The silly season has come and gone. You’re probably back at work this week or getting ready to return to the dreaded desk and reality has hit home. You made the most of every second – caffeine overloading, brunching, afternoon cocktails and late night ice-cream runs.
It’s time to get real. Time to make a fresh start and establish a healthy, more sustainable routine. One that makes you feel fabulous!
I find the best way to ease into a new routine is by making a conscious decision to do so AND starting the day well. Healthy eating throughout the day seems to fall into place if you start off on the right foot.
A cleanse can energize and revitalize, reboot the digestive system and leave you feeling amazing! Think raw, minimally processed ingredients. Aim for a variety of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables loaded with nutrients and active non-nutrients.
Make the process enjoyable. Visit your local growers market. Buy a dedicated juice cup or some fancy straws. Make juices and smoothies that not only taste great but also look beautiful. Challenge your best friend or flat mate to cleanse with you, just for fun… and moral support.
Here you will find 7 juices to get you through the first week, which is usually the most difficult. You’ll then find your own way, start to make modifications and even create your own amazing blends to suit your taste.
Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which have huge health benefits. Free radicals that prevent oxidation of cells and in turn reduce the chances of developing cancers associated with the sex organs.
Yoghurt, also a superfood has excellent probiotic benefits. This means they work wonders on your gut by balancing bad bacteria with beneficial gut loving bacteria. Yakult is a specialised fermented milk that works in the same way.
The addition of activated buckwheat and a sprinkling of flaxseeds also aid the digestive system. The insoluble fibre will fill you up and get things moving.
1C milk (any variety)
¼ C natural unsweetened yoghurt
½ C blueberries (fresh are best but frozen or tinned will work the same if unavailable)
1 Tbsp activated buckwheat
1 tsp linseeds
- Combine milk, yoghurt and berries in a blender or food processor on medium speed until smooth.
- Pour smoothie into a bowl.
- Combine buckwheat and linseeds. Sprinkle over smoothie and serve with additional fresh berries.
Cucumber, Lime & Dill Cooler
Cucumbers have a high water content, which makes them perfect for juicing AND are ultra-hydrating for the body.
Limes, having one of the citrus family’s highest vitamin C levels have been used to build immunity and fight illness for centuries.
Dill’s subtle sweetness pairs perfectly with the neutral cucumber flavor and acidic splash of lime. Other than adding to the visual appeal of the cooler, Dill also assists in protecting the body against cancer causing free radicals.
2 lebanese cucumbers, peeled & chopped
½ C ice
½ C chilled water
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp fennel sprigs
- Process cubumber pieces in a blender or food processor until roughly chopped.
- Add ice and water and continue to process until smooth.
- Add lime juice and fennel and pulse 2-3 times until combined.
Wheatgrass and Ginger Shot
This one might not taste amazing BUT a 30ml shot is loaded with nutrients, enzymes and phytochemicals. Sometimes I choose to gauge health benefits based on how potent the food tastes… this one must be good!!
Chlorophyll, which is the chemical component that makes the grass green, is also beneficial for health with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Associated with a huge range of health benefits from heart function to antibacterial action and aiding treatment of skin conditions.
Some studies suggest that wheatgrass is most effective when freshly juiced and consumed on an empty stomach, making this recipe ideal for a morning pick-me-up. Bottled and dried varieties are far less effective so it’s well worth the effort to juice your own.
Previously hard to come by unless you have a specialty wholefoods grocer nearby, you can now buy a punnet of Bondi Wheatgrass for $2.50 at mainstream green grocers like Harris Farm.
Ginger is my ‘go-to’ immunity building active ingredient. I love it fresh, frozen, raw and cooked. It too has a huge range of health benefits beyond its immunity building and illness fighting properties.
¼ punnet wheatgrass
2cm piece ginger, peeled
1 Tbsp water
2 ice cubes
- Combine trimmed wheatgrass and prepared ginger in a food processor or blender and process until the mixture forms a thick paste.
- Add water and ice and continue to process until mixture is smooth.
- Pour into a small glass or shot glass if you have one.
Lemon Chamomile Home Brew
The temperature is the active ingredient in this recipe. Warm beverages have a range of health benefits beyond the refrigerated alternatives. Start the day with a warm beverage to kick-start the metabolism, which is the rate at which your body converts and uses energy.
Warm beverages have a calming and soothing effect on the body. They may help you de-stress as you approach your return to work for the year.
Consuming lemon with warm water in the morning helps to kick start your metabolism. Combined with a chamomile home brew to encourage the anti-inflammatory properties.
¼ C chamomile buds
2 C boiling water
DIY teabag – muslin cloth and string
- Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove 3 strips of rind from lemon. Thinly slice using the tip of the knife then cut in the opposite direction to result in a fine dice.
- Combine chopped lemon rind with chamomile buds.
- Cut a piece of muslin cloth 30cm x 10cm. Fold cloth into 3 to result in a 10cm x 10cm square.
- Place lemon rind and chamomile mixture in the centre of the muslin cloth and enclose tightly with a length of string.
- Steep teabag in boiled water and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Slice remaining lemon into slices and place in prepared cup.
- Pour steeped home brew over lemon slices and enjoy warm.
Carrot, Prune & Walnut
A liquid spin on one of my favourite desserts… carrot cake!
Carrots are great for juicing because of their high water content and natural sweetness. They are also ridiculously cheap! AND loaded with Vitamin A – Beta Carotene which does actually work to improve your vision. So there’s some truth to that myth!
Prunes of course are the ultimate digestive fruit assisting with digestive flow and improving gut health.
Walnuts, other than being delicious and keeping this recipe true to the initial inspiration, also work to increase the fibre content.
2 medium carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
½ C chilled water
¼ C prune juice
4 ice cubes
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- Combine carrots in a blender or food processor and process until a chunky paste results.
- Add water, prune juice and ice. Continue to process until mixture is smooth.
- Add chopped walnuts and pulse until just combined OR sprinkle on top of juice and serve.
Nana Coconut Smoothie
This is a super smoothie that is supposed to fill you up. It’s perfect for your first few days of cleansing as it’s satisfying enough to get you through to lunch.
I find almond milk is super light. I use it in smoothies as they can seem more like a milkshake when made with cows milk.
The psyllium husks act like a gelling agent. If you’ve ever taken Metamucil you’ll know what I mean. It’s important to incorporate plenty of fluids into the diet when using these products to prevent clogging of your bowels. It also works to absorb cholesterol from your digestive system in a bid to improve heart health.
Coconut butter is different to coconut oil. It’s made using coconut flesh in a similar way to nut butters. Coconut oil is made by extracting oil from the coconut flesh.
Coconut butter is high in fibre and energy dense. It leaves you feeling full for longer and gives you enough energy to get through the morning.
1 C almond milk
½ Tbsp psyllium husks
1 small banana
1 Tbsp coconut butter
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until combined and smooth.
- Enjoy immediately after making.
Sour Cherry Kefir Smoothie
Go to any hipster café and you’ll find fermented food and drinks adorning the menu. They are all the rage at the moment, and for good reason! Fermented products have a range of gut loving benefits.
Kefir is a grain containing bacteria and yeast, which are activated in the presence of moisture (usually water or milk) and fermented under controlled temperature conditions.
Many people make their own kefir products. However, milk kefir is now readily available in mainstream green grocers like Harris Farm.
The unique sour flavor works well with sweet fruits. I’ve used cherries as I find the classic sweet/sour combination works well. You could use half a cup of any fruit of your choice.
This smoothie is supposed to be tart. If you prefer a sweeter variety, honey or rice malt syrup can be added to taste.
1 C milk kefir
6 ice cubes
½ C (8) pitted cherries
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until combined and smooth.