If this holiday season is anything like last year’s, it will be indulgent. Very, very indulgent. Already, my weekend calendar for the next month is jam-packed with events where hearty food and heavy drink will be the central focus. And that doesn’t even include Thanksgiving.
The chances of me abstaining from this once-a-year feeding frenzy are about as slim as the chances that some portly, older gentleman will slide down my chimney and deliver gifts in late December. Translation: It ain’t happening. But if I’m going to make it to the end of the year looking less like Santa Claus and more like Jesus, I’ve got to do something to counteract the bingeing.
I decided to reach out to my good friend Maria Bee for her advice. Maria and I know each other from our road warrior consulting days when frequent travel, frequent stress and frequent dining out was a part of our daily lives. Since then, Maria has “taken back her life” by teaching everyday slackers like me how to eat and exercise better. And believe me, this lady knows her stuff. As a former fitness competitor (Ms. Figure America Winner, 2009), a personal trainer, and a naturopathic practitioner, Maria is an expert on maintaining overall body health through proper nutrition and exercise. She dishes out tough-love-style diet and exercise advice on her Facebook page and through her blog.
Last week, I mentioned to Maria that I wanted to do a 5-day cleanse each month of the holiday season, and was looking for alternatives to the all-too-strict Master Cleanse that I’ve done a few times before. As luck would have it, Maria was just starting a 5-day pre-holiday cleanse herself and was kind enough to share her daily regimen with me, so I thought I’d pass it along to you, Dear Reader.
Maria Bee’s Pre-Holiday 5-Day Cleanse
Upon Waking: First thing in the morning, drink 1 cup of water
For Breakfast – Fruit smoothie with vegetable-based protein
Ingredients: 5 strawberries, 10 blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 slice pineapple, 2 tablespoons flax seed oil, 1 teaspoon spurilina, 1 teaspoon macca powder, 25-40 grams Protein powder, Ice (optional), 1 tablespoon local honey (optional)
To Make: Pour all ingredients into a blender, blend well and serve.
For Lunch – Large Salad
Ingredients: Kale, purple onions, cucumber, mushroom, spinach, raisins (optional), broccoli, 1 slice of avocado, Any type of vinaigrette dressing
Drink 16 ounces of water with lunch
For Mid-day Snack (after lunch and before dinner)
Mix 16 ounces of water with a pinch of cayenne pepper and 3 teaspoons of lemon.
Drink water mixture along with a handful of almonds
For Dinner, Option #1 – Vegetable Juice (requires a juicer)
If you don’t have a juicer, use the veggie wrap recipe below.
Drink 16 ounces of water at dinner
Ingredients: 1 broccoli bunch (with stem), 1 handful of spinach, 2 celery sticks, 1/2 Chayote squash, 1 Chard, 2 stems of mustard greens, 2 pinches of cayenne pepper, 1 stalk of ginger, 2 lemons
For Dinner, Option #2 – Veggie Wrap (no juicer required)
Drink 16 ounces of water at dinner
Ingredients: 1 Collard Green leaf, 1 tablespoon hummus, 1 chopped yellow onion, 5 mushrooms cut, 1 green pepper sliced, 1 red pepper sliced, 1/3 cucumber sliced, 3 green olives, 1 broccoli flower cut, 2 slices avocado, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing, *any additional vegetables can be added
To Make: Take the collard green wrap and rinse thoroughly, lat flat and spread hummus. Add green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, cucumber, olives, mushroom, and onion. Pour olive oil over vegetables, add avocado and vinaigrette dressing. Roll collard green into a wrap, use additional hummus or vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.
As you can see, the focus of the cleanse is raw foods, and it’s a great way to boost nutrition and energy before the holidays or any time that your eating habits have gotten out of wack. The supplements and special ingredients listed in Maria’s recipes can be found at most health food stores.
For additional foods that will help you with your pre-holiday clearance, check out Maria’s post: Top 10 Cleansing Foods.
to your health,
photo:Diet Police fridge magnet by lydiashiningbrightly, on Flickr