Three-Day Cleanse: Lessons Learned

three-day cleanse tips | kale and aleI just finished a three-day cleanse as part of my January reset (read about why I picked reset as my word of the month and what it means to me). I cringe at the word cleanse, as I feel it has negative connotations. The one I did was based on foods that are considered detoxifying and superfoods (like carrots, turmeric, garlic and greens), meant to give your body a chance to balance out. It had a smoothie and nuts for breakfast, snacks and full meals through the day. Water and tea were OK. Exactly what I was looking for.

I went on the cleanse because I was feeling bloated from the holidays and travel, and I was trying to have a refresh. I am planning a longer trip with plenty of food and drink in the late summer, and could see this cleanse coming in handy upon my return; I would do it again to get back on track and refresh my digestive system.

Tips For a Cleanse

I’ve gone a full day back after the cleanse, and I learned a few things for when I or you go on one:

  • Make meals simple, wholesome and filling when feeling like a mini-reset is needed
  • Eat less at night after dinner (no late-night nachos) and have more mindful snacking overall. The snacks were flavorful and filling: roasted chickpeas; raw vegetables and hummus; and cucumbers with cayenne, salt, lemon and olive oil.
  • Incorporate more smoothies into the mix. I found this great list of detox smoothies I went off, and plan to make a different one for breakfast every so often.
  • Continue to drink tea in the afternoon when I want to reach for coffee
  • Make more marinades, sauces and dressings myself. They’re easy, quick, flavorful and earlier than bottled, store-bought condiments.

Have you been on a cleanse? What did you think or do you have any tips you learned?

Post-vacation detox

Bill and I just got back from a great vacation visiting his family. We left the hustle and humidity of South Florida behind, along with our normal eating routine. Now we are home and it’s time to get back on track with food and drink.

Since I don’t eat meat and I have an unusual work and sleep schedule, I normally eat three small meals throughout the day. I usually have an apple and maybe a banana or smoothie thrown in. I have coffee when I wake up and mid-afternoon, and I drink water throughout the day. I am a creature of habit, and have found what works for me.

This schedule is usually thrown off while on vacation because of all the activity. Maybe I want a coffee/water/apple but am in the middle of something where it’s not available, you get the idea. (More on what I ate in an upcoming post.)

This vacation was no exception. I was up earlier, we were always on the go and many meals were grab-and-go. The easiest thing for a vegetarian wanting a quick meal is a cheese and vegetable sandwich (often my vacation standby). I also had Chipotle and pizza once each. To start the day I often had eggs or an egg sandwich. This resulted in more carbs and dairy and eggs than usual. When I got home I decided to take a few days and go vegan to get on track.

I went to the grocery store and grabbed a ton of veggies for salads, steamed veggies and rice, smoothies, that sort of thing. My first meal back in Florida was a no-cook kale salad with avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeno and corn. (I forgot black beans but it really needed that protein.) I made a dressing with the juice from one each orange and lime and a little olive oil and agave for sweetness. I tossed and ate. The raw, fresh ingredients really hit the spot. Though my salad was great, I sure miss my vacation.

How do you tackle vacation eating habits when you get back to reality?