UPDATE: This post has been updated on 4/17/12 by popular demand to include additional details. Your wish has been granted fellow readers! Read, cleanse and be free!
There is always a lot of talk about cleanses these days. People are always looking for the newest, quickest, easiest way to drop pounds fast. Let me preface this post by saying—if those are your intentions, please stop reading. I’m talking about cleansing for reasons that will leave your cells revitalized, give you more energy, clear mental fog, restore balance and release and eliminate toxins from the body. If you are looking for a magical/quick fix…I’ll be honest, not only is this not the right post for you—this is not the BLOG for you. 🙂 Although you will lose a few pounds doing this cleanse, it should be entered into for the right reasons—to help supplement a healthy lifestyle, not to correct years of binge eating junk foods.
When cleansing, it’s extremely important that you find a cleanse that not only releases toxins from cells, but will also eliminate them from your body. You also want to find a cleanse that provides the proper nutrition for your body, so that you are replenishing cells while you clean them out. Taking a probiotic while doing this cleanse will also be important.
The problem with a lot of the cleanses and fad diets out there, is that you end up starving your body of essential nutrients. Sure, you lose a lot of weight, but at what expense? Chances are if you lose a lot of weight very quickly, it will come back even quicker, and usually you will gain more weight back than you lost in the first place. If you are taking part in any diet, cleanse or weight loss journey, you need to remember that it is a process. Trust the process, stay committed and you will see the results. The goal here is to become a healthier version of the person you are today. You will probably lose some weight in the process which is an added bonus, but I highly recommend you do any cleanse/detox with the goal of giving your body what it needs, as opposed to starving it or depleting it of nutrients (ahem… “Master Cleanse”).
There are 3-Day and 11-Day options for the Amazing Meal Cleanse. Since I am in good overall health and just want to regain energy, clear mental fog and eliminate some bad habits I’ve picked up (eating just “because”), I usually opt for the three day option. I have done this cleanse three times now, doing the 3-Day version each time. Each time I’ve done it, I’ve experienced different feelings throughout the cleanse. This is normal, and it happens because every time I’ve done the cleanse, my body has been in a slightly different state. For example, things like stress levels, how “clean” you’ve been eating prior to the cleanse, how your immune system is functioning, etc., are all things that effect how you will feel during the cleanse itself. Regardless of how I feel during each of the three days… I always feel so much better afterwards! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t keep doing it!
In the past I’ve ended this post with a link to Amazing Grass’ web site for details on the Amazing Meal Cleanse. However, most people seem to prefer knowing exactly what I’ve done, which is why I’m posting this revision. Below is what I do when I participate in the cleanse. Please always remember to check with your doctor prior to initiating a cleanse. Cleanses aren’t safe for certain populations.
What You’ll Need:
- Amazing Meal Powder: I would get the big container, it’s more cost-effective than the individual packets. You can find Amazing Meal at any health food specialty store (Whole Foods, Central Market, etc.) You can also purchase it online here. Cost is around $40-45 depending on where you buy it.
- Lots of alkaline water: I prefer the brand Essentia (also available at WF and CM), it has the highest pH of all the bottled waters with a level of 9.5, helping to neutralize the acidity in your body.
- Probiotics: Visit your local Whole Foods or natural health food store and ask the vitamin/supplement specialist for a good probiotic. They are located in a refrigerated section of the vitamins/supplements. These will assist with good “gut health”, or intestinal flora.
- Kombucha: One of my favorite beverages! I make my own but if you want to buy it, I prefer the Synergy brand. Check the refrigerated section of your grocery store. (You might have to go to a specialty grocery like Whole Foods).
- Superfood Powder: This is going to help keep you feeling full and keep your energy levels up. Mix it with water (preferred to reduce sugar content), coconut water or juice.
- Frozen fruit, spinach/kale, ginger, avocado, and some unsweetened almond or coconut milk for smoothies (see smoothie recipe at the bottom of this post)
- Optional: Some sort of general supplement, I take Intramax, which I absolutely love, and is prescribed to me by a Doctor. It is, however, available for purchase online, but please speak to your Doctor before adding new supplements to your diet and of course, before initiating any type of cleanse.
- Optional: Apple Cider Vinegar: Yes, it’s terrible at first, but you’ll get used to it. It’s a great detox drink and it helps clear up sinus issues! Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water, and consume all at once. If you’d rather sip on it, you can mix ⅛ – ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar in 16 oz. of water, and sip on it throughout the day.
- Upon waking: 1 shot of Intramax, followed by 8 oz. alkaline water. If you don’t have Intramax, I suggest drinking apple cider vinegar. If you visit Amazing Grass’ web site, they will tell you to drink young Thai coconut water in the morning. Either one is fine!
- ~30 minutes later — Amazing Meal Smoothie*
- Continue drinking alkaline water throughout the day (and your apple cider vinegar drink if you’d like).
- Alkaline water and ACV water
- Amazing Meal Smoothie
- Lots more water! On a normal day, you should consume half your body weight in ounces of water. So while cleansing—drink more than that!
- Kombucha! It is recommended to drink the bottle half at a time, so you really get two snacks in one… aren’t you lucky!
- Keep drinking that alkaline water! Remember, you are detoxing, so you want to flush those toxins out of your system and stay hydrated! (Note: the water will help flush toxings, but you’ll also need the Amazing Meal for the protein and fiber… the toxins will bind to it and that’s how they will be eliminated from your body. And if you’re wondering… no, this is not a cleanse where you will need to stay home from work. You can live a normal life while on this cleanse).
- Superfood/Coconut Water Beverage. I prefer to drink this prior to my workouts, to increase energy levels. Amazing Grass also has a Superfood Powder product that I love, berry-flavored superfood powder. If you don’t feel like an intense workout during the cleanse, I understand, but try to get moving somehow. Try a walk around the block or some yoga. Excercise will help your body do what it needs to do (layman’s terms). These superfood drinks will help keep your energy levels up and help keep you full throughout the day. Feel free to have a couple of them. I mix one scoop (or packet) of the superfood powder in one bottle of Zico pineapple or mango coconut water. It’s delicious! Well, to me it is. If you’ve never had it before, you might not be a fan! Try it in juice or alkaline water as well.
- Amazing Meal Smoothie! I usually drink the Pomegranate Mango flavor, but if you’d like to switch it up and have something “special” for dinner, try another flavor… they sell individual packets as well as the big containers of the powdered mixes. With the dinner smoothie, mix in a tablespoon of flaxseed oil.
- More water!
I usually try to get to sleep as early as I can on the cleanse, and wake up as late as possible. Getting enough rest is not only essential while your body is working hard to reenergize cells, it helps because if you’re asleep, you’re generally not thinking about how you can’t eat for three days. Another note… I usually make smoothies because they help keep me more full throughout the day. If you’d like, you can mix the amazing meal with fresh, organic juices, which will create a more intense cleaning experience. However, having to teach GroupX classes, I can’t typically get away with just juice for 3 days. 🙂
- ~ 6 frozen peach slices (can use a banana instead of peaches)
- A handful of organic spinach leaves or kale
- ¼ cup frozen blueberries (0r strawberries, or fruit of your choice)
- a few frozen blackberries
- 1 pinch of freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup of organic apple or orange juice (optional)
- 1 scoop of Amazing Meal powder
These are approximate amounts. Feel free to add more or less juice depending on the consistency you desire. Also, to reduce the sugar and calorie content of the smoothie, use alkaline water instead of apple juice and/or add cucumbers instead of blueberries and blackberries.
Please visit Amazing Grass’ web site for in-depth details and instructions, What I’ve noted above is what I do when I partake in the cleanse, but again, this is obviously catered to me. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a comment below or shoot me an email. I know many of you have done this cleanse in the past two weeks and I want you to know I’m very proud of you!
Lastly, cleanses are meant to be done every once in a while. For me, I do them 2-3 times a year. Many people do them with the change of seasons, which is also reasonable. I would avoid doing them too often though… I feel that 4 times a year is plenty. In theory, you should be eating a healthy diet and shouldn’t need to participate in a cleanse more often than that. If your eating habits are poor, you should consider overhauling your diet, not cleansing more often.
Don’t forget to check with your doctor prior to initiating any sort of cleanse on your own, as I am not a doctor.
Good luck! And here’s to a happier, healthier you!