The first week of a four week cleanse is now behind me. The first two days were pretty rough, as I had an amazing headache from caffeine withdrawal. Day 3-7 was a juice diet, where you can eat any fruits and veggies, but they must be pureed. About Day 4 was when I actually started to feel pretty good – I felt more focused and more energetic.

In the process of this juice diet thing, I found a great recipe for Beet and Apple Soup. It is from the Country Living website and I just omitted the sour cream garnish, which means this is a vegan soup! The recipe, with my changes, is as follows:

1 T. vegetable oil
6 medium beets, boiled, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 apples, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 c. apple cider or juice
4 c. water
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. dried mustard

1. Boil the beets until easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Run them under cold water to peel off skins. Chop.

2. Sauteed onions in oil in stock pot for about five minutes. Add chopped apples and sauteed five minutes more.

3. Add beets, salt, pepper, juice and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer until apples are tend, about 20 minutes.

4. Puree soup in batches using a food processor, food mill, or blender. Chill in fridge to serve cold or slowly reheat, being careful not to burn. If desired, mix sour cream and mustard in a small bowl and serve a dollop in each bowl of soup.

I prefer the soup cold, which would make it a good first course for a dinner party. You could make it the night before and have it ready in the fridge when company comes. I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but you can imagine pureed beets, right? It’s earthy and sweet at the same time, without added sugars.

We’re back onto solid fruits and veggies now, which is nice for a change. Things seem to be going well and I am enjoying how alert I feel in the mornings. No more hazy fog. We still have a few more weeks to go though, but I can see this turning into an annual ritual for myself.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson