I recently became interested in cleansing/detoxing diets. My online search led me to a book called The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder, a celebrity nutritionist. I don’t usually like to follow the fad diets of celebrities, but this book had good reviews and seemed along the lines of Clean, the book I’d just used to complete my second cleanse.
After seeing diet change her skin, hair, and life, Snyder traveled the world for 3-years to learn about food and health. These experiences led her to formulate an unconventional nutrition plan. How it caught on with celebrities, I don’t know, but her program is endorsed by Dr. Oz, Drew Barrymore, Fergie, and Ben Stiller. Her basic premise is that digestion takes up a lot of energy. If we eat foods that contain enzymes to help with digestion (raw fruits and veggies) or are partially processed (smoothies and juices), we can free up energy to be used towards other bodily functions like detoxification and maintaining healthy skin and hair. Her recommendations include:
- Eat more veggies–a lot more!!
- Eat fewer animal products, especially dairy (she is a vegan)
- Eat as much organic food as possible
- Eat more raw than cooked vegetables
- Eat high alkaline foods
- Avoid wheat and gluten. Eat grains like quinoa, millet, and amaranth instead.
- Avoid sugars (she recommends Stevia, coconut nectar, dry fruit, raw honey, or organic pure maple syrup instead)
- Avoid soy
- Drink her glowing green smoothie at least once per day (blended spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, apple, pear, banana, lemon and optional cilantro or parsley).
- Consume fermented foods to provide probiotics and enzymes (she recommends a recipe for fermented cabbage)
- Consider supplementing with probiotics and digestive enzymes
- Have frequent, large bowel movements (she encourages supplements for this, or even gravity-centered colonics to cleanse the colon). Continue reading
A few recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good were recently in a Self magazine article, so I decided to give one a try: banana “ice cream.” This is so stinkin’ simple and it really tastes like soft serve ice cream. Brilliant!
- 4 ripe bananes, sliced and frozen for 3+ hours
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond (or coconut) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4, or more, cups chopped nuts (she recommends almonds, we used pecans)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- sprinkle of course sea salt (we used pink himalayan salt)
- After bananas are frozen solid, puree them in a food processor with other ingredients, until the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
- Mix topping ingredients in a bowl, then spoon onto servings of the “ice cream.”
My sister-in-law sent a recipe for a kale smoothie that my kids loved. I modified it slightly to make a version I drank while on my cleanse. My kids enjoy it and so do I. Really, it doesn’t taste like kale and spinach. Try it! It’s delicious for breakfast and a great way to sneak some raw green veggies into your family’s diet.
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 banana
- Handful fresh kale (washed with ribs removed)
- Handful fresh spinach leaves (washed)
- Pineapple juice, to taste (use as a sweetener)
- Optional: Stevia (as a sweetener), Chia Seeds (for extra fat, fiber, and omega-3′s)
- Add to blender and puree for at least a minute, until very smooth. Makes 24-32 oz, so modify the recipe if you only need one serving.
I finished 3 weeks of the Clean program. I wasn’t as good about having two liquid meals and one solid per day, but otherwise I followed the program fairly well. I juiced much more this time than the last time. And I saw some great results that I didn’t see before. When I did a cleanse seven months ago, the most noticeable benefit was that I no longer needed sleep aids at night. Even after the cleanse was over, I still hardly ever use them.
This time, I saw significant changes to my skin. By significant, I mean changes I’ve never seen from any topical product. I think my skin is firmer with more even tone, especially around my eyes. The book says people on the program become less “puffy,” and I agree–my skin is taut and not puffy. Not just on my face, but also somewhat around my midsection (which is something I greatly desire after having three children). My facial skin is no longer breaking out either. Ever since our move to a more humid climate, I’ve been struggling with pimples and blackheads. It’s really incredible how all of that disappeared without a single change to my topical regimin. I have had absolutely no breakouts since about two weeks into the cleanse, something that has eluded me for the past four months. I also find myself really not needing caffeine in the morning and having balanced energy levels throughout the day–I wouldn’t say my energy is high, but it feels consistent.
I officially completed the program a few days ago, but given the impressive results, I am continuing with a modified version. I still have a smoothie for breakfast, but then a solid meal for lunch and dinner. I am keeping dairy and wheat out of my diet, and am trying to eat more raw foods. I am also giving my body 12 hours of fasting each night, using the steam room regularly at the gym to give my body another route of detoxification (through sweat!), taking fiber and magnesium oxide supplements to aid with regular and substantial elimination, and trying to avoid too much snacking. I’ve found my results to be so personally motivating that I’m starting to read other books about detox diets, like The Beauty Detox Foods, to learn more.
Oh yeah, and the cough is gone! :)
I’m getting to a point where I’m looking forward to eating the food I’m allowed to have, and am missing what I’m not allowed (bread, dairy) less and less. I actually think I’ll keep eating the lunches I’ve been having once the cleanse is over. I used to do a lot of pastas and sandwiches for lunch, but it’s really easy to make grain salads and a lot healthier. I’ve also been enjoying the challenge of trying to eat more raw foods. Even my almost 3-year old seems to be enjoying the lunches. Here is a sample of what I’ve been having:
Broccoli and carrot cole slaw, quinoa with veggies and beans and diced avocado
The grains I’ve been enjoying include quinoa, millet, and amaranth. I typically do a Mexican-themed flavor or a Mediterranean one. My Med version of quinoa is mixed with purple cabbage, kale, cannelleni beans, cucumbers, whole olives, and is served with hummus. The grain salads keep well, so I can make a good sized batch and eat them for several meals over the next 24 hours.
As part of my 3-week cleanse, I’m supposed to make my own nut milks. I’ve been wanting to do this anyway because of the prevalence of carrageenan in every organic almond and coconut milk I can find (it’s also in soy milk, but we hardly use that anymore). Carrageenan, derived from red seaweed, is a vegan substitute for gelatin and is used in almost every milk we buy as a thickening agent. However, some research suggests that it irritates the digestive tract, causing inflammation and even ulceration. Obviously this is the last thing you want to do to your GI tract during a cleanse. And I don’t really want to do that even when I’m not on a cleanse, and especially not to my children’s little digestive systems.
The last time I did The Clean Program, I thought it was ridiculous to make your own nut milk. It seemed like way too much work. But this time, I gave it a try, and it wasn’t bad at all.
Fresh Almond Milk:
1. Soak 1 cup organic, raw almonds in filtered water for 2-8 hours.
We got a juicer as a wedding gift, and I could probably count the number of times we used it in nine years on one hand. But when I tried the Clean Program last fall, I whipped it out and used it for 3 weeks. Now that I’m doing the cleanse again, the juicer is back out.
The theory behind fresh squeezed juice is that fresh vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes that aid in digestion. You couldn’t possibly eat the three plates of veggies and fruit shown below in one sitting, but you could drink the 1 L of juice they produced. Take away the fiber, but keep all the other benefits. This makes the juice super easy for your digestive system to process, freeing up your liver to spend time detoxifying your body.
It is a lot of work to buy, store, wash, cut, and juice all these vegetables, so I don’t do it every day. But the juice tastes so good. 24 oz of this stuff costs $9 plus tax at the nearest juice shop, so it’s definitely a deal to make at home. My kids love it too!
Pineapple, lemon, apple, celery, carrot, spinach, and kale.
- The result–one full liter of juice.