Raise your hand if you are on a cleanse, about to start one or just finished one. Okay, hands down. If you didn’t put your hand up, you probably know someone who is or has. It’s that time of year. After an indulgent holiday season, we’re ready to start anew. Though I’m not cleansing right now, I’ve had a few friends tell me they’re on a juice cleanse or that they’ve temporarily cut something out – dairy, gluten, meat, sugar, caffeine. The point of such
torture rituals calculated measures is to clear one’s body and mind in preparation for new habits. When I’ve done a cleanse in the past, the real trick isn’t drinking the juice or eating the greens. Or even skipping the coffee or the wine. The biggest challenge is what happens after.
You finish a cleanse feeling light, fresh and energized. You want to continue to feel this way. But you also – assuming you are like me – want a cup of coffee, dammit. The idea is to use the cleanse as a springboard to healthier habits that are sustainable. It’s not realistic (or healthy) for most people to subsist on liquids alone. Barring an allergy or intolerance, it’s probably unnecessary to cut out entire food groups forever either. What’s a freshly cleansed soul to do? Return to eating “regular” foods gently, lightly and mindfully. I’ve pulled together a few of my best ideas for meals in those days following a cleanse. These meals have whole, minimally processed ingredients and will help ease the transition back to “real” food.
What’s your favorite meal post-cleanse?