So I semi-attempted to complete one of my goals for the month: go through a cleanse.
My parents are such troopers, and agreed to do the cleanse with me. We started on Sunday, consuming fresh juices, steamed veggies, brown rice, nut and nut milk, plus plenty of lemon water and detox tea. It was hard and really got us thinking about how much we mindlessly consume on a daily basis. Not only that, but this cleanse has recalibrated our taste buds, and without salt and sugar and butter, we’ve realized how drastically over seasoned much of our food is. My mouth took a beating when I ate a garlic roll yesterday — so harsh!
We did the cleanse fully for three days, and then we broke down and ate some farmer’s cheese and bagel crisps late one night.
Our failure to complete the full week of the cleanse is not something to get down about…we have to give ourselves grace! But it did provoke thought about how much of our mental strength is involved in eating healthfully. By eating what we want and when we want it, we’ve successfully disabled our willpower, so that even a few days of simple foods feels like torture. We, as Americans, are blessed with abundance and plenty, but this can often be a harmful thing.
My dad liked to think of the cleanse as “apocalypse training.” We watched the movie Contagion last night and it was scary (but a great film), although it was educating in an interesting way on the breakdown of society at the onset of disaster. There is a scene where the protagonist and his daughter go to the local grocery store for some cereal, only to find it ransacked by crazed citizens. If the end of the world occurred, would you be able to do without cereal? Could you live on brown rice?
If I had to, I could. I don’t want to, though. There’s a reason why we broke down for that cheese. I’m starting my stockpile now.
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Here’s what our menu looked like:
breakfast — I whipped out my Christmas juicer to make fresh fruit and vegetable juices for our dining pleasure, juices like Grapefruit, Carrot and Ginger Juice and Beet, Apple and Mint Juice. I was excited to try the Green Monster, make with kale, romaine, parsley and fresh pineapple, although it was a little thick for the morning. Brown rice porridge was great when we needed more sustenance: To make, cook some soaked brown rice in unsweetened almond milk with a little cinnamon, and garnish with toasted almond slivers. This boosted our energy and give us enough protein and fiber to make it to lunch. Plus, every morning started with a glass of lemon water and some detox herbal tea. (Yogi Healthy Fasting and Peach Detox are some of my favorites.)
lunch — The focus of the meals was steamed vegetables and simple, brown rice, but we wanted to take care of our tummies and so will introduce miso soup during midday. Miso a paste made from fermented soybeans, and is fantastic for the digestive and immune systems. That, plus a little sprinkle of kelp, will be warming and nourishing and will break up the monotony of steamed vegetables and rice.
dinner — Yep, you guessed it! More steamed veggies and rice. And produce like broccoli, red and green bell peppers, carrots, zucchini and asparagus. To add flavor and some circulation-boosting spice, a dash of cayenne, lemon juice or ginger powder brought some zest to our meals. For a nightcap, another cup of detox tea.
The results? After going through only a couple days on the cleanse, we are more aware of how much we need to eat and we think our stomachs shrunk a little. We are less prone to snack mindlessly, and our cravings for sugar and caffeine have diminished. Excessive seasoning and spices aren’t necessary, and the whole outcome has been to bring awareness to our hunger and our perception of when/what we need to eat.
It’s been an interesting, albeit short, journey. Can you imagine what a whole week would do?
What are your thoughts? Have you ever done a cleanse? Has it been productive? Could you live through the zombie apocalypse without cheese?