The cleanse (days two and three)

My bounty of fruit and veggies for juicing.

My bounty of fruit and veggies for juicing.

I finished my cleanse! It was actually a lot easier than I was expecting it to be. I had a lunch meeting on Monday with my new team mates (I got a promotion, woo!) and I was a bit concerned about what I was going to eat. I need not have worried though – the café had a beautiful sweet corn and basil soup. It was to die for!

The biggest challenge I faced was caffeine withdrawals. I had conveniently convinced myself that I wasn’t addicted! How wrong was I? So wrong.

I woke up on Monday with a thumping headache that wouldn’t dissipate, regardless of how much water I drank. It took all of my strength not to head to the coffee machine at 10am. I fought my impulses though the day (and through Tuesday) without caving in. By midday Tuesday, my headache had all but disappeared and the fuzziness I had been experiencing was gone too.

I was also wondering how I’d go drinking so much juice but this turned out to be the part I enjoyed the most about the cleanse. I started each day with about 700ml of juice and it gave me a lot of energy for the day. My juices were mostly based around greens, like celery, cucumber, kale, silver beet, and herbs. Juicing is a fantastic way to give your cells a nutrient soak because it is quickly absorbed into your system. This does, however, mean that you need to be careful about how much fruit you put in to ensure you don’t OD on sugar! While it’s natural sugar, too much sugar in any form is toxic and acid-forming (and acid = illness). Adding lemon to your juice is a good way to help alkalise it. If you are looking for a bit of sweetness, try adding some carrot or a bit of orange or green apple. Just make sure the majority of the juice is veggies and you will be fine.

I had soup again for dinner on Monday night and again for lunch on Tuesday. If I ever decided to do a longer cleanse, I think I would need to do a bit of research into what alternatives there are to soup. Don’t get me wrong, I love soup but there’s only so much one girl can consume. Tuesday night I had roast carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin, plus mushies and asparagus for dinner. I had just been for a run and was pretty hungry, so I also whizzed up a cacao, banana and hemp seed smoothie for dessert.

Would I do a cleanse again? Definitely! It was great to be able to give my body a bit of a break and to also top up my vitamin and mineral stores. I would recommend doing a cleanse if you are feeling a bit sluggish, always tired or just feel that your digestive system is having a bit of a hard time processing the food you eat. The only equipment you will need to do a cleanse is a blender and a juicer. I like the cold press slow-extraction juicers because they keep more of the nutrients intact.

If you decide to do a cleanse, I’d love to hear how you go!


The cleanse (day one)

Supergreens shots

Supergreens shots, from The Whole Pantry app.

The first valuable lesson I have learned from doing a cleanse is that starting it the day after a night out and one too many beers is probably not the ideal scenario. Nevertheless, this was the situation I put myself in and I was determined to still commence the cleanse as planned.

Upon re-reading my post last week where I announced I’d be doing a three-day cleanse, I realised that I had focussed entirely too much on the juice component, which may or may not have been the direct result of my excitement over finally getting a juicer. While juice is certainly a key feature of cleansing, I want to clarify that I am also consuming other food. I have simply stripped out anything that is processed so that my body can have a bit of a break.

Chia pudding: one of the non-juice components of the cleanse.

Chia pudding, with strawberries, cashews and cacao nibs: one of the non-juice components of the cleanse.

So, what did day one look like? The first thing I had was a throw-it-all-in juice that consisted of carrot, celery, silver beet, parsley, mint, orange and ginger. Starting the day with a freshly squeezed vegetable juice is a great way to alkalise your system and set your digestive tract up for the day. Consuming juice on an empty stomach also means that more of the nutrients get absorbed. You are practically soaking your cells with vitamins and minerals!

I then went and stocked up on all of the fruit and veggies I will need for the cleanse. While I was out, I decided that I wanted a blueberry and hemp seed smoothie for lunch. It was so tasty! I made enough so that I could have it for breakfast this morning too. Forward planning is the key to getting through a cleanse without starving yourself. The last thing you want is to be stuck out somewhere with no healthy options because you forgot to pack some food.

One for now and one for later.

One for now and one for later.

While I was preparing dinner, I sipped on a beetroot, carrot, green apple, celery and parsley juice to give my cells another vitamin soak. Dinner was veggie soup, consisting of leek, carrot, celery, zucchini, garlic and sweet potato. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a textbook example of someone is Vata dominant. This means I need to make sure I am including grounding foods in my diet, such as root vegetables. It also means I don’t do well on all-raw, all-cold-food diets. I need the warmth of cooked food to keep me energised and stop me from being so flighty. Soup is an easy way for me to ensure I’m balanced.

I am back and work today and have brought all of my juices and smoothies with me. The only challenge I see is that I love my morning coffee. I have it black to avoid the nasty effects of soy or cow milk but it still isn’t the best thing for my body and it definitely isn’t included on the list of cleanse-appropriate foods. I know my body will thank me for giving it a break from coffee.

Oh, I forgot to explain what the green shots are at the top of the post. They are intense nutrient bombs of juiced broccoli, parsley, mint, kale and lemon. These little guys are great additions to a cleanse (or to your regular diet) – your immune system will pay you back in spades for consuming them. Surprisingly, they’re actually quite nice to drink too. Give them a go if you feel like you need a vitamin boost.

Happy cleansing!


Why I drink clay

A glass of clay a day keeps the heavy-metal and radiation away.

A glass of clay a day keeps the heavy-metal and radiation away.

Yep, you read that right. About three months ago, I started drinking clay. Now, before you worry that I have developed a severe case of pica (a disease that is characterised by the desire to eat dirt), let me explain a couple of things: this isn’t just any old slimey garden-variety clay that you would find at a building site. It’s food-grade Bentonite clay and it is totally safe for consumption. The one pictured in this post is from Australian Healing Clay. It’s reasonably priced and is an Australian company, which means it gets extra points.

You’re probably wondering why on Earth I’m suggesting that drinking clay is a good idea. Clay is an excellent heavy-metal detoxifier. If you have ever been on an aeroplane, have metal fillings, put fuel in your car, had your hair dyed or, you know, just generally been alive for any period of time, chances are you have some level of heavy-metal build-up in your body. It also strips out other toxins, like fluoride (from our water supply), pesticides and fungicides, and chemicals like food dyes.

How does it work? The simplest way to think about it is that clay particles are negatively charged, whereas the toxins I outlined above (along with pretty much everything that is bad for your body) are positively charged. As the clay moves through your digestive system, the positively charged toxic particles stick to the clay. The toxins are then carried out of your body via a bowel movement. (And I was so sure I was going to get through this post without mentioning poo! Sorry guys.)

Clay has a surprisingly mild taste. It barely has any flavour at all, so if you are imagining digging into a gross-tasting glass of dirt, you can put your worries aside! I can actually barely even taste in.

The best time to drink clay is first thing in the morning (I drink it before my oil-pulling session), so that it can move through your system more easily. To take it, just mix one teaspoon of the powdered clay with a glass of filtered water. I use a wooden or plastic spoon to do this because I want to avoid the clay pulling anything from the spoon if I was to use a metal one. I don’t know what the likelihood of this happening is but I would rather not take my chances. Once you have finished the glass of clay, follow it up immediately with a plain glass of water. This will help flush the clay through. Easy.

If you want more information about the benefits of drinking clay, I suggest reading Ran Knishinsk’s The Clay Cure.

Still not convinced? All vegetarian mammals around the world have always eaten clay. It’s really not that weird.