laurenlikestocook

My So-Called Cleanse

In Challenge, Fruit, Quinoa, Salad, Sweet Potato, Vegetables on January 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Every winter, I usual pack on an extra 5 pounds.  I’m totally fine with that.  This year, however, it was not even half-way through January and I was closely approaching that benchmark.  To prevent a record-breaking hibernation heftiness, I decided to get a jump start on a Spring slim down.  I really wanted to start with a clean slate, so I opted to revisit a cleanse I’d read about on the Vegan Fusion Blog.  It seemed like a rather manageable endeavor, considering all the solid foods allowed and no harsh powders or shakes.  The image above depicts the preparation for my attempt.

Day 1 was pretty easy.  I was allowed to eat quinoa and baked sweet potato, as well as fruit and steamed or raw veggies.  For breakfast, I had quinoa with sea salt, lime juice, a smidge evoo, diced apple, and grapefruit.  It was actually very refreshing and a nice change from my normal oatmeal.

For lunch, I had a large salad.  I started with my small diced veggies: tomato, cucumber, pepper, and avocado.

After squeezing some lime juice and salt on the first set of ingredients, I added all the leafy things: baby arugula mix, purple kale, and broccoli sprouts.

That is how I always prepare a salad for lunch:  chopped/wet ingredients with dressing, topped with the leafy bits.  It prevents the salad from getting soggy come lunch time.

Once I was ready for lunch, I shook the container with the lid on until everything was mixed up.  I paired the salad with a side of quinoa (no picture of the side).

For an afternoon snack, I had some leftover pureed squash soup I made earlier in the week.  I’m not sure if it fit the guidelines, but I figured for the first day it would be fine.

Once I left work, I still felt pretty good, so I kept my reservation for 5:50 PM yoga.  I think it actually helped with the detoxifying process!  Knowing that I’d be coming home a little later, I prepared some sweet potato and eggplant on an oiled and salted roasted pan to be baked in the oven while I was in class (thanks Nick for helping out :)).  They cooked at a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes on each side.

Then I came home, and it was dinner time.  Nick was definitely not on board with eating just steamed veggies for dinner, so I had to supplement his plate with some chicken.  The quickest method was to do a thin-sliced cutlet chopped in to pieces and sauteed with onion, garlic, and oil.  First I chopped the aromatics.

I added the chicken pieces (sprinkled with salt and pepper) to the oiled saute pan.  After a few minutes, I flipped and added the onion and garlic.  I lowered the heat, covered, and let it hang out while I sliced up and steamed some zucchini and yellow squash.

At that point, the eggplant was cool enough to handle.  I originally wanted to do a babaganouj style eggplant, but then I wasn’t sure if my tahini would fit the cleanse bill.  Instead, we just had cut up roasted eggplant.

I filled my plate with the eggplant, sweet potato, and squash.  The plate looked really pretty.

I ended the day feeling light and refreshed, which was a nice change from the heaviness I had recently been feeling.

Then came Day 2.

Day 2 was Raw day.  This meant only raw veggies and fruits and fresh juices.  I had done raw before, but with some nuts and sprouted grains.  Just produce was definitely a challenge.  I started the day with a beautiful fruit salad: half of a honeycrisp apple, half of a bosc pear, half of a grapefruit, half of a banana, and half a cup of blueberries.

All those halves added up to a whole lot of fruit and sugar.  It all tasted really good, but within an hour I had a headache from all the sugar and lack of protein.  I drank some detox tea as I anxiously awaited lunch time, where I could eat another large salad with avocado and all those same ingredients as yesterday.  The only difference was swapping romaine for arugula, and adding some extra radicchio.

Another hour later, and I was fading fast.  I could have had another cup of tea, but the smell of it made me really nauseated.  I kept drinking water, and sipped on my afternoon green smoothie (I spared you a picture because it didn’t look very appetizing).  It had blueberry, strawberry, peach, banana, dandelion leaves, and kale.  Dandelion leaves are really good for you, but super bitter, so the fruit helped mask it a smidge.

After work, my in laws wanted to have a drink with us.  I was trying to be a good sport and socialize, sipping on my water.  They ordered the cheese plate, and it was over.  My hubby had to basically airplane a raisin slice with some brie before I fainted.  At first I was so mad at myself – I gave up not even 2 full days in to a 7-day cleanse.  But then thinking about it, the next day was only fruit and the following was only juice.  If I was feeling this awful on fruits and veggies, imagine how I’d feel just on juice?

The lesson I learned from this experience was that there’s no miracle fix.  I’d have to just go back to clean eating and slowly reap the benefits of solid good foods, ones that actually contained protein, complex carbs, texture, and flavor.  Another lesson I learned is that this cleanse severely weakened my immune system.  Not 2 days later I was sick with a cold, which altered my appetite and prevented me from engaging in any physical activity.  Coincidence?

Guess it’s back to square one.  More cooked food posts and pictures to follow.  Yay!

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  1. […] a sweeter citrus would better complement the lentils.  I had some leftover juicing oranges from when I attempted my fruit/vegetable cleanse, so I decided to use one of […]

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