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January 26, 2014

The "Do I Really Want to Do This" Cleanse

I don't really do diets. The closest I've come is to ditch grains and legumes for the week of Passover, which always feels like Such Torture. So when Matt came home from a yoga class at our gym saying he wanted to join in on the three-week cleanse they were doing my response was, "have fun."

In the end, being a supportive spouse won out, and now we're both on this journey to achieve spiritual enlightenment and cleanse our souls as we cleanse our bodies free of toxins and free radicals. Or whatever. (I know he's really just in this so he has a bikini body before we go to Belize in March, vain bastard.)

Yesterday was the first of 21 days during which gluten, animal products, processed sugars, caffeine, or alcohol shan't pass betwixt our lips. The latter two are pretty easy for me-- I never developed a taste for caffeine, and I'm a social drinker at most. I do love my gluten though. And my yogurt and eggs. And oh, do I ever love sweet treats. You know I love my sweet treats. You probably love my sweet treats, too.

Unlike a juice "cleanse" (which seems more like a starvation fast to me), the point is not deprivation but rather eating better as a whole. Below are some recipes that are going to see me through.


One of my standard breakfast options (cleanse or no) is a smoothie consisting of a cup or so of almond milk, a handful of spinach, a banana, a spoonful of almond butter and a few shakes of cinnamon. It's pretty delish as far as green smoothies go. I'm also going to be making many bowlfuls of warming quinoa flakes with some pomegranate seeds and chia in the vortex-y days ahead.

What I'm missing: my other standard breakfast option of Grape Nuts and kefir.


 I've been making salads that consist of:
-A few handfuls of arugula
-Half an heirloom tomato, diced
-Half an avocado, diced
-Half a can of black beans
-1/2 tsp minced garlic
-1 Tbs chia seeds
-1 Tbs sunflower seeds
-Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dress

What I'm missing: the ease of being able to grab a sandwich if I didn't have it together enough to make my lunch. I love sandwiches as a category of food in general.


The MIL made this excellent Squash, Red Lentil, and Chickpea stew when we were over there for New Years. As long as you omit the chicken it fits within the cleanse like a champ. The flavors are complex and the lentils are extremely filling.

What I'm missing: Egg sandwiches. Chicken. Pasta. Cheese. EVERYTHING. *sniffle*

Do you have any vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipes you love? I've been collecting a few on one of my pinboards. I'd love to have more. Especially if they somehow involve chocolate.

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