Cleansing. A popular buzzword, especially around resolution time, but what exactly is a "cleanse" and what is its purpose? That is exactly what I set out to discover when I signed up to participate in a cleanse program based on the book "Clean" by cardiologist Alejandro Junger.
For the past several years Sargasso has partnered with a local yoga studio (you can check them out here) to create and supply meals for a 21 day program designed to restore the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
There are several cleanses out there in the market and they vary in their methodology. Clean is described as a "nutritional cleanse" and focuses on five functions of detoxification.
Reduce the workload of digestion = consuming less solid food.
Restoring the twelve-hour window. Allowing 12 hours between our last meal of one day and our first meal of the next day.
Rebuild the inner environment. According to Clean, lowering acidity in the body can help rebuild the intestinal flora in favor of the beneficial bacteria.
Support the liver. The liver’s main job is to filter the blood. Eliminating consumption of alcohol helps the liver do its job more easily.
Enhance elimination. Clean techniques are supposed to help the body effectively release built up toxins in tissues.
The basic idea is to remove common digestive irritants from the diet for a three week period and let the body “reset.” There are over 300 pages in the book describing the mechanics of the program, its purpose and benefits. If you’re curious about more details, I suggest you read the book (you can find it on Amazon).
As I told friends and family I was participating in a cleanse, inevitably their first question was, “What can’t you eat?”
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but below are some of the main food items eliminated during Clean:
caffeine, alcohol, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant), gluten, dairy, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, strawberries, corn, pork, beef, shellfish, raw meats (including sushi), soybean products, peanuts, processed oils, refined sugars, chocolate
After rattling off that list, most people’s next question is, “What CAN you eat?” This is where the beauty of the Sargasso meal program comes into play. Could I do 21 days of clean on my own and prepare all my own meals? Sure! There are recipes in the book as well as online. However, as anyone who has done a food program before knows, meal prep takes planning and time. The Sargasso meal plan provides convenience (and deliciousness) to participants who would be otherwise challenged to prepare their own meals due to time or other constraints.
Sargasso chefs prepare six lunches and six dinners a week for participants to pick up. We make our own breakfast and prepare all our own meals on Sundays.
I officially began my Clean journey on January 10, 2016 and will wrap on January 30. As of today I’ve completed one week of clean and been able to enjoy some delicious meals by Sargasso chefs. I’ve taken some photos of the prepared dishes to showcase the quality and care put into each meal. Take a peek and check back! I'll be posting updates throughout my journey.
Vegtable Kerala Stew with Brown Basmati Rice, prepared by Sargasso
Above: Breakfast-Cold pressed juice from Real Juice Bar and Cafe. You can find them here.
Beet Tartare with Baby Iceberg, Topped with Beans, Dates and Carrots, prepared by Sargasso