Happy Sunday to you all.
I hope you've been having a fabulous weekend and enjoying the first days of the cleanse. Whether you have cut out coffee, tea, sodas and alcohol completely or cut back significantly – make sure you take a moment to acknowledge what you have achieved (and to let go of anything that didn't work out quite how you had planned) before we get ready for the next stage.
From Monday morning we start cleaning up the food we put in our blessed vessels as well, we continue to keep fueling ourselves with caffeine, sugar and alcohol free fluids and we continue to make time each day to sit in silence, let our heart and mind settle and have a mini-date with ourselves.
So what's new? Tuning up our eating. Here's where the cleanse really becomes your own custom tune-up. What you want to take a break from is going to depend a lot on: a) what you are already eating; and b) what you have available to eat.
The fundamental principles of the cleanse are to steer clear of processed foods, sugars, meats, acid-creating foods, dairy and gluten. But you can adjust that to suit your needs. If you are currently eating meat, cheese, sweets and salty snack foods most weeks then you might find that cutting out the sugar and meat and boosting up your fresh vegetables and whole grains is a great way to start your cleanse. You can always take it a little further next week if you are feeling good.
If you feel it won't be too much of a shock to your system then you can go a little further. My plan will be to eat at least 50% raw most days. I'll kick most days off with about half a litre or more of raw veggie juice for breakfast using mostly carrot, celery, beetroot, fresh ginger and cucumber with some chard, kale or beet leaves for green goodness. Fruit is best used sparingly because of the high sugar content.
If you don't have a juicer you can still have vegetables for breakfast, I've made myself raw salad and brown rice bowls for breakfast. If that doesn't work for you then how about a smoothie? Bananas will kick up your sugar count but avocado or coconut are great alternatives as smoothie bases. A green smoothie based on avocado can be delicious.
If none of those options are going to work for you then try quinoa or rice porridge – I make mine with soy or almond milk and add a little cinnamon and nutmeg as well as some of those sprouted almonds. If you can't find quinoa or rice then oatmeal (not instant but traditional rolled oats) is a good option if you know that gluten is not a problem for you.
For lunch I'll be having a salad most days, or a platter of raw vegetables with my home-made hummus or guacamole dip. For the hummus take about a cup of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (soaked overnight then cooked until they are soft), add a couple of tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste, substitute peanut or almond butter if you can't find it), a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, a couple of cloves of chopped garlic, a sprinkle of olive oil and throw them all in a blender. Blend! For guacamole I mash avocado with a little salt, lemon juice and sometimes some thinly sliced red onion.
If I'm having a salad then I'll add a legume or a grain so that I have some protein, quinoa is my favorite but brown rice, lentils, chickpeas or black beans are also great. If it is cold and stormy outside then I might make a vegetable soup, adding dried seaweed for it's fabulous flavour and nutritional value.
For dinner I might have steamed or grilled vegetables with a tasty grain, I might make another salad, or cook up a vegetable casserole.
For snacks during the day I generally eat small handfuls of soaked/sprouted almonds (about 5-15 is plenty) or raw veggies with a little extra hummus. One favorite snack is a half an avocado mashed in it's shell with lemon juice. Yum!
Make sure that you are drinking lots of water, at least one litre per day and preferably more. You can count your herbal teas in that amount!
I generally go without sweeteners in my tea, but if you want a little sweet then I recommend stevia, a herbal sweetener. I won't be having any honey during the cleanse because I'm steering clear of sugars completely, but you'll know if just giving up processed sugars is enough for you for now.
I've learned a lot about cleansing and eating for maximum health from Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Cancer and the Crazy Sexy Life blog. If you join the Crazy Sexy Life site then you can access the "Adventure Cleanse Tune Up" group where you'll get huge amounts of great information about cleansing, juicing and the importance of your body's ph balance (which is at the core of my approach to cleansing).
Okay – enough for today. Please share your favorite cleanse recipes and tomorrow I'll be back with more on moving your precious body.