Who else is going through a detox or cleanse right now?
It's a really popular thing to do post-Christmas season, of course, and I've spoken to so many people doing one right now! I don't want to put my stamp of approval on all of them because all cleanses are not created equal, but a safe, gentle cleanse that just encourages whole food eating and cleansing of the body is always a great idea to shift your tastebuds and mindset from everyday treats (as we tend to start to expect over the Christmas season) back into healthy everyday living.
My cleanse of choice, as I blogged about last year, is the Wild Rose Detox, which I realized - fittingly - was actually created here in Calgary, so I'm perfectly placed to be doing this cleanse right now! Again, I do not work for the company or get anything for promoting the detox, but I will say that it's my favourite because the herbal blends are gentle yet effective at getting your body to cleanse itself and eliminate as much as possible, while the diet is totally realistic, healthy and delicious.
It follows the 80/20 dietary guidelines - 80% of your food should be alkaline, 20% acid-forming. It blocks out all fermented foods and sweeteners, including the very sweet fruits such as tropical fruits (bananas, oranges, pineapple etc), as they can contribute towards the production of yeast in the body. No dairy (except butter!) is allowed, although some lean meat is, for you non-veggies out there, so it's not completely unrealistic.
Below is a sample of the food I've been eating over the past 8 days - today is Day 9 and the cleanse is 12 days long so it ends this Sunday. It's safe to do two of these cleanses back to back but then you should wait a month before doing another, according to Dr. Terry Willard's blog (he created the cleanse). I decided to share these food ideas in case
- you're following the cleanse yourself or planning to and want ideas for foods to eat
- want to know what following a cleanse looks like, diet-wise
- you want ideas for whole foods to eat - this diet is a great one to follow lifelong, not just for a cleanse!
So here goes nothing:
Breakfast is almost always steel-cut oatmeal with cut up prunes and almonds, made with almond milk. However, I did find a recipe for delicious pancakes made out of oats (I blended half the oats into a flour), chia egg, almonds, almond milk and oil.
I topped them with a homemade applesauce I made that also fulfilled sweet cravings I had, and acted as an anytime dessert or snack. I simply diced up 4 organic apples (skin left on!), and boiled them in 1/2 cup water, a squeeze of half a lemon, and 1 tsp cinnamon. I let that cook until most of the water was gone, then loosely mashed the apple with a potato masher, leaving some chunks. Delicious and so sweet!
Other breakfast ideas included my version of a 'protein' shake (protein powder is not allowed on the cleanse - protein tends to be acid-forming in the body so protein tends to be de-emphasized during the cleanse): frozen strawberries blended with some unsweetened almond or soy milk, a teaspoon or two of almond butter, a quarter of a pack of Mori-Nu silken tofu, and a pinch of my favourite new ingredient: organic vanilla powder (gives such a wonderful vanilla flavour! Thanks Carla for telling me about it!)
Then I enjoy lunches that are filling while being healthy, like a salad made of combining chopped lettuce with cooked quinoa, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, avocado, cilantro and topped with Wild Rose's lemon tahini dressing:
For snacks, I rely heavily on herbal teas. Luckily I got a few for Christmas - including my all-time favourite Aveda tea and my new favourite David's Tea flavour, an organic African spice mint tea...yum! If hungry, I pair the tea with a brown rice krispie recipe I found on another blog - it involves combining organic puffed brown rice (I bought Nature's Path brand) with brown rice syrup (the only sweetener allowed on the cleanse), almond butter, goldenberries and cinnamon - UPDATE: apparently brown rice syrup is not allowed on the cleanse. It also goes by the name malt syrup, which is how it's referred to in the booklet under "Foods Not Recommended During Cleanse" so I missed that and have notified the blogger who I got this recipe from. So if any of you are doing this cleanse, avoid this recipe!
Another great, cleanse-friendly snack is kale chips. I bought a bunch of organic kale, cut out the stems, tossed the leaves with a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and baked at 400 F for 20 minutes.
For dinner I have had some fun! I made homemade sushi for the first time ever, though because no fermented foods are allowed, I couldn't put any vinegar on the rice for flavouring, and I used Bragg's Amino Acids for dipping instead of soy sauce:
I stuffed mine with avocado, baked yam fries (just cut yam into strips, tossed in a bit of oil and baked!) and cucumber. So good! I was really pleased my first homemade sushi attempt went well and I look forward to making it again when I can flavour the rice with some vinegar (by the way, I found brown rice just fine for sticking together!).
I also have had some fun eating salad rolls (thanks to my friend Erika for showing me how to make these!). Rice paper is safe and you just dip a sheet in a pan of boiling water to soften it, then I stuffed mine with cashews (peanuts aren't allowed, but they would be great usually!), avocado, green onions, herbs like cilantro, parsley and mint, and cucumber. I then dipped it in Bragg's again (hoisin sauce with lime juice is the best with these but also not allowed!).
Other (unpictured) dinners have included a vegetable biryani dish over brown rice, and a root vegetable curry. I have also made a fabulous butternut squash/yam soup that I adjusted to make cleanse friendly. Delicious!
For those sweet cravings, which haven't bothered me much this time around but I know they got to me badly last year - especially around Day 4 or 5 - Dr. Willard has said that raw cacao powder is allowed, so fulfill those chocolate cravings the right way! I've made a chocolate 'shake' from cacao powder, Mori-Nu silken tofu and unsweetened almond/soy milk with some vanilla powder:
And I also made my favourite healthy sweet snacks from Chocolate Covered Katie - her no-bake pumpkin oatmeal cookies - and just made them cleanse friendly by increasing the oat flour by 1/2 cup, eliminating the dry sweetener and using just 3-4 tbsp of brown rice syrup instead (I also used rolled oats, not quick oats, but I always do that with this recipe and it still works great). (*see above note on brown rice syrup actually not being allowed on this cleanse at all!) They do the trick when you're needing a sweet bite!
I hope this gave you a glimpse into life on a cleanse and made you realize that healthy eating does not have to be miserable! I'll look forward to bringing back in my soy sauce and bananas in my smoothies, but otherwise I like to keep this food up. It's just clean eating!
- Are you doing a cleanse this New Year?