When it comes to food and nutrition the word ‘cleanse’ is often seen as a scary, ridiculous, roll-your-eyes kind of a thing – I get it. Embarking on a cleanse can be seen as a pretty dramatic thing to do to your body.
However when done in the right frame of mind it can be the beginning of a new way of living, thinking and most certainly a new body, both inside and out. No matter what size you are I believe if you feel good, you look good. Feeling good on the inside and feeling properly nourished can change your whole attitude to life.
A cleanse doesn’t mean weeks of starvation, it can be as simple as…
- Cutting out certain foods
- Increasing the intake of raw food and juices into your diet
- Basically being more conscious of what you put in your mouth and when.
I like to feel at my best especially when I’m travelling, so I find a pre-holiday cleanse is always a good idea. It makes eating that eclair in Paris a little more sacred, or feeling that little bit better about yourself while lying by a pool somewhere exotic. For me it’s all about feeling like you’re at your optimum health and having confidence. There is nothing worse than travelling feeling sluggish and not at your best.
There are organic juice bars and health food boutiques popping up all over the world that offer 1-3-5 day juice cleanses, that can be tailored to your needs and taste buds.
If you’re not keen on doing such a hard core and liquid based cleanse, I have some great tips, tricks and recipes for doing an ‘at home’ cleanse that will have you feeling great before you jet set somewhere fabulous.
Making a few changes in your diet will really help you get kick-started and assist you to make better day-to-day food decisions.
For me I try to start my pre-holiday cleanse at least a week before flying out, and will stick to it for three days. It is focused around eating plant based foods which means cutting out meats, dairy & grains. Eliminating these food groups helps boost your detoxification systems and flush out toxins from your body. I try to stick to liquid based plant foods, but make sure that each meal is jam packed with a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables.
You can follow this or do something similar, that’s the beauty of a tailor made cleanse
- In the morning I’ll start with a mug of hot water and a good squeeze of lemon. This combination helps boost your immune system and stimulates your gut, making it ready to absorb more nutrients throughout the day.
- For breakfast I’ll whip up a protein heavy and green based smoothie. I like to do spinach, avocado, honey, coconut flesh and almond milk. I find this makes me feel satisfied throughout the morning and if you’ve worked out in the morning it is a great recovery drink.
- Between this and lunch I’ll have a green or peppermint tea, it’s important to stay hydrated to assist with eliminating toxins.
- For a midday ‘meal’ I’ll go for a hydrating acai based smoothie, with coconut water and any greens I can find. The great thing about doing this yourself is you can listen to your body and incorporate what you’re craving into your smoothies, and I’m talking about good cravings like raw cacao powder not a Kit-Kat.
- For the afternoon I’ll sip on green juices, normally cold-pressed and bought from specialty juice stores.
- By the evening you’ll be feeling ready for something more substantial, so I’ll have a vegetable based soup full of nutritious vegetables, herbs and spices to keep your metabolism ticking over.
- A post dinner digestive is a great idea to satisfy your sweet evening cravings. I love to mix hot water with lemon, honey, cinnamon and turmeric as it’s great for digestion and will help you sleep.
- I find I get the best results after doing this for three days, followed by slowly incorporating raw fruit and vegetables, proteins, caffeine and dairy back into your diet. You don’t want to shock your body after giving it such a nutritious time out.
- I find after three days of a solid food break, it makes me re-assess what I eat every day and I’m more conscious of the food decisions I make. If you’re hesitant about trying it yourself or unsure about making the right decisions nutrient wise, or just don’t have the time I really recommend giving a professional juice cleanse a go, it’s the kick-start to feeling great and I love to do it before a holiday.
- I have added a cauliflower soup recipe I love to make, it’s great during the cleanse or super easy for a mid week dinner.
HOW IT’S DONE
- To get a lovely creamy consistency for this soup you will need a stick blender. If you don’t have one they are well worth the investment if you enjoy making soups. They are a fraction of the price of a food processor, I picked up a really good one a couple of years ago for under $100 and haven’t looked back!
- Cut the cauliflower up into chunks and pop it in a large pot on the stove with the vegetable stock. Simmer gently on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked the whole way through.
- While the cauliflower is cooking away, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Peel the onions and slice into chunks, drizzle with a little olive oil and place on a baking tray. Put the 2 cloves of garlic on the tray with the onions, with the skin on – leaving this on will make sure the garlic doesn’t burn while it’s roasting. Cook for 25 minutes or until the onion starts to soften and turn golden.
- Once done, pop the roasted onions into the pot of cauliflower and stock, peel the garlic cloves and pop these into the pot too. Add the spices and soy and blend until smooth.
- I like to add the coconut milk to the pot at this stage, and blitz again. This adds to the creaminess of the soup and helps it become a little thinner. If you don’t want to add coconut milk I’d suggest adding a little more stock or water.
- Serve with a few sprigs of coriander and freshly cracked pepper and s squeeze of lime. Too easy!