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The Master Cleanse…

The Master Cleanse is a program I like to follow once or twice a year – it’s definitely a personal thing, and not everyone agrees with the methods used. Since I first tried the Master Cleanse 2 years ago, I’ve had many friends asking me to share the details with them so I’ve decided to put them down here for anyone that may be curious. Created by Stanley Burroughs, it is basically a Juice Fast of a minimum of 10 days which is said to clear your kidneys & digestive system, eliminate toxins in the body, balance your PH and get rid of Parasites & stomach ulcers. It also obviously helps you lose unwanted weight, but often this can come back very fast if you go back to your old eating habits right away. You would think that after a few days of no food you would have no energy and feel awful, but actually on the Master Cleanse you end up having more energy most days! You might have a few days where you will get headaches and feel unwell, but this is usually in the beginning and is a sign that your body is releasing toxins. As I write this, I am on my 9th Day of the Cleanse, and I’m feeling great – this will be my 4th completed Master Cleanse. The reason I like to do this every now and then is to give my body a chance to give itself a spring clean – by not having to waste energy on digesting food, energy is freed up in your body to use on other tasks, like eliminating stored toxins and purifying cells. There is a certain willpower needed, however, for 10 days of strict non-eating: you need to prepare yourself, and plan ahead so that it’s at a convenient time (not when you have a full social calendar, for instance). For 10 days you will need to dedicate time to yourself by doing light exercise, tackling tasks in the house that you’ve been avoiding (cleaning out cupboards, organizing wardrobes, etc.), reading, going for massages & facials, and enjoying activities with friends & family that don’t involve eating or drinking (this can be hard! Movies are a good choice, as well as hiking or going to the beach). I also find that I benefit from doing Yoga and Meditation when I’m cleansing – anything to help de-stress my body and get rid of toxins faster. I like to do the cleanse over a week that I’m busy with work, as I can just make a large bottle of the Lemonade to take with me and I’m distracted all day. I wouldn’t recommend starting the Cleanse on a workday though – the first day you will need to be able to rush to a toilet at any given time, but eventually you will get into a routine and from Day 2 or 3 it will be easier to plan.

The Master Cleanse:

– The night before you start, have a cup of Senna tea (laxative) before you go to bed. This will be repeated every night while on the cleanse.

– On the first morning you need to have a Salt Water flush when you wake up. Salt Water Flush:  2 tsp. non-iodized Sea Salt, mixed with 1 Quart (1 Litre) of warm water. Take your time and drink this over a period of 10 mins. or so, it’s not easy but just imagine you are drinking soup. This will take roughly an hour to go through your whole system, and then you will be urgently running to the toilet. It is painless, but difficult to control. It is recommended to do this every morning while you are on the cleanse, however, you may have another Senna tea in the morning instead, as long as you do the Salt Water Flush atleast 3-4 times during the 10 days. Personally, I find the Senna tea gives me terrible cramps, but it takes about 6-8 hours to work so you can plan it into your day easier…Sometimes I have the Salt water flush in the evening instead, if I’m short on time in the morning.

– The rest of the day you will be drinking 6 – 12 Lemonades, depending on how hungry you get or how much energy you need. The recipe for the Lemonade is as follows:

2 Tblsp. Lemon or Lime juice

2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup (Grade B)

pinch of Cayenne Pepper

8 oz. cold or warm Water (spring or purified is best)

If you can get hold of fresh Sugar Cane Juice (easier to find in Asia), then this can replace the Maple Syrup & Water – this is the first time I’ve tried the alternative combo and I definitely like it better than the Maple Syrup. I also find that I had a lot more energy and I didn’t loose as much weight as fast. If you find the Maple Syrup too sweet you can reduce it by 1 Tblsp., just remember to drink more lemonades as you will be cutting out calories that your body needs for energy.

The formula is very specific:

The Lemon Juice neutralizes acids in the body, oxygenates tissues and blood, and is loosening & cleansing.

The Cayenne Pepper is also alkalizing, helps to break up & loosen mucus and waste, builds blood, and increases body temperature.

The Maple Syrup is a balanced sugar and contains many minerals and vitamins. Your body will need it for energy so that you are not starving it.

The Laxative Tea and Salt Water Flush help to flush out the toxins and waste that are being freed up in the colon.

Caffeine-free Herbal Teas (like Mint tea) can be had on occasion for a change of flavour.

– After the Cleanse, Day 11 & Day 12: You need to break the Cleanse slowly by consuming fresh Orange Juice, and eating Orange segments, if hungry. This will help prepare your stomach for digestion again. If you cannot tolerate Oranges, then Papaya or Pineapple in small amounts are also allowed. Take it easy and chew everything well. Day 13 I usually have fruit and a raw Salad, and then slowly incorporate cooked Vegetables and Grains in the days to follow. Eat slowly and carefully, and listen to your body.

Go ahead & give your body a chance to revive!

Good Luck 🙂

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It’s been a while since my last entry, but I’m slowly recovering from post-holiday blues…That doesn’t stop me from reminiscing though – which is exactly what this Carrot Cake is about! My mum’s friend and I had planned to make this to keep us going on our long car ride to Croatia (7 hours!), but it never lasted that long – we ended up having to bake a replacement at the last minute. Turns out my Dad has a strict ‘No eating in the car’ policy, so the Carrot Loaf came all the way to Croatia with us and ended up a blessing amongst the lack of veggie food…My family agreed that this was the best Carrot Cake they have ever had, and couldn’t believe it was made without Eggs or Butter. This recipe is based on one from Ricki Heller’s book: Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar, which I absolutely LOVE as all the recipes are without refined sugar or wheat – my kind of Dessert book! The combination of Carrot, Cinnamon, Lemon & Coconut is heavenly, and the Lemon Glaze on top (suggested by my Dad’s girlfriend) adds just the right amount of tartness…

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups finely grated Carrot, unpacked

1 Tblsp. ground Flax Seeds

1/4 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or 1/2 cup of Syrup of choice)

3/4 cup Soy Milk

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tblsp. grated Lemon Zest, fresh

1 1/2 cups Whole Spelt Flour

2 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded Coconut

 

Method:

– Preheat oven to 180C/350F, and spray a 8″ loaf pan or 9″ square pan.

– In a medium bowl, combine Carrots, Flax Seeds, Agave, Maple Syrup, Soy Milk, Oil, Vanilla, Vinegar and Lemon Zest. Set aside for atleast 2 minutes.

– In a large bowl, sift together Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Add Coconut, and stir to combine.

– Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

– Bake in preheated oven for 35- 45 minutes (the loaf pan takes longer than a square pan), or until a tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

– Allow to cool completely until removing from pan, and covering with Lemon Glaze.

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cup sifted Icing Sugar

juice of 1 Lemon (add half first, then more if needed)

 

– Slowly add Lemon Juice to Icing Sugar until the right consistency is achieved. Pour over Carrot Loaf and allow to set.

*Warning: Will make a mess if eaten in the car…

PS: This would be delicious with the inclusion of Nuts, too!

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Raw Carob Cheesecake with Almond Crust...

As I may have mentioned before, I always found raw food recipes to be rather intimidating with all the soaking, dehydrating and time consuming preparation, and have therefore hesitated to try my hand at raw desserts…Well, I don’t know what took me so long! The actual assembly of this dessert is simple & fast – all you really need to do is blend the ingredients & pop it in a dish. The only advanced preparation needed is to soak the cashews the night before, and even this isn’t completely necessary,  but I would recommend it as it gives the nuts a creamier texture as well as activating the enzymes in them and making them easier to digest. Coconut Oil can be a bit pricey, but you will need it for this recipe as it is responsible for ‘setting’ the cheesecake (Coconut Oil solidifies in cold temperatures) – it’s also worth investing in to use for baking & cooking, as it is safe to heat to very high temperatures [incidentally, my Indian friends swear by using it on their hair once or twice a month!]. These ‘Cheesecakes’ are so much like the original, in texture and taste, you wouldn’t guess they are raw…Here are two variations for you to try out:

Raw Lemon Cheesecake (modified version of the one found in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 1/2 cups Nuts (your choice, I used a mixture of Hazelnuts, Walnuts & Cashews) or 1 cup Nut Meal (eg: Almond or Hazelnut)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup pitted Dates (soaked in hot water for about 15 mins. to soften)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups raw Cashews (soaked overnight, or atleast 8 hours, in filtered water) and rinsed

3/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 cup Agave Syrup (or 1/4 tsp. Stevia powder & 1/3 cup Agave)

3/4 cup Coconut Oil (liquid form)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

zest of 1 Lemon (optional)

1/2 cup Water, as needed (use the soaking water from the dates)

 

Method:

– For the crust: Process the nuts into small pieces with the salt in a food processor. Slowly add Dates and mix well, then mix in Coconut. Press ‘dough’ into the bottom of a Cheesecake dish or pan (9-inch), and place in refrigerator until needed.

– For the filling: Blend Cashews, Lemon Juice, Agave (and Stevia, if using), Coconut Oil, and Vanilla (and Lemon Zest, if using), in your blender/food processor. Add just enough Water to blend into a smooth ‘cream’. Pour onto the crust in the dish and place in freezer for about an hour until firm. Then refrigerate until serving. (Keeps for about 5 days, if it lasts that long…)

Raw Carob (or Chocolate) Cheesecake (based on a recipe in Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Desserts: Delicious & Easy Raw Food Recipes for Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Puddings, Mousses, Cobblers, Candies & Ice Creams)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup Almond Meal

dash of Salt

1/2 cup of pitted Dates (soaked for about 15 mins.)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups of raw Cashews, soaked overnight (or atleast a few hours) and rinsed

1/3 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 tsp. Stevia powder or another 1/3 cup Agave

1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1/4 cup Water (use soaking Water from Dates)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup Coconut Oil, liquid form

3/4 cup Carob powder, or Chocolate powder

 

Method:

– For the Crust & Filling: Same as with Raw Lemon Cheesecake, but adding Coconut Oil and Carob powder at the end for the filling, after blending the rest of the ingredients.

Raw Lemon Cheesecake...

 

*Keep in mind that this dessert is packed with calories, albeit good ones, so take it easy…(says me, who devoured a whole Cheesecake to myself in a matter of 2 days -whoops!)

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