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CFC: Days 5, 6 & 7 (and how I completely and shamelessly jumped off the wagon)

12 Dec

Well, I (almost) made it the full 7 days.  Actually, I’m proud of myself for making it as long as I did.  In my head, I thought for sure I’d only make it to day 6 because K would be here and, well, it was the weekend.  But actually, day 6 and the first half of 7 were the two easiest days of the cleanse.  I think a big reason for that is because I wasn’t sitting at a desk all day thinking about what I wasn’t eating.  Also, I mixed things up a bit.  And for the 2nd half of the 7th day?  Well, you’ll see….

Day 5

Breakfast - same as all week

Lunch - brown rice with green lentils, onion, green curry, coconut milk & kale

Snack - vegan/sugar-free granola

Dinner - Okay,  kind of cheated here.  BUT I managed to go to a Holiday Open House without even touching the sweets or wine.  But then I blew it when I went to get a bite of eat with my friend and ended up eating a handful of fries.  Besides that, I ate a salad with oil and vinegar, and sipped my water while she drank a Zinfandel.  (Wine has never looked so good.)

1 gallon water

Day 6

Breakfast – scrambled eggs with olive oil, s & p; coffee with unsweetened almond milk and maple syrup

Lunch - the last of the lentils/beans/onion/green curry/coconut thing & brown rice

Snack - clementine

Dinner - Wild Alaskan Salmon with olive oil, lemon, and crunchy garlic; sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil; brown rice

This salmon was the best salmon I have cooked in a long time.  The crunchy garlic was the perfect touch.  All I did was cook it in some olive oil until it browned then I poured the oil and garlic over the salmon (which had been salted & peppered), topped with lemon slices and baked until done.  It was sooooooooo good.  Yum!

Probably 1/2 a gallon of water. Boo.

And now where I hang my head and go down in flames….

But seriously, just look at what I made:

Truffles

Salted Creme Fraiche Caramels

Almond Chocolate Bark

and Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Would you be able to resist?  I think not.  I knew this would be my fate when I planned on doing this this afternoon.  And guys?  I don’t feel badly at all for bailing early for this.  The last few days I really started to feel pretty good about my body.  I have certainly felt more positive in my thinking when it comes to the miscarriage, and I can’t help but think it’s directly related.  It felt good to take care of my body, to not be angry at it and inwardly blame it.  I’m not sure if it will last, but right now, I am in a good place mentally.  And that right there makes every day of this worth it.  Here’s what else I ate today (I stayed strong until the end):

Day 7

Breakfast - scrambled eggs with olive oil; coffee with unsweetened almond milk and maple syrup

Lunch – vegan/sugar-free granola with unsweetened almond milk (a week lunch, yes)

Dinner – organic chicken with olive oil, vegan butter, fresh thyme, garlic and lemon with brown rice

Even less water than yesterday. Double boo.

And then, well, you know the rest.

If you can do it for a week, I highly suggest it.  It will make you conscious of what you put in your body and force you to rediscover the relationship you’re supposed to have with yourself and food, instead of mindlessly grabbing whatever you can find to eat around the house just to survive.

And when you’re done, I also highly recommend the treats above.  Although not so great for your body, but very enjoyable nonetheless.  Especially the Salted Creme Fraiche Caramels.  BEST. CARAMEL. EVER.

Recipes here (minus the bark because it’s a family secret and you’ll have to force it out of me with lots and lots of money and/or babies):

Truffles on Smitten Kitchen
Spicy Caramel Popcorn on Smitten Kitchen
Salted Creme Fraiche Caramels on I made that!

Oh, also, Tim has been graciously doing the no alcohol part of this with me this week.  He did, however, fall even worse off the wagon than I did  by completely even forgetting he was even on the wagon.  Two beers in when he was offered another, he finally realized, “Oh shit!”  But today he’s back on (for the day anyway).  Thanks for the (semi) support, babe.  You’re the best.

CFC: Day 4

10 Dec

Aren’t these beautiful?

If only they looked that beautiful after they were cooked.

Day 4 was easier than Day 3, for sure.  My mood was better, though, so that helped things along.  The highlight yet again, was the run I went on when I got home from work (despite fearing for my life because it was so dark*).  I know that I’ve already said this on Monday and Tuesday, but today was the best I’ve felt during a run yet.  I felt like I could have run for miles longer if it hadn’t have been pitch black.   I feel pretty comfortable in saying I’m even looking forward to my run on Saturday.  Who is this person?

What I ate for Day 4:

Breakfast - smoothie with banana, raspberries, peaches, juice from 1/2 lemon, kale, and unsweetened rice milk; coffee with maple syrup and unsweetened almond milk

Lunch - mixed greens with quinoa, sweet potato, black beans and homemade dressing

Snack - vegan/sugar free granola

Dinner - green lentils, garlic, onion, corn, kale, tofu, green curry and coconut milk, served over rice.

It’s still pretty similar to what I’ve been eating.  And technically, I think it was decided that tofu shouldn’t be on the cleanse, but it was going bad and I was craving it.  It was organic tofu, so hopefully that makes a difference.

This is how it turned out (seriously, cooked lentils make everything look gross):

It tasted better than it looks, I swear.  Although, I made it way too spicy.  As I was eating it my forehead was breaking out into a sweat.  I like a little spice, but I just don’t understand what’s appealing about almost dying while you eat.  I figured it was good for me, though, by flushing toxins out or something, so I worked through it.

Also, I can’t forget: gallon of water! Woot!

Tim caught me as I was taking these pictures and couldn’t help but tease me a little bit about the fact some people might not want to hear what I ate during the day.  He has a point, for sure, even I feel a little silly.  I think if I had done this last week with everyone else, I wouldn’t have felt so strange telling all the details about what I ate because others were doing it, too.  So if you’re annoyed by hearing what I ate (or didn’t eat), I promise it will be over soon.  On the other hand, if you’re completely fascinated by what strangers eat and want to hear about others that did the cleanse, then here are the ladies who did it last week:

Emilie at One Mom in Maine
Kirsten in Wisconsin at From Inside to Outside
Laura in Japan at Ichigone
Jodi in Connecticut at Live Free and Run
Stephani in Colorado, at limbo

Even though I’m a week behind, I feel like I’m still joining these ladies.  Only 3 more days to go.

————

* I am not just running blind in the dark.  I bought an LED arm band from Campmor that flashes bright red, plus I wear a bright red vest with reflectors on both the front and the back.  Took also has a flashing collar that I find very amusing to see him in.  I need to try and get a picture of us because we have to look pretty funny out there.  But I don’t care, I think they’re kind of fun.  Also, for even more reassurance (Mom!), I run on the same route Tim drives home from work on and he has attested that I’m visible.  Also, I think I’m going to start carrying a small flashlight as well.  I’ll be be a stop sign short of a freaking crossing guard, I’ll be so safe.

 

CFC: Day 3 (where I dream of cheese)

9 Dec

Day 3, you weren’t my friend.

After a bad night of sleep Tuesday night, I have to admit I struggled yesterday.  My stomach was upset all day for some reason, I was dreading a Spanish test I wasn’t ready for and I just wanted to hide from the world.  The drizzly, cold rain didn’t help, either.  And, of course, the lady in Spanish class brought homemade caramelized popcorn to share with everyone.  She also wasn’t my friend.  On top of all the frustrations of the day, I walk to my car after class to find a parking ticket.  Parking cop, you certainly weren’t my friend!

Despite being disappointed in my day yesterday, a huge part of cleansing for me is to remind myself to not use food to comfort me when I’m feeling down or frustrated.  Although not a huge crutch, I do find myself doing this on occasion and it just never feels good.  On my way home last night, after driving behind someone going 25 mph in a 45 mph zone for 10 miles, I dreamed of an egg sandwich on an english muffin slathered in butter and covered in melty, gooey cheese.  But when I (finally) made it home, I ate a clementine instead.   Although my taste buds weren’t necessarily satisfied, it felt good to take care of my  body despite wanting to do the complete opposite to satisfy my head.

So this is what I ate:

Breakfast – smoothie with kale, banana, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and unsweetened rice milk; coffee with maple syrup and unsweetened almond milk

Lunch - mushroom miso soup

Snack - vegan/sugar-free granola, clementine

Dinner – salad with mixed greens, sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa, avocado and homemade dressing with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard and s&p; detox tea

Dinner at my desk before Spanish class (taken with my phone)

4 bottles of water (I think it might have been 5, but I lost count). Plus another clementine when I got home.

I woke up this morning thinking that maybe 5 days will be enough for the cleanse….but now that I’m writing this, I’m feeling pretty good that despite how I was feeling yesterday, I still stuck to it.  So maybe I should be proud of myself and keep trying to do this.  I know it will be more difficult with K (my step-daughter) around this weekend, and with all the baking and candy-making I plan to do for Christmas, but I should at least try and do it the whole 7 days.  And if I don’t, I feel like I can still be proud of doing it for as long as I could.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact I’m a little bored with my food selection.  As you can see, I’m pretty much eating the same thing every day out of convenience (I made big batches of all the food so that it would last all week since I knew I’d be busy with Spanish), which I tend to do even if I’m not cleansing.  I’m going to try and make something a little different tonight, but we’ll see what I end up doing.  I think I miss cheese the most (see: egg sandwich with gooey, melty cheese).  Mmmmmmm.

Okay, back to my coffee with unsweetened almond milk and maple syrup.  (Sigh)

CFC: Day 2 (I’m Hungry)

8 Dec

Despite the hunger pains as I went to bed, Day 2 went pretty well.  This is what I ate:

Breakfast - Vegan/sugar-free granola with unsweetened almond milk and half a banana; smoothie with banana, blueberries, peaches, kale and unsweetened rice milk; coffee with unsweetened almond milk and maple syrup.

Lunch - Leftover black beans and sweet potatoes with white and red quinoa.

Snack - Raw almonds.

Dinner - Green beans sauteed in toasted sesame oil and tossed with garlic powder, salt and pepper, served over red and white quinoa; miso soup with garlic, mushroom broth and the local mushrooms below (of which I’m spacing the name right now).  *Ed: chanterelles!

I was a little worried about the soup when I started.  I had never bought mushroom broth before and it smelled awful.  Fortunately, with the seasonings and miso it was actually quite delicious.   And those green beans?  Seriously the best ones I’ve ever had.  I could have eaten just a plate of those and been happy.

After dinner I had detox tea and throughout the day I succeeded in drinking the gallon of water.  I’m feeling really proud of my water intake, but I’m giving all the credit to the water bottle.

The best part of the day was my run after work.   I was even looking forward to running on my way home.  This is something I never feel…I usually run because I know I need to workout or for Took to get his energy out, but it’s rarely because I want to.  And once I started running, I felt the best I have yet and continued to feel great throughout the entire run.  I think I could have even run for longer than I did.  Does this mean I’m turning into a runner?  Probably not, but I am proud of myself for getting out there and finding some joy in it.  I’ve always admired runners and the love they have for it, and maybe yesterday I got a glimpse into that?

Today may be more difficult.  I have Spanish class tonight and that means my usual slice of pizza beforehand can’t happen.  Hopefully I won’t be too hungry during class and the nice couple who sit next to me had better not bring cupcakes in again or I might be tempted (those jerks!).

Clean Food Challenge: Day 1 (and a week late)

7 Dec

A week ago, one of my favorite bloggers offered up a Clean Food Challenge, based on the book above, to her readers.  The idea is to eat no processed food, no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy, and no wheat.  In addition to that, you have to drink a gallon of water a day.  Unfortunately, a week ago, it wasn’t in the budget for me to do the challenge because I had spent all my “free” money that week on Christmas presents.  Instead, I worked on upping my water intake and managed to do the gallon-a-day water intake since that was free (thank you, work).  And surprisingly, it really wasn’t that difficult!  I did buy the CamelBak that she suggested and that helped; plus, the fact that I’m competitive (even with myself) and love a good challenge, I was determined to drink five of those suckers before I left work.  So yesterday I began the entire challenge, the day after Emilie and her friends and readers completed.

This had appealed to me for a couple of reasons.  One, the holidays are coming and every year my mom rocks it in the kitchen.  Even now, 14 years since I’ve left home, my friends still talk about her treats during Christmas.  So reason number one: her bark.  (Which I’m going to attempt myself this year, so I’ll post how it turns out…I know it won’t be nearly as good, but maybe I can come close.)  Number two: I’m still struggling mentally with how I’m treating my body since the miscarriages.  I was hoping maybe doing something like this would help me feel better about myself, force me to focus on my unhealthy relationship with my body.  As it has been, I’ve realized that I have been unconsciously blaming my body for the loss of my pregnancies.  Intellectually, I know it’s not my fault.  My body was just doing what it knew to do.  But the grieving part of my brain isn’t making that connection.  So maybe doing this and being kind to my body by the food I’m giving it, will force my mind to be kind to it as well.   And one week seemed doable…and just in time for the holidays (when I know I’ll want to succumb to all the goodies my mom will undoubtably send to us).  For those of you who remember the cleanses I’ve done in the past, a week feels like nothing compared to three weeks.  It’s also a little less harsh (I’m still going to drink coffee!), which is nice.

All day on Sunday I spent preparing for this week.  In September my parents sent me home with some black beans they had grown in the garden this summer so I set to making those.  I’ve never made beans from scratch and for some reason, I was kind of excited (ah, the little things!).  They took forever, but they turned out well.  A little too al dente for Tim, but I loved them.  I made a stew with the beans, plus yams, onion, garlic, organic vegetable broth and green curry paste (I had planned on adding the coconut milk I thought I had bought, but appeared no where in my kitchen).  I also made a granola bar that I’ve adapted from this recipe to be vegan and cane sugar free (recipe below).  Unfortunately, the vegan/sugar-free version does not stick, so it ends up just being granola.  Which is still tasty.  So this is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast – smoothie with banana, blueberries, peaches, kale and unsweetened rice milk; coffee with unsweetened almond milk and maple syrup (which is surprisingly delicious); vegan & sugar-free granola

Lunch - black bean and yam stew (does anyone else hate that word stew?  It has to be one of the most unappealing words.)

Snack - raw almonds & clementines; detox tea

Dinner - red & white quinoa with black beans, garlic & green onions, topped with 2 eggs cooked in olive oil

1 gallon of water throughout the day

I even went for a run when I got home (something else Emilie has inspired me to start doing, that I have been doing off and on since September) and it was the best run I’ve had since yet.  I’m sure it was related, but it probably also had a lot to do with the fact that I had a crappy day at work and needed to blow off some steam.  And it worked!  Also, something that I feel is worth mentioning: when Tim and I were eating dinner he told me he really likes eating this kind of food.  I replied by saying I should try and incorporate it more into our nightly meals.  But then I started thinking about why I don’t and it’s because it’s just not inspiring to make.  I hate to admit that, but it’s true.  One of my greatest pleasures in life is cooking.  I can spend an entire day in the kitchen (see: this past Sunday) and be completely happy.  I can safely say that I got it from my mom, that her love of cooking rubbed off on me for sure.   But I love trying complex foods, with layers of flavors and ingredients.  And honestly, I just don’t find this kind of food to be fun to make.  It doesn’t excite my taste buds or challenge me in the kitchen.  Isn’t that awful?  Anyway, that being said, I do enjoy eating it because of how it makes me feel and will continue to enjoy it for the rest of the week, I am sure.  Except all I wanted was something sweet after I ate my meal last night.  A chocolate or a bite of ice cream.  Or a hot-buttered rum.  But I didn’t give in.

Alright, you’ve read enough (if you’re still with me) about my eating for today.  If you get a chance, pop over to One Mom in Maine.  I can’t remember now how I stumbled upon her blog, but I love getting to visit Maine every day.  And can I say how jealous I am that they had a snow day yesterday?  I’d give ANYTHING for a snow day.  California kids just don’t know what they’re missing.

—————-

Granola “Bar” Recipe, adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from King Arthur Flour)

1 2/3 cups rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (which might be stretching the terms of the challenge, but is an alternative to agave, which is acceptable, so maybe it’s okay?)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (oops, I forgot this)
1 cup each dried unsweetened coconut, sliced almonds and dried blueberries (or any combination of dried sugar-free fruit and nuts, equaling to 2-3 cups)
1/3 cup almond butter (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.  Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges and a little on top.  Cool the bars in their pan on a wire cooling rack.  This is where, if you make the original recipe (which I have), they will continue to set once cooled.  This recipe above did not set because it lacked the stickiness the original provides, but made really yummy chewy granola.

Store in an air-tight container.  Apparently, they freeze well, but mine never last long enough to need freezing.  Enjoy!


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