Nothing like an internal cleanse to kick start your year after the excesses of the festive season. We have been in our fun, social and decadent phase. In the Christmas holiday period we often over eat and over consume the ‘good stuff’, straying from our routine (but hey having lots of fun). The beginning of the the year marks new health commitments and getting yourself back on track to feeling energised and healthy. It’s a time to add foods with vitality, that help cleanse, leaving you feeling light and a sense of wellbeing. This easy food based cleanse will promote wellness and clear thinking, just what we need for those New Year reflections!
The warmth of summer is a great season to increase raw fruit and vegetables, smoothies and juices. Also to get blood pumping through exercise and to nourish ourselves with time spent in nature.
Simple steps for a Post Xmas Nutritional Cleanse
- Pick the date; Where you have 2 weeks with minimal social engagements and you are not going away. When you are not too busy and you can give some time to yourself.
- Make a weekly meal plan; Take the time to plan at least a weeks worth of meals. You then have less chance of getting hungry and making poor food choices in the moment. You wont be so tempted to deviate from the cleanse because you’ll know what ingredients you have and what’s coming next!
- Go shopping; Stock the pantry and fridge with lots of healthy vibrant ingredients and that you like.
- Create an ingredient list; Plan ahead for meals and snacks over the 2 weeks.
- Choose foods with the least ingredients; Look for products that are simple and healthy, no fillers or additives, flavours, colours or preservatives. Best if you can make most food yourself (without any stress though, you need it to be doable and easy).
- Prepare meals in advance; If your a busy working person, a mum with kids, or want easy healthy food on hand, then this will probably work for you. You can prepare a few serves of the same food and freeze it. Or make enough for a couple of meals ie cooking extra quinoa and having a stir fry one meal, a quinoa salad another meal and porridge for breakfast.
- Cut out dairy in the second week, instead there are many vegan alternatives ie coconut yoghurt, cashew cheese, nut or coconut milks and water.
- Avoid processed sugar, instead use; maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, xylitol and stevia. Try a little dried fruit when craving sugar (a fresh date with nut butter mmm), or vegan organic chocolate yum!
- Go gluten free (especially the second week), instead have artisan sourdough bread made from rice or millet. There are many on the market. Use whole grains ie brown rice, buckwheat, millet. Enjoy rice cakes or corn thins and gf crackers.
- Be meat free for the Cleanse; In the first week have a little fish or chicken if you feel you need to, however in the second week go vegetarian. If you feel like you need and wants eggs, then have them.
- No alcohol – Naturally not helpful for cleansing!
- Add legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds, avocado; As long as you are able to digest these types of food without issues.
- Avoid excess carbohydrates; For example, pasta, bread, white potato and cereal. Use whole grains.
- Add good healthy fats; for example coconut, olive, avocado, hemp oil. Good quality NZ butter and ghee (first week only).
- Daily vegetable juice, smoothie, fresh raw fruit and salad; It’s very easy to find recipe for juices and smoothies. Think about what you like and go from there, ie greens, banana and raw cacao powder, fruit blend or vegetable blend.
- Choose organic were you can.
- Cut out caffeine; Try moving to green tea and slowly reducing before the cleanse starts.
- Drink plenty of healthy water; In summer we more liquid, usually 2 litres a day is a good starting point. Helpful for digestion and cleansing the liver; 1/2 a lemon in small glass of water in the morning, warm fresh ginger tea in the evening.
- Keep moving ie walking, swimming, yoga, exercise.
D1 = B – Quinoa Flake porridge with 2 x dates, ½ banana, coconut or flax oil
L – 4 x rice cakes with avocado, tomato, rocket and celtic salt
D – Red lentil and coconut milk stew
D2 = B – Eggs on gf sourdough or without bread, instead mushrooms and spinach
L – lettuce sandwich iceburg) with fetta, sprouts, avocado, tomato, cumber and seeds
D – Fish stir fry with veges, with or without rice (brown/Basmati)
D3 = B – Bircher Muesli (see recipe below)
L – Nori rolls with salad, avocado, fetta, egg, tofu or fish with or without rice
D- Miso soup (see recipe) with or without vermicelli noodles
D4 = B – Stewed apple with yoghurt (week 1 only)
L – Quinoa salad (see recipe)
D – Dhal and salad
D5 = B – Oat porridge with banana, sultana, coconut oil, LSA
L – Salad with fetta, olives and seeds
D – Aduki bean, pumpkin and wakame seaweed
D6 = B – Smoothie
L – Baked vegetable salad with homemade guacomole or hommus
D – Omelet with zucchini, garlic and baby spinach
D7 = B – Fresh fruit with coconut yoghurt and L.S.A
L – Broccoli and chick pea salad with seeds and olives
D – Kitchere (see recipe)
Week 2 No Dairy, any meat, potato, dried fruit or bread – Try not to combine cabs & protein and have carbohydrates for lunch not dinner.
D8 – 14 = same as day 1-7 without meat or dairy
B – Bircher muesli or millet, brown rice, quinoa with celtic salt and coconut oil
L – Salad with a protein ie avocado, soaked almonds or cashews, toasted seed
D – Brown rice/quinoa with steamed vegetables, dhal, miso soup, etc
Smoothie ingredients – Coconut water, coconut milk, nut milks, yoghurt (coconut or dairy), almond meal, L.S.A, hemp seeds, nut butter, green powder (ie spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella), raw cacao powder, macca powder, flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, banana, raspberries, blueberries, mango, spinach leaves, kale, parsley etc.
Of course you wouldn’t have all those ingredients in the one drink! You choose ie green smoothie or a chocolate, nut butter protein smoothie etc.
Dhal – One of the following; whole mung beans, moong, brown lentils, red, yellow or green split peas (soaked overnight and washed well). Cook with Kombu/wakame (seaweed, it helps to digest the pulses) ,salt and any vegetable eg zucchini, spinach, carrot, pumpkin etc and when cooked can puree. Can add some fried onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamon and turmeric for extra flavour.
Kitcheree (Ayervedic) – 1 cup mong dhal cook 10mins add ½ cup basmati rice, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin cook for 30mins low heat. Fry cumin, tumeric, ghee, ginger, asafetida, garlic and salt, add in. Fry cumin seeds in coconut oil and add at the end. Squeeze on some lemon, fresh coriander to each serve.
Red lentil and coconut curry – Washed red split peas fried in coconut oil + garlic, onion and ginger and spices. Then add beans, diced tomatoes, corn, zucchini, coconut milk, water and celtic salt
Adzuki beans, pumpkin, sweet potato and seaweed – Soak the beans overnight etc or use organic canned adzuki beans. Once the beans are soft (canned ones already are) cook with pumpkin and sweet potato. Soak wakame and arame seaweed and add this plus celtic salt, tamari or miso. Fry some onion, garlic and ginger for more flavour.
Quinoa salad – Soak quinoa over night, wash, drain and cook, finely chopped vegetables and greens including parsley, feta, roasted seeds, olives or capers, celtic salt, lemon and olive oil
Rice salad – Brown rice cooked and cooled – Finely diced carrot-tomato-celery-cucumber-capsicum-parsley-lettuce-rocket-feta cheese and toasted sunflower seeds-celtic salt-olive oil and lemon juice
Lettuce Tacos – Organic refried beans – lettuce leaves grated carrot-sliced tomato, cucumber, lettuce-alfalfa sprouts and avocado/guacamole
Baked Potato – Whole jacket potatoes (first week only) or sweet potato with salad, avocado, brown lentils, seeds and avocado.
Grated Miso Soup – Grate carrot and zucchini, shred celery, cook very quickly with garlic and ginger, add hot water turn off heat and after few minutes add miso paste.
You could possibly feel tired and low energy as the body adjusts and toxins leave. After sometime this should pass and you will light, clear, energised and vital. It is a gentle cleanse, however if your diet is normally poor you will possibly feel the cleansing effects more ie tired, lethargic, loose stools, constipation, headache (if cutting out sugar and caffeine) etc.
Always check what works for your unique body. We are all different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. There is no one diet that brings health to everybody. Listen to your own body, tune in and be considerate.
This information is offered as a guide with you taking responsibility for your health. If you have health issues or are pregnant please consult your medical practitioner before beginning a cleanse or detox of any sort.
Haydie Osborne is dedicated to health and wellbeing. She is passionate about sharing and inspiring wellness. Haydie works as a Health Coach, Yoga Teacher and Naturopath.