After a couple of overseas trips, I felt like I needed a health cleanse. While I was aboard, I was eating food I was not accustomed to it. I love trying the authentic local cuisine. It’s hard to stay away from raw fruits and vegetables, iced beverages, and yogurt for the entire trip. Yet, those things contain ‘foreign’ bacteria that my stomach is not used.
That’s why I was so happy to see Cooking Light‘s Special Gut Healthy Issue for June 2018, with a complete guide to gut health and a 3-day recipe guide for a gut reboot. It was exactly the cleanse I needed after my trips.
Cooking Light‘s Reboot Your Microbiome With Our 3-Day Gut Health Makeover cites a study that suggests ‘eating a high-fiber, plants-only diet positively shifted people’s microbiome makeup in just 24 hours, compared with eating a meat- and cheese-heavy diet—suggesting eating [a vegan diet] might be a better way of eating for gut health.’
They give you a shopping list (about $52 for one person, which is affordable). Some of the ingredients are reused during the 3-day cleanse (so you’re not wasting a whole tofu package just to use one ounce in a recipe). I ordered everything on Amazon Prime Now from Wholefoods. Amazon Prime Now is a free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market in Los Angeles.
Click here for the Shopping list.
The recipes are really easy to follow even for someone like me who barely ever cooks. I cooked all 3-meals in the morning and took about 1.5-2 hours. The main dishes I had pre-made as suggested by the guide.
Breakfast: Strawberry Bulgur Bowl (it’s like oatmeal with strawberries; highly suggest to pre-make the bulger so not starving while cooking breakfast)
A.M. Snack 5 oz. of edamame pods
Lunch: Tabbouleh with Avocado (I must confess that I went with raw chickpea since didn’t have time to roast them)
P.M. Snack: 3 dates and 12 unsalted roasted almonds (it’s more like dessert).
Dinner: Pasta with Green Peas and Almond Gremolata (I couldn’t find chickpea spaghetti so I went with lentil pasta – also a probiotic).
Breakfast: Raspberry-Date Smoothie (Tofu in a smoothie – unheard of. I have to confess. I thought it would not be tasty but it has become my favorite smoothie. In fact, I ordered it this morning at the juice bar at the gym and the sales lady said “really? tofu. You want tofu in your smoothie?!” But seriously, I loved it).
A.M. Snack: 1/2 cup Chickpeas
Lunch: Green Pea Fritters with Avocado Puree (this was the hardest meal to prepare, maybe cuz I rushed through it)
P.M. Snack: 1 medium apple (95 calories, 4g fiber)
Dinner: Summery Lentil Soup (I would have never thought of adding eggplant to lentil soup; it was such a good addition though)
Breakfast: Veggie Bowl with Tofu Scramble ( I see how they make vegan scrambled eggs but I love the real thing too much for this vegan meal to be a favorite)
A.M. Snack: 1 medium apple
Lunch: Kale Salad with Spiced Chickpeas and Berries (The easiest meal to make).
P.M. Snack: 1 cup strawberries and almonds
Dinner: Edamame, Okra, and Green Pea Korma (another favorite meal that I will be preparing again. I mean I love Edamame and Okra so of course, I loved this meal)
So this cleanse is not intended for weight loss but to cleanse your gut with a plant-based diet consisting of prebiotic and probiotic food. I did feel like I had more energy while working out and I worked up a sweat than usual. I definitely recommend this cleanse for those who have been traveling abroad and/or have had stomach issues (as always consult a doctor for health issues).
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