I have been feeling very blah lately. My clothes aren’t fitting right, I feel tired and lethargic, and my digestive system is all messed up. So I have decided that it’s time to do a cleanse and I am inviting you to do it with me. I have designed this cleanse based off of many other cleanses I have seen, I have taken the best of them and put them all in one cleanse that can actually be done and doesn’t leave you starving or feeling completely deprived. This cleanse is hard, but it’s not impossible. I will tell you right now that you will not feel hungry AT ALL during this cleanse and here’s why- you eat a lot. A lot of fruits and vegetables. Veggies are filling and satisfying but low in calories. For example an entire bunch of broccoli is about 205 calories, a cup of zucchini is about 20 calories, and a cup of carrots clocks in at 50 calories. The short/easy way to figure out how many calories you should consume is to take the weight you want to be (be realistic), and add a zero at the end. So for me I am aiming for 120 pounds, so I need to eat 1200 calories every day. In one 300 calorie meal I could eat a whole bunch of broccoli, 2 cups of zucchini, and a cup of carrots. I don’t think my stomach will hold that much food in 1 sitting. If you eat the right foods, you can eat a lot of them. I noticed that the last time I did this cleanse there were actually days where I found it difficult to eat as many calories as I was targeting. I finally fixed that by finding a way to eat “dessert” at the end of the day. I’ll share that tip with you at the end of the post. (It might seem difficult to measure your food and know the caloric value of them but once you get used to it you will start to know what 1/2 cup looks like and be able to guess the approximate calories of your meal and if will stick in your mind helping you make healthier choices for weeks following the cleans.)
Fruits and vegetables should really make up about 80% of our diet, but sadly that is not the case for me, or for most other Americans. Here’s the other cool thing about this diet- you can still have meat and grains too, just smaller portions that are unprocessed and prepared to be “clean,” as long as your total caloric intake is at 1200, or whatever your number is, and your calories from fat do not exceed 150. You are allowed up to 150 calories from fat per day. Just to give you an idea of how much that is, here are some items equivalent to 150 calories from fat:
- 1 TBS of olive oil
- Half an avocado
- A large handful of almonds
- About 4 oz of salmon
The big no-no’s of this cleanse are: NO sugar except what is in fresh fruit, NO processed foods, NO alcohol, and NO beverages other than water (if you MUST have your morning coffee, then have it but put as little cream/sugar in it as you can handle and have only 1 cup).
I am giving you my meal plan to give you an idea of what I will be eating. You can mix it up and swap out veggies if you want. Also, healthy does NOT have to be bland. Spice the heck outta those veggies. Use lots of garlic, herbs (oregano, basil, thyme…), cayenne, lemon, salsa, hot sauce, ginger…. you can even use a little soy sauce, just don’t go crazy with it.
One other thing to remember is to drink water. Lots of water- .66 x your body weight per day (in ounces) of water to be exact. So for me that’s .66 x 128. That’s 85 oz of water a day, or 10.5 cups. I have a 24oz water bottle so I know I need to drink the full amount 3.5 times. I know, water can be boring so here are some of my favorite ways to flavor it up with fresh fruit infusions. You can put the fruit in your bottle in the morning and keep reusing it all day long.+
- orange and ginger- 3 orange slices and 1/2 in knob of ginger
- cucumber and mint- 4 slices or cucumber and 5-8 mint leaves
- lemon and strawberries- 3 slices of lemon and 1 large quartered strawberry
- pineapple and mint- 4 1″ chunks of pineapple and 5-8 mint leaves
- lime and mint- 3 slices of lime and 5-8 mint leaves
- blueberry and basil- 1/4 c blueberries and 3-5 basil leaves
Are you ready? I have done this cleanse twice before and I can tell you now that you will feel so much better after completing it. It completely resets your metabolism and your digestive system and you will be burning more calories and have more energy than before. Ok, here we go.
The Cleanse Details
- Figure out how many calories you need to eat
- figure out how much water you need to drink daily
- Make your meal plan keeping in mind you only get 150 calories from fat per day.
- Do your grocery shopping
- Do some prep (making healthy choices easily available will help you to stick to the cleanse)
- Hide or remove all tempting items from the fridge and pantry
- Find a buddy to do it with, or just someone who will help keep you accountable
- Get a journal or notebook to record each meal and water intake- this will help keep you on track and help you to visualize your progress.
- Green smoothie #1
- 1 cup coconut water (or water or almond milk)
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple and 1 banana (total 1 cup of fruit)
- 2-3 large handfuls of spinach (or other green vegetable such as red leaf lettuce, cucumber, celery, arugula, or kale)
- optional add-ins: 1 pitted date as a natural sweetener, fresh ginger, lemon juice, small handful of almonds or cashews, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp of spirulina, maca, or chlorella powder
- Green Smoothie #2
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 bananas
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 pitted dates
- 2 large handfuls of green
- 1 tsp spirulina powder
- Green Smoothie # 3
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 handfuls greens
- 1 c almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 c raw oats
- small handful of almonds
- Lemon and garlic salmon with steamed zucchini and red bell pepper
- Tilapia topped with bruschetta and sauteed spinach (omit olive oil in your bruschetta, or use just 1 tsp, poach the tilapia in water).
- steamed veggies and shrimp over rice
- Grilled chicken lettuce wraps with salsa and black beans
- Grilled Salmon Skewers with Lemon and Dijon (omit the oil in the marinade and use half salmon and half a veggie like zucchini or squash).
- dinner leftovers
- Salad with homemade dressing so you control the sugar and fat content. Add lots of veggies: shredded carrot, bell peppers… Quinoa and rice are also okay in the salad. Here are some dressing ideas.
- Creamy Balsamic: 1 TBS 2% Greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp dijon, 2 TBS balsamic vinegar, a little salt or soy sauce to taste (about 20 calories from fat)
- Your favorite salsa
- try the creamy balsamic with lemon and garlic instead of balsamic, or with a different type of vinegar like apple cider, or champagne vinegar.puree 1/2 avocado with seeded jalapeno, lime juice, garlic and pepper.
- Cucumber Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing ( 1 serving is about 150 calories from fat)
- Spiralized Zucchini with charred tomatoes and Pesto Bitchin’ Sauce (2 TBS is 90 calories from fat and NO PRESERVATIVES) or you can puree 1/2 avocado with basil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and use that as your “sauce”
- Veggie sticks dipped in salsa or Bitchin’ Sauce if you choose to use your fat calories this way, or you can just squeeze lemon or lime over the veggies
- cucumber with lime juice
- fruit- apples, berries, pears…
- frozen blueberries
- Try this frozen banana “ice cream”- combine 2 frozen bananas and 1 pitted date in your food processor and process until smooth, if you need to drizzle in some almond milk 1 TBS at a time to get the right consistency. Dates are about 65 calories each, bananas are around 100. Or try banana and pineapple.
Working out is super important too. So I am planning on at the very least taking a walk with my dog every day and running or hiking and strength training at least 3 days a week.
Follow me on Snapchat to see what I am eating and my workouts and send me what your meals and workouts too! We can both benefit from keeping each other accountable and getting some new meal and workout inspiration.