Do you have difficulty waking up in the morning and find that you have low energy all day long? Are you unable to concentrate at work, feel sluggish and depressed? Do you suffer from poor digestion, bloating or constipation? If so, you could be a good candidate for a cleanse.
Cleansing your body of accumulated toxins can help you gain energy and improve overall health. Many people report more clarity, greater alertness, over-whelming joy, and incredible insight after a cleanse.
A simple test you can do to determine whether you would benefit from a cleanse is to eat a few leaves of a dark leafy green vegetable such as kale or down a couple of shots of fresh wheat grass juice. If you can get it down without cringing, then chances are your system is already alkaline. If however, these foods taste horribly bitter and nearly cause a gag reflex, you will certainly benefit from a cleanse.
There are many excellent articles and books dedicated to cleansing so I won’t get too much into the details in this article. What is interesting to note, however, is that all of them prescribe complete abstinence from animal-based foods and focus solely on plant-based nutrition during the cleansing process. My take on this is that if you feel so good after a cleanse, then why not adopt a “continual cleansing” type diet? That’s what I call the Thrive Diet, a common-sense, simple approach to eating that is based on plant-based whole foods.
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and do a cleanse. That is a great first step. Once you have completed the cleanse of your choice, you will likely feel much better and you won’t want that great feeling to go away. So how to you extend and expand upon these cleansing benefits for long term optimal health and vitality? Start by consuming lots of raw, alkaline forming fruits and vegetables. Eaten on a regular basis, these foods will start the natural transition process away from processed foods that cause the body to become acidic.
At first, however, the body will not naturally crave plant-based foods when it is accustomed to processed and refined foods. You have to simply begin by adding more raw natural plant-based foods to your diet but without subtracting anything. Over time, you will naturally and painlessly have less interest in eating the more processed foods and you will gravitate towards the least processed whole foods. I know this sounds overly simplistic but it is a scientific fact that when the body has all its nutritional needs fulfilled, cravings will dramatically decline.
To get to the point where you no longer have to restrain yourself from eating unhealthy food is a great feeling and a telltale sign that your body is cleansing itself and making a smooth transition to a much healthier lifestyle. Constantly fighting cravings is not a mentally healthy way to live so changing the perception of what your body desires is fundamental to breaking cravings permanently.
A good way to get more fruit and vegetables into your diet is by making smoothies at home and drinking them as snacks or meals. Beginning your day with a smoothie made with alkaline forming, plant-based whole food ingredients is one of the best ways to get the body going, providing clean-burning, easily absorbed fuel to jumpstart your day.
Smoothies are easy and convenient to prepare and can pack a lot of nutrition into a glass – plus their great taste appeals to almost all palates. It is important to note that though there are umpteen yummy smoothie recipes out there, some are much healthier than others. Whereas many smoothies contain mostly carbohydrates, I like my smoothies to incorporate all the elements of a complete meal including protein and EFAs. Try following my basic guidelines for an ideal smoothie:
- Ensure only plant-based ingredients are used to benefit from continual cleansing
- Use ripe whole fruit and fruit juices for flavour and sweetness rather than adding sugar or artificial sweeteners
- Incorporate multiple sources of protein for a balanced amino acid profile
- Add source of Omega-3 & 6 EFAs for their countless health benefits
- Try adding some “green foods” to pack in extra servings of vegetables
In my new book, The Thrive Diet, I include several recipes for chlorophyll rich, yummy smoothies. I always use hemp protein because it is complete, raw, contains chlorophyll and is alkaline-forming. From there I’ll add pea and rice protein to balance the amino acid profile of the hemp. Ground flax seeds for Omega-3 EFAs and soluble fibre is also a great addition. Blend with a banana, juice and some berries and you have all the makings of a great liquid meal that will facilitate continual cleansing!