Cleanse Complete. Now What?

January 16, 20132 Comments

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.


Homemade Muesli with Apples and Almonds

Omelet Popovers

Herb and Scallion Frittata


Asian Soba Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup with Wild Rice

Arugula Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado and Shaved Fennel

Lemony Lentil Salad

Chickpea Salad

Winter Broccoli Slaw


Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Mixed Greens

 Roasted Halibut with Wine-Braised Fennel

 Salmon with Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Spinach

 Roasted Cod with Grapefuit Fennel Salsa

Vegetable Almond Medley

What’s your favorite meal post-cleanse?

2 responses to “Cleanse Complete. Now What?”

  1. Lynda says:

    I know many people who would like to read this mindful post. I confess I’ve never done a cleanse nor desire to. It’s the wine and coffee dammit 🙂

    • Alicia says:

      You know what, Lynda? I’ve done a few different types of cleanses. It feels great. But the only thing I ever miss is the wine and the coffee (plus the milk that goes in it)!

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