One Week Post-Cleanse
Going into my cleanse, I imagined that I would be breaking my fast with as much food as possible to sate my never-ending hunger. At the end of day 5, I wasn't hungry and was still full from all the juice. I went to sleep with thoughts of chewing my meals and woke up eager to break my fast in a healthy way to prolong the cleanse.
Breaking the Fast
I've read that the key to maintaining the effects and success of a cleanse is to break the fast in a healthy way, so as to not overwhelm the body with everything it has not been digesting throughout the cleanse. Many cleanse protocols suggest drinking a juice and eating some fruit/veggies when you wake up the first day post-cleanse. So, I started my morning with a Green Vitality and an acai bowl with raspberries, bananas, goji berries, and coconut shavings! I wanted to stay away from all the foods that I had avoided when prepping for the cleanse, so I refrained from eating meat, cheese, flour, sugar and other high-processed foods for the first two days.
Some Vegan Recipes for Breaking the Fast
In order to continue with the cleanse, I drank a lot of lemon water. The citric acids in the lemons aid in the digestive process, helping to get the bowels moving while also reducing gas and bloating. I found lemon water helpful with digestion when introducing food back into my life post-cleanse.
After my breakfast of one Green Vitality, lemon water, and a delicious acai bowl, I decided to have pasta for lunch! Not just any pasta though, zucchina pasta! I had recently received a spiralizer as a gift and knew this was the best time to use it. Here's the recipe I used for my zucchini pasta:
- One large organic zucchini
- 4 oz of organic baby carrots, cut into julienne strips
- 4 cups of organic curly kale, washed and chopped
- 1/4 of organic yellow onion, diced
- Canned/jarred organic tomato sauce (I went with a traditional tomato and basil, but any flavor or homemade sauce will do!)
- Using the spiralizer, make spaghetti pasta from the entire zucchini (see picture)
- In a large saucepan, saute the diced onions in 1-2 tbsps of olive oil
- When onions are translucent, add baby carrots and zucchini pasta.
- Add in as much tomato sauce as you would like - I recommend 1 - 1 and 1/2 cups of sauce
- Add the kale once the pasta sauce is heating, and remain on heat until the kale is wilted.
This lunch was filling and delicious! Over the next couple of days, I tried a few other vegan recipes, including some from o2living: carrot ginger soup, raw marinated cashew vegetables (which I made in my oven - still delicious!), and the warm winter quinoa salad with butternut squash and toasted walnuts.
The first few days post-cleanse were great. I continued to have a lot of energy (and steered clear of coffee) and was eating healthy! I noticed some interesting changes in my food cravings and when and what I actually wanted to eat.
1. I had no sugar cravings. This was great! I had natural energy from the cleanse and my healthy eating, so I wasn't reaching for a quick pick-me-up in the form of chocolate or sugar.
2. I had enough energy to not drink coffee for the entire week! I surely thought that coffee would be something I would reintroduce to my daily routine, but I didn't find myself needing it. I had energy, and I guess the cleanse had helped me kick some of my caffeine addiction.
3. I wasn't eating when I was bored! I did find myself drinking more water throughout the day, but I wasn't mindlessly eating - which is a great thing. I was more diligent about what I was eating, even after I started adding meat and cheese into my diet.
I loved my juice cleanse! Not only was it completely doable, I feel refreshed and energized, ready to start the new year with a new healthy lifestyle. I will definitely be cleansing again and am now even tempted to try a juice fast - maybe even for spring cleaning! Who's with me?
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