Last week my husband and I decided on a week-long raw food cleanse. It left us feeling squeaky clean, energized, lighter, and boosted our bond together. Here is why and how we did it.
Why were we looking for a cleanse? Well, many individuals would argue the futility of cleanses, fasting, detoxes, and so on. I’ve watched and researched numerous studies in relation to the final outcome of detoxing and the scientific benefits or lack of benefits on the body. At the end of the day, any change in diet is going to show results and benefit in one way or another.
These days our bodies are taking a hit from food choices we make. Some day’s we drink a few too many caffeinated drinks from being exhausted or over-worked, it gives us the temporary buzz we need to make it through that tough day. At some point we all forget to drink those all important 2 litres of water, leaving our body slightly dehydrated. Then there is the evenings where we just want to relax and forget the troubles of the day so we sit down for 1 glass of wine which turns into several. Sweets and fast food starts creeping in a bit faster too as we stop caring about what we eat due to busy daily demands.
All of this is okay to an extent…but is it? Are we getting sick more often, or is there a bigger sickness lurking out there in our distant future?
Dedicating a week to a cleanse will help our mind and body detox, allowing us to get back on the straight and narrow with healthy food choices, and will help replenish our systems depleted nutrient stock.
Eating raw has big benefits as we’re not killing any of the powerful vitamins and enzymes in our food by overheating or overcooking. With that said, science has shown the benefits of heating some vegetables as they release added nutrients from gentle heating such as steaming. They also make some foods easier for the body to digest. But that is for a different post altogether!
No cleanse is easy as change is hard, but if we make the rules it gives us the dedication to do it. We decided to do a raw food cleanse this time as our main goal was to alkalize our body. Most of us have very high acidic bodies from eating meat, drinking coffee and tea, etc. The body can’t get sick from an alkaline body which is why we chose this to be the emphasis of our cleanse.
Foods Off The List Were:
- gluten (except for soaked oats. We make the rules, remember!:-))
Foods On The List:
- lemon juice
- raw vegetables (most can be eaten raw)
- raw nuts
We added a few other extra’s to help with a good “clear-out” and boost our metabolism and antioxidant intake:
- cayenne pepper capsules (we sprinkled it on food but also put it in capsules for ease of use)
- 1 laxative tea a day or every other day
- oregano (very high in antioxidant so we sprinkled it on everything)
- fresh turmeric (they look like very orange ginger. We added this to our juices)
- fresh horse radish (powerful tasting. We added this also to our juices)
- wheat grass (need I explain!This does require a special juicer for ultimate extraction, but we still went ahead and chucked it into our juice machine)
- fresh ginger
How We Laid It Out
When embarking on any cleanse, fast, diet, or anything for that matter, preparation is imperative. Getting things lined up helps make your life easier and helps to stick to the plan.
- For breakfast we had either a smoothie with an added organic and plant-based protein powder. Or we had soaked oats done the previous night, and added fresh blueberries, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
Mid morning booster/”coffee”– juice:
- Our booster was a fresh and very powerful juice. To keep it simple I would prepare 2 day’s worth at a time, minimizing the dreaded task of washing that juicer out everyday.
- I usually enjoy a nice salad for lunch so this wasn’t too much of a change. But I made them extra antioxidant with cayenne pepper and oregano, and added a bit more onion, garlic and plenty of avocado! Yum!
Mid afternoon snack:
- Fruit and nuts kept us going and helped fill us up.
- For dinner I tried making denser salads adding plenty of nuts, seeds, and starchy vegetables.
- Time for a herbal tea or laxative tea!
What We Gained From This Week
Not only did we feel squeaky clean on the inside, but our skin also got an extra glow from all those vitamins, water and lack of dehydrating ingredients.
We felt our relationship got tighter as we went through this journey together, laughing through the ups and downs of the cleanse.
I regained my creativity and love for making fresh salads, and keeping the focus of meals around them.
We made the habit of adding at least 2 fresh juices a week to our diet.
I got some extra practice and insight with meat-free meal idea’s.