Is a Vegan Cleanse Right for You?

Jennifer Pantin
by Jennifer Pantin
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Is a Vegan Cleanse Right for You?

Lorimer Street Kitchen
Last fall I came pretty close to reaching my weight loss goal. I felt great, looked great, and everything was on track. But then life happened. The holidays rolled around, and I gained a few pounds back. And then, in early winter, I started a new job. I was super excited about it at first, however, that feeling was short lived—it quickly turned into the most miserable, stressful job I’ve ever had.

As a stress eater, all the hard work I did in the fall was quickly undone. Cookies helped get me through the day, and at home I ate with abandon as I fielded numerous late night emails. My poor food choices quickly caught up with me, and in addition to being massively stressed, I felt lethargic and embarrassed. I decided fairly quickly that I needed to leave that job to get my health and weight back on track. But I was in such a slump I felt as though I needed a complete reboot.

A fellow, equally miserable, co-worker suggested I join her in a cleanse. I’m not a fan of anything that deprives me of eating, so my immediate response was, “Absolutely not.” She quickly explained we’d be doing a vegan cleanse, in which we would eat 3 large smoothies a day, and snack on fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts, too. And, if I was really hungry, I could eat more fruits and veggies at dinnertime.

The pre-made smoothies were packed with protein and probiotics, and filled all of my dietary needs. I also upped my water intake. All the extra liquid helped cleanse and detox my system, and left me feeling refreshed and energized afterwards.

Still, it wasn’t easy. I soon learned that it’s normal to feel “bad” during the first phase of a cleanse as toxins are flushed out of your body—and, oh boy, did I ever! The first day of my 3-day program came with the worst headache (and I never get headaches!). But the feeling passed quickly, and the next morning I naturally woke up with a ton of energy. While I was slightly hungry, I was never starving, and the fact that I felt so good made up for that.

I don’t know if I lost any weight—I don’t even own a scale; I go by how my clothes fit instead. But I felt better physically and mentally, and it got me on the right track with healthy eating and exercise again.

Is a vegan cleanse right for you? If you’re not looking for a weight-loss quick fix, and you’re willing to forgo most solid food for a few days, then the answer could be yes. I walked away from the experience feeling positive, but only you can decide what’s best for your health.

Since the cleanse, I’ve been enjoying a Green Breakfast Smoothie almost every morning. It’s packed with fiber and protein, which helps me start the day feeling full and energized. It’s also loaded with calcium, thanks to the soymilk and spinach. The secret weapon? Parsley—it adds a nice kick, promotes urinary tract health, and fights bloating, bad breath and free radicals.

To log this recipe, search the food database for: Green Breakfast Smoothie

Think you’ll try a vegan cleanse? How about simply slipping more veggies into your day with this breakfast smoothie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author

Jennifer Pantin
Jennifer Pantin

Writer, lawyer, and healthy-eating proponent, Jennifer Pantin loves experimenting with new, healthy recipes in her Brooklyn kitchen. Her blog, Lorimer Street Kitchen, is where she shares this passion for food and the belief that healthy recipes can be good for you and delicious, too. Connect with Jennifer and Lorimer Street Kitchen on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

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