Q&A with AQ!! (Juice Cleanse Safety & 10 Recipes!)

Hi Alyssa, I have never done a juice cleanse before, but I have been having some tummy issues lately and thought this may be a good idea. Considering how I’ve never done this before, can you walk me through what I need to do before, during, and after….. If you could give me some recipes I’d greatly appreciate it!” — Megan

Juice cleansing is an art, it looks different for every body type. Based on your insulin and blood sugar needs, every will be different on the basic facts of when to do it, which veggies to use, and how long to do it for. Since I am NOT a licensed nutritionist or doctor, this is all based on my own research, trial and error with my own personal cleanses, and advice from nutritionists that I know. This is all info for the average person, a generalized rule of thumb. Please take into account your own dietary needs if you’re diabetic, have autoimmune diseases, or any other insulin balance issues.

1. On average, the most effective and safe juice cleanses are no longer than 3 days. This is to help support the fat burning process of your body. Because juice is primarily sugar carbs, if you deprive your body of protein and fat for too long, your body will think it’s starving! Don’t get crazy.

2. Before starting your cleanse, devote 3 days to a very clean diet. No processed sugars and junk food. Try to keep your meals small and nutrient dense.

3. Focus on GREENS as much as possible. They have the highest cleansing properties, lowest sugar content, and provide a bit of protein. About 2 liters per day of greens.

4. Try to keep your juices low in simple sugars like apples, grapes, fruit. Only about 1/2 liter per day of these.

5. For a total of 3 liters per day in a juice cleanse, this provides your body with enough calories to function, enough nutrients to flush the toxins, and enough quantity to keep you feeling full. Be sure to also drink equal parts water in between juices! Most of the time when I cleanse, I’m never hungry due to feeling totally stuffed on juices. Cravings are a total bummer though, and they make you think you’re hungry when you’re not.

5. If exercising while cleansing, keep it to 30-45min tops, moderate level. I recommend yoga, walking, biking. If you’re incorporating weights or muscle toning, be sure to add some vegan plant based protein powder to your juices.

6. When coming off of your juice cleanse, be gentle to your body! I recommend a raw food diet for 1.5days after the cleanse is completely. Steamed veggies, nuts, etc. DO NOT BINGE EAT!! If you flood your body with a massive meal full of junk, you will have ruined your entire cleanse, and you’ll most likely feel incredibly sick.

Here’s some recipes!! If you can, challenge yourself to add spinach or romaine to every juice recipe to up your green intake!

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Citrus Fat Burning Refresher:

  • 1/2 orange (peeled)
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
  • 1 small knob Ginger
  • 1/2 apple OR 1/2 tbs raw honey
  • 1 grapefruit (peeled)
  • 1 shake cayenne pepper (optional)
  • (if this is too zingy for you, add half a cucumber to tone it down)

Green Digestion Booster:

  • 1 green apple
  • 1 packed handful spinach
  • 2 stalks kale or 2 leaves romaine
  • 1 stick celery (include leaves!)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 stick of fennel, including 1/4 of the bulb
  • (1 cube ginger for a little kick)

Water Retention Flat Belly Flush:

  • 2 beetroot (you can juice the stalks and leaves too!)
  • 2 sticks celery (rinse thoroughly, include leaves)
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 5 leaves parsley OR 5 leaves dandelion
  • (1 cube ginger)

Glowing Skin/Sharp Mind:

  • 1/2 grapefruit (peeled)
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 apple (if not sweet enough)

Craving Kicker:

  • 4 wedges watermelon (about 1 cup juiced)
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 apple
  • (3 leaves mint for a fun perk!)

Mojito Make you Feel Better:

  • 5-8 leaves kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-2 limes (peeled)
  • 2 green apple’s (I prefer less)
  • 3 leaves mint

Sunshine on The Beach Energy Replenish:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 pineapple (peeled, cored)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (stirred in after)
  • (1/2 apple if not sweet enough)

Kickin’ Kidney Clear:

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups radishes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 apple (if you’re a sweet tooth add more apple!)

Happy Gut, Happy Life:

  • 3 cups purple cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 stick fennel, 1/2 of the bulb
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 apple

Cancer Defense:

  • 1 cup broccoli (can include stalks)
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 4 leaves romaine
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • 1-2 green apples

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Vanilla Birthday Cake, with “Diva” Caramel Frosting

Ella loves Vanilla cake, just like me! She specifically didn’t want cupcakes though, so I had to scrounge up some ingredients to make a cake. She had 2 parties, one with family, and one with friends. The first cake I made for the family birthday was good….but the second try was WAY better. As Ella would say, “Nailed it!”

The reason I called the caramel frosting “diva” is because in Redding we had a cupcake shop called SweetSpot. They had “Diva” cupcakes….caramel vanilla amazingness. These were Ella’s favorite, so I tried to recreate it! This frosting can be slathered on anything….oh my word I’m drooling just remembering how delicious it was!! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me using my hashtag! #fitmamaq

I’m sorry I don’t have better photos! I was in a rush so I forgot to take pictures of the sliced cake!!

 

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Vanilla Cake

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbls vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (I prefer maple syrup)

Combine wet ingredients first, except the coconut oil. Then add dry ingredients. Be sure to blend everything in food processor or use hand mixer so it’s not clumpy. Add melted coconut oil last, mix well. Pour into greased 9×9 baking dish. I baked mine in a flat pan so it would look like sandy beach. Bake 325 for 25-30min. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Diva Caramel Frosting

  • 1 & 1/4 cup vegan palm shortening OR quality organic butter, softened
  • 3 egg whites (you can sub 2tbs full fat coconut cream here***)
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (this gives the caramel color and flavor)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs tapioca flour (or arrowroot powder)

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved. Taking the metal bowl off heat, start to whisk immediately using high speed mixer. Either a hand mixer or kitchenaid. Mixture should start to peak, about 10 min. Keeping mixture on medium speed, add shortening or butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract at the end. Let set in refrigerator about 30min if piping. Frosting keeps at room temperature for 2 days.

**If you’d rather leave out the egg whites, using full fat coconut cream instead– Set the can of full fat coconut milk in refrigerator over night. Open can without shaking, scrape just the top cream out of the can, leaving the clear coconut water behind. Save for smoothies! Over low heat, warm the coconut sugar and salt with 1tbs water, stirring constantly until completely dissolved. Then add to the rest of the ingredients like above, whisking high speed.

 

(Here is a photo of my cupcake recipe from Aria’s birthday party, with the caramel frosting instead of strawberry!)

 

 

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Chicken Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce! (paleo, low fat, low carb)

We eat this all the time! It’s super easy, and such a crowd pleaser. Very few ingredients, and easy to build up based on what you have on hand! I’ve made this with Spaghetti Squash or Zucchini as the noodles. For Chris and Ella I usually make gluten free brown rice pad thai noodles.

 

Noodle Options- Both options serve 3-4 people.

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash

*Preheat oven to 375. Pierce squash a few times with fork. Wrap in foil. Roast 45-60min. Let cool in fridge for about 1hr, or let sit overnight in fridge if you want to prepare the night before. Slice thru midsection, not lengthwise, pull out seeds, then shred the “noodles” out with a fork. I like to rinse mine through a strainer, otherwise they shed too much liquid and can make the sauce too soupy. Set aside until Pad Thai sauce is ready!

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(as seen on @fitmamaq)

OR

  • 5-6 medium sized zucchini squash
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

*Using a vegetable spiralizer, make your “zoodles” to desired thickness. I prefer them thin for this recipe. Warm a large skillet with coconut oil (or use spray for lower fat). Stir fry on medium low heat, just til softened, not browned. Be sure not to overcook!

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(as seen on @fitmamaq)

Chicken and Pad Thai Peanut Sauce-

  • 3-4 organic chicken breasts chopped and cubed (coated in salt, pepper, and garlic powder for frying)
  • 3-5 green onions diced
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro diced
  • 1 dime sized cube fresh ginger, diced
  • 1/2 cup Betty Lou’s Organic Just Great Stuff Powdered Peanuts (or 4tbs peanut butter)
  • 1 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut milk (depends on preference)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • optional- add in extra stir fry veggies to cook with your chicken! Broccoli, white onion, red peppers, green peppers, bok choy! Get creative!

In a large skillet, fry chicken until browned (about 8-10min). In a small saucepan combine all sauce ingredients and wisk together on low heat, until bubbling. Be careful not to burn. Add noodles of choice to chicken skillet, pour sauce mixture into skillet. Sauteed on medium/low heat until well combined! Serve with siracha, fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro!

 

 

High Protein Dutch Baby Pancake! (paleo, grainfree)

I cook a lot with almond flour because I like the flavor and it’s the easiest nutritious grain free substitute for normal wheat flour. However, I LOVE coconut flour. When baked correctly, the flavor is even closer to normal flours, and the nutritional benefits are far greater than almond flour. It can be tricky to bake with though, since it’s a super absorbent fiber. If you’re baking with it be sure to always look up a recipe, or be aware that you’ll need about 1/3 less coconut flour than normal flours call for.

Fun Health Benefits of Coconut Flour-

High in lauric acid. Lauric acid is a healthy saturated fat which is essential for immune health. It is also known to help promote healthy skin and thyroid health.

High in manganese. Manganese is helpful in absorption of many different minerals including choline, biotin, vitamin C, and thiamine. It also helps promote a healthy immune system, thyroid health, and also helps to promote and stabilize healthy blood sugar levels.

High in fiber. Coconut flour is very rich in fiber. This means that not only is coconut flour healthy for digestion, but it will also help you feel fuller faster and stay fuller for longer. Because it is so dry and fibrous, however, it will absorb more liquid during mixing, and therefore requires more liquid to be added than regular wheat flour.

Coconut flour is unlike any other consisting of 14% coconut oil and 58% dietary fiber! The remaining 28% consists of water, protein, and carbohydrate. 

Dietary fiber acts like a broom, sweeping your intestinal contents along your digestive tract aiding in elimination, regularity and helping to promote digestive health. Since you cannot digest the dietary fiber in coconut flour, you derive no calories from it.

 

Studies have shown that an additional 14 grams of fiber daily (the amount in about ¼ cup of coconut flour) is associated with a 10% decrease in calorie intake and a resulting loss in body weight.

 

The only downfall with coconut flour is that it’s high fiber content requires excess liquid, which requires double the amount of eggs you would normally bake with. For vegans, this isn’t ideal! For those who love eggs and protein, coconut flour is for YOU.

Dutch Baby Pancakes are perfect for the whole family, because you get the luxury of a decadent breakfast, but all the nutrients needed for a high protein start to the day! This is also way less time consuming than making pancakes or waffles!

Serves 4

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (or arrowroot)
  • 1 tbs sweetener (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional-this just gives it a bit more fluff since coconut flour is more dense than normal flour)
  • optional add-ins- 1/2 cup blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped bananas!
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter (for preheating in the pan)

Preheat oven to 425, place baking dish in oven to preheat with oil or butter. If using butter, make sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn. Traditionally this is baked in a cast iron skillet, however you can use a glass baking dish or a non-stick baking dish as well. I used a 9×9 dutch baby skillet! But a 9×13 would work.

Using a high speed mixer, beat together wet ingredients first. Let the eggs get a little stiff for they rise fluffier. Add in dry ingredients still using high speed mixer.

Take out your preheated baking dish, slowly pour mixture into dish. Quickly return it to the oven. Bake 20-25min.

Top with sauteed apples in butter, coconut whip cream, maple syrup! Treat these like pancakes or waffles 🙂 You could even drizzle with melted chocolate and serve as dessert!

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Protein Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most of my baking is done for my husband and kids, so whenever there is a recipe approved I hurry to write it down! Chris is a fan of chewy soft chocolate chip cookies. These are more the consistency of a soft shortbread cookie, and he absolutely loved them!! Don’t want the calories of chocolate chips? Take em out and you’ve got a delicious protein shortbread cookie! That’s what I did for myself 😉 This recipe is quick and easy, all mixed together in one bowl!

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(no chocolate chips)

Makes 12-14 cookies.

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I used brown rice protein, choose a powder that tastes creamy and not too healthy. Use pea protein powder for Paleo)
  • 1 egg (or vegan 1tbs ground flax/ground chia + 3tbs warm water)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil softened
  • 3 tbs maple syrup (mine didn’t need much sweetener since my protein powder already is sweet)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together wet ingredients, except coconut oil. Slowly add in dry ingredients mashing together with a spoon. Once it’s well combined, add in your softened coconut oil. Should be slightly crumbly in texture.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, roll cookies into balls and then press to flatten onto sheet. Cookies will stay the same shape and density so shape them as desired. They will not expand, and only rise lightly.

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Bake 10-15min. You can make these a crunchy shortbread cookie if you bake 15min. 10min keeps them still soft, which is what we preferred. Enjoy!

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CauliSweet Mash! (paleo, vegan, low carb)

Creamy mashed potatoes are an American favorite, but let’s be honest, the fat and carbs are completely unhealthy sources of energy, so we normally eliminate this from our diets. While the typical Cauliflower Mash is a great alternative for those who are used to paleo or low carb diets, this is completely weird for die-hard potato lovers! Enter my husband here 🙂 He’s not a cauliflower fan, so the substitution just doesn’t work for him. So I came up with this simple solution, best of both worlds! It’s a serious dupe for real mashed potatoes!!

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Recipe serves 4

  • 3-4 white sweet potatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbs organic butter or coconut oil (optional)
  • salt to taste

Chop the sweet potatoes and cauliflower, place in pot with liquid and seasonings, everything except the butter or oil. Cover and steam about 30min medium heat. Cook til veggies are soft and liquid is almost gone.

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Mash with a fork, add in butter or oil. Serve next to my Citrus Orange Sirloin Roast!

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Citrus Garlic Sirloin Roast

Chris is a meat and potatoes lover, and I’m the exact opposite. Nothing about meat and potatoes appeals to me, but when he comes home from two 17day tours, the man gets whatever he wants!! This was his favorite roast 🙂 I really love making this because it’s a very simple marinade that I always have on hand!

 

The Roast 

  • 4lb top sirloin roast (bone off)

The Sauce

  • 10 pitted dates (soaked in warm water 15min)
  • 3 cups organic beef broth
  • 4-7 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 tbs orange zest
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

The Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (liquid aminos or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs garlic powder

 

Set the Sirloin in a roasting pan with marinade mixture well coated and patted into  it. Let sit in refridgerator for 2 hours, or if in a hurry, 20min at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 450.

Coat the Sirloin in 1/2 cup coconut oil or organic extra virgin olive oil, being sure to press it into crevices, working the marinade mixture in with your hands. Meat should be well coated in thick mixture. Meat should FAT DOWN for roasting.

Place in oven on middle rack, roast for 15-17min.

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Start making sauce mixture. Blend all sauce ingredients in food processor or vitamix til slightly smooth. I prefer the marinade still a bit chunky.

Remove from oven, lower temperature to 350. Turn meat FAT UP. Pour sauce mixture slowly over the roast, being sure to spread the chunks of garlic over the top of the roast.

Bake 350 for 50-60min. 50min will be Medium Rare. Half way through bake, be sure to use to a spoon to baste the meat in more sauce. This helps keep it juicy. Remove from oven, let sit for 15min before slicing! Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping 🙂

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