Is a Juice Cleanse Right for You?

 

Christmas isn’t even here yet, and already I’m thinking of New Year’s Resolutions – we all want to be healthier in 2013, right? But that doesn’t mean starting some crazy starvation diet as soon as the ball drops in Times Square. In fact, at Intelligent Gourmet, I advise against the short-term, extreme, gimmicky diets. Why suffer when you can have delicious, healthy food every day as part of your lifestyle?

Ok, ok, I know that many of you want to do something big to mark the start of a healthy new year. And, for you, I’ve developed the Intelligent Gourmet Juice Cleanse. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. And, by day 3, you’ll start feeling amazing as a year’s worth of toxins leave your body.

Yes, at 950 to 1100 calories per day of cleanse, you’ll lose weight, but most people are surprised at how they feel emotionally during a cleanse. The moments of joy and peace you feel are testament to what we all know: the mind and body are connected. Do something good for the one, and you’ll be doing something good for the other. Our cleanse is more balanced than most, including not only super-food fruits and vegetables, but things like almond milk spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Even on a cleanse, life is too short not to enjoy your food!

From Holiday Excess to a New Year’s Cleanse – Not So Fast!

Before embarking on a cleanse, take stock of your year – what have you been eating lately? Cake and cookies? Christmas dinner with hot buttered rolls and more than a little booze? Pizza, hamburgers, fries, nachos – you get the picture. Do you smoke or take drugs? Believe it or not, starting a cleanse in the middle of a poor diet is not recommended. You have to ease in. Prepare your body by eating a healthy diet for 3 days beforehand.

Contrary to popular opinion, you can get health benefits from just one day of a juice cleanse. Or you can continue for a week, or even a month. The Intelligent Gourmet cleanse includes six 16oz juices in glass jars per day, numbered in the order to drink them. We recommend sipping water in between. Repeat for 3 days, then graduate to eating “clean” foods for the next 3 days, like fruits, veggies, and small amounts of whole grains, nuts and seeds. We also love super foods like chia, goji berries, blueberries, ginger, acai and cacao.

Kick-Start Your New Year Right

Three days of consuming a nutrient-rich, non-bulky, diet is enough to help re-set your brain chemistry, allowing you to eat in moderation more easily (as long as you stick to healthy foods) as you work on America’s #1 New Year’s Resolution: Losing weight.

Check out our cleanse and get ready for a New Year and a New You!

Meatless Monday: Raw Vegan Lasagna

Raw Vegan Lasagna recipe

The words “raw” and “vegan” can be frightening to many average Americans, and if you’re already shuddering at the thought – just think of it this way: It’s a salad. A completely, non-threatening, apolitical salad, just like Mama used to make – but even better.

Just imagine this as a first course to an indulgent Italian dinner – not bad right?

FYI: A raw vegan diet consists of plant-based foods never heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit – the idea being that vitamins are easily destroyed by heat. In fact vitamin C is one of the most at-risk vitamins in high temperatures. Of course, your cooking method makes a big difference. If cook you must, steaming your veggies is best, boiling is worst (all the good stuff goes into the water instead of into you!).

The secret to making this raw vegan lasagna recipe delicious is the freshness of the ingredients. Summer squash and rich heirloom tomatoes are full of flavor, especially when combined with a sweet tomato relish, shredded fresh basil (on top), and a drizzle of olive oil. On the bottom are spinach leaves, and you can also include fresh oregano and thyme. But, you might be wondering about that cheese-like substance.

Pass the Cheese Please

There are a number of delicious ways to create faux ricotta. One of our favorite methods is to soak 2 cups of cashews for an hour, then put them in a food processor with lemon juice, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1 tsp salt, and 6 tbsp water. Cashews have a lower fat content than most nuts, and are high in copper and magnesium. They’re also delicious!