We’re currently in transition week of our New Year’s cleanse so I’d like to give a big shout out to all our cleansers and congratulate everyone for taking this step toward beginning or renewing healthy habits!
Beginning a 14-day cleanse can feel like a major endeavor and it’s important to slow down a little and take the time to prepare. Whether you’re brand spanking new to this process or are a seasoned pro, being prepared – mentally and physically is the secret to success!
The very first thing to do pre-cleanse is to prepare yourself mentally. Think about why you’re here. What is the driving force and/or core desire you hope to gain from participating in the cleanse? Focusing your mind on this positive directive etches a path through which cleanse logistics can easily flow. Plus, it can provide the gentle reminder that you fall back on when life happens and attempts to get in the way of you nourishing yourself.
Next, declare your commitment! You don’t have to shout it from the mountaintops or tell everyone you meet that you’re cleansing, but having a couple of cleanse buddies to lean on, to share recipes with and to share your successes with is always a strong motivator.
Now it’s time gather your resources! This is about being prepared physically. Those enrolled in the cleanse have the help of our private Facebook group and on-call health coaches, but even those cleansing on their own have a world of support at their fingertips. If you haven’t already, make sure to pick up a copy of our book. This has everything you need to know about the program and living a cleansing lifestyle. Plus it’s loaded with delicious and simple recipes, so you’ll always have new options to try.
The Conscious Cleanse blog is another great resource for new recipes and inspiration. Speaking of recipes, are you following us on Pinterest yet? Make yourself a “Conscious Cleanse board” and use it as a way to organize recipes that you find and want to try at a later date.
And last but certainly not least, it’s time to prepare your kitchen and stock your fridge. Below are the top five staples that I like to have cued up and ready to go before my official cleanse start date. If you arm yourself with these key cleanse essentials from the get-go, you’ll have cleanse-friendly options to grab when hunger strikes, keeping the time you spend in the kitchen to a minimum.
These are may favorites but I’d love to hear from you. What are you doing to prepare for your cleanse? Tell me about it in the comment section below.
With love and cleanse staples,
5 Staples for a Successful Cleanse
Staple 1: Dressed Up Dressings
It’s time to uncap that dusty mason jar because salad dressing is one of the easiest foods to make! It also happens to be one of the biggest ways to lessen your intake of store-bought additives. Most dressings contain sugar, preservatives, unhealthy oils, and other icky ingredients. I like to make 2-3 dressings at a time to keep my salads and veggies interesting. Here are a few of my favorites: East-Meets-West Dressing and Champagne Vinaigrette.
Staple 2: Technicolor Veggie Grab Bag
One of the best and fastest cleanse-friendly dinner is a water stir-fry. Instead of sautéing the veggies in a slick of oil, use 1 to 2 inches of water or broth. This allows the fresh flavor to come through in a vibrant way and the dish never feels too heavy. To make this dinner in a blink, I keep a large veggie grab bag at the ready in my refrigerator. Each time I chop up veggies for other meals or recipes, I reserve a handful to toss into a glass storage container (or gallon plastic bag). When I’m in a rush, I can simply grab the pre-washed and cut contents for a stir-fry or salad. If you prefer, keep each veggie in a separate container, like a professional salad bar, and grab a bit from each. Aim for a rainbow of veggies and make sure to keep the contents on active rotation so nothing goes bad. I always have my Marinated Veggie Medley on hand too.
Staple 3: Instant Snacks
Every one of us has rushed into the kitchen at some point, hungry, frazzled, and in desperate need of a quick snack. This is not the time to open your manual and search for a recipe; this is the time to EAT and you’d better be prepared! Try having a couple different ready-to-go snacks on-hand to fit your mood or cravings. I always have pre-cut carrot and celery sticks available. Seasoned cleansers and newbies alike love our original Joy Balls (page 260 in book) or the Nut-Free version. Dips, like the stunning Beet Hummus is another great option – just make sure you have pre-cut veggies to go with it. Cleanse-friendly leftovers also make a good grab. One last tip – Don’t keep fake food snacks (chips, granola bars, cereal, etc.) in the house!
Staple 4: Prepared Proteins
Whether you’re cooking for one or a family of five, there’s usually room to make extra. Save yourself some time later on by making few extra servings of your main proteins. Meat eaters can bake a few extra chicken breasts or brown a second pound of ground turkey or bison. Cooked quantities of beans and non-gluten grains can easily be doubled and stored in the refrigerator for a second meal later in the week. These leftovers can easily be heated then added to raw or cooked veggies for a very fast but nourishing and filling meal. One of my favorite recipes is our Quinoa Beet Arugula Salad.
Staple 5: Solid (but flexible) Game Plan
Cleansing can be challenging especially when you venture out into the “real world.” We don’t expect you to have everything written in stone but it’s a good idea to have some clue of when, where and what you’ll eat next. Before you begin your cleanse journey, set aside some time to flip through the recipes in the book and on the blog and write down dishes you’d like to try. Then take a look at your calendar and see if you will be attending social events or dinners out. Most restaurants have menus online so you can pre-plan your cleanse-friendly meal. If you don’t see any options, perhaps you can plan to switch restaurants or even bring snacks with you. You wouldn’t have this foresight unless you checked first. Other helpful appointments to pencil into your schedule include batch cooking time and grocery shopping. Grocery shopping can even be quick and painless if you also utilize your menu planning skills.