Cleanses are a big thing. People are always trying to clear their bodies of excess toxins to promote liver and kidney function, boost their immune system, stabilize their cardiopulmonary system or fight off Alzheimer’s. Some people use them to jump start weight loss. But I’ve been looking at some of these cleanse recipes and noticed a trend – some of them are scarily unhealthy.
Not like a little bit unhealthy, but a lot unhealthy. These are cleanses that reduce your caloric consumption to just over three hundred calories a day. They cut nutrients, encourage starvation and claim that they will make you feel better. In case you’re wondering which cleanse I’m referring too, it’s the Lemonade Cleanse, also called the Master Cleanse. The Master Cleanse, while it may be effective as a cleanse, is probably the least healthy way to cleanse your body. You cannot drink lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup and think you’re meeting all of your requirements. I don’t think I’d trust a doctor of any kind who recommended it to me, and a swift internet check shows that no medical (conventional or naturopathic) professional thinks the Lemonade Cleanse is a healthy means to rid your body of toxins.
In place, I’ve done some serious research for cleansing smoothies that work, but without the dangers associated with strictly juice cleanses. There are a lot of them out there, and just three days for most of these recipes is effective to get your body back on track.
The Dark Smoothie
So named because of the weird colour it comes out courtesy of the spirulina and blueberries. This smoothie has mega antioxidants, is packed with protein and more than half you DV needs of amino acids.
½ cup blueberries
½ cup almond milk (or coconut milk, coconut water or whatever)
1 tsp spirulina
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (hemp, pumpkin or pea works great!) OR 2 tblsp of greek yogurt
Boost Alkalinity Smoothie
To help with bad acid reflux, prevent kidney stones, support bone strength, lower your risk of colon cancer, and assist keeping balanced blood sugar levels, this is the smoothie to get a jump start on restructuring your diet.
1 packed cup spinach/kale
¼ cup coconut water
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp chia seeds
2 Tblsp. Almond Butter or Coconut Oil
This is the metabolism boosting smoothie of your dreams. It’s got lycopene which is a good cancer preventer. It has antioxidants and has significant effects on asthma caused by exercise. Bonus, you have all your fruits and veggie servings in this single smoothie. (This should give you two or three smoothies)
1 large tomato
1 red bell pepper
1 cloves garlic
4 stalks celery
1 cup watercress
1 cup spinach
1 red jalapeño, seeded (optional)
2 cup Coconut Water
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Sweet Green Smoothie
This smoothie has antioxidants, half your daily fruits and veggie needs, and barley grass – which is nutrient heavy and good for helping ease inflammation and associated pain.
1 green apple (no core)
1 teaspoon of barley grass juice powder
1 cucumber, peeled
3-4 leaves of red leaf lettuce
¼ cup of organic fresh or frozen mango
¼ cup Greek Yogurt (or 1/2 an avocado)
8-12 oz coconut water
To purify your liver and support you immune system try this smoothie.
2 loose cups of kale (with the stems and ribs removed)
¼ cup parsley
1 small beet (scrubbed and quartered)
1 apple (core and seeds removed)
1 lemon (peeled)
½” chunk of fresh ginger
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 Water (Or liquid of your choice)
Guilty of overindulging over the holidays? This is a good smoothie to utilize those leftover cranberries and get back on the good track. Or, if you need a good diuretic. Or if you just really love cranberry (hi, join me over here).
½ cup cranberries
1 large celery stalk
Handful of spinach
1 1/2 cups of liquid of your choice.
Clean and Green Smoothie
This is great for a fresh taste and a wonderful energy boost instead of a coffee.
1/2 handful Spinach or Other Leafy Green
1 Celery stalk
2 sprigs Fresh Mint
1 cup water
1/2 of apple
Squirt of lemon
Gentle Morning Smoothie
If you’re like me, your body just doesn’t want a heavy breakfast in the morning. I can’t handle a large breakfast, they make me feel ill all day. This is the morning smoothie I like. It also serves as a great mid-afternoon ‘snack’ smoothie.
1 scoop Protein Powder (vanilla is my recommendation) OR Greek yogurt to desired thickness (1/4 -1/2 cup)
1 cup Green Tea, brewed
1 Avocado (optional)
Purple Apple Smoothie
This is almost like a dessert smoothie. When craving sweets this is the way to go.
1 green apple
2 tablespoons of Hemp Hearts
8 fresh mint leaves
3-4 leaves of organic green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup organic fresh or frozen berry blend
8-12 oz water
Some notes on these smoothie recipes.
Add ground flaxseeds for some extra protein and nutrients
If the recipe calls for Greek yogurt or protein powder, avocado is a great substitute for vegan/vegetarians
Drinking 4 of these smoothies a day over three days should provide you with enough energy while you cleanse.
You can now buy omega-3 powders to add to your smoothies.
Your three days should resemble:
Green tea with lemon
Smoothie + supplement (optional, but recommended)
Favourite Smoothie Recipe
This should cover three days worth of cleansing. Re-add foods slowly to your diet, keeping processed foods to a minimum (since that was the point of the cleanse anyway).
For a gentler cleanse, have one smoothie a day and eat your servings of fruits and veggies and protein, eliminating all processed foods from your diet.
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