What on earth is a fruit feast?
A three day fruit cleanse, as prescribed by certified Baptiste Power Yoga Teacher, Kristy Summers. This cleanse comes into week four of Baron Baptiste’s 40 Day Revolution (read more of the back story here). Those three days had more of an effect than I originally thought. Here’s a little recap of my three day detox.
I worked to find a balance between eating enough in the morning, and then snacking every two or so hours. I found the trick is to eat before hunger strikes. I made the most instant quick fix meals I could, a lot of mixed fruit salad, avocado with cucumber and lemon juice. As easy and instantly gratifying as possible. I had a massive persisting headache, probably the result of zero sodium, caffeine, and a lack of water. My strength felt very low but you are encouraged to maintain physical activity, so I practiced yoga for half an hour and got so upset when my body wasn’t performing to the degree that I’m used to. From there, I went on a mini roller coaster of emotions. Feeling everything from homesickness, to frustration, to guilt, to just plain pissed off. Cleansing is not just a physical task, we end up cleansing from the inside out, emotions, skin impurities, etc. Day one was rough, but it gets better.
No headaches whatsoever, my energy levels increased dramatically. After I got off of work, I got in a solid hour of yoga. And in the evening, went on a hike up to the volcanoes with Manuel and had a little yoga photoshoot for his upcoming Ashtanga Specialty Week at Azul. I made a conscious effort to drink more water, and started drinking coconut water to restore my electrolytes. This wonderful isotonic saved me. I continued to eat very plain meals, with lots of grab-and-go raw fruit snacking. In the evening, I steamed a courgette and ate it alongside my avocado salad. I truly underestimated the power of a warm meal. This made me feel so satisfied, so nourished. I started to get a little creative, and simmered some sliced apples with chopped dates and a squeeze of lemon juice. Quite the treat.
My strength and energy stayed steady. My biggest challenge continued to be getting creative in the kitchen. On my final day I made a gazpacho consisting of a small avocado, two small tomatoes, half of a bell pepper, and lemon juice. I also blended up some frozen watermelon cubes with the fresh lemon juice and zest for a refreshing afternoon treat. My third day was a lot like day two. I really had to keep up with my hunger and make sure I was eating enough (as an aside, I was still eating between 1,800 and 2,100 calories, this cleanse is not meant to deprive the body of energy).
I enjoyed the lightness I felt in my body. My food never weighed me down. I could eat lunch, and then exercise right afterward without feeling strained or uncomfortable. In every day life at home, what I eat and when usually depends largely on my physical activities for the day. For example, I would eat more complex carbohydrates and grains earlier in the day when I knew I would be endurance or interval training, and then intentionally not eat anything too heavy before training. I would consciously eat more protein after weight lifting and the day after. And for yoga as well, I would try not to eat anything too heavy before my practice so that I could move and twist without strain. Here, I found I didn’t have to worry about that, I was in a constant state of lightness.
I wish I had more spectacular fruit recipes to share with you. Pictured above is the gazpacho that I made on day three. While it was refreshing,it could have seriously used some non-fruit ingredients, like salt and olive oil. I have another recipe for gazpacho that makes for a really lovely, velvety soup for those warm summer days (trust me, save this recipe, you’ll be glad when you dig it up six months from now)
Spicy Melon Gazpacho (serves 4)
- 1 ripe cantaloupes (a ripe cantaloupe will smell slightly sweet, and will give a little when you press your thumb into the end opposite the stem- ripe cantaloupe is they key)
- 1/2 english cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped (buy organic or wash well, pesticides really stick in to the skin of bell peppers and can leave a terrible after taste in your soup)
- 1/2 cup sweet grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 extra small habañero chili (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, depending on your spice tolerance, chopped)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Olive oil and fresh coriander to garnish
- Cut your cantaloupe in half, spoon out the seeds, discard, and continue spooning out the melon into a large bowl.
- Add to the bowl, chopped cucumber, onion, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, habañero, garlic, sea salt, vinegar, lemon and orange juice, toss to combine.
- You may want to work in two batches depending on the size of your blender or food processor. Add the ingredients from your bowl to your food processor, pulse a few times to get a uniform, slightly chunky texture. From here, add the avocado, this will give your soup a beautiful velvety thick texture, without the addition of bread as more other recipes call for. Let your food processor run on a high speed for a few minutes until fully pureed. Continue to let it run as your slowly drizzle in the olive oil, this will further emulsify your soup and enhance the texture.
- Strain your soup through a large fine meshed sieve and into a large bowl. This will sift out any remaining chunks, or bits of skin from the bell pepper, etc.
- Cover the soup and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors mingle, it’s even better the day after.
Enjoy with grilled shrimp, fresh crab or a green salad. This soup is sweet, savory and adds a nice little kick to any meal.
What the Fruit Feast Taught Me
Keep up with your hunger
Eat before you feel famished, this inhibits eating large portions trying to catch up with your hunger. It also keeps cravings from sneaking up on us. When our blood sugar is stable, we are stable.
Add kindling to the fire.
Eating smaller amounts in more regular intervals is like adding kindling to the digestive fire, it still allows the fire to burn furiously, whereas a big dense log takes considerably more energy to burn, and slows down the flame.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
This aids digestion and keeps things moving throughout the day and between meals. A tall glass of lemon water in the morning does wonders for detoxifying the body. Chase that with ~64 oz more throughout the day.
Cleansing isn’t just for your body.
My mood and emotions got stirred up as well. Changing our physical circumstances allows other things to bubble to the surface as well. I like to think we cleanse from the inside out.
We have hard-wired eating patterns and we don’t even know it.
I began to notice how I seek a particular foods after my meals to somehow ‘fulfill’ my hunger. It’s usually something sweet like dried fruit or bread with honey, and it was like once I ate that my meal time was over, that’s when I was satisfied. Cleansing, I was able to see that habit, and make a conscious change to stop it. Our personal satiety should be the cue that mealtime is over, not a specific food or taste on the palate. Think about your own eating patterns, do they serve you well?
Be adaptable to change
We get upset when we get attached to a situation, a way of eating, a way of working, a system that we use, etc. and that situation changes. When you are able to change with your circumstances and surroundings, you can thrive happily. Work with what you’re given, and create the things you want.
Cleansing is not for everyone
I have admittedly been anti-cleansing. I think the body has an amazing ability to cleanse itself, organs like the liver and kidneys are detoxifying machines. When we feed our body with whole foods, as close to nature as possible, we give the body they necessary tools to cleanse itself and get rid of the trash. However, what I got from this cleanse was not physical. It was much more of an exploration of my own habits and tendencies. I do think it’s a good learning experience. I do not think it’s a good way to lose a few inches before your reunion. If you do decide to cleanse, do your research. Some cleanses do more harm than good and deprive the body of essential nutrients, consult a physician and know what you’re doing.
Detoxification can be such a controversial subject, I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with cleansing, comment below!
Until next time,
About the author
|Stella Hutson started her yoga journey at just 15 and has found her world opening up ever since. She’s a much-loved guest member of the Azul team and has travelled to the Fuerteventura retreat all the way from her home in Seattle, America, to teach yoga and explore her love for nutrition and food in the Azul kitchen – all with an inspiringly can-do attitude and the aim to help others as much as possible. Visit her online at Savouring Stella where you’ll find a mouthwateringly juicy combination of beautifully photographed, wholesome food recipes and empowering stories about her journey to step up to the challenge of playing it big in the world.|