Cleansing with Frank Juice
This hot summer season is ideal for juice cleanses, so only 6 weeks after I tried my first one, I already started a new one. The sweltering temperatures curb the appetite, so having to manage without food wasn't really a huge problem. I particularly like the Frank Juices for their balanced combination of filling juices and refreshing drinks.
Frank Juice consists of six numbered 500ml bottles of freshly squeezed juices per day. The numbers tell you the sequence the juices are supposed to be drunk.
They come in green, gold, red, yellow and white and contain the following ingredients:
Green: apple, celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, lemon, ginger
Gold: pineapple, apple, mint
Red: beetroot, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger
Yellow: lemon, cayenne, turmeric, agave
White: cashew, date, vanilla, cinnamon, sesame
I really enjoyed the golden drink - it was wonderfully refreshing, especially on a day spent sitting on the banks of and swimming in the Danube. The yellow one is very different and a bit of an acquired taste. It containts cayenne pepper and is quite spicy. I wasn't sure at first whether the spice came from ginger root, but there isn't any in it. Soothing and delicious on the other hand: drink number 6 - a white, milky, sweet tasting juice that's really nice for evenings and more filling than the other juices.
Little-known fact: the largest part of our immune system sits in the gut. A juice cleanse like this one gives your digestive system a well-earned break.
If you can stand it in your everyday life - not always easy, particularly when you've got client meetings or long workdays - you should completely refrain from eating solid foods during the cleanse. One of the most important things is to entirely avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and animal products like meat, cheese, eggs, milk and processed sugar. In addition to the juices, you should drink plenty of water and herbal tea.
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And don't worry about not getting enough nutrients - Frank juices contain all essential ones. I had very long work days and lots of client meetings, so I cheated a little with the occasional date-coconut flake and chia seed energy ball.
Before you start the Frank cleanse, I recommend a step-by-step reduction of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, animal products like meat, eggs as well as processed sugar. Fruit, especially berries - raspberries, blueberries and strawberries - and stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, apricots, melons, pineapple) are ideal to eat regularly, so are all kinds of veggies.
Frank Juice instructions advise adding tons of legumes and nuts to your menu as well before the cleanse. That means lentils, chickpeas and beans, which contain a lot of protein, and nuts like cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and Brazil nuts. Gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet are also highly recommended.
Drink the juices in two hour increments - of course this isn't always possible due to appointments and, well, hunger. So I sometimes had my juices 1 1/2 or even 3-4 hours apart. Due to these food intake restrictions, I got tired a lot faster and my normal 6 hours of sleep weren't enough anymore. The juices' high fructose content give you a big energy boost, but it doesn't last very long. I got tired quickly in between juices.
But even if your energy levels dip a bit, you should still get your blood moving with exercise whenever you can. On my first day, I did a bodystyling class at the gym, burning a ton of calories as well as energy - probably not the ideal type of exercise when you're juicing. A better idea: a spot of swimming and long walks.
Some people get slight headaches during juice cleanses. The reason for this is the cleansing process your body goes through, flushing out toxins from your system. The elevated concentration of metabolic products like uric acid can trigger headaches but so can low blood sugar and caffeine withdrawal. I don't drink much coffee, so that wasn't an issue for me. More good things to indulge in for your cleanse: alkaline herbal teas, alkaline baths and alternating hot and cold showers.
Just like before the cleanse, you should watch your diet afterwards as well. The great thing about this: after a juice diet, your body can optimally process and absorb food. Take advantage of that! Your stomach shrinks while you're fasting, so you're less hungry in general after you've finished. Of course everyone's impatient to eat solid foods and things you've missed, but take care to start slowly and chew any food you eat carefully. The first 1-2 days after the cleanse, you should still be eating soups and drinking smoothies. Unfortunately grill season was upon me immediately afterwards and so I couldn't possibly be as diligent as I would have wanted to be. But then there's the option of a veggie barbecue....
And now I want to give you a couple of great recipes for those post-cleanse days. Ideal for the hot summer season!
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Ingredients for Italian Zucchini Soup:
- 1 zucchini
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp spice of your choice (oregano/thyme/rosemary/basil)
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Ingredients for Porridge with Cinnamon and Banana:
- 1 banana
- 5 TBSP oats (whole grain)
- 300ml almond milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 grated apple
Preparation of Italian Zucchini Soup - Lunch:
- Finely chop zucchini.
- Finely chop or press the garlic. Combine with the oil and the spices in a pan and briefly braise over a medium heat.
- Add the zucchini pieces and cook for a short while. Deglaze with the stock, cover with a lid and simmer for around 8 minutes.
- Puree the soup and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Cut the stem from the tomato, deseed it and cube the pulp. Scatter the tomato pieces into the soup.
Preparation of Porridge with Cinnamon and Banana - Dinner:
- Grate the apple and set aside.
- Add the milk, oats and cinnamon to a pot and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
- Add the apple and cook over a low heat while stirring until the oats have absorbed all the milk and turned into a soft, creamy porridge.
- Mash the banana and fold it into the oatmeal. Serve immediately.
Tip: If your porridge is a little too thick, add some more milk, if it's too thin, add more oats until you have the desired consistency.