There are several ways to do a Green Smoothie Cleanse, but most involve lots of greens and natural, whole foods.
The promise: Promoters of green smoothie-type cleanses say that some people are holding on to excess weight because toxins are trapped in fat cells. Raw greens, they propose, can rid the body of those toxins, and, as an added bonus, reprogram the taste buds. So, when you’re done with detox, instead of craving potato chips, you’ll crave lettuce and celery.
During the cleanse you’ll lose 10 – 15 pounds, amplify your energy, clear your mind, sleep better, and see less tummy bloating.
Oh, and did I mention you’ll be in a better mood?
The basics: As I said earlier, there’s not one single way to do a Green Smoothie Cleanse. However, the fundamentals are pretty much the same …. For about 10 days, substitute 1, 2, or all 3 meals with “green smoothies.” That would be green leafy vegetables (arugula, bok choy, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, watercress, etc), fruits and water. Plenty of water and herbal teas are a staple on a green smoothie cleanse.
To keep your metabolism humming you can add in some non-dairy, plant-based protein, like soy milk, almond milk, or protein powder. And snack on crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, and peppers during the day, as well as high-protein snacks like hard-boiled eggs, and raw, unsalted nuts and seeds. If you’re only smoothie-ing for 1 or 2 meals, the other meals should consist of healthy foods, like salads (no creamy dressings!).
Does it work? Again, you will most likely lose weight if all you’re putting into your body is green vegetables. And, you will be getting a nice amount of calories and nutrients with all the veggies you’re drinking. However, while advocates claim that “typical detoxification symptoms” include headaches, pains, nausea, cravings, fatigue, muscles aches and skin rashes, those are more likely due to …. Wait for it … hunger!
Also, like the Master Cleanse, if you’re not eating solid food for a 10-day-period, you’re going to feel deprived and may go ballistic after the cleanse is over, negating any gains you may have made over the 10-day detox.
Steve Sisskind, M.D.
Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.
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