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The REAL FOOD Cleanse: 3 Days to Clean Up and Reset Your Diet Paperback – February 27, 2013
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About the Author
Amber Shea Crawley is a classically trained chef, linguist, and writer in Kansas City, Missouri. Specializing in health- and happiness-promoting food, she is the author of the cookbooks Practically Raw and Practically Raw Desserts as well as the ebook The REAL FOOD Cleanse. Amber blogs at www.chefambershea.com.
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So I searched Amazon for raw food cleanse books and came across Amber's REAL FOOD Cleanse (which is actually 80% raw food meals which was cool). Only dinner was warmed or baked (breakfast, lunch, and dessert was raw).
What I absolutely loved about the cleanse/plan/recipes:
- Full page photos of every single recipe (4 recipes per day). It was actually fun to not only prepare the meals but to see them turn out like the pic in the book.
- I got to have guilt-free DESSERT every day!! On a cleanse??!! Imagine that! AND... it was really good..AND... good FOR me. I don't eat desserts daily (except when I fell of the wagon on that 6-day trip and had chocolate cake every single daggone day!), but for 3 days I devoured Amber's healthy desserts. I honestly did NOT think they would be as good as they were. It was stuff I'd never create on my own. Surprisingly delicious and I would happily eat them outside the cleanse!
- A Shopping list which made it easy-peasy to prep for the cleanse.
- "The night before" prep lists for busy folks who want to do most of the prepping the night before each of the 3 days (priceless!)
- Absolutely delicious meals that didn't make you feel like you were on a cleanse at all (but trust me, let's just say.... the evidence is there that you're cleansing for sure.... your uh-em... bowels will confirm it :))
- Salads smothered in protein-rich, silky smooth dressings made with veggies, beans etc.... that opened my eyes for sure - I've since ditched store-bought dressings and now I'm using Amber's recipes - you can truly smother your salad AND... not worry about insane amounts of fat-heavy calories. Wowza! Listen, that alone was worth the price of the book!
- The Facebook group Amber created for readers of The REAL FOOD cleanse - I was able to log on and ask questions and Amber was right there with answers, suggestions, and feedback. Loved that!! For example, I'm unable to eat avocados (makes me nauseous) and Amber gave me a couple suggestions as workarounds and it was perfect!
- At the beginning of day 3, while I did indeed feel "cleansed!" I still had my chocolate cake and bread cravings which I was hoping to eliminate. BUT..... to my utter surprise and amazement, I woke up on day 4 (after the cleanse) and had no cravings! Wha??? I was stunned that the thought of chocolate cake and bread had no luring powers over me whatsoever. I honestly had no desire for them. Magical!! Unreal!! Talk about a RESET!
- Cleanses (at least the ones I've tried so far) usually leave you hungry, OR, you have to drink or eat constantly to NOT be hungry.... but not THIS cleanse!! Those 3 meals per day were SOoooo filling that there were times I couldn't eat it all! And guess what - it was pure veggies that did that! Well... veggies and Amber's brilliant recipes for protein-rich HEALTHY dips and dressings. Truly amazing!! Compared to other "cleanses" folks, this will feel like paradise!
- The entire cleanse opened my eyes to how to create delicious, nutritious FILLING vegetarian meals and left me wanting more of precisely THAT. I bought all of Amber's books!
What I didn't like so much (well... not much to say here though):
- My stomach and taste buds just didn't like the feel of very cold fruit in the morning and very cold veggies for lunch.. BUT.... that was only 2 out of the 12 recipes and the good news is Amber said it was fine to use the previous (or future) day's recipes that I DID enjoy and substitute (let me tell ya.... those unique and delicious breakfast porridges were awesome! Who woulda thunk it!)
- I don't like cutting up veggies and fruit.... BUT... thankfully, that was actually VERY minimal with this cleanse. Most of the 12 recipes didn't require chopping veggies/fruit. And best of all, Amber made it darned near effortless by giving you a "what to do the night before" prep list each day. So each actual day of the cleanse was a breeze! The book includes the "night before" prep required for breakfast and lunch. I actually wished it also included dinner prep as well, but next time around, I'll know to go ahead and cut up any veggies required for dinner as well.
This 3-day cleanse will definitely become a repeatable process in my life! It has become (hands down!) my go-to book for whenever a cleansing is needed. Heck, I'll be making these recipes again in my REGULAR weekday meals... JUST because they were THAT good!
Honestly, I don't think ANY other cleanse I've come across (even other raw food cleanse books) can compare to this one. Brilliant, beautiful photos, easy to follow, delicious, thoroughly filling, AND..... it works!!!
It was lead my husband and I on path to always have more fruits and vegs.
What I liked: Desserts. Very clean, healthy. What I didn't like: Meals laden with too much sodium, liberal amounts of acid-forming nutritional yeast, hard to digest beans, cruciferous vegies like cauli and brocc- I like these, but not for a cleanse. I would not choose cooked cauli and brocc for a cleanse, because in a cleanse, I want easier to digest veggies. So did the cleanse work for me? No. I tasted the first dinner and tossed it. It was overwhelmingly spiced, to salty, and it made me crave green juice and fresh fruit and green smoothies instead. So I guess for some, this worked, but for me, I wasn't thrilled.