I've wanted to do a cleanse for awhile, mainly just to experience it. I toyed with Kaeng Raeng, but I just think that I would miss chewing. In fact, I know I would miss it--having gone for a good long time last fall without being able to eat solid food, I have no doubt that I would crash and burn on a smoothie or juice cleanse.
So, a couple of years ago, I saw that Chef Amber Shea Crawley had a cleanse that allows folks to actually eat real food. So, I bought the booklet. I was already familiar with banana "nice cream" so that wasn't a revelation. Coconut butter filled dates? That one got whipped up almost immediately. I didn't get to the whole cleanse until this week, though, as I knew Dani was going to be out of town and I would be busy. Having my meals plotted out for me with very little cooking sounded perfect.
The recipes in the cleanse are tasty. However, I do want to warn you that if you hate nutritional yeast you probably won't like the cleanse. Over the course of three days, you're eating a good 1/4 cup or better a day, and Nooch is a key component in the dressings and sauces at lunch and dinner each day. As she noted in the Facebook support group (which you can join after buying the booklet), there's really not a good sub for nutritional yeast in terms of the flavor and the nutritional profile. So, just a caution.
I'm a fiend for Nooch, so no problems there for me.
I did make a couple of adjustments. I'm not a fan of tahini, so I subbed almond butter and it worked fine (there is a hummus recipe in there that I swapped sesame seeds for the tahini, measure for measure--after all that's all tahini is).
I've had chia in the house ever since reading Born to Run, but I tend to like to use it baked in things, not straight up as pudding. So, I swapped the chia pudding (Day 3 breakfast) for Day 1's fruit salad. If you like rice pudding or tapioca and can handle those textures, I'm sure you'd like chia pudding.
I don't drink a lot of coffee these days--usually one good stout cup in the morning. And I drink it black. So, I kept my caffeine sources--coffee and tea. I did switch to Tulsi Rose tea in the evenings. And I wasn't worried about a little stevia. I also allowed myself to add an extra piece of fruit each day.
Would I do it again? Yes. With the adjustments this is actually a good, varied three days of vegan, somewhat raw, gluten-free eating that I don't have to think about. The portion sizes kept me full. The only time I really felt like I was pushing it was Day 2. I walked five miles (dog walks + orthodontist visit) and felt so good I decided to go ahead and do a 42 minute step routine. I was out of juice 30 minutes in, so I took a water break and finished up. Had I had a banana before hand, I think I would have been fine--it had been about four hours since lunch. Chef Amber does give you some "bulk up" options if you're especially active, so it wouldn't have been cheating. I can see myself doing this again after all of the holiday excess I know I'm about to engage in.
If you're interested in trying the cleanse, I recommend buying directly from Chef Amber's site (click on the cover above) as it's about $5 less than what Amazon charges.
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.