Friday, January 13, 2012

The Cleanse: Post-Game

What breakfast should really look like: poached eggs,
hashbrowns, sausage, blueberries, and avocado.  Yum.
For 10 challenging days, we took on the (admittedly 3- or 4-week) cleanse, brought to you by Whole Living.  Admittedly, we had to improvise to fit our schedule, but the last 10 days were tough all the same, and it feels good to have our friends meat, gluten, and alcohol back.  Of course, if our plan was just to cleanse for 10 days and then go back to old habits, then why bother with the cleanse?  (Although we gorged on the indulgent breakfast featured on the left). We definitely learned some interesting lessons about food and our eating habits during the cleanse.  First, a winner and loser from the second half of the cleanse:

Winner: avocado-vanilla smoothie.  This was a real crowd pleaser, and definitely something we'll incorporate into our future menus.  It's simple to make and delicious.  What more can you ask for?
We spent the day making dumplings.  We missed you,
pork and gluten.  Don't ever leave us again.
Loser: baked trout with broccoli, apple, and fennel slaw.  It's not fair because 1) we never actually used trout for this dish and 2) we didn't make the slaw dressing correctly, i.e. with actual applesauce.  But life's not fair.  Elizabeth thought there was just too much slaw (note: this is the only time that we thought there was too much food), and was not a big fan of it to begin with.  Ben appreciated the use of fennel, but didn't love the slaw.  The slaw is the real loser here.  We have no problem with baked mahi-mahi or tilapia.

Even though the cleanse is over, we're not going to abandon healthy eating completely.  Indeed, there are several takeaways from the last ten days:

1.  You can take pretty much any vegetable, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and roast for 20-40 minutes, and you'll have something delicious.  We've already done this with Brussels sprouts, and we did it during the cleanse with cauliflower, fennel, and garlic.  We will explore this theory further in the coming weeks.

2. It wouldn't crush us to eat mostly vegetables; it's the idea that we can't eat something - like meat, like chocolate, like caffeine - that really drove us crazy.  Vegetables doused in olive oil and salt and pepper or just pretty simple salads - except for the proportions we didn't feel deprived to eat delicious vegetables.  And we should eat five servings at least a day.  And we will.

3. Elizabeth noticed that this diet make her skin clearer, her eyes brighter and her waistline much thinner.  And she still had energy to start our 100-push-up challenge.  She could really get used to feeling this way and if this diet is the way to do it, well, she'd be pretty stupid not to try to incorporate as much of it into her normal diet and routine as she could stand.

We had some leftover dumpling filling and ran out of
flour for the wrappers, so we made meatballs with the rest.
4. Ben treats hunger pangs differently now.  Before, when Ben got hungry, it was a race to the kitchen (or Asian Express) to get lots of food, and he ate until he was full.  Now, the process is more managed. Hunger pangs can signal hunger, but they also might be the body saying you need water.  Or they could really be nothing.  Either way, the cleanse helped him be a little more patient when hunger arrives and a little more reasonable when eating.

Tomorrow, we're headed to LA and one of our favorite restaurants, Jitlada.  Hopefully we'll take some awesome pictures of the food we get (and the friends we are meeting there, of course).  Can't wait!

C & D

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