Whole Living Daily

Your 2012 Action Plan Burning Questions Answered!

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After looking over the Facebook comments from everyone, it's clear that there are some recurring questions that people have, so I am going to answer them here for everyone. I hope this helps!

1. Snacking: When should you do it and how much should you eat?

You want to space out your meals and snacks every 3 to 5 hours. If you're nonstop nibbling throughout the day, you're not giving your metabolism a chance to stabilize. And don't just snack because it seems like a good time to munch on something. If you're truly hungry, great. If not, wait until you are. This cleanse is about re-identifying with hunger.

For how much to eat, the snack recipes we've included all have serving sizes. So, for the Dried Fruit and Nut Bites (which are delicious, by the way), the recipes makes 20 and serves 5, so 4 is an ample serving size. We really want this detox to be successful for you though, so it's wise to keep extra fruit or crunchy, raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, celery) around to grab when you feel your blood sugar waning. You want to re-identify with hunger, but this shouldn't be total deprivation.

2. Meals: How many can you eat?

The way that we've devised the plan is that each recipe stands alone for a meal: a smoothie or juice for breakfast, a salad for lunch, soup for dinner. If you really need to supplement a recipe with something else, go for it. You want to feel nourished and satisfied enough to make this plan one that you can sustain for three (or four) weeks.

3. Tea: Can you drink it?

Herbal teas are allowed. Teas that naturally have caffeine, including green and black, are off limits.

4. Exercise: Is it allowed during the cleanse?

All of our bodies are different, but the first week of the cleanse is strict and delivers little protein. Without fuel for exercise, it's smart to stick to gentle stretching this week and not engage in anything too vigorous. Next week we add back seafood and beans and lentils to the eating plan, so more rigorous activity is OK.

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Comments (34)

  • Thank you! This addresses many of the questions I had . I like to graze - so I'm having a tough eating only every 3 - 5 hours. And... uh.... I'm training for a half marathon in March! Eek. The runs have been challenging but I'm trying to keep up. Maybe that's the reason for the snacking... :)

  • This is really helpful! I think what ou said about not depriving ourselves. People often view detoxes as fasts, but they're far from that.

  • Today I felt like sunshine was coming through my skin, and I feel really happy and bouncy. I am loving everything so far, but I do wish there was 1 more dinner option. Last night's broccoli and squash with tahini sauce was a big hit though! I am looking forward to the rest of the week, I feel like this cleanse is challenging enough to be a change, but easy enough to be doable for the average person.

  • Hi Lindsay, I hope you are looking through the blog posts as well. There are quite a few questions out there and not everyone is a facebook user.
    Thanks,
    Elaine

  • Loving all the recipes so far! However, tried to make the Fruit and Nut Bites but the dried fruit I bought (Tropical Mix from Trader Joe's) would not break down. So, now I have a ziplock bag of Fruit and Nut crumbles that won't stick together. My Cuisinart simply won't process the fruit (in fact, the blade broke and I had to order another one last night!). Is there something else that's healthy (a nut butter? tahini?) I could add to the crumbles to get them to stick together? Thanks.

  • Thank you! I have done a few cleanses where green tea was allowed along with herbal teas, so was wondering about that.

    Also, the butternut squash soup is delicious!

  • Day 2 - tried the Avocado/Bell Pepper salad today. So yummy! First detox for me, and giving up the caffeine was scary, but so far so good...just a mild headache. The spicy chickpeas give a great protein boost for the mid-afternoon snack! Bring on Day 3!

  • THANK YOU for this Q&A - it answered a few of the questions I had. Keep it up, please! :)
    I'm having fun blogging about this process on my blog located at hermanshealthyhabits.com. A great excuse to get me blogging daily!

  • For Elaine, I also had problems with my food processor chopping my dried fruit - i had dried mangos and dried cherries from the bins at Whole Foods - finally I tore up the mango into very small pieces and kept at it, clearing the blade often, and it finally worked. But then, I also had problems getting the chopped fruit and nuts to stick together. I took about a tablespoon of honey and maybe 2-3 TBL of water and mixed them together and then added it to the mixture and it made it more wet so it would stick together. I know the honey doesn't jive with our "no sugar" for the cleanse, but I was hoping its stickiness would help - and hoped 1 TBL wouldn't hurt too much!

    We loved the cauliflower/red pepper dish, loved the kale/red cabbage salad, loved the beet/carrot/pear smoothie - then, my husband liked the brocolli/tahini dish tonight but I thought it was awful. Looks like several people here liked it so I might have to re-try it!

  • to everyone having problems chopping up the fruit for the fruit and nut bites! i used dried apples and raisins and it worked just fine. and i have a pretty cheap processor. try that combo! its also delissshh

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Super helpful! Bye bye my one cup of Green Tea.

  • Elaine, I had the same problem with the dried fruit. I added a bit of water and then ended up mixing the nuts and fruit together in the fod processor. It got mushy enough to put into the balls and are delicious. I di get a bigger nbite of dried fruit every once in a while, but they do the trick. 4 is the perfect snack.

  • Thanks for posting this Lindsay! I'm wondering if anyone knows what happened to the roasted chickpea recipe or the any-bean-dip snack recipe? I'm guessing they got taken down because we're not supposed to have legumes until week two, but I have to say I'm really really struggling with the low protein and as a recent college graduate, I don't have a food processor so I can't do the fruit and nut bites, so I was kinda counting on the bean dip for tomorrow to get me through. Thanks again!

  • Dates work really well for the fruit and nut bites, as do raisins, I really want to try figs next.

  • Thanks for the ideas for the fruit and nut bites! Something will work. To Bri who is without food processor and in need of protein: I actually think the pistachio stuffed dates are better without processing the pistachios -- you get a better crunch if you just roughly chop the nuts instead. I love that snack -- really easy to make as one-offs on the fly once you have the pistachios shelled and chopped.

  • I, too, had a hard time with the fruit and nut bites. I found a ratio of 3.5 cups of fruit to 2 cups of nuts worked best. also, I had to process them separately, mix a bit with my hands, then REprocess together to get them truly combined. Also - I found that using a large amount of fairly sticky fruits - dates and dried apricots...1 cup each - helped a lot. I was tempted to add some honey, but didn't.

    Also - toast the sesame seeds for a minute in a hot pan - it helps

  • Author Comment:

    Hi cleansers!
    I'm sorry to hear about the trouble with the Fruit + Nut Bites. We've been enjoying them at the office! I consulted our deputy food editor Shira Bocar and she said that some dried fruits are quite dry and more difficult to break down than others. For our recipe, we used a blend of apricots, raisins, and cherries. Figs and dates (both which tend to be more sticky) would work well, too. She recommends soaking the dried fruit in hot water until it softens a bit. Once the dried fruit is plump, discard the water and it should be easier to blend. I hope this helps!

  • This was very good information. thank you. This fourth year is the best yet. Simple, but "to the point."

  • @Bri you are right - those snacks are gone now (chickpeas, bean dip, amaranth). I guess it is because they have legumes and grains and we don't get those til later. But I am frustrated because I already made them and have been eating them and now I find out that we shouldn't have been eating them. I have been SO good this week and it is disappointing to have had this glitch in the program. The cauliflower and red pepper was a fantastic dinner tonight!

  • Fruit and Nut Bite Success! Thanks for the feedback, Leslie. I had to pick the dried fruit bits out of the crumbled mixture and then soak the fruit as suggested. Since I am sans food processor until the need blade comes, I had to process the fruit in the blender. So for anyone w/o a food processor: I processed the fruit with the water and then drained it in a mesh colander (pressing out the water w/ a wooden spoon). To process the nuts, you can put them in a ziplock bag and smash them with a meat malllet or by rolling a rolling pin (or wine bottle) over them until they are thoroughly crushed. Then knead together the fruit and nuts as the recipe says. The Fruit and Nut Bites are fabulous. In fact, the only problem is that my kids are gobbling them up!

  • I've noticed preparation is my biggest issue and I wish I could get more of the food already prepared. So far the green machine smoothie and the kale slaw are the only things I've made. I don't have a jucier but I have been taking advantage of the JuiceJoint in DC, and the grapefruit and carrot juice recipe seems like it's more than one serving. Other than that I'm enjoying it and plan to continue to use some of the recipes going forward.

  • @Jackie, I highly reccomend steaming the cabbage and cooking the onions in a little olive oil for the steamed squash and broccoli dinner. I did after my detox partner warned me about the taste and it was exceptionally good! I'm not a big cabbage fan but steamed it was delicious!
    I too am dissapointed about the chickpeas, I didn't realize that they were not intended for week one so I made the roasted ones and made some hummus for a snack. Bummer! Hopefully we are still getting the good cleanse from week one despite this.
    Thank goodness for my local health food store where they sell date bites rolled in unsweetened coconut!

  • I don't understand the porshens of the diners shold I eat only 1/4 of the hall recepy ?

  • Portion size question for meals??? If we follow the recipe, do we section it out for 1 portion size, or can we have 2 or more?

  • Ok, this might be a silly question.... But.. Is coconut milk considered dairy? If it is I'll avoid it. But if not, I think a good vegetable curry would fit well into the plan (without the rice, of course).

    Thanks!

  • @Mireille
    Coconut water is not dairy! Nice, eh? Curry sounds fabulous! I'm eating the cauliflower, with kalamata olives, toasted walnuts instead of almonds, and parsley. Soooo good. Love the olives!

  • Along with a few of the other commenters, i have also incorperated beans into a few meals this week. Looking back i realize that they are not allowed until week 2. At first i was disappointed by this, thinking that i totally ruined my cleanse and would have to start all over. Although, with so many trigger foods being removed, i am better able to identify how certain foods make me feel. I notice now that everytime i eat beans i feel very bloated and heavy, with extreme gas. This is really important to me because this cleanse has been more about adjusting the way i think about and treat food than it has been about purifying my body. It has been difficult to go without protein since cutting out the beans so i look forward to being able to incorperate some lean meats and grain!

  • I have an additional question: what about if you have a semi-restricted diet? I'm fairly aware of how certain foods make me feel, and (for example), rarely eat starches. I also choose not to eat mushrooms or any seafood. I want to do the cleanse (and intend to once my strep throat goes away), but are there any recommendations anyone has for substitutions?

  • Cleansers:
    Have any of you struggled with the sheer TIME this eating plan takes? I feel like I'm spending almost all of my time shopping, cutting, cleaning, cooking, cleaning dishes... not to mention the time to clean out the juicer each morning.

    Thoughts or tips?

    I've been enjoying the challenge so far and have been having fun blogging about it each day. Nice way to keep track of how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking...

  • DAY 7 7PM in Wyoming
    Kim! YES! I feel it safe to say we all do find this ALL Consuming :P

    Good tip for the Juicer is to put the store veggie bag (we all have) inside the compost side of your Juicer, WAA LAA half clean now! What lovely compost for our gardens, chicken food, or ya just toss it.
    Tip 2 if I may -Before printing the recipe or shopping list use your computer to get rid of double ingreds and stuff you have on hand. (backspace) print that and take it to the store.
    Week 2 was not as expensive as Week 1 and our Natural Foods had almost everything right in a row -yeah.

    That Winter Veggie Recipe takes a lot of time and shrinks down a bunch -def double up on this one YUM. The Bok Choy Salmon was delicious, Steve and I had to skip ahead one day as I didn't have energy to visit our Son-In-Law who was just passing threw on his way to Afganistan and hoped for a meal and a nice bed. It really made me feel grrreat. We had our mango,pinepple,orange,bananna went to church then made the DAY 7 7PM in Wyoming
    Kim! YES! I feel it safe to say we all do find this ALL Consuming :P

    Good tip for the Juicer is to put the store veggie bag (we all have) inside the compost side of your Juicer, WAA LAA half clean now! What lovely compost for our gardens, chicken food, or ya just toss it.
    Tip 2 if I may -Before printing the recipe or shopping list use your computer to get rid of double ingreds and stuff you have on hand. (backspace) print that and take it to the store.
    Week 2 was not as expensive as Week 1 and our Natural Foods had almost everything right in a row -yeah.

    That Winter Veggie Recipe takes a lot of time and shrinks down a bunch -def double up on this one YUM. The Bok Choy Salmon was delicious, Steve and I had to skip ahead one day as I didn't have energy to visit our Son-In-Law who was just passing threw on his way to Afganistan and hoped for a meal and a nice bed. It really made me feel better! Breakfast went back to WK 1 with a nice smoothie hit church then made the Miso Soup for lunch. I would like to know how this goes over for breakfast, takes a long time to make so double up, plan an hour start to finish. Just doesn't sound like AM food? Let me know...
    we are sticking to smoothies in love with Mango, Banana, Pineapple, Orange, Apple (not all everytime). Keep mango and pineapple chopped n frozen. Bad thing is it dirties blender and juicer. ohhh we add 1/2 beet ontop sometimes too -pretty!

    Steve is down 8 pds and 3 inches in a week!
    I am down 4 pds and 1 inch (measuring right at belly button). It's not a diet it's waist!
    HUGZ!

  • sorry! I thought I deleted part of that post when editing -lol
    HUGZ!

  • Hint for the fruit and nut balls, after blending use a piece of parchment paper and roll into a log then cut into the equal pieces and roll in the sesame seeds. Loved the Kale and cababage salad and the steamed broccoli.Roasted Garlic Beet(used golden beets instead of the red) & Spiced Butternut soup good also.

  • When I made the fruit/nut balls I used a container of figs from Trader Joes and the ground almond meal I got there also. The figs puréed easily without sticking in the food processor and then I added the nuts and cinnamon. They stuck together easily, and aren't too sweet. I find even one of these satisfying when I need a little boost. I don't have a juicer so bought the carrot juice and for the beet juice, I froze juillienned beets and used them in the smoothly. The roasted cauliflower has become my evening snack to replace my usual popcorn!

  • We are just completing week 2. Am I the only one that feels there is a lot of salt being added to the diet? I don't normally use as much as I have been. It certainly kicks up the flavor a notch but I'm wondering about its' effects nutritionally.

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