Monday, January 6, 2014

Cleanse: Eat and Drink

The weekend is over, hooray! That is not something you would ever normally hear me say but we are now over the weekend hump and into Day 5 of our cleanse! I call it a hump because Days 2 - 4 can be especially rough on you. The first day is too soon to notice any change but slowly, as you detox, you start to feel the effects of processing and eliminating toxins. People often get food cravings and paying attention to those can sometimes provide insight into what is troubling your system. For example craving sugar, refined carbohydrates, and flour could mean you have a candida overgrowth or sugar addiction and craving red meats could mean you have an iron deficiency. There's no better time to tune in and listen to what your body is telling you than when you are cleansing. At the end of the cleanse you should slowly phase things back in and see how your body handles it and how it makes you feel afterwards. When I worked at the health food stores I would warn people that "You will usually feel worse before you feel better" and that it feels like a slight hangover or cold. You can get headaches, body aches, have breakouts, low energy, and moodiness. Between Geof and I, you can check all of the above!

The side effects are not for lack of food, drink, and overall nourishment! We did get hungry this weekend and Geof really craved his pretzels and the spread I usually make during the football games. Instead we ate a ton of fresh produce and are starting to make a good dent in our groceries.

Here are some of the things I've been making...

I admit I am not a breakfast person (more like brunch, if that) so it has been important to get some kind of breakfast in before 9:30am. So far my go-to has been a hard boiled egg and piece of fruit or a smoothie. I usually have a few cups of coffee (nicely sweetened with vanilla soy creamer) and run around doing Asher things all morning before I sit down to eat around 11am or later! I have never had an appetite early (probably thanks to drinking coffee). Finally on Day 5, I woke up with a morning appetite!
Blue Green smoothie: 16 oz. silk unsweetened organic soymilk, one scoop whey protein, handful or two of spinach, tsp. of chia seeds, a few slices of frozen banana (maybe 1/3 of a whole banana), and a baggie I pre-made of frozen berries (acai, blueberry, strawberry.)

First I blend the milk and spinach, then add the banana, then slowly, the fruit. Last I throw in the chia seeds and 1 scoop of whey. I add the whey (or other protein powder) last because it can get very "frothy" if you add the protein too early.

Mmm, nice grey smoothie for me and the boy... The color could be prettier.

On closer inspection, it IS pretty and you can see all the flecks of goodness.
I needed more condiments to go with many different things so I found quite a few recipes for whole food/raw sauces and dressings. I made a great vinaigrette that I also use as a marinade and I'll post that later. This one below is an avocado-pesto and I used it on top of poached eggs and for dipping artichokes in. I adapted the recipe for this from one I found on "Oh She Glows", omitting the salt and using a whole avocado. Check out Oh She Glows, there are lots of great gluten free, vegan, and cleanse friendly recipes! Link to Avocado Pesto Recipe
Avocado Basil Pesto w/extra garlic. No salty parmesan needed!

Weekend Brunch
Leftover lentil cakes with an organic poached egg and avocado basil pesto. This was Geofs, I like my eggs poached hard!

Dinner 1: 
Lentil & Brown Rice Cakes
Baked Tofu
Green Salad w/
apple cider vinaigrette 

For our first dinner I attempted to make lentils and brown rice in my rice cooker. It turned to mush so I decided to turn it into lentil cakes. I diced up garlic, red and yellow peppers, celery, and onion and sauteed them in olive oil. I removed them from the pan and added it to the lentils and rice with one egg. I wiped the pan and added a smidge more oil, rolled the mixture into balls and then made patties, and pan fried them. For the tofu, I tossed it in the same salad dressing I used for the salad and baked it at 375 for 45 minutes. Geof hates the texture of tofu so I cook it until it loses a lot of moisture and gets a little crunch on the outside.
The red sauce is Siracha. While processed, it has minimal sugar and is pretty much all chili peppers. Capsicum is the active ingredient in peppers and boosts circulation and liver detoxifying enzymes. For this reason, I left hot pepper sauce in our cleanse.  

 Dinner 2: 
Cod Fish "Tacos"

These could be any kind of tacos really; fish, tofu, chicken, beans and gf grains, or just lovely veggies! I used butter lettuce leaves for the taco shells and played on a contrast of both cooked and raw veggies. I threw some thinly sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms in the grill basket and coated the fish with olive oil, chili powder, garlic, and paprika and grilled it for 7 minutes or so. For the raw veggies I used shredded cabbage, jalapeno, and cilantro. For the 'sauce' I used some organic salsa (premade, no preservatives) and lime juice.

Dinner 3:
Chicken and Veggie Soup 
w/ a small amount of brown rice noodles added for Geof and Asher
(you can find the recipe at the end)
Green salad 
w/ apple cider vinaigrette

I made the soup in my dutch oven with organic chicken and veggies. I added an olive and clove of garlic  to our salad for a 'treat' haha.

Dinner 4: 
Golden Tofu over Brown Rice w/ a drizzle of flaxseed oil 
{I baked a chicken breast for Geof}
Grilled Artichokes w/ 
avocado basil pesto

I grew up on artichokes! I could make a meal out of one. So here's how I like to do them... Trim the tops and ends of the stems. Using kitchen scissors, cut off the ends of the leaves. Add to a large pot of BOILING water with a half of a lemon and a few bay leaves and boil for 45 minutes. I emphasize boiling because if you put them in sooner, they soak up a lot of water and you end up with a dripping wet, messy artichoke experience! Artichokes are full of fiber, aid in digestion, and cleansing for the liver.
 You can eat the boiled artichokes as is, or go a little further and throw them on the grill which I LOVE for 2 reasons 1) it adds a little texture and a lot of flavor 2) you cut them in half and clean out the inedible parts before putting them on the grill, saving you time and a messy table later.
I sliced them in half and scooped out the bristley parts with a spoon. Then I brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder and pepper. No salt, of course!
I made the golden tofu by marinating it in a small amount of vinaigrette and then dusted it generously with nutritional yeast. I baked it at 400 for 35-45 minutes to get it really firm and golden. Artichokes are usually served with some type of aioli but I thought the avo-pesto worked great!

Oh, the drinks! So far we've gone through a ton of tea and pitchers of water. We drink 1-2 pitchers of these infused waters a day and have so far made and consumed:

(2) Pineapple & Ginger: 
I added a few chunks of pineapple and a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger. I spooned the grated ginger out before drinking.

(1) Cucumber & Lavender: 
I used a whole cucumber and a few tablespoons of culinary lavender. You can just scoop out the lavender if you don't like it floating around after you let it sit overnight. The smell is heavenly and very relaxing!

(3) Cranberry Concentrate, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Lime or Lemon: 

This is an awesome detox drink! It is tart and not sweet at all but so pretty and refreshing looking! It helps liver cleansing by stimulating bile, is great for the kidneys and urinary tract, is supposed to be clearing for the skin, and it helps control appetite so it's best to drink one glass before each meal. Cranberry concentrate (above) is totally NOT SWEET and is a little pricey ($11 a bottle) but a small splash goes a long way. No juices here, folks! Just add a splash of cranberry, 1-2 tsp. of vinager, slices of limes or lemons.

Our lunches have mostly been leftovers or salads. I've been having the edible flowers on all salads and it's delish! I gave one to Asher to try and studies the flower for a minute.... hands it back and says BEE! BEE mama! Haha, it had us laughing!

Tuna salad on a salad was lunch for 2 days.
Leftover chicken, veggie,  & brown rice noodle soup and leftover grilled artichoke was another lunch. 
For the chicken veggie soup I just threw it together based on what I had that needed to be used. I poached three organic chicken breasts in a big pot of poaching liquid (water, the ends of a few onions, the tips and ends of celery, the ends of a few carrots, and a few bay leaves) for 20 minutes. While that was poaching I sauteed 4 peeled and sliced carrots, 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, 1/2 a yellow onion, a few cloves of garlic, and a cup of peas in a dutch oven until tender (No browning them). Once the chicken was cooked I drained and RESERVED the liquid, which is now a low fat and sodium free chicken stock! I shredded the 2 of the chicken breasts (saving one for another recipe later) and put it in the dutch oven with the reserved broth, some garlic powder, the bay leaves, a generous shake of my spice blends, and a small shake of celery salt. We are doing salt free but a small amount of salt is actually crucial so I use celery salt when absolutely necessary, like in making a soup. Celery salt has about 1/2 the sodium because it's about 50% salt and 50% celery seeds. Though everything was cooked at that point, I put the dutch oven in the oven at 275 for an hour to get the flavors all cozy and happily married!

I'm not down with feeling starving on top of the cleansing side effects, so we have a few snacks to choose from if needed. 

Apple with homemade raw almond butter
Celery and cucumbers with hummus
Kale chips with garlic powder or nutritional yeast
Almonds, walnuts, and dried apricots
Kale chips, batch 2! This batch was made with olive oil, garlic powder, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. 
So there ya have it, our first few days of cleansing! It has been a lot of fun/work because it was important from the start to make cleansing effective AND delicious! I figured if I'm going to do all this work, I might as well take pictures along the way and share them. I will probably be repeating some of the recipes (Asher and I finish a batch of kale chips in about 6 minutes) but I still have a whole list of new things to try, including a few special (dairy, gluten, sugar, and salt free) football treats for the hubby next Sunday! I'm happy to report that throughout Day 5 we're feeling more and more bright eyed and bushy tailed which makes it all so worth it. I'm considering extending two weeks to three, making it 21 days total. We shall see, stay tuned! ;o)


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