Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Cleanse....

So, it has been awhile since I have posted, the holidays kept us busy with lots of cooking and baking, delivering and traveling, and eating, too much eating- so I am just now getting a moment to post my newest New Year's Plan- I am doing a vegan cleanse to kick off the New Year. I have done a handful of cleanses in the past and love the way I feel physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally when I follow through with it. If you've never done one, it's a great challenge in discipline, it helps you see what you REALLY are eating, the "detox" part helps you see how many toxins you have built up in your system, and the clear mind, energy, restful nights, and overall good healthy feel makes you realize how much food really does impact your day to day life.

So, here's my 6 week plan for the cleanse, I am already finishing up week 1 and feel great- honest, really, REALLY great (although I felt really junky the first 4 days, not going to lie about that) but it was evidence to me that my body needed to detox and get rid of the junk in my system and get a fresh start. I am not claiming to be a "certified anything" on here so look into what would be right with you, especially if you have previous health conditions, but I think you would be amazed at the results- so if you feel up for it give it a whirl, join in the fun! For clarity sake, I have cut out all animal products (including meat, dairy, cheese, butter, limited eggs- I per week) as well as sugar, processed foods, and minimal wheat (like 2 pita's a week). Any snacks or munchies during the day are raw fruits and veggies. And when I am about to loose my marbles on any given night... I sneak a bite of 71% dark chocolate bar to help me with my sanity!

This is just what I have mapped out from my reading, research and studies- mostly from some favorite places and people :
  • Dr.Furhman
  • Eat to Live, Disease Proof Your Children (Furhman's books)
  • Dr. Mercola
  • Clean Food (cook book)
  • Gearsen Therapy
So, for this 6 weeks I have made it my task to remove any animal products from my diet- which seemed daunting at first, but with a few new recipes and my new Christmas Present Cook Book "Clean Food", I felt encouraged and like I had some direction. I would challenge you, even if you aren't up for the cleanse to see if you can eliminate some animal products from your meals, maybe just one meal a week- to not only save around your waist line, your internal health, but also in your pocket book!

My cleanse started out with a 24 hour water fast... that's right, nothing but water from 3 pm until the following days dinner. And like with any fasting, break your fast gently with something light like a baked sweet potato or light bowl of soup.

Here's what my breakfasts will look like for the week these 6 weeks:
Sunday: 1 piece of Ezekiel (cinnamon raisin) bread, almond butter, 1 piece of fresh fruit
Monday: Green Smoothie (kale, tomatoes, carrots, flaxseed, brewers yeast, + fruit) & 1 handful almonds
Tuesday: 1 cup steel cut oats, 1 oz raw cashews, 1 piece fresh fruit
Wednesday: 2 egg whites or 1 egg, 2 oz raw walnuts, 2 pieces fresh fruit
Thursday: Green Smoothie (kale, tomatoes, carrots, flaxseed, brewers yeast, + fruit) & 1 handful almonds
Friday: 1 cup steel cut oats, 1 oz raw cashews, 1 piece fresh fruit
Saturday: 2 pieces fresh fruit, 2 oz. mixed nuts, 1 TBSP flax seed
* I also start the day with a glass of water with a half of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

When I first looked at that line up I thought "yeah right I will starve" and the first few days I did feel super hungry, but as my body adjusted to the new "normal" I felt really content, light, and energized by these breakfasts.

You may also have noticed I did allow myself 1 egg per week (not very vegan of me) but it was allowed by Dr. Furhman in his book, "Eat to Live" in which he reminds you to give yourself some room for adjustment- I chose to allow myself 1 egg and the use of chicken broth in some of my soups. That was worth a cheat for me.

As for lunches and dinners, I got a few recipes from my sister and used a few recipes I already had on this blog- using some small modifications where necessary. I will list some recipes I used and then post some new ones as well. Even if you're not doing in the cleanse, you still might enjoy the change up, you would be surprised how tasty they are!

Vegan Recipes Already on this Blog:
  • 17 Mixed Bean Soup (minus the ground turkey)
  • Spinach Salad with Nuts, Crans, & Apples
  • Black Bean Soup
  • White Bean Salad
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Brown Rice Medley
  • Grilled Veggies
  • Swiss Chard
  • Harvest Grains (minus the butter)
  • Mango Sorbet
  • Santa Fe Salad (minus chicken & chesse)
  • Oat 'Nana Pucks (minus the chocolate chips... or not, I won't tell!)
  • Green Veggie Salad (Lots and lots of this!!!)
  • Guacamole
  • Snappin' snap Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Confetti Slaw
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Artichokes
  • Strawberry Salad (minus the chicken)
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Taco Salad (minus the meat & cheese)
  • Kale Smoothie
  • Split Pea Soup (minus the ham)
  • Harvest Potato Soup
***The only thing that would disqualify any of these recipes would be the use of chicken broth (so you can use veggie broth is you prefer) or a pinch of sugar in a salad dressing.... but I never was one to comb through things with a fine toothed comb anyhow ;)

Let me know if you try it out.... I will tell you that you won't feel the results of the cleanse without doing it with complete commitment (24 hour detox first, then the healthy eating to follow) how do I know this??? Reason # 1. because I used to think I would have an eternal headache if I didn't eat meat and I don't- I actually feel WAY better off of meat than I every would have imagined. AND Reason # 2. because my sweet husband is eating what I am eating for the most part (with the exception of some lunches and snacks) and he's not feeling it like I am! Thanks for being a good sport honey, I always seem to drag you into my crazy ideas!

So, if you don't have a New Year's goal OR if your New Year's goal was to eat better or loose weight, you really might want to consider this! ("Eat to Live" says you can loose up to a pound a day up to 20 pounds or more by switching to a vegan life style).

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