Is this cleanse plan extreme?
I’ve studied – and tried – lots of different health approaches, such as Ayurveda, Chinese nutrition, raw food, and the diets of the healthiest cultures around the world, plus our western diet and popular weight loss diets.
After studying to become a holistic nutritionist, I’ve taken a balanced perspective, borrowing from disciplines around the world. I’ve looked at the benefits and potential problems with all of these diets and what works long term.
This is not an extreme, imbalanced detox like many fad Western diets. This is not the Master Cleanse, or a juice fast or a forced detox. This is a healthy way of eating and living, that could be followed longer than a week if you really wanted to.
What about herbal supplements?
You don’t need to take any additional supplements beyond the ones I regularly recommend for long-term health.
However, if your body is deficient in certain nutrients or imbalanced in a certain way, you may need extra supplements to rebalance and catch up.
There will be recommendations in the cleanse program, and I’m always available for a one on one consultation if you want to work in more depth and figure out your hidden blocks and imbalances.
How often should I cleanse?
Some people live in a state of constant cleansing, which isn’t healthy in the long term.
That said, the cleanses as I set them up could be a healthy way to live – particularly the veggie cleanse. I usually suggest taking a 3-day tune up four times a year, at the change of seasons, but once you’re on a healthy track long term you may only need once a year.
When you’re first getting started, if you have a lot to cleanse from a history of overeating or eating the wrong things for your body, you may get maximum benefits by cleansing once a month.
I’m training for a race and/or I exercise a lot. Will I get enough food? And what about protein?
Yes! This cleanse is NOT about calorie restriction – in fact, the online portion calculator will make sure that you get enough energy for your activity level.
The protein in this plan comes from plant sources, like quinoa and peas, and there is an ‘athletic’ version of the plan that will add some plant-based protein powder to boost the protein percentage relative to carbs and fat.
What if I get hungry?
This cleanse is not about deprivation, so feel free to eat more! I have tips inside the members’ site about good options if you feel hungry, but basically you can eat however much you like of the foods I have in the cleanse, which are wonderfully nourishing whole plant foods.
So eat more bananas, avocados, oats, quinoa, almond butter, add some vegan protein powder – whatever keeps you going within the basic outline of the cleanse is totally fine!
And I’m here to help you if you run into problems with any aspect of the cleanse.
Do the recipes include corn?
I occasionally use frozen corn in a recipe, but it’s easily left out or swapped for frozen peas, red pepper or any other vegetable you like.
Are the recipes low-glycemic or diabetic-friendly?
I don’t design recipes specifically for diabetics, but I don’t generally use much sweetener and I focus on whole plant foods that have a lot of fiber. When compared to a standard Western diet, the recipes will be much better for maintaining fairly stable blood sugar levels – but aren’t specifically designed for that.
There are some easy swaps you can make to lower the glycemic load of the recipes. Any unrefined dry sugar can be switched for coconut sugar. Maple syrup can be swapped for brown rice syrup. Bananas can be swapped for avocados in smoothies, or any lower-glycemic fruit in a snack or meal.
Are the recipes nut-free?
I do use some nuts, but they’re easily swapped out for seeds if you have an allergy or sensitivity. Any of the nuts can be swapped for seeds or maybe some avocado, and peanut butter can be replaced with sunflower seed butter, tahini or any other nut-free butter.
Are the recipes oil-free?
The recipes are generally quite low in oil, or don’t use any at all. I try to show in all my recipes how to make meals that are delicious without relying on oil.
However, if you want to eliminate oil entirely, there is usually a note in the recipe suggesting you can swap oil for vegetable broth, water or wine for sauteeing, or toasted sesame seeds for times when toasted sesame oil is used for flavor.
Are the recipes gluten/wheat-free?
I generally create meals and recipes that are inherently gluten-free, but I do include some bread/pasta/flour in some of my plans to make things easy and familiar. In those cases, I give a ‘gluten-free’ option.
In the meal plans and cleanses, you can select ‘gluten-free’ in the customization box that will switch any bread, wraps, pasta and pitas for cooked whole grains or spaghetti squash. The grocery list will be changed accordingly.
I do use rolled oats for many of the breakfasts, which will work for anyone who either isn’t sensitive to oats or can find gluten-free oats, but for anyone who is sensitive to even gluten-free oats they’ll have to use other grains for those breakfasts (like rolled quinoa, or cooked brown rice) or swap in the oat-free breakfasts in the plan for those breakfasts.
Do you use tofu/soy?
The only soy products I used are frozen green edamame beans (which you can easily swap for any other type of bean you prefer or even frozen peas) and tamari/soy sauce (which you can swap for a soy-free aminos or just a bit of sea salt). I don’t include any tofu, tempeh or other soy products in my recipes.
In the meal plans and cleanses, you can also check the ‘soy-free’ option in the customization box, and the online system will make those swaps for you in the plan and the recipes.
Are all the recipes vegan? i.e. Do they avoid dairy, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, and honey?
Yup, this is a 100% vegan meal plan. It’s not to discourage my meat-eating followers, but to be honest I don’t know how to cook chicken or eggs, and since I’m vegan I do things plants-only.
It’s also the best way to teach you about all of the amazing plant foods out there while supporting my vegan and vegetarian followers.
Vegans and vegetarians will find this meal plan exactly tailored to your needs, and meat-eaters can treat it as an opportunity to learn about some new plant foods.
When does the next program start?
We can start whenever you’re ready! The programs are all self-guided. They’re set up in a private members’ site, where you can access all the resources right away, get yourself organized and prepared, and then start on whatever day works for you!
You can also come back and do it again whenever you like, since you can download all the resources and your access to the site doesn’t expire – I’ll always be here to help support you by email or in the forum whenever you need it!
What kitchen equipment will I need? Will I need to buy a $400 blender?
You can do some really fun things with a rambo blender, but I would never tell you that you absolutely had to buy one.
Healthy eating doesn’t require any special equipment, but here are the tools I use on a regular basis and would be used to make the recipes: a good knife, a cutting board, pots and pans, various utensils (spoons, ladles, flippers, etc), and some kind of blender or food processor.
I sometimes use other tools (like a citrus zester and a garlic press) but you can get by if you don’t have them.
Do you use any weird ingredients?
Well, ‘weird’ is a bit subjective, but I keep the ingredient list for my recipes as simple as possible, using vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and seasonings that you should be able to find at any major supermarket.
There are a few things that might be tricky to find (like coconut oil, quinoa, nutritional yeast) but the good news is that those things are now really easy to find and order online.
If you really can’t get hold of something, or it’s too expensive where you are (avocados where I am right now are $3 each!!!), just let me know and I’ll help you figure out an alternative.
I’ve never cooked for myself before. Am I going to be able to make the meals?
I design recipes to be as easy as possible for people who aren’t used to cooking for themselves, or aren’t used to cooking whole plant foods. I put the recipes and meals together using as few packaged foods as possible, so you will be learning how to cook things from scratch, but you can totally do it.
Even the most beginner cooks have told me they weren’t overwhelmed, and actually enjoyed gaining confidence in their skills in the kitchen.
I put together some articles and videos in the program showing you all the important things you need to know about cooking vegetables, whole grains and beans and using seasonings so that you shouldn’t have any trouble with the recipes.
Do we really get to eat cookies?
You betcha! There is such thing as a healthful cookie: meaning a cookie that actually adds to your health and nutrition for the day. One meal plan even shows you how to make breakfast cookies, that you can eat along with a smoothie for a delicious and nourishing start to your day. Definitely winning that day.
Am I actually going to follow this plan?
Personally, I don’t like following meal plans or recipes all the time. You may not follow the plan as laid out, but hopefully it’s still a good resource to give you lots of new healthy recipes and also show you how to portion meals to get the right amount of nourishment and energy for you.
It can also be used as a guide to show how to get balanced nutrition on a vegan diet. I put this together to show you how healthy eating works, so you can understand it and make sure that you’re getting the right nutrition and make meals for yourself every day.
My goal is not to get you hooked on buying meal plans every week – it’s to empower you to make your own plan and just know how to eat healthfully on a daily basis.
What happens if I don’t like one of the meals?
If there’s one recipe or meal that you look at and know that you’re not going to want to eat, feel free to change whatever you don’t like about it.
I often give substitution suggestions, but if you really don’t like anything about a meal you can swap in another meal from the plan, anything from the bank of hundreds of healthy recipes, or any other healthy recipe you enjoy – you can input your own into the program. Then just print off an updated grocery list and calendar, and any other recipes.
I don’t have a lot of time to cook. Are the meals quick to prepare?
I designed the plan to have simple, quick meals on weeknights and any longer meals, or ones to be made in larger batches, are on weekends. I generally try to keep weeknight meals to 30 minutes cooking time, and weekends might be 45 minutes or an hour. I also try to keep meals to one or two pots so that dish cleaning time is minimized as well.
If you have days when you just have absolutely no time to make a meal, I have a section in the site where I divulged my secret shortcuts and options for making packaged foods healthier, as well as tips for eating out and at parties.
What happens if there’s a day where I can’t cook, or I’m going out with friends?
That’s no problem – just take the concepts of healthy eating I give you in the plan to try to make fairly healthy choices, and then pick back up the next day or the next meal. You’ll just have a bit of extra food if you followed the grocery list from the start. But that means you can make the meal you missed as an extra meal after the plan!
Do I have to follow the plan exactly as laid out?
No, definitely not! I set up the plan to be as detailed and complete as possible for the people who want that kind of support and structure. My best friend loves it because she’s a super-planner and my meal plans take the load off her cause she knows exactly what and how much and when to eat.
But you could easily just look at the recipes and meals and do your own thing – either following them as laid out but in a different order, or just take them as ideas and make them in your own way. You could follow a day of the plan, and then do your own thing for a day, then come back to another day of the plan. However you want to do it.
You can add things, you can take things out if you don’t like them, you can swap foods around. You can swap meals around to different days, you can swap other meals into the plan from the bank of hundreds of other recipes to find one that suits your taste, you can even input your own recipes! Once you’re done, you just have to print off the new grocery list, calendar and recipes.
The plan may seem very precise and exact, but that’s only because I made it for the people (like my best friend) who want that degree of precision. For the people (like me) who prefer general guidelines and concepts to exactness, just think of the plan as an idea from which you can jump off in your own way.
Is this just a scam to take my money and/or email address?
Absolutely not!! I take a lot of pride in the work I do, and my standards for email communication. I will never ever sell your email address, I will never give it to anyone else for any purpose, and I will only contact you for this plan or for future programs I put together that I think you might be interested in.
You can always unsubscribe from any email list you’re on, and you can always email me if you have questions or concerns. I am a real person, providing real programs and services, and if you have any doubts whatsoever just send me a note and I’d be happy to call you on the phone to talk and let you know I’m really here ?
If you sign up for something and find that it isn’t what you were expecting, or find it isn’t useful to you, then I will be happy to refund 100% of your purchase.
Can I download the video and audio content to watch/listen offline?
Yes – most people don’t allow this in membership sites, but I give you the ability to download all of the videos and audio in the plan so that you can watch offline and keep them forever.
I’m saying ‘forever’ here because this is more on your side, and totally out of my control but once you have a digital file it should theoretically last forever. Sometimes computers decide to crash and take all of their data with them.
If such an event should happen to occur in your life, you can just log in to the site and download everything again. You can also email me to cry about your loss of data, because it’s a horrible thing to have happen and I will most definitely cry with you.
How long will I have access to the programs?
Your access to the programs you sign up for won’t expire, so you’ll be able to go into the site as long as I continue to run the members’ site, which I plan to do indefinitely.
I’m not going to say ‘forever’ because that’s a lot to live up to… That would also involve post-mortem planning, which I’m not quite ready to think about. But pretty much as long as I’m alive and getting your support and feedback on this site, I’ll keep it going.