Here’s The Skinny

Every year when my husband and I do our annual cleanse, I get asked a ton of questions about it. There are many types of cleanses and detoxes out there and it can be overwhelming. I think a lot of people also associate it with deprivation and sacrifice and assume that they will be miserable. I chose to do the Clean Program years ago (I actually think it might be ten years now!) and I chose it because you CAN eat. I wanted my husband to do it with me, and there is NO way he would be on board with a juice cleanse or The Master Cleanse

When I originally decided to do it, Clean Program had 2 versions:

Plan A was you drink a smoothie for breakfast, have a large lunch from the list of approved foods and then a smoothie or soup for dinner.

Plan B was that you had a smoothie for breakfast, and your other two meals from the list of foods that you are allowed to have. You can snack as much as you want as long as you are eating and drinking from the list of approved foods being mindful of portion size. It is also suggested to leave a 12 hour window between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day to give the organs of digestion a break.

We chose to do  Plan B where you could eat the two meals and we continue to do that every year. Clean program doesn’t really even promote this method anymore because they feel that Plan A is a better detox, and it probably is, but this works for us. And to be honest, we usually end up eating a lot of soup for dinner anyway, so we kind of are doing it the way they suggest. There is also a whole list of supplements that are recommended to support the process. 

Here is what a typical day looks like on Clean  (and sometimes even after Clean)
• Wake up and Tongue Scrape –first thing I do every morning after my meditation
• Brush teeth
• Celery juice
• Exercise /stretch/dance/move somehow, even if it’s just for 20 minutes
• 16 oz of room temperature water with lemon
• Dry brush 
• Shower and essential oil applications
• Green smoothie with Amazing Grass powder with frozen berries, chia seeds, collagen peptides, Amla powder, coconut water, aloe vera juice, dragon fruit, an apple, a handful of raw cashews, a few kale or dandelion leaves and a few ice cubes
• Cup of Kukicha tea with stevia – my favorite tea!
• Snack if I need it – raw nuts, lara bars or half of my afternoon smoothie.
• Lunch – salad from the list of foods you can have.
• Snack – Smoothie made with Orgain Organic Plant Protein powder,  almond milk, collagen peptides and I vary the fruit depending on my mood, but wild blueberries almost always make the cut
• “Cocktails” made with kombucha – My husband Joe has mastered our “Mocktails” before dinner with coconut water, kombucha, fresh mint, fresh lemon, a few pieces of pineapple or some berries. We kind of wing it each night and the tang from the kombucha satisfied my craving for a glass of wine. 
• Dinner – meal or soup from list of foods you can have – We ate a lot more soup for dinner than on previous cleanses. We didn’t feel as hungry this time for some reason. I made a giant pot of soup every Sunday that was perfect for evenings that I worked late.
• Water with lemon throughout the day
• Herbal tea after dinner, Tulsi Rose and Tulsi lavender are favorites, we also really love Golden Milk or Turmeric Tea in the evening
• There is a list of supplements that help the process that we take throughout the day
• Natural Calm before before bed
• Alternating detox Epsom salt baths, and Castor Oil Wraps through out the week

I also scoured through all of my healthy cookbooks before the cleanse even started searching for new recipes made from the foods we are able to eat. I made a giant list of possibilities and we tried some new recipes that were definitely keepers. The key to success I believe is being creative with the list of what you can have. As long as the the meals are tasty, you don’t feel like you are being deprived or you are missing out.

Looking forward to keeping the inspiration for clean eating going. I still have many new recipes to try from the list that I had made.Our goal is to be in the 80/20 range. Clean eating 80% of the time and indulging a bit more on the weekends the other 20% of the time. 

I’ve been asked why we do this every year and why January? Often detoxes and cleanses are associated with Spring. We do it after the holidays to reset our systems after all of the overeating and over enjoying the foods that we have to celebrate the holidays. I just can’t say no to a Christmas cookie. Taking all of the inflammatory and toxic things like sugar, alcohol, wheat, etc., out of your system results in not craving them anymore, increased energy and you drop the extra weight and bloating that may have occurred over the holiday season. Plus, our social calendar is light during January so we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything.

I would recommend reading the book Clean, if you are thinking about trying a cleanse. It’s very informative and helps you understand WHY you eliminate certain foods and why you add specific supplements. Clean Program sells kits that contain shake mixes, all of the supplements you would need, but you can also just get everything at Whole Foods, Amazon or where ever you do your shopping. You can also visit the Clean Program website where you can take a peek at the list of what you can eat and what you eliminate for the 21 days. There’s great recipes and all kinds of inspiration on the blog. As I mentioned you can also order products, but it’s not necessary, I find I’m able to find everything I need in the stores or on Amazon and save a great deal of money.

We felt so great after our cleanse this year that we have decided to do a one week cleanse every few months, perhaps as the seasons change just to keep the inspiration going. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes and if my husband will actually try to wiggle out of that commitment!

Let’s Talk Dirty

Posted by Judy Moon

January is upon us and you know what that means – Clean Program!

Every January my husband Joe and I do Dr. Junger’s Clean Program – I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve done it, I think it’s maybe 5 or so. It has become our go-to way to kick off the New Year and push the reset button after a month of holiday fun and good cheer. It’s also a nice path to take to starting off your year on the road to health and wellness. It’s kind of the ultimate wellness seed.

I was inspired by a client years ago who would do it every January and then often after a vacation. I always said to her “I could never do it, 21 days without x,y and z…” anyone who knows me knows x,y and z stand for red wine, cheese and at that time pasta. I then reached a point of switching from “I could never do it” to “I have to do it”. So I bought the book Clean, made my husband read it as well and we were sold.

A lot of clients, and friends ask me “how” we do it. There’s a few ways you can go about it. When we first did it there were 2 options available on the website, I think they were called Renew and Refresh. One option was to buy the kit, drink a shake for breakfast, a meal from the list of foods you can have for lunch and a shake for dinner. Snacks could also be from the list and it came with a boatload of supplements.

The other option was a kit with shake mix and less supplements and you had the shake for breakfast and 2 smaller meals from the list of foods you can have, again having a snack if you need one from the list.

Since my husband was being a good sport and doing this with me, I opted for the second option since I knew this beer drinking, chicken wing eating dude was not going to have a shake for dinner.

We did great, lost some weight, had more energy, stopped having food cravings and felt like a million bucks. Was it as big of a detox as if we had done the other option, no, but I felt so much better and I was sold.

The following year, the second option wasn’t available on the site, and they explained to me that they felt the other option was a better detox, more thorough, etc. and that was what they were promoting, but I could always still do it the other way if I chose and just buy the ingredients separately.  So I reread the book and just purchased what I needed without buying the kit.

For a protein shake, I went with the Chocolate Plant Fusion 

For the supplements, we took PB8 probiotics, Enzymedica digestive enzymes, Milk Thistle, and Oregano oil Capsules which I picked up at Whole Foods. The other supplements are also available there as well.

I drank Natural Calm at night to help “keep things moving” and it helps you sleep well.

We eat from the list of foods you can have and avoid the things you can’t have and drink tons of water. We actually find that by week 2, we are just having soup for dinner or sometimes we actually have a shake, your appetite does change and your portions get smaller. You get fuller faster.

So over the years we’ve added some things to increase the detox process and some of these things have become daily habits.

Here’s what a typical day looks like on Clean (and sometimes even after Clean)

  • Wake up and Tongue Scrape
  • Oil Pull for 10 minutes with coconut oil (this is new this year for me!)
  • Brush teeth
  • Axe Detox drink
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Dry brush
  • Shower
  • Plant fusion shake with frozen berries, flax seed, almond milk, raw coconut cream, colloidal minerals (the minerals are a new addition this year),
  • Cup of Kukicha tea with stevia
  • Snack if I need it – raw nuts
  • Lunch – salad from the list of foods you can have
  • Snack – green drink with wheat grass powder, kale, more berries, coconut water and an apple. (this is my go to afternoon pick me up everyday)
  • Dinner – meal or soup from list of foods you can have.
  • Water with lemon throughout the day. (also started adding chlorophyll to the water)
  • Herbal tea after dinner, Tulsi Rose is a favorite.
  • Natural Calm before bed
  • I take the supplements according to directions on labels.
  • Alternating detox epsom salt baths, and Castor Oil Wraps through out the week.
  • The Castor oil wraps are new to me this year as well. I just rub it all over the abdomen especially near the liver and the lymph channels wrap some saran wrap around myself, put on an old T shirt and chill for 45 minutes.

Is this the best most thorough detox on the planet, probably not, but it works for us. At the end of the 21 days, we’ve shed some weight, feel less puffy, have more energy, have more clarity, feel inspired to take better care of ourselves, and are motivated to eat better.

I would call that a success!

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Kicked in the Pants, Part 2

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Posted by Judy Moon

A few weeks back I posted “What To Do When You Get Kicked In The Pants“, a post about a detox I discovered that was much needed after over indulging for a weekend celebrating dear friends wedding day. It was a weekend of laughing , eating amazing food and maybe indulging in one too many cocktail and slider. So I tried this secret detox drink.

Here’s what I noticed:

  • Within one day my digestion shifted.
  • I had started to feel a little “refluxey” , not sure if that’s a word, but you get the picture, and within a day, those symptoms vanished
  • Within a few days, I was used to the taste. I actually grew to like it. The stevia helped for sure!
  • I felt more energized
  • My appetite shifted- I was less hungry between meals and more satisfied when I ate.
  • I felt like I craved less junky foods and my salads started to look like old friends again.
  • I felt less bloated
  • At the end of the 2 weeks I had dropped a few pounds.

I made all three servings of the fresh lemon juice, Braggs Apple Cider, cinnamon, cayenne and a little stevia with some water in quart jar for the day each day.

I typically drink water with lemon first thing in the morning, but now I have shifted to this lovely concoction and I have to say I really love it. I love ritual in my life and there is something that feels good about starting my day this way.

I will definitely add this to my arsenal of secret weapons to reboot myself when I have a little too much fun. And with the holidays right around the corner…enough said.

Happy Detoxing!


What To Do When You Get Kicked In The Pants!

Posted by Judy Moon

I recently went to the most beautiful wedding. Good friends of ours got married in a park where the leaves were just starting to turn those soft beautiful shades of gold and the light from the sun peeking through the branches. They stood under an arbor that the groom made himself (it’s nice to have a handy man!), decorated with hydrangea and fall grasses and they spoke their vows to each other with all of us as witnesses. It was lovely. Not a dry eye in the crowd, not even my husband!

The reception was equally as wonderful – a brunch at Bolete restaurant,– farm to table food – chicken and biscuit sliders, halibut ceviche tacos, mushroom flatbreads, duck hash with poached eggs, butterscotch pudding, just to name a few of the highlights. The groom not only is handy, but is also a Mixologist and had a very swanky cocktail menu with catchy names.

Spending a weekend of fun, amazing food, raising your glass for many toasts is one of my favorite ways to spend time with friends, especially if you are celebrating such a special occasion. However it can also leave you feeling like you got kicked in the pants!

Luckily, I happened to see this “secret detox drink” that someone shared on Facebook. I love synchronicity – need a detox – here you go! I have done my share of cleanses, juice cleanses, etc, but I was looking for something new and not as extreme as the 21 day Clean program I usually do in January. This was appealing to me since it’s a variation on some things I am already doing daily- I already drink water with lemon and apple cider vinegar every morning, so this is just more of that with some cinnamon and some cayenne. Kind of like the Master Cleanse, but you only do this for 2 weeks and you just eat healthy meals. You just drink the secret detox drink 20 minutes before your meals. I will keep you posted on my experience and if it rejuvenated me at all!

Photo from Megan Keller Photography

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My Love Affair with Ginger

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Posted by Alicia McCarthy

My love affair with Ginger began long ago when I discovered how wonderful it is for calming an upset stomach. Recently, my affection for this underground rhizome prompted me investigate into how effective ginger is not only as a digestive aid, but also as a means to reduce joint inflammation and nausea. During a cold or flu, ginger warms the body thereby promoting a “healthy sweat”, which is essential for detoxifying when the immune system is compromised.

When I’ve overindulged, or feel intestinal discomfort or gas, I rely heavily on ginger’s ability to relax the muscles of the GI tract. Usually, with just a few slices of the peeled root steeped in hot water, and some soothing abdominal massage, I feel relief almost immediately. Food Matters has a nice write-up on the “Terrific Benefits of Ginger”, some of my favorites include:

  1. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
  2. Reeling under joint pain? Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints.
  3. Stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion. And when there’s a nip in the air, the warming benefits of this tasty tea are even greater!

Ginger’s roots (ha ha!) began in Southeast Asia, and it is used in recipes from around the globe. It’s botanical identification is Zingiber officinale, which is thought to be taken from the Sanskrit “singbera” meaning “horn shaped”. This spicy root is essential in the sweets of the upcoming autumn season, and my favorite pumpkin pie!

Photo Credits // 1 Martha Stewart // 2 Cocoon Home // 3 Pinterest // 4 HGTV