cleansing recipes.

"My philosophy is to give people what they need based on their health issues," says Hauptman, owner of Professional Chef Service in Ashland.

While learning to control his own diabetes (and losing 60 pounds along the way), Hauptman taught himself to cook for various specialty diets, including sugar-, lactose- and gluten-free.

"First of all," he says, "this cleanse is not a fast. For the cookbook, Bonnie gave me a list of ingredients that are permitted and a list of ingredients that are not permitted, and that's how I created the recipes — it was fun to let the dos and don'ts lead the way."

All potential allergens have been omitted from the gluten-free, vegan recipes — that means no peanuts, citrus or nightshades (including potatoes, tomatoes and red peppers), which can cause inflammation.

"That leaves a lot of vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables," says Hauptman, who focused on flavorful herbs, seeds and spices to deliver verve. "I also use foods that have hidden nutritional value along with flavor, such as fennel, garlic, ginger and seaweed of all types."

Offering what Hauptman calls "vegan comfort foods — hearty, healthful and warming," the cookbook features recipes for every meal of the day, from sweet and spicy breakfast cereals to fresh and flavorful luncheon salads to the savory and satisfying main dishes that help cleansers look forward to preparing dinner.

Throughout the publication are notes by Nedrow, whose asides inform readers about the health-giving properties of different foods. (For example, did you know that nutmeg has been shown to strengthen the liver?)

Hauptman hopes the cookbook will encourage people to try new foods and new ways of food preparation.

"Be bold and experimental and feed your ego and not your stomach — that's my own philosophy," he says. "If you're on a program, whether it's a cleanse, weight loss or controlling a medical issue, at the end of the day, if you've stuck with your program ... you're going to feel a lot better about yourself than if you eat that pint of ice cream."

Although it's a great resource on its own, the cookbook is a valuable complement to the cleansing program at Hidden Springs. The cleanse relies on a course of herbal supplements, exercise, body-care techniques and diet. In combination, this formula is designed to flush the entire body of toxins, leaving a person with renewed health and vigor.

"The dietary approach is a big part of the cleanse," explains Nedrow. "We've never had a cookbook to go specifically with the program, and it's great to have it now."

"The Cleanse Companion Cookbook," self-published by Hauptman and Nedrow through Pronto Print, is available for $14.95 at Hidden Springs and Ashland Food Co-op.