Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects

I am happy to report that I just finished a 5-day Fall Cleanse!

Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects

I was pumped and ready to cleanse. I did my research, made a very large grocery list, had recipes planned out...I was ready! 

From what I read, the cleanse sounded really positive! Building me up about how great it was for your body, how amazing you feel while doing it. Well, I'm sorry, but I can't sit here and honestly say that it was that invigorating the entire time. There were many moments during the five days that I found myself challenged, frustrated and out right uncomfortable. The process often made me (and the Hubby) question why I was doing this to myself. However, if you stick with it, I promise there is a reward at the end that makes all the pain and side effects worth it.

I actually started this post after two days of being on the cleanse. I quickly erased it realizing I was not in the best frame of mind. I was really irritable on Day 2, mostly because I was with friends who were happily eating and drinking the day away, while I was sipping my cucumber and fennel juice. Ugh, I was not a happy camper! Then Day 3 came and brought a full on migraine, accompanied by food cravings. By Day 4, I could tell the cleanse was working because my face broke out a little and my cheeks were bright red. I felt feverish, head-achy, exhausted and still hungry (and not to mention a strong urge to quit the cleanse)! Hence, why I waited to write this. 

Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects
Apple, fennel, cucumber and kale juice - my favorite!

By the last day, I actually was starting to feel cleansed and back to normal. I quickly learned to excessively hydrate before going to bed (even though it meant two wake up calls in the middle of the night to pee). After a few lessons learned, I woke up on Day 5 feeling refreshed, rested, and amazingly, NOT hungry!! For the most part, I was very true to the cleanse, only cheating once (migraine medication on Day 3 had caffeine in it). But overall, I was very glad I did it and lost 5 pounds during the process!

The Cleanse

I followed a 5-Day Fall Cleanse suggested by Tasty Yummies, a version of an Ayurvedic cleanse, which focuses on restarting your system and cleansing the body of toxins. This type of cleanse is recommended when the seasons change, to prepare your body for the harsh winter ahead. Ayurvedic medicine centers around a healthy and functioning digestive system, so most of the recipes include natural ingredients that aid the digestive tract. Since I already have a sensitive digestive system, I was drawn to this cleanse because it was simple to follow and gentle on the system.

Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects
Baby kale salad with roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds and walnuts.

Let's start with the foods I could have:
  • Fresh organic fruits and vegetables
  • Whole organic grains (brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet)
  • Beans and lentils (dry beans only)
  • Organic low-sodium vegetable stock
  • Fresh green juices
  • Green smoothies
  • Homemade nut milks
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut oil, olive oil, ghee
  • Raw local organic honey (small amounts)
  • Detox-aiding herbal teas (ginger, dandelion, 
  • Fermented foods (cultured vegetables, kombucha, kefir water, etc)

And now for the foods to avoid:
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • refined sugar
  • alcohol
  • excess salt (anything besides sea salt)
  • caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate)
  • meat, fish and shellfish
  • soy
  • gluten
  • corn
  • peanuts
  • any preservatives, additives or synthetic chemicals
  • canned foods
  • frozen foods
  • processed foods
I know what you are thinking, how can you possibly find anything to eat. Thanks to Tasty Yummies blog, I was supplied with several recipes to start with. In addition to a few staple recipes, I selected two juice, two smoothie and two meal recipes to start with. These recipes, plus brown rice, ginger, lemons and lentils pretty much got me through the five days. 

Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects
Pumpkin Chai smoothie with chia seeds got me through most mornings!

The Recipes

I started by making my own almond milk (to ensure there were no preservatives, additives or sugar). This was so simple that I have now officially added this to my weekly regimen. I have included a list of the recipes that I started with for the cleanse below. I found these had the least amount of ingredients and were simple to make. For me, the cooking part was great during the cleanse because it was a nice distraction from the side effects.

Raw Almond Milk by Tasty Yummies
Green Juice by Tasty Yummies (I used kale or spinach instead of swiss chard)
Digest Ease Juice (carrot and apple) by Tasty Yummies
Baby Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Pomegranate by Tasty Yummies
Pumpkin Chai Smoothie by Tasty Yummies
Carrot Detox Soup by Not Quite Nigella
Pear Green Smoothie (used regular pears) by Tasty Yummies
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts (Roasted on 400F for about 25-30 min)
Crispy Kale Chips (used Kettler Cuisine Crispy Kale with less oil)
Short grained brown rice cooked in vegetable stock
Organic lentils cooked in vegetable stock

Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects
Brown rice with lentils, kale, cherry tomatoes and organic balsamic vinegar.

A Few Tips

  1. Stay hydrated! Even though you are drinking fluids all day and not consuming alcohol, your body is working hard to flush the toxins out and can easily dehydrate (hence the headaches).
  2. Prep before the Cleanse! Be sure to spend the time to plan out meals around your schedule. Life can get hectic and the last thing you want is to be three days in and can't find anything to eat. I spent the day before the cleanse making almond milk, kale chips, lentils and soaking other beans. Then split up the recipes throughout the five days.
  3. Schedule plenty of sleep! Even though you have light workouts and you are just eating and drinking, this takes a lot out of your body. Plan at least eight hours every not and even some time for naps.
  4. Walk or Yoga every day! Avoid strenuous workouts.
  5. Splurge on organic! This helps to avoid any pesticides or other weird things on produce. Remember we are trying to rid your body of these things not put them in there!
  6. Cleanse with a buddy! I didn't have one and wish I did. I love my Hubby, but he was enjoying bacon and cheese while I was eating brown rice and lentils.
  7. Avoid live TV shows! Commercials will kill you! You don't realize how many food commercials are on TV until you are cleansing. Try to record shows or watch movies if you must be in front of the screen.
  8. Ease in, Ease out! This is important - try to eat as clean as possible the days leading up to a cleanse and then slowly introduce things back into your diet after a cleanse.
Fall Cleanse - Details, Recipes and Side Effects
Say "hello" to my ManaTea! This little guy holds loose tea and chills in my tea mug :)
I hope you all consider this cleanse as we get ready for Winter. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or check out the information on Tasty Yummies blog. I am also happy to help put together a "meal" plan for you!

Good luck!

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