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Raw Vegan Cleansing: I Did it and So Can You: Editorial

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I consider myself a relatively healthy person. I don't exercise as much as I should and I almost always cave at the sight of French fries. I do the best I can, which I usually feel isn't often enough. (Like most women, right?)

After gaining back all of the weight I'd lost for my wedding one year ago--I'm talking more than 10 measly pounds, people--I decided desperate times called for desperate measures. I embarked on a personal one-week challenge to do a raw, vegan, juice-based cleanse. While there are plenty of less drastic methods to shed pounds and get healthy, I felt stuck in a yo-yo dieting rut and believed this was the key to get me back on track.

I was motivated by multiple factors including a particularly gruesome episode of Oprah, a recipe for a green smoothie a friend gave me, and the fact that my skinny jeans hadn't been removed from their hanger in over six months. I armed myself with bags full of kale, Swiss chard, and lemons and made sure my magic bullet blender was in tip-top shape.

The first three to four days were a breeze. I had a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and lentils for dinner. I quickly realized that the raw + vegan thing was too much, too fast. I snacked on the occasional piece of fruit, nuts, kale chips, or roasted butternut squash. Truth be told, I felt great. I had more energy and everyone was commenting on how beautiful my skin looked. I was losing a pound every day or two, which was no shocker considering I was eating less than 1,000 calories a day.

Then, the weekend hit.

As usual, all my weekend plans revolved around eating and drinking. While I could have just stayed home or drank water with lemon as my friends gorged, I decided not to. The last time I was on the "healthy train" my social life came to a screeching halt; I wasn't prepared to let that happen again. So, I went out and I did my best. I'm not gonna lie; I had some bread and butter and a bite of my husbands burger, but nobody's perfect right?

All in all, I ended up losing five pounds, all of which have since returned. Did I learn anything from giving up cheese and chicken for a week? Sure. I learned two time-honored lessons: extreme diets are never sustainable and moderation is key to success. I also learned a great recipe for kale chips, so all in all, I'd say becoming a green milkshake queen for seven days was a darn good thing.

My Kale Chip Recipe
One bunch kale
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1-tablespoon olive oil

(Optional: Dash of red chili powder and cumin powder.)

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Rinse and thoroughly dry kale. Pull leaves from stem and tear into bite-sized pieces. Toss kale, salt, olive oil, and optional spices in a bowl. Place on cookie tray (be sure they are evenly spaced and not overlapping). Cook for 20 minutes until crisp. You'll know when they're ready when they turn a dark green and the sides turn up.

Click here for more information on doing a vegan cleanse.

Add a Comment1 Comments


You made a very good point. Extreme dieting is not the answer and can be harmful to you.

If you are interested in cleansing do your research. Having health challenges could cause your body to detox in a fashion that could create undesirable effects.

A balance lifestyle is key.

March 24, 2011 - 12:58am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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