Cleanse Q and A:

Please submit your questions through the form at the bottom of the page.
The answers will be posted on this page, so all participants have access to the information. 

Q: Can I drink coffee in the morning while on the cleanse, if its black?

A: You really should avoid coffee during the cleanse, even if it's black. Coffee is very acidic, and you are trying to alkalize your body. It also of course has caffeine.  This affects your adrenals, which often get 'burnt out' from the over-stimulation caused by the caffeine. When we drink too much caffeine, it is like pulling from a depleted reserve, and this can lead to adrenal exhaustion. Try your best to refrain from coffee. I used to never be able to go without my morning coffee, but now I don't even miss it. I find it's more of the comfort of having something warm to sip on in the morning that I miss. That's where the warm lemon water first thing in the morning does the job!!

Q: A few questions..I have a killer headache, which I think is from caffeine withdrawal...any suggestions? Also, is it ok to have black pepper and tea?

A: As for the headache, it is almost certainly a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels in the brain and so withdrawal headaches are caused by a swelling of the blood vessels, due the absence of this induced constriction. It usually takes about a week for the headaches to subside on their own. In the mean time, many people find relief from migraines by taking magnesium supplements, or eating foods high in magnesium. Luckily some of the richest magnesium sources are dark green, leafy vegetables (which you should be eating a lot of these next few days) and broccoli. Bananas are also a great source. Brown rice is high in magnesium also, so if your symptoms are severe you may want to try an Iceberg day and cook yourself up a dish of rice, and maybe top it with some steamed broccoli. There is also a yogi technique, known as right nostril breathing, that may be used as a natural remedy for caffeine withdrawal. It is done by gently pinching the left nostril closed and breathing only through the right nostril for several minutes. Right-nostril breathing produces an increase in oxygen levels in the body, an increase in blood pressure and an increase in blood glucose levels. It basically acts as a natural stimulant and mimics the effects of caffeine in your system by causing the blood vessels in the brain to constrict, which can balance the swollen vessels, providing a natural remedy for caffeine withdrawal headaches. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms may also result from a decrease in blood sugar, and right nostril breathing can balance that as well by increasing the body's blood sugar. Be sure not to attempt this technique if you have a history of high blood pressure. And be sure to pinch the left side of the nose closed, not the right.

In regards to the black pepper, that is completely fine to add for flavor.

However, the tea should be avoided, even if it is caffeine free, because of substances in tea called tannins. One of the biggest problems associated with the tannins is their effect on iron absorption. Tannins form a complex with iron in the intestinal tract making it less readily absorbed and used by the body. Tannins can also slow down digestion, and so it would best to avoid any tea during the cleanse so as to achieve optimal benefit. Normally you don't have to worry about these issues unless you drink tea in large quantities, but it is always best to avoid drinking tea WITH a meal, so as not inhibit the iron absorption of anything you are eating.

Q: I made it through day 1, yay!! This morning I made a blended smoothie with fruit, and within 5 mins. I was unable to keep it down.  Is throwing up part of detoxing? 

Congratulations on making it through the first day! As for your body's reaction to the smoothie, NO, throwing up is not a desired reaction as part of the detox. You may have had that reaction for a few reasons. One may be that your body is not used to ingesting all that fiber at one time. When you blend up plant foods, you are eating a much larger quantity, all at one time, than you would typically be able to if you just ate the food whole. Are smoothies a regular part of your diet, or are they fairly new to you? I had a similar reaction the first time I tried to make a 'savory' smoothie (without fruit). I didn't vomit, but I felt pretty close to it, and I was literally gagging. My suggestion would be to drink your smoothie very slowly, to allow your body to process the fiber. Also, you may want to increase the amount of liquid a bit, by adding more water, or even juice an orange into the mix. 
Another point to consider is exactly what was in your smoothie. You may have a food allergy that you were never even aware of. I would write down exactly what was in your smoothie, and then track your next few smoothies as well. If you continue to have that reaction, see if there is a common ingredient in the smoothies you may be reacting to, and then try cutting it out.
Finally, your reaction could also be due to nerves... our body can do crazy things on its own accord. Are you are feeling a little nervous about the cleanse, or even a little stressed? If so, take some deep breathes, and know that you are doing amazing! Give yourself a break and take an Iceberg day tomorrow, and don't feel guilty about it. This is about getting to know your body and what works for YOU.

Q: Since I like the sweet smoothies so much better is it OK to have those 3 x's a day and also the banana , berry treat in the evening ? Is that too many bananas in a day???

A: That is perfectly fine!  Just make sure you are getting enough leafy greens as well. Many raw-foodists eat anywhere from 5 to bananas a day on a regular basis!

Q: How well do the green smoothie's hold up?  Since I don't have a blender at work, can I make large batches and store in the refrigerator for later in the day?

A: You can absolutely make large batches! The green smoothies will last, refrigerated, for a few days. They do tend to thicken up a bit when they sit (due to the fiber in the greens) so you may want to make them a little more on the thinner side if you are going to let them sit before you drink them.

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