I have never been that type of girl that can easily go on a cleanse. Let me break it down for you...I LOVE food. I don't know if it's a "libra" thing or a "Kara" thing but I just love experiencing food, especially when it comes to flavor and presentation. Cleanses have always scared me. I have seen so many friends attempt mid to long juice cleanses and I look at them shocked wondering how they do it. I have attempted only one juice cleanse in my life and I only committed to one day. It was the hardest day I have ever experienced. My stomach was growling like a monster and I was SO grumpy that nobody wanted to be around me. That day made me realize that if I cleanse, I need it to incorporate food and not just juice. I recently discovered Beaming, an organic superfood cafe that offers cleanse programs that include soup and one organic entree per day.
I was unsure about it all but determined to start this new year on a positive and healthy foot. I did the research and found Beaming. Beaming’s mission is to inspire and empower people to experience greater health, happiness and vitality through the power of nutritious plant-based foods that taste amazing. They totally sold me. I took the leap and signed up for their three day Lifestyle Cleanse. This past Wednesday, when got home I was greeted to a big, beautiful box from Beaming. Perfect timing! I was fresh off a private spin work out with Starcycle and I was feeling SO good. The endorphins were pumping and I just couldn't wait to open my healthy box to see what was inside.
The first thing I noticed, as I was opening the cleanse, was the packaging. They sent me three lunch-box style bags with ice packs that split up the cleanse into three days. The branding was so cute and I loved the organization. These lunch-boxes were perfect for me to grab and go. I didn't have to worry about transporting the food during the day, they just made it too easy for me. The boxes arrived with a little notecard that broke down my cleanse schedule. I studied it like crazy and even put the "eating" times into my calendar so that I was really on top of it.
Day One started out with much excitement. I took the power shot when I woke up and shortly after drank the first juice of the day, celery juice. Celery juice is so hot right now so I was stoked to see that they added that into their line-up. The vitality power shot was the perfect start to my day. It instantly energized me and I loved that they added turmeric into it. Over the years, I've realized the more turmeric I incorporate into my diet and my skincare, the more my skin glows. I took the shot and drank a little water after to cleanse my palette because the shot is super ginger-y and a strong flavor to taste when just waking up.
Photos courtesy of Beaming
A few hours after the celery juice, I felt that craving in my stomach for food and reached for the Superfood Protein Smoothie. I chugged it in my car like a mad-woman, as if I hadn't had food in days. Afterwards all I could think is what is wrong with me? Why am I like this? It really surprised me how much I relied on food to keep my blood-sugar balance. In the past I would start my day with a large (huge) mocha and that eliminated my appetite for the better part of the morning, but without coffee during this cleanse I was hungry in the morning and not in a cute way but more like a raging hangry way. I was literally counting down the hours until my designated lunch that was the Mineral-rich Soup.
Lunch came just in time and I warmed up the Celery-Arugula mineral soup on the stove. I added in some spice to the soup (totally not allowed but couldn't help it) because I love a pinch of garlic, crushed red pepper, thyme and oregano combined with these flavors. Thank god I added the spice in because this particular soup felt more "juice-like." It wasn't a very thick texture so I ate the Superfood Protein Bite along with it to give my body the idea that I was eating and not just drinking another juice. Both selections were yum! The protein bite was ideal for me because I'm not a huge fan of protein bars but it was just the right size- a small, quick nibble.
Later that day, I was sitting with a few of my girlfriends as they poured wine around me. I showed major self-control, declined the wine and drank my charcoal lemonade as we all caught up. I finished my day one with an organic chopped salad consisting of romaine lettuce, cauliflower, red cabbage, fennel, apple, apricots, maple sunflower seeds and topped with a lemon vinaigrette. Overall day one was the hardest. I was hungry for most of the day and realized that I needed to be on top of controlling that. If you are still hungry during the cleanse, they allow you to eat one of the three options: a handful of raw almonds, a 1/4 of avocado or sliced veggies. I didn't do that during the day because I was trying to be strict, but at night after the entree I was still really hungry so I allowed myself the permitted almonds and avocado.
Day Two seemed to get a whole lot easier. I woke up already energized on a high from the nutrients I consumed the day before and re-started my cleanse schedule. I had it down to a tee. Wake-up, power shot, and celery juice to start. I was feeling good and didn't have any coffee-cravings like the day before. I couldn't help but notice how the cleanse was affecting my emotional wellbeing as well as my physical. I suffer with anxiety everyday from stress (and life in general) but I saw that my anxiety had completely disappeared during this day. I felt like I was finally having my "food awakening" realizing how important diet was for my mental health. I think that was the biggest perception shift during this whole experience.
I continued on with the day drinking the smoothie, protein bite and having a handful of raw almonds that restored my energy. Lunch was a super delicious zucchini soup rich in nourishing vitamins and minerals. I loved it so much that I even looked up a similar recipe on Pinterest to attempt in the future. It was that good! I definitely want to keep this dish in my normal rotation of easy meals that I make for lunches or dinners. In the afternoon, I drank the Salad Spinner cold-pressed juice that is filled with fresh living enzymes that boost immunity, remove toxins and target inflammation. The Alkaline Elixir contains potent healing superfoods that support metabolism, PH balance immunity, inflammation, detoxification, and hydration. So many good things that your body needs and I already consumed them all by 5pm! I ended the night with the roasted veggie salad containing arugula, kale, radicchio, butternut squash, fennel, dehydrated onions, pepitas, kalamata olives tossed in lemon tahini dressing. Day two was a health success.
Zucchini Mineral Soup - Photo courtesy of Beaming
Roasted Veggie Salad - Photo courtesy of Beaming
Day Three started off fantastic! I jumped out of bed feeling like a total morning person. Took my power shot, drank my celery juice, got ready, and pulled my lunch-box out of the fridge to head on down to work that day. I had no worries about keeping up with my schedule at work because at this point I was synced with the routine. Mid-morning I had pangs of hunger so I grabbed the smoothie (it was the same one as the day before) and drank it up quickly in between tasks at work. I was feeling like super woman feeding my body with all these super foods! During this day I was noticing how happy I actually was. I was having a brilliant day at work and felt hyper focused.
For lunch, I warmed up the carrot ginger soup, sliced up 1/4 of an avocado and ate the protein bite as a side. In the afternoon I drank the two designated cold-pressed juices and for dinner I ate the Shiitake Kelp noodle dish that had mushrooms, bok choy, leeks, scallions, fennel, roasted butternut squash with a ginger sesame dressing. I loved this dinner the most out of all three days, mainly because I just love noodle recipes! The flavor from the shiitake mushrooms mixed with ginger sesame dressing was so divine that I devoured it in 3 minutes tops. I felt so accomplished finishing that last meal, knowing I had made it to the finish line of my cleanse.
Overall I had a wonderful experience doing the Beaming cleanse, although the first day was hard. I'm currently two days out of the cleanse and I've developed new habits that I didn't have before- like drinking turmeric, lemon and ginger shots alongside celery juice every morning. I have come to love this habit because it jump starts my day. Since I don't have a juicer at home, I have been challenging myself to go to Whole Foods or Lazy Acres every morning to pick up a wellness shot + celery juice and it's become a part of my daily routine. I also have been noticing that I've been eating healthier foods ever since. I am so much more careful about my diet because I have seen first-hand the improvements in my overall health. I feel like my skin is glowing, my weight has been decreasing and my happiness levels are at an all time high. This cleanse was the wake-up call I needed to set my diet on track for the new year! After talking with a close friend this past weekend, I was inspired to look into 5 day cleanses and hopefully I can try one out in the near future. Once I decide when that will happen, I'll keep you all updated on the process and results. I hope you found the inspiration to try your own cleanse, whether it be with Beaming or another plant-based program, I dare you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a go this year!