Thursday, January 09, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 3-Day Raw Vegan Cleanse (REPOST)

Photo Credit: Kaeng Raeng
It's the new year, which means a lot of us are setting goals for a healthier body and soul. Below, you'll find the most-read post from this blog. I highly recommend the Kaeng Raeng Natural Detox Cleanse and hope this helps you in your new year resolutions.

I wish I was one of those intensely dedicated types that could have done this without the assistance of meals, but I just feel so much better with meals I can chew. I recommend the Kaeng Raeng detox smoothies for anyone struggling with lack of energy, acne, or sleep problems.  It helps me cut back on caffeine, clears my skin, and gets rid of my insomnia (because I drink way too much coffee!)

The best thing about this cleanse is that it makes you think about EVERY single thing you put into your body.  I usually eat super healthy for a month or so after because I get into the habit of avoiding processed, unhealthy foods during the detox.

Here's what you're supposed to do:
Have three smoothies a day, each mixed with 24 to 34oz of water. You can add in ice, raw fruits and veggies to blend to give the shakes more substance (which I recommend). Just make sure you're drinking at least 24 oz water each time!  The shakes replace your meals, so in between shakes, drink lots of water and snack on raw veggies or fruit to get through the day (I recommend apples, snap peas, carrots, and almonds.) The reason I recommend Kaeng Raeng for a detox instead of  home-made green smoothies is because the packets have all the nutrients (probiotics, vitamins, minerals, protein) you need on a daily basis--which is why detoxes that only involve lemon juice, water, and syrup are NOT healthy. You don't want to deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to function, even for a few days!

Side effects:
Be prepared to use the bathroom more frequently since you're drinking more water. Also, if you're anything like me, be prepared for some weird food dreams! If you're addicted to caffeine, you're going to have a headache the first day. I didn't find myself craving "bad" food (brownies, ice cream, cheese-its), but rather flavorful "good" warm food (roasted tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and veggies, etc.)

There are PROS and CONS to going raw for a few days. 
The PROS are pretty obvious: it is so good for you and it takes barely any time to prepare meals. It's also only THREE DAYS of your life. This is a very achievable and realistic goal.

The CONS: It can be expensive if you don't already have a lot of the ingredients on hand (kaeng raeng starts at about $50 and raw produce can especially add up when you buy them all at once). For me, it also felt restrictive -- you probably won't want to eat with friends during the detox to avoid temptations.

My Experience:

What I did:
I went on a raw vegan diet for three days and only had two smoothies a day. My roommate did the detox with me, making it 1000 times easier than the first time. It is so much easier if you have someone for emotional support, even it is just so you can laugh about your weird food dreams together.

Breakfast and Lunch:
I had a Kaeng Raeng smoothie mixed with 32 oz of water and a fruit (pineapple or apples) and veggies (spinach, kale, carrots). Each smoothie took me about an hour to drink and filled me up! However, by dinner I didn't want to drink any more. I'd drunk water and smoothies all day and needed something I could sit down and chew.

Remember, the smoothies replace meals, so if you're going to have one raw vegan meal a day like I did, you will only need two smoothies a day (or you'll probably take in too many calories).

Day 1: Sweet and Sour Veggie salad
I used any raw veggie I had in the fridge: carrots, cucumber, spinach, kale, romaine, cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet onion. I also added some strawberries and apples. I chopped it all up and squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it and sprinkled on some pepper.

Day 2: "Couscous" salad
Throw some cauliflower in a food processor and blend it until it is the texture of couscous. Add garbanzo beans and finely chopped carrots, cucumber, and crimini mushrooms. The dressing was a mixture of nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), olive oil (raw, cold-pressed), and raw agave nectar. This recipe was modified from Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less . This was seriously delicious, I will be making this again for dinner at least once a month. [EDIT June 2012: this does not keep well in the fridge, best to eat it the night you make it, or eat without the dressing the next day]

Day 3: "Creamy" Mushrooms Soup 
Also adapted from Everyday Raw Express. In a food processor or blender, combine two handfuls of mushrooms (baby bellas, criminis, what ever your have), 2 handfuls of cashews, handful of walnuts, some fresh taragon, spoonful of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white miso, and cold water until consistency is to your liking (around 2 Cups). Add salt and pepper to taste. After blending, I chopped up more baby bellas to give the soup more texture. This soup was pretty good taste wise, but I found it too watery. My recommendation is slowly add in water until you reach the desired consistency. The original recipe called for 6 cups.

Major KUDOS to those of you who eat raw all the time (or even vegan). You are super humans! 

Have you ever done a cleanse or detox? I want to hear about your experience! Tweet me at @danielle0090.