Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting Clean, the Vegan Way

I ate too many white, processed, sugary foods over the holidays, and I want to give my body a rest.  I'd like to press reset and maybe learn a few more healthy recipes and adopt some healthier habits.  So, I'm going to follow a veganized version of the Clean Program.  It's a 21 day detox plan that utilizes whole foods, avoids common allergens, and is written by an MD. 

Dr. Alejandro Junger details the why's and how's of his program in his book, Clean.  I thought a lot of what he wrote made sense, the only issue I have with it is that he says it's OK to eat some animals.  Dr. Junger writes that organic lamb, chicken, and fish are OK to eat while detoxing, but I obviously am not going to do that.  

He does have plenty of vegan recipes in the program and it's generally vegan friendly.  As a vegan I'm already pretty "clean", but to faithfully do the cleanse I also need to take a break from caffeine, sugar, gluten, soy, corn, nightshade vegetables like potatoes, some fruits that are common allergens, and processed food.  The diet consists of a smoothie for breakfast, a whole food lunch that can be cooked, and a smoothie, juice, or soup for dinner.  You can have snacks too, if you really need them.  The idea is to reduce acidity in the body, reduce the toxic load, and eliminate any possible allergens and foods that could promote inflammation in the body.  

Apparently, strawberries and chocolate are common allergens.  Bananas and wheat are acid-making foods, grapefruit tends to suppress some key liver functions when detoxing, and peanuts tend to have fungus on them.  Corn is often genetically modified, and caffeine taxes the adrenal glands.  The goal is to create a nice, gentle, chilled out state in your body so that it can heal itself.  

So what can I eat on Clean?  A lot of my favorite foods!  Kale, quinoa, brown rice, ginger, apples, cashews, green juices, smoothies, lentils, most vegetables, soup.  I think this will be a healthier, slightly amped up version of what I usually try to do.  

To prepare for the detox, you're supposed to gradually eliminate some of the detox-unfriendly foods from your diet.  I knew my biggest challenge was going to be my morning coffee.  So, this week I slowly weaned myself off.  On Monday, it was my usual travel mug full of black coffee with a scoop of organic sugar.  Tuesday, half a mug without sugar.  I had a giant headache.  On Wednesday, I replaced my coffee with a green juice (my favorite: green apple, lemon, ginger).  I was tired all day!  Thursday came along, juice again.  Weirdly, I wasn't tired!  It was the opposite, I had all this extra energy in the morning-almost too much.  On Friday, I juiced again and I was fine.  I actually expected a more dramatic state of affairs. Maybe all the natural sugars in the juice helped me out there.

I'm planning out my meals now so that I can go food shopping and start full-force on Monday morning.  I'm not a morning person, apparently this program will help me with that.  I'm also hoping for a miraculous cure for my allergies.  I tend to get hives when I come into contact with environmental allergens like pet dander, dust, and pollen.

Next week, I'll update you on Week 1 of the vegan Clean Program.  In the meantime, look out for a post on vegan St. Kilda and a fabulous vegan lip balm.  

Have you ever detoxed?  I'm looking for yummy juice and smoothie recipes, so if you have one, let me know!


Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise said...

I need to check out this book! Good luck with your cleanse :) Aloha!

Theresa said...

I did a sort of detox once, but I did a pretty half-assed job of it. And as a result, I didn't feel anything - none of the bad side effects some poeple report, and no glowing skin or extra energy. I really should try a proper cleanse at some stage!

I think it needs more turbinado. said...

Glad it's going well, keep us posted.

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

It sounds like a great detox! Coffee is so hard to give up. I'm lucky that I haven't had any headaches, but every night at around 8 I feel like I'm ready to go to bed already. So tired and sleepy! I found a coffee alternative called Pero, and I've also been drinking Celestial Seasonings Roastaroma tea. They're pretty tasty, but they won't keep me awake! :D

Good luck with the detox! Keep us posted!

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

I hope it goes well for you. I have contemplated detoxing a few times, but never followed through. Keep us posted!

shellyfish said...

I'm looking forward to reading about your detoxing! I love hearing about how different plans work for different people.
I drink tons of coffee - just in the morning, but I know my mug has been fuller and fuller...should probably lay off a little.

brooklynbliss said...

It's funny I just came across your post and am planning on doing the exact same detox program (veganized of course!) myself starting next week. Your posts are really helpful in knowing what to expect, thanks!