I'm not really one for cleanses. I like the idea of them, but I simply can't sustain such limited food intake for more than a day or two (the leek weekend is about as long as I can hold out for). Life just starts to feel entirely joyless when too many things are off limits.
But my inability to complete a cleanse doesn't mean that I don't read about them (I'm not sure if doing so makes me feel virtuous or if I'm really just hoping to learn some fascinating bit of advice). I've read Spent by Dr. Frank Lippman and Gwennie's favorite Clean by Alejandro Junger. The advice from these two gurus seems fairly similar...cut out half your diet (gluten, dairy, meat, etc.), meditate and drink smoothies.
Now I'll admit that I have never once even contemplated cutting gluten or dairy from my diet. I generally feel pretty good so don't see the need. And the last time I cut meat out of my diet I was twelve and experimenting with being a hippie vegetarian. It was a short lived experiment.
I'm not exactly a meditator either, although I absolutely adore my yoga classes at Strala ($10 per class! and the owner is the coolest!). There is perhaps a bit of meditation that they sneak in but not so much that would offend a non-meditator.
But the smoothies? The smoothies I can get behind. As devoted as I am to my morning poached eggs, after an indulgent evening it can feel a bit much. And as the weather warms, just about the last thing I'm in the mood for is a hot breakfast.
But that said I do need some serious food in the morning, otherwise my stomach starts gnawing on itself around 10:30 a.m. I wasn't sure that pureed fruit would do the trick, so you can imagine my surprise when I first tried a breakfast smoothie and found my hunger was kept largely at bay until lunch time.
Now there are plenty of recipes in both of these books which are quite delicious (I will leave it to you to try them), but frankly first thing in the morning I'm more in the mood to throw things in the blender haphazardly than to do any precise measurements.
So I go for an approximation of the formula that Dr. Lippman seems to rely on. A cup or so of frozen fruit (Trader Joe's has amazingly cheap frozen blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, etc.), a cup of either coconut water or almond milk (I find I get a smoother result with coconut water), a squirt of agave syrup, a few ice cubes and then either a couple of spoonfuls of nut butter or a quarter of an avocado (it is this component that keeps me sated all morning so do not omit!). If you have the dregs of some coconut milk sitting around a splash of that is nice as well for some creaminess. But unless you're trying to turn this into a calorie intensive Ensure-like drink, just a splash.
I've been loving my blueberry and avocado smoothie, mango/pineapple with a bit of cinnamon (the coconut milk splash is great here) and strawberry/banana/blueberry. What combinations are you terribly imaginative folk dying to try?