As spring approaches, I plan to welcome the new season by re-embarking on the same Cleanse I took in 2011, the one which completely eradicated my inflammatory heart condition. Getting in the best shape of my life was a ridiculously amazing bonus! Two kids later, I’m ready to go again, full throttle, and lose those last 8 lbs– I just jumped on the scale to verify!
One of the biggest stumbling blocks with any cleanse is preparing adequately both mentally and emotionally. The things that are different about this Cleanse are: FIRST we’re offering to support you through it as a gift. It’s our gift to you. We are not asking you to buy any of our juice, milk or other products… Mario and I are in total give-back mode here. SECOND you won’t go hungry. (Day 3 can be a bit tough, but it’s totally optional).
A practical matter to tackle before embarking on the Cleanse is to obtain sufficient produce. Produce that you are genuinely excited to eat is ALWAYS best That’s why I like to say go out and get the best fruits and veggies you can find, instead of buying a cleanse package somewhere. Running around or traveling during the Cleanse? Bring a bunch of bananas along with ya wherever you go (I seriously do this!)… whatever works.
And, dates are a great option when you’re out and about, small, easy to carry and packed with nutrition. I like to balance my dates with Persian cucumbers, which are travel size and also on-the-go friendly. They’re readily available at Trader Joe’s if you can’t find them at the farmers market near you. BONUS: kids love mini vegetables, like Persian cucumbers! Adding them to your diet is a great way to effortlessly up your green veggie intake with a crunchy snack.
We’re aiming to start the Cleanse late March, and are excited to be setting up a Facebook support group, which will include a Free mini-eBook with all the Cleanse details.
So consider this your invitation: Do the Cool Down Cleanse at home yourself, with support in our dedicated FB group!
And now, without further ado… the plant-based meat of today’s post:
Vegan Mario’s 5 Pro Tips for the Farmers Market
- Go either early or late. If you want the best selection, go early before the market is even officially open. While the farmers are setting up, you can eye their goods. To get the best deals, (and you may want to go this route if you are shopping for large quantities of fruits and veggies for a cleanse), go at the end. This only works if you aren’t picky about what produce you’re getting. Ask if there’s an “end of market discount”.
- Offer to pick up at the farm instead. If you have a favorite vendor at the farmers market, ask if it would be better for them to have you pick up or even harvest your own produce from their farm for a reduced rate.
- Become a regular. If you shop often with the same farmer, you will likely be rewarded for it. Most of the farmers we shop with give us tons of freebies and extra of everything. Tell the farmer about your diet and that you’re open to any fruits or veggies at a good price (and then give them your contact info).
- Appreciate your farmer’s hard work. Farming is an art. Tell your farmer how much you appreciate what he/she’s doing and that his/her produce looks beautiful. Gratitude goes a long way! You may get deals, freebies or access to the super premium goodies that the farmers keep tucked away for their best customers.
- Invest in wheels. If you’re buying in volume, you might want to acquire a wagon or wheeled cart. This will allow you to do your entire fruit & veg haul in one fell swoop. I’ve seen parents use strollers for gathering produce. That certainly works too! You can always wear your baby while you’re strolling your veggies.
GROCERY STORE TIP: If you’re buying large quantities of fruit at grocery stores, do it by the case. At minimum you should be able to get a 10% discount and sometimes you can negotiate for deeper price cuts.
We like to buy spotted bananas, which are at their perfect ripeness that day, at grocery stores. Store managers usually give us great deal when we point out that the bananas are about to go bad! If discounts are not advertised at your local grocer, just ask! 😉
One last note. If you just need an extra push, maybe it’s time to finally plant that FRUIT AND vegetable garden. Yes, grow your own if you don’t already! It goes without saying that having your own garden is the simplest way to get the best fruits and vegetables for the smallest monetary investment. Although organic gardening takes time, so does grocery shopping. It’s so much more convenient to just walk out to the garden to get what you need. Obviously, space isn’t always available. Although with balcony growing becoming a trend and community gardens on the rise… anything’s possible.
To your health,
Amanda and Mario