January 03, 2012

Juicing and Cleansing

This morning I visited my local health store to stock up on some liquid iron (a supplement I take every now and then), Super Greens powder (containing spirulina, barley grass, chlorella and wheat grass) and other essentials (raw chickpeas, sunflower seeds, flaxseed oil, etc). I can just imagine how busy these stores get right after New Year. Everyone has made that (same) New Year's resolution to lose weight, to quit smoking, to live healthier. People are desperately seeking for a (preferably) quick diet solution that will help them lose those extra kilos.

Although I can't exactly say I over-indulged during my break (see my Christmas menu here and New Year's menu here), I felt like it was a good time to reassess my relationship with food. Having done a three day alkalising cleanse in the past, I didn't really want to set up any time restrictions, nor do a full-on juice fast, but rather just replace some of my meals with fresh juices, leaving one light meal (a salad with greens, flaxseed oil and some sunflower seeds) to have each day. I will go like this for 3 days, 5 days, a week - whatever feels right.

This method works well for me, especially since I have already quit sugar and dairy and consume no alcohol and nowadays very little caffeine, if at all. My juicer has been churning all spring and summer and I've become a little addicted to my fresh vegetable juices in the morning and my daily green smoothies. Juicing is a great way to cleanse and even if you are not keen to do the whole fasting thing, you can easily add fresh vegetable juices in your daily diet and perhaps try a green smoothie as a light meal or just as a snack. For a real super smoothie, try mixing in some flaxseed oil and Super Greens powder.

I'm a strong believer in eating right for your body type - we are not all the same so how could one eating plan possibly work for everyone? I also like to experiment and see what effect these experiments might have in my health and general wellbeing. I can honestly say that quitting sugar and dairy have made me feel better. This to me is enough proof to keep me on this clean path. Equally, eating meat never suited me and I have no desire to go back being a carnivore. Thus, I think each person should first understand their body type (Deepak Chopra's book below is a great way to start) and then make the necessary dietary/lifestyle adjustments. What works for me, might not work for you. It is as simple as that.

Here are some of my favourite vegetable juices to get you started. You can really let your creativity go wild! Almost anything can be juiced, even sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and cabbages! Just remember to use seasonal produce and preferably choose organic. If you're using conventional produce, washing the ingredients with white vinegar-water mixture (with a ratio of approximately 1:3) might help reduce the amount of toxic residue.

Green Beauty Juice

 1/2 bunch of celery (with leafy tops)
 1 long cucumber
 a knob of ginger
 juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Wash all the ingredients well. Juice the celery, cucumber and ginger. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Drink immediately (or preferably within 2-3 hours).

Green Smoothie

 1 portion of Green Beauty Juice
a large handful of spinach
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
2 teaspoons Super Greens

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Drink immediately or within 2-3 hours.

Gorgeous Beet Juice

2-3 beets (can use the leaves as well, if you wish)
a knob of ginger
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Juice the beets and the ginger. Drizzle with lemon. Drink immediately.

Other tasty flavour combinations include:



bok choy

Other tips for cleansing

I try to dry-brush my entire body every day or at least a few times a week. Here is a good guide for dry-brushing.

I love having a (rather large) range of herbal teas in my pantry at all times. Some of my favourite flavours include licorice root, peppermint, different warm spice mixes (like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves) and dandelion root tea. Herbal teas are a great caffeine-free alternative for coffee.

Exercise-wise, it probably goes without saying that rigorous training, whilst cleansing, might not be the best idea. I prefer walking, swimming and yoga (even when not cleansing), but I also allow my body to rest more during the cleanse.

These are just some of the books I've been reading lately:

Dupont, C.M. Enlightened Eating - Nourishment for Body and Soul (2006)
Deepak, C.  Perfect Health - The Complete Mind/Body Guide (2001)
Junger, A. Clean - The Revolutionary Program to Restore Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself (2009)


  1. i loooove the colours of your juices!

  2. Wonderful colors! Those juices look healthy.

    Yes, I believe that each of us needs a different diet as our bodies are different. What works for someone might not for someone else.



  3. These juices looks whimsical!! Your ideas on cleansing really resonates with me, there is to much of "one way theories" out there! Go for listening to yourself, babe! And thank you so much for your sweet sweet words on www.Earthsprout.org Not to mention the love on Twitter! You light up my day:)

  4. thanks for the great ideas - I feel healthy just thinking about adding ginger to my juice.
    how are you going with your vitamix?

  5. Hi Maria,
    Your blog is SO amazing, I am going to be here for a looong time! Amazing recipes and health tips. Can't get enough!
    So pleased to see you're a fellow Sydney-sider! :)

  6. Such good tips for those of us who need a little boost. These colorful drinks should do us well indeed!

  7. love the fresh and healthy juice ideas! happy new year!

  8. so happy to find a soulmate who also believes in cleansing and juicing! I also love doing a week fast and then moving over to a week juicing and I feel great afterwards..

  9. Ihanat kuvat! En voisi elää ilman vihreitä smoothieita;ne pitävät minut kondiksessa:)
    Vihreän jauheen valmistan itse;kuivurissa.

  10. This looks like something I should be drinking after all the indulging I've been doing lol all the food and desserts :)

  11. I'm a big juice FAN and love kale! These look delicious - overflowing with nutrition!

  12. Happy New Year!

    What a wonderfully bright and healthy way to enter 2012.
    As you know I am a big lover of 'detoxing' and 'cleansing'. In fact I am embarking on my very first round in a matter of days.
    Breaking habits is the hardest part for me. Once I am up and running, I can go on for ever it seems.

    I miss my fabulous juicer - I had to leave it in Sydney due to import regulations to Sweden. Will get myself a really nice one before I start my cleansing journey as I truly believe a good juicer (and blender) are the best investments one can make for a healthier life!

    I have placed an order for a couple of the books you recommended. Thank you for the tip - I always enjoy expanding my library!

    Happy healthy and energetic 2012!

    xx Charlotta

  13. I love your juice suggestions! We just spent two weeks in Australia (adored Sydney and Kangaroo Valley!)and we could not get enough of the summer fruits and veggies...especially mangoes. I stopped in regularly at a juice spot and my favorite combo was beet, carrot, ginger, apple and pear. Since being home I've pulled my juicer out and am juicing away. Happy 2012 to you!

  14. I normally dont juice myself but these frothy drinks do like pretty appealing, might have to look into making these

  15. I'd forgotten how much I love beetroot jucie! When I was a young teen, ten years ago now, I used to order beetroot, ginger and carrot juices after school at the shops. Waaaay back before it was cool ;) I need to get into that again, even if just once a week while out, as I don't have a juicer!

  16. Wonderful beverage options and beautiful photography (stunning colours) - that's quite a Christmas menu too - happy to make my first visit and look forward to more.

  17. thanks Maria perfect timing as well as i am starting to introduce juicing into my diet this weekend :) happy new year and i hope you have been well xx

  18. amazing and a great juice i love all these

  19. Juicing truly does make me feel not only more healthy, but more energized. It's amazing what mother nature provides for us...it's all we need! Thanks for the recipes...I will have to swap out some of mine for these!

  20. such pretty colors! While I haven't cut out caffeine or alcohol, I still appreciate the health benefits I see from drinking a lot of brightly colored fruit & vegetable juices. Thanks for listing your favorite flavor combos, it is nice to be inspired with new ideas.

    What's your preferred juicer? I've been really happy with my Breville Juice Fountain, but always like to hear what other people are loving!
    sarah @ two tarts

  21. Hi there! I love your blog and find such inspiration from it! Would you mind sharing which type of juicer you own? Thanks!

  22. I just love the color of your juices! I have a Vitamix, but no juicer and I sometimes get jealous of those who can make lovely vegetable juices at home. Enjoy your cleansing!

  23. I too have become addicted to my early morning green smoothie. It realy sets me up for the day.

    You are right about no one diet suits all. I felt so much better once I studied Metabolic Typing and applied the principles.

  24. Thank you all!

    Sarah & theforkandi: I have Breville Juice Fountain, but if I could choose now, I'd probably go with another model. It's doing a good job, but could be better. I've heard good things about Oscar juicers http://www.oscar-living-juicer.com/



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