Clean Cleanse Part 1: A Healthy Detox?

cleanse, clean cleanse

It was November 2014. I was a typical dairy, egg and meat eating girl, albeit in a reasonably ‘healthy’ and unprocessed fashion. (Gluten reared its head the odd time but only as an occasional lapse of judgement. I had cut it out a few months previous). I was eating a low carb, high protein diet filled with the likes of lean meat, greek yogurt, whey protein, omelettes, vegetables, salads and smoothies. I drank tonnes of water everyday and ate a diet full of whole foods. Yet, for some reason, despite all my efforts, I was feeling bloated and my skin was dull and prone to break outs.

cleanse, clean cleanse
An omelette with tomato, spinach, parma ham and cheese – a typical lunch
Quest protein bar with greek yogurt and almond flour
Quest protein bar with greek yogurt and almond flour and coconut sugar – a ‘healthy’ treat?

 

It seemed like, apart from the odd cheat meal here and there, I was doing everything right. I wondered if I had a mild food allergy or was intolerant of something in my diet. I happened to see Gwyneth Paltrow on The Dr. Oz Show and liked the look of her cookbook; Its All Good. I ordered it and began reading about how she underwent a ‘Clean Cleanse’ which she claimed totally changed her health. She cut out certain foods and felt much better for it. I began to wonder if a similar detox might be worth a try.

I did a little more research by reading Clean Gut by Dr. Alejandro Junger; the doctor who designed Gwyneth Paltrow’s cleanse. Initially, I intended to try his cleanse in January 2015 to start the new year with a detox, but after reading Dr. Junger’s book and Gwyneth’s testimonials, I was excited to get started sooner.

Dr. Junger advocated a three week cleanse, however, at the time I only had a week until my birthday and I knew I would be celebrating, so I decided that for me the cleanse could only last seven days (before the wine and cake commenced!).

I hoped that the cleanse would be a quick-fix to reduce bloating and clear up my skin – I didn’t know what sort of results to expect, particularly as it was only a seven day cleanse, but I had nothing to lose and looked forward to trying it out. I also looked at it as a sort of test run before possibly commencing the full three week cleanse the following January. I was particularly curious as to whether the cleanse would be indicative of some form of food intolerance.

What did the Cleanse Involve?

As part of the detox I had to eliminate all of the following from my diet:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Sugar (including most fruits – only berries were allowed)
  • Grains (Small amount of quinoa was allowed)
  • Potatoes
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Tap water (Water had to be free of chlorine and fluoride etc)

I was also supposed to eat only organic, grass-fed meat – mostly to be chicken or turkey, along with fish. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to an organic butcher. Whenever I’m in Belfast I get grass-fed meat from an organic farmer in St. George’s Market, but there aren’t any organic farmers/butchers local to me (as far as I’m aware!).

The Shopping List:

Below you can see the shopping list I made before starting the 7 Day Cleanse…This will give you an idea of what I actually COULD eat!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 07.42.01

 

Supplements:

There were also a number of supplements I had to take as part of Dr. Junger’s cleanse. I had all but two of the supplements during the week. (The other two – Monolaurin and Berberine, I had to wait to arrive in the post – so I didn’t have them in time for the initial seven days.)

The supplements which I did have for the week were:

  • A Probiotic (At least 50billion microorganisms)
  • Digestive Enzymes (to include protease, amylase and lipase)
  • Saccharomyces boulardi (at least 5 billion strength – this is a probiotic yeast)
  • A B vitamin complex
  • Magnesium (400mg at night)

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I will do a follow-up post detailing how I got on over the course of my Clean Cleanse week so stay tuned 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

(Find part two my Clean Cleanse here.)

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P.S. Check out Dr. Junger’s website here.

Recipe: An Autumn Soup

soup, soup recipe

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It’s that time of year again when soup is truly back on the menu. A warm and hearty bowl of soup is one of the most comforting foods, particularly as the weather turns colder and the evenings get darker.

Below is one of my favourite autumnal soups which I have been making for a few years now. The butternut squash and cooking apples included in the recipe are typical seasonal foods for autumn and have wonderful flavour. I know Halloween is coming when I’m serving this soup!

The main ingredients include;

butternut squash soup
Delicious, seasonal butternut squash.

 

soup
Warming turmeric and cayenne spices.

 

soup
Cooking apples.

 

soup
Cashew Milk – made from unsalted cashews.

Nutritional Values

One serving of this soup contains approximately 240 calories. Including about 10g of (good!) fat, 5g of fibre and 6g of protein. It also provides lots of vitamin A (351% RDA). A serving of this soup contains 11% of your calcium requirements and 14% of your recommended daily iron intake.

soup

The Recipe: 

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 cooking apples, washed
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 500 ml stock or water
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Half teaspoon cayenne powder

Method: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel and de-seed the butternut squash. Cut both halves of the squash into approx. 1-inch wide semi circles.
  3. Core the apples and chop each apple roughly into quarters (you can peel the apples but there is no need if you plan to blend the soup together at the end).
  4. Roughly dice the onion.
  5. Peel and chop the carrot.
  6. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. 
  7. Place your squash, apple, onion, carrot and garlic on a baking tray. Melt the coconut oil and coat the vegetables with it. Sprinkle over your salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper in the quantities listed above, ensuring all the veg on the tray are evenly coated.
  8. Place the tray of vegetables in your preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes.
  9. Whilst the veg are roasting, pour one cup of cashews into a blender and blend to a powdery consistency – be careful not to over blend as they could begin to turn to cashew butter! Short sharp pulses work best with stronger blenders.
  10. Add two cups of water to the ground cashews and blend on high speed until totally smooth. (If your blender is not powerful enough to blend the cashew milk completely, simply pour it through a sieve at the end to catch any small bits of cashew that remain.)
  11. Remove vegetables from the oven and transfer to a pot. Mash the veg roughly with a potato masher.
  12. Add in 500ml of water or homemade stock. (Try to avoid stock cubes as they are generally full of flavour enhancers, trans-fats and other nasty ingredients – even the organic kind!) This soup will still be really flavourful with just the water! I like the consistency quite thick but you can add more water for a thinner soup (doing so will also reduce the calories/nutrition per serving).
  13. Using a hand-blender, blend the soup entirely so that it is completely smooth.
  14. Serve the soup with a ladle full of cashew milk – a much healthier alternative to cream! You could also simply add the cashew milk directly into the pot (as per my picture above) and stir it up – a better option if you plan to freeze it in portions.
  15. Enjoy 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

autumn soup

Rock ‘n’ Roll Smoothies: Brown Sugar

smoothies, vegan, chocolate

The second drink in my series of Rock ‘n’ Roll Smoothies is Brown Sugar. It is a  gluten-free, vegan glass of chocolatey yumminess. This is the kind of smoothie I typically make on the weekend because it tastes like such a treat – but it is actually super healthy too! By the way – it is also completely free of any refined sugar – despite its title!

The main ingredients include:

  • Raw Cacao Powder

cacao powderCacao powder is a raw, unprocessed and unsweetened version of cocoa powder. It has a higher nutritional value than cocoa powder because it has not been exposed to the roasting process.

  • Chocolate protein powder

protein powderI use raw vegan protein powder to up the protein level of my smoothies.

  • AvocadoavocadoA ripe avocado adds a lovely creaminess to smoothies.
  • Cocoa Nibs
    cocoa nibsThe cocoa nibs are used to decorate the smoothie.

R’n’R Smoothies: Nutrition per Serving:

One glass of Brown Sugar contains approximately 400 calories and will provide 19.5g of healthy fats, 45g carbs, of which 11g are from fibre and 17g of protein. One serving of this smoothie kept me full for a long time. 

A serving will also give you 63% of your calcium RDA (without any dairy!), 37% of your iron RDA, 21% of your vitamin A RDA and 13% of your RDA for vitamin C.

Sweet.

smoothie organic cacao chocolate

The Rock ‘n’ Recipe:

(Makes Two Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds.
  • 1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder.
  • 1 heaped scoop chocolate protein powder (or two tbsp).
  • 1 small ripe banana.
  • 1 ripe avocado.
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups rice milk.
  • A handful of ice cubes
  • 2 tsp cocoa nibs (to decorate).

Method:

  1. To grind up the chia seeds, use either a high-powered blender or a coffee grinder.
  2. Add all ingredients (except for cocoa nibs) to blender and blend from a low speed gradually moving up to high until entirely smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with cocoa nibs to decorate.

Tastes so good…

brownsugardiamonds-1320195

The Clean Coconut x

 

P.S. Check out Purple Haze here.