Halva Milk & A Winter Juice Cleanse
Doing a couple of days of detox is such a vital practice. It's restorative. Which seems the opposite of the words that come to mind when you think of fasting (depriving, giving-up, and starving pop into my head for some reason). But it's none of those things. It's a very personal retreat wherein we decide to be very kind to ourselves. We drink lots of water, do restorative yoga and stretching, take naps, drink tea, read, write, go for walks, and notice with greater awareness or bodies, our thoughts, or surroundings, our natural or consumed patterns. It's a wonderful practice for breaking out of old habits and into new ones. If you're transitioning into eating a cleaner diet, a fast is a great tool. If you feel you need some emotional or physical healing, fasting can help speed up the process. I find it helps me to perceive what's happening with my heart and body more clearly, and thus work through any pain I might be experiencing.
Whether you fast for one day or 3 (or more?!) you can be sure that you will feel different (and better) the second day, and definitely afterwards. It's nice to stock your fridge with lemon water, cold pressed juices, and maybe a big green smoothie. In fact, with a schload of juices and smoothies on hand the challenge is far less than what we build it up to be in our minds.
Prepare for your fast by eating only plant based foods for the days leading up to it. I also like to go grain free the day before and after a fast.
Start the day with an herbal tea -- yogi detox teas are really good. I also go for echinacea or dandelion root.
Drink at least 1.5 liters of water. I like to fill up a bunch of big mason jars with water and drink them all throughout the day.
I prepare some energy bites to have on hand if I'm feeling really extremely peckish. These halva date energy bites and these soaked almond-apricot chia bars are my go to's. During my fast I believe I only ate half of a halva bite. The fats and flavor packed into each of those recipes are really satisfying.
Keep ripe avocados on hand. A quarter of an avo and a bottle of green juice got me through that mid-day, high-fire digestion cycle.
Drink warm miso soup. Get yourself some fresh, mellow white or yellow miso and stir it into hot (not boiling) water. The salty, savory flavor is really comforting and the heat is great for a Winter detox. Plus think of all of those good probiotics!
Drink Kombucha! Probiotics are often neglected in our normal lives, and I find that they are especially important as support during a cleanse while you're flushing toxins out of your system. Support your gut biome!
Turn off your television & computer. Do some restorative yoga, go for a walk or hike (if you're feeling ecstatically energized!), meditate, nap, dance, take a warm bath or a sauna. Be good to yourself.
This is a great time to do things like skin brushing (followed by rubbing yourself down with coconut oil).
Go slow coming out of your fast -- smoothies and salads are more than enough for the day after a mostly or all liquid fast.
I strongly recommend taking on a professional cleanse with cold-pressed juices to help guide you through your cleansing process. This past cleanse my husband and I both tried out Fruitive's Total Detox Cleanse -- I did mine on Friday and half of Saturday, he did his half of Saturday and Sunday. The Total Detox is not a juice cleanse for the uninitiated -- it's strong medicine. I mean, unless you're badass like that. Most of the juices are deeply green and vegetable based, one with a superfood seaweed mix that is not exactly pleasant tasting (my husband seemed not to notice or care).
The 1 day pack includes 6 juices and a dandelion/wheatgrass shot -- which I chased with an orange slice. It's meant to awaken your system and get you detoxing deeply from the get-go. I'm a bit more sensitive to bitter flavors than Logan, so I found the flavor of many of the juices really, well, disgusting. Logan sort of shrugged and was like "What? It's not a big deal." Some people are more sensitive to bitter flavors than others. You might find that bitter, vegetal flavors are perfectly palatable to you. And in that case, a juice cleanse like this one will be a total breeze.
As far as health impact is concerned the Total Detox is wonderful, kind medicine for the body. Fruitive has another cleanse called Clear the Fog which is really lovely which I'd like to try next time. It's more palatable, flavor-wise, to say the least. I've had most of those juices fresh from the Virginia Beach branch location -- they're delicious and invigorating. But if you're already comfortable with vegetable juices and have experienced positive fasts and cleanses in the past the Total Detox is a great option.
After and during this cleanse I have to say I never felt deprived. Having a new juice on the horizon every couple of hours really helped to set the pace of my day. The final bottle is a delicious, sweet almond milk which felt like a reward for downing all of those intense green juices. I had a splitting headache most of the day -- which I'm sure was partly the result of not drinking any caffeine. Headaches are not uncommon during the first day of a cleanse. It was gone by the next day -- and I can say pretty confidently that I no longer feel addicted to coffee. Coffee now feels more like a choice and less like a necessity. I felt incredible the next day -- very light and aware. I even took a challenging vinyasa yoga class (more on that in this post).
Want to try out a Fruitive juice cleanse? The first five folks to buy a cleanse can use code Frolic15 for a 15% discount! Everyone else can use Frolic10 for a 10% discount through February 2015.
If buying a pre-made pack of juices isn't for you but you'd still like to juice cleanse you can make you're own! Either borrow or buy a slow churning juicer. About 6 juices per day is a good place to work from. If that's not available to you a cleanse with a focus on one green smoothie and one light, brothy, vegan soup is a great way to go -- you triple the smoothie recipe and drink it throughout the day, and you make enough soup for lunch and dinner.
Sesame and honey. The classic halva flavor. I've taken that idea and whipped up a tahini based vegan mylk that I think works really well as the last drink of your juice fasting day. Or, perhaps, the first drink for the day after your fast. It's just sort of kickass. Drink it all the time. You can use almond butter here in place of tahini if tahini's not really your thang. And the consistency is more milk, less smoothie -- so if you're not into banana you can omit it entirely. I added it mainly to give the milk a creamier texture.
- 1/2 cup mild tahini
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (or agave if vegan)
- 1/2 fresh banana
- 1/2 orange, peeled
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
- Add the tahini, water, honey, banana, orange, cardamom, cinnamon, and ice to the cup or bowl of your blender.
- Blend on high until everything is well mixed and foamy.
- Pour the halva milk into a glass and set aside.
- Add the strawberries to the bowl of the now-empty blender. Add 1/4 cup of the halva milk to the strawberries and blend on high until your strawberries are the consistency of soft serve ice cream.
- Place a couple of tablespoons of the strawberry ice cream into the bottom of two tall glasses.
- Pour the halva milk over the strawberry ice cream. To make pink swirls against the side of the glass, insert a knife and draw the strawberry ice cream gently up the inside of the glass.
- Top with sesame seeds, and sip!
Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of a free 3 day juice cleanse from Fruitive in exchange for an honest review of the product. It should also be noted that I am good friends with the current manager. And my husband and I have had dinner with the owners of this very small and perhaps someday very famous juice and smoothie brand. All of my words and opinions, as always, are my own.