Last month, the folks at Kaeng Raeng emailed me to ask if I'd like to sample their all-natural, vegan detox program. Typically, I jump at the chance to review vegan products that may come my way, but Kaeng Raeng scared me. The 3-day beginner program requires you to drink three fruit smoothies a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Judging by my past fails at juice cleanses, I assumed I'd starve to death on Kaeng Raeng.
So I emailed the nice lady back and expressed my concerns. Never fear, she assured me. You can eat all the raw veggies and fruits you want on the Kaeng Raeng cleanse, and the smoothies are very filling. Okay, I'll bite. Or, well, sip through a straw.
My detox box arrived about two weeks ago:
Inside were nine smoothie powder packets, three of each flavor —Daybreak (Glai Roong), Joyful (Reunn), and Into the Blue (Juu Juu). My instructions were to drink one smoothie for each meal, plus I could have all the raw veggies and fruit snacks I wanted. I would also work in some fresh pressed juices as snacks just for fun.
I finally had time to try the program this week, and like with all detoxes, I started off with a bang. I always get super-excited before a detox begins. On Monday morning, I whipped up the Daybreak Smoothie (mango, peach, pineapple) with a cup of almond-coconut milk, a cup of water, frozen mango chunks, and a frozen banana:
The taste was light and creamy, almost like a mango-flavored creamsicle. There's a slight gritty texture as it goes down the throat, but I find that to be common with many protein powder-based smoothies. Each smoothie powder is made with freeze-dried fruit, non-gmo soy, psyllium husk, probiotics, and vitamins. They have a whopping 15 grams of protein each!
As for my concerns about starving to death, well, seems I had nothing to worry about. These smoothies are so filling! So much so that I wasn't really hungry when I had a morning snack of carrots and bell peppers. But I ate it anyway because I missed chewing.
Lunch was the Joyful Smoothie (strawberry, raspberry, and pineapple) blended with coconut-almond milk, water, and frozen strawberries:
Tasty. I liked this one better than the morning smoothie. It had a tangy, powerful strawberry flavor.
This made me so full that I felt like I'd eaten a big ole veggie burger and fries. I was full for hours and hours.
But I was finally hungry again for this dinnertime Into the Blue Smoothie (blueberry and banana) blended with my homemade blueberry kombucha, frozen bananas, and frozen blueberries:
This was my favorite flavor of all! Blueberries and bananas just belong together.
And so went Tuesday and Wednesday as well. I had the same exact smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three days (more on that in a few).
Although the smoothies would have probably been sufficient since they were so filling, I like to eat. And I really missed the act of chewing, so snacks were mandatory for me to feel happy even if I didn't need them to feel physically satisfied.
Over the three days, I had Baby Carrots and Mini Sweet Peppers:
And Celery and Mashed Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes:
But mid-way through Monday, I started to get bored with raw veggies. And fruit was out of the question since I was drinking fruit for all three meals. So I hit up Balewa's Vegan Gourmet, the raw cafe by my house, for his Spicy Kale Chips. These really hit the spot! I was missing greens!
I also picked up a few of Balewa's sprout salads to snack on for all three days. I ate the Hot Chick Salad on Tuesday (sprouted chickpeas, beet powder, walnuts, and some other mystery ingredients that taste delicious):
And today, I had some of Balewa's amazing Phyre Salad (sprouts — maybe mung beans? — with spirulina, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and I detect a hint of nutritional yeast, but I could be wrong):
By Wednesday night, I was simply dying for some cooked food. But I decided to stay strong and push through the finish line. I had this Romaine Wrap with Raw Aged Cashew Gruyere (leftover from when I made Miyoko's recipe last week) as a nighttime snack:
So what did I think of the cleanse? Here are my pros and cons:
* Smoothies are tasty, and they help me get my fruit servings, which I've never been good at.
* I feel light and airy after the 3 days!
* Totally TMI, but my colon is cleaned out. Like, there is NOTHING in there.
* I never felt hungry or weak during the detox, as I typically do with juice cleanses. Smoothies were very filling.
* Although my Kaeng Raeng program was offered for free, it's fairly inexpensive for a packaged cleanse program. It's $69.99 for the 3-day beginner program. Many fresh juice cleanses cost anywhere from $150 to $300 for a 3-day program.
* After day one, I wanted more variety. I would have preferred nine different flavors instead of three of each flavor. Kaeng Raeng only makes these three flavors, but they should make more. I got bored very quickly.
* I also got very sick of fruit. I'm a savory person, so I prefer the taste of veggies over fruit. I got tired of all my meals being sweet. Thankfully, the snacks between smoothies helped balance things out.
If you're friends with me on Facebook, I should probably apologize for my whining about being sick of fruit smoothies over the past few days. Don't blame Kaeng Raeng. It's a great detox program, and let's face it: No detox is all fun and games. If detoxes were supposed to be fun, we'd be detoxing with beer and French fries.
Ah damn, beer and French fries would be so good right now! But alas, I have a few hours left before I can have cooked junk food. Don't worry. I'm not going to go all retox crazy tomorrow, but I do have a few hearty, hot meals planned. And I'm certain an Abita Spring Pale Ale will be in my cards.