If you haven't already, read Part 1: "What They Don't Tell You About Doing a Raw Food Cleanse: The Good, The Bad & The Broccoli"
If after that, you still want to give it a try, here are some tips and warnings:
1. DO Prepare - Don't start this if all you have in your fridge is wilted lettuce and last night's leftovers and say you'll "get groceries tomorrow". Get them in advance of your cleanse and prepare. You'll need [organic where available] fruits, vegetables, plain yogurt (or flavoured if preferred) with probiotics.
> Apples, pears, grapes, tomatoes, and other firm fruits whose skins you eat - soak in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar (about 1 tbsp) for about 5-10 minutes. Rinse and lay out to dry on paper towels. When dry, wrap in paper towels and place in resealable bags in the fridge. This process removes dirt and excess chemicals from the fruits, and ensuring they're dry helps keep them fresh longer.
> Greens - de-stem and cut/tear into smaller pieces, wrap in paper towels and place in resealable bags in the fridge. This helps keep them dry while in the fridge, and makes smoothie and salad prep easier, as all you have to do is grab a handful, wash, and use.
2. DO Ease your way in - If your diet is currently terrible, transition gradually.
For 1-2 weeks before -
> Remove meat
> Remove flour
> Remove sweets, candies and soda
> Remove dairy
> Simultaneously introduce more fruits and veggies
Then, try the raw food cleanse.
3. DO Ensure there is variety - No one wants to eat the same thing everyday, especially when we're talking about raw food. Try and stock up on many different fruits and vegetables, so you can make many combinations.
> Recipes - search for and decide in advance what smoothie and salad recipes you want to try out, so you're not guessing each day.
4. DO Make your salads wholesome - Many say they don't feel full and satisfied for long after eating a salad. This is likely due to the ingredients used. Lettuce (unless it's Romaine or Iceberg) has very little nutritional value compared to some of the big guns like baby spinach when it comes to filling salads, so opt for the latter if you don't have Romaine or Iceberg lettuce.
> Add as many ingredients as you feel like: carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, avocado, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, ground flax), and even fruits like apple and pineapple.
> If completely raw isn't for you, add some baked/dry roasted nuts and dried fruit (yes, dried fruits aren't exactly raw).
5. DO Push through the first few days - The first 3 or 4 days are the hardest, as your body adjusts to the changes and starts the process of flushing out toxins. Everyone is different but the most common side-effects are hunger, headaches, nausea, cravings, increased sweating and frequent urination and bowel movements. Push past and it gets easier.
> Hunger and Cravings - have fruits on hand to keep hunger at bay and minimise the chance of cheating and grabbing something unhealthy.
> Headaches - Drink water.
6. DO Drink Water, Water, Water! - Try to drink 3 litres per day to aid in the flush of toxins and digestion.
7. DO Exercise - Speed up the detoxification process and get even more toxins out through sweat! This especially helps with weight loss.
1. DO NOT eat raw kale, broccoli and cabbage. Kale is a great addition to your smoothies, but learn from my experience with gas, bloating and constipation, and don't eat raw.
> See Do #4
2. DO NOT starve yourself. If you're hungry outside of the "schedule", eat! Grab a banana or have another smoothie. Your body needs the nutrients, so give it. Not eating enough during a cleanse can cause light-headedness, fatigue, malnutrition, muscle deterioration and more.
> Pack fruits and yogurt so you have a quick-fix when you're on the go.
3. DO NOT pig out and immediately go back to your regular diet at the end of a cleanse. Ease your way back out with soup and lightly cooked vegetables, and gradually re-add the whole grains, legumes, eggs, dairy, meat etc.
Are you gonna give it a try?
Then be sure to tag us (@coachktt and @corewellnesstt) in your photos and/or use the hashtags #7DaysOfHappyApple and #7DaysOfSalads so we can see your journey!
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 1.868.749.6716.
Follow my health and fitness journey on Instagram @coachktt, and when you're ready, sign up for CORE, and let's Transform Your Life!