Over a year ago, I read a book that changed how I look at food and healthy living forever. The book was Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. I originally thought that I had a kind of ok diet, bar the odd drink one too many from time-to-time…that was until I read Clean and realise that there was so much I was missing!
One of the reasons I like this book is because it’s written from the viewpoint of a doctor who shares his own personal experiences, those of his patients and of course that of a medical professional. After leaving Uruguay for New York to become a cardiologist Dr.Junger was overwhelmed and suffered near breakdowns of not only his body but of his soul and mind. It was then that he started his research by not only looking at western medicine but by fixing the body and soul through other means.
Now, a lot of the things that Dr.Junger says is somewhat common sense, as he compares the way that we eat today and how food production has changed over the years. OK, I have to admit he does go into DETAIL about the toxins that we consume and absorb inherently on a daily basis which might be a bit tedious for some. For me, it did the trick and gave me the motivation to follow his cleanse.
Initially, I planned to do a five-day cleanse (he gives you the option of carrying out 5 days, 10 days or the full 21 days). The cleanse is quite strict as you have to avoid dairy products, eggs, gluten, sugar, bananas, peanuts, strawberries, evening shade veggies like tomatoes and eggplant, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate to name just a few. But, as I have never been a big fan of dairy products except certain cheeses, that part wasn’t so bad. I also got to indulge in eating lots of coconuts, mangoes, avocados, and almond milk which happen to be some of my favourite foods.
The first couple of days were hard as I came off my permanent sugar rush, but after I felt terrific! I had more energy and clarity, it was easier to get up in the mornings and I had more motivation. After the five days, I felt so good that there wasn’t a reason not to do another five days, after having followed the cleanse for two weeks I was like, ok, I might as well keep going to the end. Since finishing I have kept the smoothies in my diet, cut wayyyyyy back on the amount of meat that I eat and try to eat 2/3 gluten-free vegan dishes a week. I also swapped a lot of my cosmetic and cleaning products to more ‘clean’ toxic free versions.
I must admit that recently I have slipped, so I’m just about to re-read CLEAN and do the 5 day cleanse again, and who knows I’ll probably end up doing the full 21 days like last time.
A quick note about the recipes in the book and the Clean cookbook before I go. Some of the recipes can be a bit hard to follow and some of the ingredients hard to find (I was trying to find them in France) or expensive. What worked for me was going through the recipes that I thought I would like, were not too time-consuming and not too complicated, if there were ingredients that I didn’t have but needed in a few of the recipes I bought them. If I was missing ingredients (such as pantry items, spices and such) for just one recipe I swapped those ingredients for something else instead of buying them for just one recipe. I also looked for similar recipes that had more ‘pantry-friendly’ ingredients online.
Have you ever tried a cleanse and how did you get on? Let me know in the comments below.
Bisous for now
Photo via Pinch of Yum