Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse recap

In case you hadn’t been following my Twitter account last month, I did indeed finish Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet Adventure Cleanse on Jan. 31. Wooo! No one was more impressed about the fact that I completed it than myself.

Never enough green juice.

Never enough green juice.

The third week of the cleanse was a breeze. My body had already been humming from consuming so much raw produce, juices, smoothies, salads and soups that it wasn’t that hard to get through the last week. My body had adjusted to consuming less and eating healthier food/more roughage, so it wasn’t hard to do so for seven more days. I still saw the light at the end of the tunnel cups of coffee with almond milk.

As time went on in the cleanse, I started to latch on to some favorite, easy-to-make recipes. As a busy human, I appreciated that Kris made some recipes that could be prepped quickly the morning of, so naturally her Green Guru Smoothie became my morning jam. With lettuce, cucumber, pear and good fats in the form of avocado, it had enough sweetness to be a tasty a.m. option. I also became fond of the Ezekiel Sprouted Grain cereal I mentioned in the last post. The amount of protein makes this stay with you, and the crunchy texture was something that I apparently missed when giving up cold cereals.

kale salad ingredients

The makings of a delicious massaged kale salad.

Simple meals of baked tofu, whole grains, steamed and raw veggies and big salads became the norm, as well as soups, the Eggless Tofu Salad, Buddha Bowl and Massaged Kale salad (recipes from the book). There were plenty of recipes in the book, but some required more time or dehydrating, (I am dehydrator-less), so I stuck with the recipes that worked well for me and this helped me succeed in finishing the cleanse.

And even more salads. I thought this one with a bit of everything was lovely.

And even more salads. I thought this one with a bit of everything was lovely.

Here are some things I learned as a result of taking on the Crazy Sexy Diet Adventure cleanse. Maybe they’ll help you if you decide to take it on one day.

Takeaways:

- When I do this cleanse again I will want to make sure that I have more time and use it to do the majority of food prep during the weekends. I struggled with meal repeats sometimes due to lack of time and knowing that I knew how to make certain things, so I feel like my experience wasn’t most representative or the best it could be. Maybe it’s because I’m a crazy person who decided to do a cleanse while working, going to grad school and living life, but I definitely suggest food prep on the weekends and juicing every other day so your cleanse goes smoothly.

- I definitely suggest starting this cleanse on a Monday. As a result of starting mine on a Thursday so it would end at the end of the month, I unintentionally made it so that the seventh day juice fast days were on a Wednesday, my busiest day of the week. Next time I want to try the one day/week juice fasts, so I will start it at the beginning of a week.

- I kind of wish I had a buddy doing the cleanse with me. Trust me, I’m not codependent, but it would’ve been great to message or talk to someone else who was going through the cleanse with you and feeling the things you were. Instead, it was my friends and coworkers who heard about all the things I was craving/missing while detoxing. Accountability is excellent, and next time it’d just be nice to have someone around who’d know what I’m talking about.

- I did this cleanse mainly without reading the 21-day guide in the back of the book. Now, I don’t know if that affected my experience at all, but since I’m not into prayers/meditations/neti-potting, I felt like I followed the cleanse well enough just taking into account the food/exercise recommendations. Next time, I may read the passages each day and write down my thoughts/experiences to get a better overall picture of how I felt on the cleanse.

Overall as I mentioned before, this cleanse was a lot easier than I’d anticipated, and not as scary as most. When I told friends I could eat tofu, Veganaise, gluten-free bread and sprouted grain cereal, they kind of shook their heads in disbelief. Clearly more challenging cleanses exist, but despite the fact that you could still have some beloved foods, this cleanse forced to be more conscious of what I was eating everyday, and helped me incorporate more greens and veggies into my diet. It’s been said before, but it’s super easy to eat unhealthily on a vegan diet. This cleanse is excellent for those who want to recharge but not totally have to restrict themselves into doing a cleanse that might set them up for failure. This one is meant to be done successfully, and I think Kris Carr gives her readers all the proper tools to do so.

Raw trail mix has become a new favorite snack as a result of the cleanse.

Raw trail mix has become a new favorite snack as a result of the cleanse.

Things I aim to keep up (for the most part) post-cleanse:

- Water with lemon every morning upon waking (no cayenne)

- Drinking a juice or smoothie everyday. Not a huge one that I did on the cleanse, but a smaller one so that I still get a burst of energy from green veggies first thing

- Having a salad every day (whether meal-sized or side-sized)

- Consuming less sugar overall, and limiting desserts to once or twice a week. Except dark chocolate, as that doesn’t count (to me)

- Focus on eating more alkaline foods than acidic. I won’t be as regimented, but I will strive to stay as close to 60% alkaline/40% acidic as possible

- Keeping my intake of gluten in check. As I mentioned before, I am pretty in love with gluten and breads, but I am in tune with how it makes my body feel, (sluggish). As hard as it’ll be, I’m going to try to keep my intake of it to a minimum so as to not inflict undue strife on my body and to focus on more whole foods instead

Overall, I loved this cleanse and would highly suggest it to anyone looking to refocus, recharge and clean up their act. If I could do it, you definitely can too. It’s all about focusing on getting back to basics and scaling back from those indulgences for a bit, which is something I think we can all benefit from once in a while, even while living our vegan lifestyles.

Did you also take on a cleanse in January? If so, which one? How’d you do, and what were some of your biggest challenges?

Crazy Sexy Diet Adventure Cleanse: week 1 & 2 recap

As of this past Wednesday, I’ve completed weeks one and two of the Crazy Sexy Diet Adventure Cleanse! Honestly, I’m super impressed with myself. In the beginning I told friends that I’d be happy if I got through week one. And here I am, now in week three of three, and totally kicking ass. If I can get over my caffeine/sugar/wheat cravings, I’m sure just about anyone can. Here’s my recap of my first two weeks on Kris Carr’s cleanse:

Week One

As I mentioned in my last post, day one of this cleanse was a bit magical. I was riding high on good vibes and visions of clear-mindedness and health. Everything was great on day one, minus the crippling caffeine headache I experienced around 4 p.m. After having some leftover green juice from breakfast and resting a bit, I felt just fine. My meals were tasty and I wasn’t hungry at any point in the day.

Day two: This was my awful, bad, no good day of the cleanse. I’ve heard some people say that day three is the worst for them, but not me. Day two was horrid. My great mood for day one? Vanished. My cravings for caffeine/sugar? Back with a vengeance. I started going off to my friend/co-worker about how much I wanted a cookie and coffee and about how tough this was. It was a totally mentally draining day, but thankfully I realized that all these feelings were normal. My body was detoxing and it was angry about it.

The Green Guru Smoothie from "Crazy Sexy Diet." so much green!

The Green Guru Smoothie from “Crazy Sexy Diet.” So much green!

To celebrate finishing week one: dinner at Chaco Canyon! I had the side house salad + a build your own grain bowl with brown rice, tahini sauce, baked tofu and all the veggies. I barely ate half the bowl.

To celebrate finishing week one: dinner at Chaco Canyon! I had the side house salad + a build your own grain bowl with brown rice, tahini sauce, baked tofu and all the veggies. I barely ate half the bowl.

The rest of the week was excellent. I made some delicious meals/salads/juices/smoothies from the book and had leftovers for days, (which is why I’m not recapping every single meal I ate – it’d get repetitive). And as the week went on, I started to feel a bit lighter, and a bit clearer. Remember how in my first post about the cleanse I said I’d be doing the one day per week juice cleanse as prescribed in the book? Well, that didn’t end up happening. See, in the book you’re to start the cleanse on a Monday and have a juice fast each Sunday, which would make it easier if you work a traditional week. But in my infinite wisdom I started the cleanse on a Thursday (I timed it just so that I would be done with the cleanse at the end of January), so that meant that my juice cleanse days would fall on Wednesday – easily my busiest day of the week as I work a full day then go to class for four hours. So, yeah. I know myself and know that I’d be cranky and irritable and not able to focus without food for a whole day, so this time around I’m not juice cleansing. I’m hoping that at some point later on in the year, I’ll do a one or few day juice fast over a weekend to try it out.

Week Two

For some reason, I struggled a bit more during week two than week one. Blame the way the stars aligned or my schedule, but things just didn’t fall into place the way that I’d hoped they would. I went out and bought all the necessary groceries that I needed for the week and struggled with finding the time to cook/prep them. As a result, I did some repeats of meals that were easy/quick (the Massaged Kale Salad and the Buddha Bowl), and everything else was cobbled together salads, grains/beans/veggies/fats combos and admittedly, some take-out (thank goodness for Veggie Grill’s cleanse-friendly salads).

Lentil soup, steamed/noochy broccoli and brown rice.

Lentil soup, steamed/noochy broccoli and brown rice.

Tofu Eggless Salad ("Crazy Sexy Diet" recipe) on gluten-free Food For Life brown rice bread with carrots for lunch. This made so much, and I happily ate leftovers for days.

Tofu Eggless Salad (“Crazy Sexy Diet” recipe) on gluten-free Food For Life brown rice bread with carrots for lunch. This made so much, and I happily ate leftovers for days.

Despite being a bit scatter-brained, I still felt awesome in week two. My desires for sugar and carbs have subsided, likely due to substituting actual fruit and drinking green tea once per day. I realized that green tea will give me a buzz and keep me up at night if I have it too late, which is a little mindblowing to this former two cups of coffee a day girl. The juices have also treated me well, but I found that having just juice or a smoothie before lunch wasn’t quite filling enough, so I added in a snack in between juice and lunch. I’m loving Ezekiel’s Flax Sprouted Grain cereal. It’s not gluten-free, but it’s allowed on the cleanse. Unlike regular cold cereal, it has tons of protein and fills me up.

Generally speaking about the cleanse, I haven’t followed Carr’s instructions entirely. Namely, I try to work out three-four days/week, but she recommends five. I try to remember to dry brush before I shower, but I don’t always, and I am not neti-potting. I also am not following her daily prayers/affirmations but am reading them. I’m just not into them. That goes for the meditation suggestion, too. In another life/time where I had infinite amounts of free time and no homework, I might actually have tried to follow the non-food aspects of this cleanse more closely to see if they helped more in terms of detoxification and an internal overall. But sadly that’s not the case right now.

Favorite cleanse snacks:

- Almond butter on Food For Life brown rice bread

- hummus on brown rice cakes

- celery and almond butter

- kale chips

- raw trail mix

Realizations as a result of the cleanse so far:

- I’m getting way more into tea. It used to be a once in a while thing that I didn’t always enjoy, but I’m experimenting more with different varietals and treating it like a grand affair whenever I have it. It helps take the pangs of no coffee away slightly.

- Hemp seeds rule. I’d never bought them before, but I love throwing them in salads and on top of bowls. So much protein and nutrients in such tiny seeds!

- Massaged kale salads also rule. I’d read about them forever and after making them, I’ve realized how easy, versatile and delicious they truly are.

- I hate to admit this, but not eating gluten is really contributing to my feeling lighter, I think. It’s total speculation as I’m not eating a lot of things I used to, but I have a feeling that a lot of it is due to laying off my beloved wheat-y bread. This hurts.

- This city is a lot more cleanse-friendly than I thought. In addition to Veggie Grill, Healeo, Chaco Canyon and Remedy Teas have all treated me well in terms of tasty snacks and meals. I’m already planning on creating a cleanse-friendly Seattle restaurant round-up post-cleanse.

Feeling good, guys. Just a few days left to go!

New Year, new starts: The Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse

Happy New Year! My blogging hiatus was intentional and much needed as I recovered mentally and physically after a rigorous academic and work quarter. I learned that working full-time while attending graduate school full-time is not very smart (unless you’re in a hurry to graduate, which I’m not), so I am slowing down and going to part-time status as of (this) winter quarter. During the break in December I visited Portland, cooked many delicious meals, hung with the boyfriend and cats and read for pleasure. And ate lots and lots of sweets.

Like a bite of this one: a delicious, buttercreamy Christmas cupcake from Sweetpea Bakery in PDX.

Like this one: a delicious, buttercreamy Christmas cupcake from Sweetpea Bakery in PDX.

And now it’s January again, and I’m feeling the results of holiday feasting and all those aforementioned sweets. Meaning, I’ve been pretty tired, rundown and not my normal, awesome self. For the past two years, I’ve done a sort of “clean slate” approach to food and eating in January (in 2011 I did a elimination diet that was monitored by my naturopath to check for food sensitivities, and in January 2012 I did a month of clean eating as defined by me).  I feel that it’s nice to say goodbye to the times of eating whatever I want, seriously up my intake of green veggies and fruits, and lessen all things processed and not so kind to my body at the start of a new year. I’ve been vegan for years, but as I mentioned last year that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything I eat radiates health and nutrients. So I really am digging this tradition of keeping myself in check at the start and refreshing my view of eating and creating good intentions to have good habits again.

This year will be no different, but this time I am going full-on cleanse, along with the rest of the world. I was inspired by a few things:

1) I got a juicer for Christmas!!! I’ve had this exact one on my Amazon wish list for years, and now it’s mine

juicer

2) A feature in the February 2013 issue of VegNews, which broke down different types of cleanses and shared staff members’ experiences with them. I found it really helpful when choosing mine
3) “Crazy Sexy Diet” by Kris Carr, which I picked up over my break

As of last Thursday, I’ve been following Kris Carr’s 21-day cleanse included in the book, and will also be doing a one-day juice fast each week. No caffeine, no gluten, no sugar, no processed food and no meat or dairy (natch). Prior to starting the cleanse, I wasn’t too concerned about it, as it seemed more than doable and delicious, and I’ve been right thus far.

Today marks day five (I started the cleanse on Thursday, Jan. 10 so that I could end right at the end of the month), and I’m feeling good, better than I thought I would. Day one had me so optimistic, and excited about my healthier future, and I consumed the primarily high-raw meals with gusto. I got a caffeine headache at 4 p.m., but it was nothing some green juice couldn’t fix. Day two has been the most trying day by far. I woke up, was craving coffee and toast and my mood had completely shifted to one of “screw this,” “this is hard!,” etc., much to the chagrin of those around me. The rest of the days have been great, and I’m really enjoying cooking (or not cooking) new to me foods and enjoying such fresh meals.

My first (very) green juice from the juicer.

My first (very) green juice from the juicer: the Make Juice, Not War Green Juice from “Crazy Sexy Diet” (all these food photos are made from recipes in the book).

Another first: massaged salad, the Shaved Kale Avocado Salad. So, so good.

Another first: massaged salad, the Shaved Kale Avocado Salad. So, so good.

Possibly our favorite meal from the book thus far: the Buddha bowl, filled with good fats like avocado, hemp seeds and oils.

Possibly our favorite meal from the book thus far: the Buddha Bowl, filled with good fats like avocado, hemp seeds and oils.

I am more than a little scared about the juice fasts. I’ve never done one before though I’ve been curious for years. The plan allows for easing out of them with whole foods at the end of the day, though, so I think I can handle it. The first one is this Wednesday. I’m also a little scared about making it the whole way through, as I’ve never done that before and have caved early on both past ones due to circumstances I could control (it was tough) and those I could not, (best friend was visiting and not cleansing). So here’s to accountability due to public awareness!

As I mentioned last January, this restart in terms of looking at food and health isn’t due to wanting to lose weight or reach a certain specific goal, but rather to just clean up my act and make health a priority again. It’s easy to get lost in the Mighty-O Donuts, Daiya-laden pizzas, fake meat sandwiches and what-not, and I do not begrudge anyone for having them. For they are delicious! But I personally need to scale back from time to time, and I figure that there’s no better time than the beginning of a new year. Fresh starts, clean insides. That’s my 2013 motto. Wish me luck, and I’ll be posting more about what I’m eating and how I’m doing throughout January.

Did you make any health-relevant New Year’s resolutions/goals/intentions? If so, what are they, and how are you doing thus far?