For the past couple of weeks, I've had a dull pain on and off under my right ribcage. Since I'm pretty active, I thought I might have pulled something. As time has gone on, other symptoms have cropped up. Things added up, and I knew I had to get it checked out. I spent about three hours yesterday at the First Care Center in town here, where they ordered a slew of blood work and an ultrasound of my liver. Happily, everything came back normal. But, the issue wasn't resolved.
So, I've decided to do the most that I can do: take matters into my own hands. That's where the cleanse comes in.
The cleanse that I went on this past summer was very similar to Kris Carr's cleanse in Crazy Sexy Diet, which is why I love that book and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to cleanse and change their way of eating. I'm focusing on eating mostly vegetables with almonds, lentils, and seeds as my "non vegetable" source of protein. I'm planning on adding in quinoa, millet, and amaranth later.
My cleanse, similarly to last summer's, will be mostly alkaline foods. Why? Alkaline foods boost your immunity, reduce inflammation, and allow our beautiful organs to work at their peak. Your cells crave an alkaline environment, and function best that way.
Alkaline foods include most vegetables, almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, cold-pressed hemp and flax oil, quinoa, millet and amaranth, lemons (surprised? Even though lemons are acidic, they have an alkalizing effect on your body), lentils, and even stevia.
That's pretty awesome, and mostly what I eat anyways, but sometimes acidic foods sneak into my diet. Check out this naughty list: alcohol, animal protein, caffeine, processed foods, sugar, fructose, margarine, wheat, white bread, white pasta, and corn syrup. I normally stay away from these, but have been drinking some super nice red wine, having caffinated tea, lots of chocolate, and some things with sugar in them. I also LOVE cheese, and drink cow's milk on occasion. Those are staying out.
A good reference for nourishing alkaline foods and naughty acidic foods can be found here, on Amazon's preview of Carr's book.
You don't want to over-alkaline your body, so some acidic foods that I'm incorporating into my cleanse in moderation are chickpeas and other beans.
So, here's my plan, for the next few days:
- Upon arising: water with the juice of a lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper
- After some tea, I rock out the blender (and hopefully don't wake the upstairs neighbors) with a green smoothie
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 4 leaves of kale, chopped to make things easy on the blender
- 1/2 small apple
- 1 handful of parsley
- 1 handful cilantro
- 3 beet green leaves
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- a pinch of stevia
- 2/3 cup of water
- Lunch is a huge salad. In yesterday's lunch, I made a mistake and added a teeny bit of tomato sauce, thinking it was alkaline. Turns out that cooked tomatoes are acidic, but raw tomatoes are alkaline. Ah well. After I ate this, I had some chickpeas and a couple of carrots dipped in almond butter. Delicious!
In this salad I have a whole cucumber, a bunch of baby spinach leaves, a carrot, a bunch of almonds (soaked), garbanzo beans, and a bit of raw apple cider vinegar.
- Dinner will be a salad with a small smoothie, and some cooked greens. I think dinner will vary the most from day to day, depending on what Andrew's eating.
Along with documenting my cleanse, I'm going to be posting recipes of things I had made this past week that I want to share with you -- such as gluten free granola bars and a super healthy carrot cake.
I'm excited to see how focusing on mostly raw, alkaline foods heals my system and promotes great health. Hopefully I figure out what my symptoms add up to in the meantime, too. Another fellow blogger who is shifting her diet into a "personal improvement plan" right now is Lisa - check it out!