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Monday, 26 May 2014

Doing A Detox Cleanse

The first time I heard about juicing was years ago. I'm reading about it all the time, it's all over; in several, books, magazines on the web - and it all sounded to good to be true. Drinking freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juices that will detoxify your body, give you a glowing skin and boost your immune system. But since everybody is talking about it and it's supposed to help with digestion problems, bloating as well I want to give it a try. I mean, what's 3 days in your life right? Will I feel light, better, have a glowing skin? No idea, let's wait and see.

A detox is ment to detoxify your body. You will only drink loads of vegetables and fruits that are high in Vitamins and minerals. You need to prepare 3 days before your detox and slowly start to build up after. Try to eliminate caffeine, meat, cow milk, sugar in advance and the 3 days after the cleanse. There are many ways to do a detox, I chose to do it this way: "the smuices way", meaning I'm drinking smoothies and juices,  5 a day. No eating, no chewing.. all to give my tummy some rest because that's the main reason I'm doing it. I will drink a green thick smoothie in the morning, then a vegetable/fruit juices, then another smoothies followed by a vegetable/fruit juice and a high protein nut milk smoothie in the evening. A detox is supposed to give you more energy, a light feeling and a glowing skin. It's also important to do a post-cleanse, still take some juices take small portions during the day and after 3 days you can go back to a regular, healthy diet.

Too much food shopping
Get prepared though, you need to stock a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables if you want to juice on your own. I didn't feel the urge to spend 200 euro's on a cleanse while I know a lot about food as well plus I think that freshly squeezed juices and smoothies are better. A juice will loose his vitamins and minerals already after 2 hours. So I created my own cleanse and oh my, the fridge has never been so full! The next step was not planning ANYTHING, no gym, no exercise except some walking and cycling. Also, you may get a headache, get nauseous, tired, sleepy and a bit grumpy ;-)

The ingredients I have chosen are beets, avocado, celery, apples, lemons, almonds, cashews, pineapple, carrots, banana's, ginger, pear, raspberries, spinach and parsley. Why? Because of their health benefits:
  • Beets - cleanses the liver, purifies the blood, is anti-inflammatory and a source of iron
  • Avocado - helps lower blood pressure, lubricate joints, is anti-inflammatory, has loads of healthy fats and is high in fibre
  • Celery - acts as a mild diuretic, promotes feeling of fullness, is rich in Vitamin B and fibre
  • Lemon - antibacterial properties, aids digestion, is high in Vitamin C, detoxifies and alkalises
  • Apple - helps balance blood sugar levels, helps lower cholesterol and aids digestion
  • Almonds - lower cholesterol, containsVitamin E, healthy fats, is alkalising, lowers the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals
  • Cashew nuts - contains lots of healthy fats, magnesium, helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases, promotes weight loss and helps lower blood pressure
  • Carrots - rich in Vitamin A, helps improves vision, gives you a glowing skin,  is Anti-Aging because of the high level of beta-carotene, helps to prevent infection plus Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body
  • Pineapple - rich in Vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, high in fibre, anti-inflammatory and improves digestion
  • Banana - makes all the smoothies creamy, is high in Vitamin C and B-6, potassium, magnesium, rich in fibre and helps feeling full longer
  • Ginger - a detox isn't a detox without ginger, a natural anti-inflammatory food, improves digestion and promote detoxification by speeding the movement of food trough the intestines
  • Pear - anti-oxidant rich, helps prevent high blood pressure, helps lower cholesterol, high in fibre, anti-inflammatory, high level of boron which helps the body to retain calcium.
  • Raspberries - adds sweetness, helps promote weight loss, blood sugar level stabiliser and contains lots of fibre 
  • Spinach - high in fibre, aids in digestion, maintains low blood sugar, full of flavonoids (which is anticancer properties), is an natural anti-inflammatory, is full of Vitamin A, C, E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium.
  • Parsley - high in Vitamin C, helps increase urine flow, can help increase eliminating excess fluid that cause belatedness and is high in anti-oxidants and free radicals

Starting the detox
Every morning I start with a glass of water with half a squeezed lemon. It has a cleansing effect, and it improves digestion. After half an hour I started with my first smoothie. Between the juices I gave it about 2 hours so the juices were spread out during the day. When I was hungry I took my juice a bit earlier and when not I waited a bit so I could wait with my "dinner" so I was full longer at night.

These were my juices during day 1
  1. The Energiser: Blend 3 big handful of spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1/4 fresh pineapple, 1 banana, 1 1/2 tbsp flax seeds, 1 knob ginger, half a squeezed lemon, water
  2. Miss Red: Juice 2 carrots, 1/2 beetroot, 1 huge red apple, piece of ginger
  3. Berry Beet: Blend 1 beetroot, cup of frozen raspberries
  4. Cleanse: 1 pear, 2 hands of spinach, 1/4 cucumber, 1 bundle of parsley
  5. Cashew Chai milk: 3 dates, 1/4 cup soaked cashew nuts for at least 4 hours. 1 cup of filtered water, vanilla powder, 1 tsp vanilla protein powder, a dash of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger powder
Day 2
  1. Same as Yesterday; The Energiser
  2. Green Machine: 1/2 fennel, 1/2 cucumber, 2 celery, 3 hands of spinach, 1 green apple
  3. Jungle Juice: Blend 2 big carrots, 1 beetroot, piece of ginger, 1 orange, half a cup of frozen raspberries and 1 tsp agave syrup.
  4. Fresh Green: 1/2 lemon, peeled, 2 granny smith apples, 1 piece ginger
  5. Almond dream: handful of almonds, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder, dash of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger powder
Day 3
  1. Green glory: 1 cup water, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1/4 pineapple, 1 banana, 1/4 cup spinach,  a big hand of lettuce, piece of ginger, 1 tbsp peanut butter
  2. Green Detox: 1 pear, 2 hands of spinach, 1/4 cucumber, 1 bundle of parsley
  3. Berry Beet: Blend 1 beetroot, cup of frozen raspberries
  4. Jungle Juice: 3 big carrots, 2 celery, 1 red apple, ginger, 1 orange, 1/2 lemon, optional: pinch of cayenne pepper
  5. Same as day 1, the Cashew Chai milk, but used a tbsp vanilla protein powder and added a few pecans as well.

How did it go?
The first day went incredibly well, because I stopped drinking coffee 2 weeks ago I didn't had aaaaany headache at all. Didn't feel dizzy, sick or hungry. I'm such a foodie and never thought I could make the 3 days without cheating, but I did! The second day was really, really hard for me. I spend the day at my parents place and everybody was eating pie and drinking wine and I was sipping my spinach, fennel and pear juice haha. Especially during the evening, I was feeling really, really hungry that's why I increased the Cashew Chai Milk with a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder in stead of a teaspoon. I think it was just a bit too little. But wile day 2 was horrible, the last day went amazing. I woke up and felt refreshed and rejuvenate. I slept like a baby and was actually really looking forward to drink my green smoothie. My skin was glowing, I felt light and lean and my cleanse was almost over.. now I felt I could do this forever! haha just 24 hours left..

But damn, I missed properly eating and have never enjoyed eating breakfast so much after my cleanse. That's the only thing that was really hard for me. But I loved drinking the juices, so I will definitely continue drinking juices and give it a place in my healthy lifestyle diet. And as I already mentioned, the next 3 post-cleanse days I will eat vegetarian light meals and after that I will continue eating "normal" and healthy.

Conclusion of the detox: My tummy feels amazing, i'm not bloated at all, feel rejuvenated full of energy and my skin is glowing. I would definitely try it again, and will probably do 1 day of juicing more often. Also a very good solution after a bit too much food or alcohol ;-)

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