You just finished cleansing for 10 or 20 days, and you are overjoyed that you were able to complete the journey without slipping up on the diet. During your raw foods diet, we don’t doubt that you were fantasizing about the first unhealthy thing you could devour upon finishing. Maybe you planned a huge post-cleanse meal to reward yourself for working so hard to become healthier. Think again because there are crucial steps to take immediately after you finish cleansing.
The best way to think of the cleanse is this: you just gave your body a rest. You may be thinking, “A rest? I just busted my butt to take all these capsules and eat those fruits and vegetables all day long. That was work!” It seemed like work because it differed from your regular routine, but the body just received a break from meat, dairy products, processed foods, refined sugars, junk food, and caffeine, all of which can impair proper digestion, circulation, immune function, and more. Additionally, those foods can lead to fat accumulation, so why would you want to plan a meal consisting of all of those foods after you cleansed them from your system?
Your Post-Cleanse Diet:
The food you eat after you finish cleansing should be easy on the digestive system. The goal is to make nutrient-dense meals are properly portioned and vegetable-heavy. For your lunches and dinners, vegetables should comprise at least two-thirds of your plate. Remember those foods you ate while cleansing? You can still eat them all day, every day! Fresh ingredients are not reserved for your cleansing diet. Crazy, right? This is to say that it’s acceptable, encouraged even, to eat what you ate during your cleanse after you finish cleansing. Start your mornings with a smoothie and don’t be afraid to eat a salad!
Eat Those Veggies:
Whether you eat them raw, sautéed, or lightly steamed, aim to eat three to five servings of vegetables per day. Most Americans fail to consume enough vegetables, which is why their diets lack fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamins, and other nutrients that help to move food through the digestive tract. Remember those raw zucchini noodle pasta dishes you made during your cleanse? Give the zucchini noodles a quick sauté with the other ingredients in the pasta for a healthy dinner. You can also steam vegetables and puree them into soups for low calorie, filling meals.
Keep Drinking Water:
Don’t let your water intake take a dive (pun intended) in your post-cleanse diet. Continue to supply the body with water so that it doesn’t become dehydrated or cause impaired digestion, or poor circulation. Water is a miracle beverage, people! Don’t forget that you can continue drinking hot herbal teas and mix lemons, cucumber, berries, or herbs into your water for natural flavorings.
Nix The Caffeine & Coffee:
While we are on the topic of post-cleansing liquids, don’t down a pot of coffee immediately after your cleanse is over. If caffeine is something that you want to incorporate back into your diet, it must be done at a slow pace. Start with one cup of green tea in the morning, or ¼ cup of black coffee. That ¼ cup of coffee will hit you a lot harder than you think because your energy levels should be high at the end of your cleanse. Keeping your caffeine consumption at moderate levels is acceptable, but going overboard with sugars and dairy products in your coffee will contribute to blood sugar spikes and crashes, and even weight gain.
Don’t Forget To Move:
Movement is movement, whether you are taking part in a yoga class, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, or rebounding. Generally, it is advised to take it slow and avoid pushing the body to the brink of exhaustion. Be gentle with the body and make sure that you eat the right foods pre-and post-workout. Provide the body with energy, protein, and complex carbs to use during your workout, and eat nourishing foods post-workout to help with repair and recovery.
Skip Happy Hour:
We know you don’t want to hear this, especially if you were craving a drink during the entirety of your cleanse. Skip those after work drinks and don’t reach for the glass of wine after dinner. Alcohol contains sugar, which you should also avoid after your cleanse. Drinking alcohol puts undo stress on the liver and it causes you to crave unhealthy foods, which leads to increased caloric intake and weight gain.
We understand that becoming a vegetarian or maintaining the raw food diet isn’t in the cards for all of you, so we know that you will incorporate animal proteins or animal-based foods back into your diet. Try to avoid these foods for at least the first three days after you finish cleansing. If you add animal proteins back into your diet, choose high-quality varieties, including wild-caught fish or grass-fed organic beef. Poultry actually contributes to high cholesterol, so it is best to avoid it. Aim to get protein from green vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
Finally, don’t neglect your sleep because maintaining a healthy sleep cycle is one of the best ways to manage stress levels and recharge the body. When you don’t sleep properly, the likelihood of caffeine consumption and eating unhealthy foods increases exponentially. Get your beauty sleep to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet when you finish your cleanse.