You know those really great days when you feel on top of the world? Everything seems to be going smoothly and even when it doesn’t, you laugh it off? These are the days where you love life and appreciate all its ups and lessons because you can see that it’s ALL GOOD.
That’s the power of cleansing. You can actually create more of these effortlessly productive and pleasurable days just by regular cleansing!
There’s a cost, though. It’s a hassle! Even this Easy, Gentle Cleanse for the First-Timer has many steps, restrictions and time requirements between the exercise and food preparation for the all-natural, veggie-focused diet.
This post attempts to make a week-long cleanse silly-easy for you. And you never know, you might be surprised to find you actually enjoyed the process and be feeling so fine by the end of the week that you’ll continue cleansing for a month (the ideal for most people)!
STEP 1: MENTAL PREP
Read an easy gentle cleanse for the first-timer and become aware of the basics. You don’t have to follow it to the letter, just know that the idea is to reduce exposure to toxins, flush the toxins out, heal and repair the body and replenish the good bacteria. This post will also guide you in creating a grocery list (see sample in Step 3).
STEP 2: MEAL PLAN
Grab a couple of healthy recipe sources, either printed books or online, but don’t forget to check out all the Live Lighter recipes. To make cleansing easy, it’s important for you to choose easy-to-make, easy-to-digest and easy-to-cleanup meals. I prefer smoothies for breakfasts and plan for 3-4 green blender meals within the week.
Tip #1: family involvement. You may have to consider others when meal planning. If they’re interested, include them in the process but give them healthy choices. Make it simple: veggies or salad and meat, a stir fry, chili, etc.
I try to pick healthy meals to share with the family which include a good portion of ingredients from my cleansing meals. By doing this, I know my hubby is eating well, I save on time and energy, and we save on groceries. Plus, the next day is a break from cooking and cleaning as he enjoys left-overs from our shared healthy meal and I cleanse.
Tip#2: try a partial fast one day, providing you have relatively good health and can chillax that day. By skipping a couple of meals in 1 day, it gives both you and your digestive system a rest from responsibilities. All you have to do is make sure you’re stocked in detox drinks: natural fruit and veggie juices as meal replacements, other drinks to flush the toxins, and others to hydrate you.
STEP 3: GROCERIES
Take your meal plan and create a grocery list. If you use your cleansing efforts to drive your meal plan, much of your grocery list should be fruit, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. For an example, this picture shows our household’s grocery list for this week. Between this and other stock at home, I can cleanse and make shared meals for the entire week without breaking a sweat.
Tip #3: the bulk store is your friend. Once or twice a month I hit my local bulk store to stock up on healthy snack items, spices and ingredients for desserts, cleanse recipes and other healthy meals. Almonds are a must and worth the expense because of their nutritional value, taste and versatility. We also usually get dark chocolate chips and a variety of dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
STEP 4: WASH & PREP VEGGIES
This step is the most time-consuming depending on:
- if you buy organic
- how many recipes you’re prepping for in advance
- how conscientious you are in washing your veggies. If you’re like me, unless I grew them myself or know the farm from whence they came, I like to wash and dry all my fruits and veggies (except for organic). Greens are most challenging as I soak them first with water and veggie wash, then rinse, de-stem and dry them for storage.
Tip #4: a salad spinner is been a God-send (thanks, Leanne!). This kitchen tool dries your greens in no time so you can store them (see Tip#5).
Tip #5: make your own greens storage bag. Take a large zip-lock bag and fold it in the middle. Using scissors, cut into the fold about a half inch in. Repeat along the fold on either side. Open the bag and you should have a row of slits about an inch in length. Fold the bag again in a different place and repeat the process until you have a bag with good air flow.
Step 5: BLEND & STORE GREEN DETOX MEALS
Three or more green detox meals coming up so that you can simply grab your prepped, highly-nutritious, cleansing meal and eat when you please during the week – with just a container, bowl (if you wish) and spoon to clean!
We get more nutrition when ingredients are fresh, local and blended right before consuming. But for the time-crunched, this approach to cleansing may be necessary for success.
Tip #6: combine steps 5 and 6 and reduce your time in half. Try multi-tasking and blend your detox meals while washing and prepping fruits and veggies for the week. Drying your produce becomes obsolete when you use it immediately and because you’ve just blended half your groceries into 3 containers, your fridge stays tidy! 🙂
This guide is how I’ve simplified cleansing. Please feel free to use whatever makes sense to you and discard the rest. It’s definitely a learning process as you figure out a way to fit it into your life but I can promise you: it will get easier and the benefits are worth it.
Do you have any tips in how you’ve made cleansing easy? Please share them with us!