time to get Clean!

blueberry, basil, almond milk, flax seed smoothie

No better way to follow up a sausage party than by starting the Clean Program.  (It was time!)

The Clean Program is a cleanse (they recommend doing it for anywhere up to 21 days as a cleanse.. but really, you could eat like this all the time and you'd look like a million bucks!)  It was invented by Alejandro Junger, a doctor from Uruguay who moved to New York for postgraduate work in cardiovascular diseases.  It was there that he saw a direct link between his suddenly unhealthy, stressed lifestyle and his clogged mind and body.  He went on to travel through India, volunteering as a doctor while studying meditation, yoga, and various forms of detoxification.

I still have a lot more to learn about him because I have never read his entire first book, Clean (which became  New York Times bestseller) but it recently arrived in the mail!  I've done the Clean Program twice (never for the full 21 days though... I'll get there eventually!)  But even doing it for 3 or 4 days is helpful.  I'm aiming for a week to 10 days this time around.

It's really incredibly easy to follow.  Why?  Because you actually get to EAT FOOD.  This is no Master Cleanse, so don't run for the hills just yet!  

It's this easy:  juice or smoothie for breakfast, regular lunch (Dr. J recommends you eat enough so that you are 80% full), and then another smoothie or soup for dinner.  They call it an "elimination diet" because you are essentially eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.  But there are plenty of other things you CAN eat!  (including, oddly, duck!)

At first glance on the website, it might seem like they are trying to sell you pills or powders-- however, this is just an option for the people other there who don't cook.  You can literally do the Clean Program without spending a penny on programming-- that's how I hadn't even purchased the book yet!  They even provide you with some recipes to get you going.

Would I want to eat "clean" all the time?  Heck no!  I love cheese and I'm a sweet tooth at heart.  But every once in a while, it's nice to reprogram and start with a clean slate.  (such as after the holidays... or a trip to New Orleans!) 

Below is an example of a totally clean meal: broiled salmon and a delicious (and super easy) kale avocado salad with berries.  The salad is a must-try and it surprisingly lasted in the fridge for several days, tasting fresh as the day I made it!

Kale Avocado Berry Salad

head of kale
1 avocado
1/2 a red onion
juice of several limes
olive oil
sea salt to taste

1. Rinse and roughly chop the kale.
2. Drizzle lime juice and a bit of olive oil over the kale and squeeze it into the greens until coated.
3. Smash an avocado and thoroughly massage that into the greens as well
4. Cut the red onion into very fine strips and add that to the salad.
5. Add berries and sea salt to taste.  Blend everything evenly.