When most people think of a cleanse, they think of a dramatic juice-only diet for several days and not a pause on their regular life. At Village Juicery, we believe in a more gradual approach to resetting that allows your body to adapt to new healthy habits and make some mindful changes to your lifestyle. From the nutritionist point of view, entering or exiting a juice fast without proper preparation can send your body into shock and inadvertently introduce more toxins, which is counterproductive to the investment you are making in yourself.
The prepare stage of our reset program has two key objectives. First, you want to wean yourself off of the foods that contain the toxins you are trying to get rid of and slow down the digestive process (such as meat, dairy, wheat and processed foods). Secondly, you want to begin eliminating cooked foods altogether in order to help your body adapt to a 100% juice-based elimination phase. This raw diet needs to contain nutrient-dense foods that will give your body the heads up it needs to prepare for the toxin removal process. It’s important during this time to stick to organic produce as much as possible as you want to make sure you’re not adding any more toxicity to your body.
The average person should allow a minimum of two days to dedicate to this phase, so it is appropriately prepared for elimination. During preparation, you can eat as many raw meals as you like, as long as they are filled with whole, organic produce. Often, people will also lightly steam their vegetables, which will make the process easier from a diet perspective and still prepare your body effectively.
It is common to feel hungry at this stage, so it’s best to keep raw snacks on hand, such as carrots, celery sticks, apples, bananas, nuts and seeds to help curb those hunger pains while staying on track. The best way to prepare for this phase is to plan your meals and snacks in advance, which ensures you are successful in whatever you are looking to accomplish. Keep in mind that raw foods can be diverse and delicious and your options are almost endless. See below for some of my favourite raw food recipes.
Remember that positive thinking goes a long way. You have made the decision to prioritize yourself and your body during this reset program. You have it in you to be the absolute best that you can be and we are here to help and support you every step of the way.
Raw food wraps
Organic seaweed papers
Red pepper julienned
Red cabbage, steamed
Cashews, broken into smaller pieces
Sauce: tahini and miso paste and a touch of water
** bonus ingredient for added microenzymes: sprouts!
Cut the vegetables into thin strips to allow them to be easily rolled into the seaweed wrap. Use however much of any of the above vegetables listed, just remember that they need to fit into the wrap!
Mix the sauce to taste (an equal ratio of tahini and miso with a touch of water usually works best)
Place the seaweed wrap in front of you in a diamond shape.
Place the carrots, red pepper, cucumber, spinach and steamed cabbage into the wrap in a vertical position. Top the veggies with the sauce, as much or as little as you like. Add a sprinkle of crushed cashews for crunch and sprouts for taste and added nutrients. Finish off with a spritz of lemon (or lime if that’s all you have).
Wet the edges of the seaweed paper lightly so the edges will stick together. Roll the bottom part of the seaweed wrap over the toppings, then the left and right over top one another.
If you have a spiralizer, this recipe is a breeze! You can also slice the zucchini into thinly cut julienned strips and eat the pasta raw that way too.
One or two full zucchinis
Cold-pressed olive oil
1 clove garlic
**optional: crushed walnuts or almonds
Spiralize or cut your raw zucchini as the base ‘noodle’ for the pasta.
Cut your cherry tomatoes in halves and cut the basil into strips. Toss the cherry tomato, basil, about 1/3 a cup of cold-pressed olive oil, garlic (chopped in small pieces),1 teaspoon of sea salt and a dash of a pepper in a bowl.
Stir ingredients together so they are well blended but not too squashed.
Let the ingredients marinade for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
Once the sauce has finished being marinated, add to the noodles and mix together well.
Add in the fresh spinach and red onion (to taste and finely chopped), mix them in.
If you have chosen to add the crushed nuts, add them now (they will add a nice crunch).
At the end, drizzle lightly with a touch more olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Maca/Cacao Energy balls
These are great for when you are on the go and need to satiate some serious mid-day hunger pains.
2 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon maca powder
Organic shredded coconut
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup Mehdjool dates (take seeds out)
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Blend walnuts, sunflower seeds and sea salt in food processor or blender until it looks like sand. Blend the rest of the ingredients in until the mixture thickens, slowly add water if mixture seems too thick, but don’t overdue it!
The mixture should be sticky between the fingers and roll nicely into golf-ball sized balls.
Roll mixture into balls, place on a tray and store in the fridge.
About the Author
Marieke Nassara is a holistic nutritionist at Village Juicery and owner of Green Bean Wellness. She is currently completing her studies at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. Marieke is an advocate for using whole, organic foods as the groundwork for your health and truly believes in the power of juicing daily.