Last week I tried out a 2-day mostly smoothie "cleanse." Things have gotten hectic and a little stressed, so I thought it would be a good time to reset and mix things up- literally ;-)
I did 2 days- rather than 3, or 7, or longer- because I'm a pretty active person and I didn't want to feel drained, and I didn't want to put a lot of time into planning. I also didn't want to pay a lot for a juice cleanse through a company. I just wanted to refresh, reboot, and refocus. I've been curious about juicing/cleansing for a while, and when I get curious about something, sooner or later, I just have to try it for myself. So when my hubby was away for work last week, I figured, what better time? While everyone else was posting about Valentine's chocolates and decadent desserts, I was doing this...
As my post title implies, I want to begin by saying this was not entirely a "cleanse" by all definitions. I wasn't carefully following rules or plans. I had a cup of coffee (...and ok maybe a glass of wine...)- so I'm sure most people wouldn't consider this a true cleanse (hence "cleanse"). But for me, it accomplished my goals, and was a good way to learn more about filling smoothies and to help me focus on taking in lots of liquids. See the links at the end of this post if you are interested in learning more about cleanses.
My meals on Thursday and Friday consisted of VegaOne smoothies (the Vanilla Chai flavor is great; I use a fresh or frozen banana and almond milk in addition to the powder), Trader's Joe's green juice (yes, store bought, which is not as high in nutrients as making your own juice- but our juicer is shoved in a closest and so clunky.... I just didn't want to get it out and clean it!), and kale smoothies (see below). In my smoothies I packed in veggies, fruits, and "super foods" like maca powder and chia seeds. I also drank a ton of water, some natural herbal teas, and some coconut water throughout the days. While I actually think I could have made it through another day (and I started Saturday with a smoothie), I'm glad I just started out with 2 days. Otherwise, I don't think I could have handled (or at least enjoyed) my nine mile run on Sunday! After 2 days of liquids and smoothies and juices, I'll admit- I was hungry- but I also felt good. And I surprised myself by sticking with it and doing something I wasn't so sure I could do at the outset.
Here are a few things I wanted to share from my sorta-cleanse:
- Maca smoothie- Whether you're cleansing (or "cleansing" hehe) or not, I highly recommend SpaBettie's maca power shots. I made this as my breakfast smoothie on day two, but I used 1/4 cup cashews, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1/8 tsp coconut extract mixed with 1 and 1/4 cup water (bc I was out of coconut water), and I added a little pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla, along with the nutmeg prior to blending. This was a delicious, decadent-tasting, filling smoothie. I bet it would be really good with frozen banana too.
- Coconut water- I learned to appreciate this more. It's not something I particularly like the taste of, but it's high in potassium and is a natural source of electrolytes. During these two days, I found it to be really refreshing, and it works really well in smoothies.
- Kale smoothies for dinner - I've had a kale smoothie here and there for lunch or breakfast, but have never before considered just a smoothie for dinner. By loading up tons of kale, and adding in other things like blueberries and pomegranate seeds, I was surprised at how filling and satisfying it could be. My combos included kale+pomegranate seeds+coconut water+maca powder (day 1), and kale+blueberries+chia seeds+coconut water+a little bit of VegaOne vanilla powder (day 2). They were actually really tasty- coconut and kale go well together!
- Spa water- I've actually made this a bunch in the past, but just not recently. I'd forgotten how refreshing it is. Just add some fresh fruits (and sometimes herbs like mint or rosemary) to your water for flavorful and natural "spa water" at home. A combo I really like is cucumber & cantaloupe, but you can never go wrong with mixing citruses either!
Usually, I have smoothies 1-2 times a week for breakfast, and every now and then as a quick lunch. So I'm glad that, through this little "cleanse" experiment, I got more ideas.
|Maca power smoothie|
- Healthful Pursuit is a great site with lots of information, including plans and guidelines, if you want to learn more about juicing and cleansing.
- Kathy at Healthy.Happy.Life's Juice Cleanse Post also has some good info, and her site has plenty of smoothie recipes.
- This Rawsome Vegan Life has a bunch of juice & smoothie recipes.
- Figgy & Sprout has a 3-day juice cleanse menu plan.