I’m actually at the end of my second week of the cleanse as I post this. Are any of you surprised that I’m a week behind schedule with these posts? Didn’t think so, and neither am I.
So in case you missed it, I’m temporarily a vegan for the sake of a 30 day cleanse which was co-created by OhDearDrea (love her). You can bring yourself up to speed with my decision to dive right into this challenge by reading this here post, the intro. My husband agreed to humor me and play along with the cleanse as well, btw.
I’ve decided not to share actual recipes provided by Drea’s ebook. I figure she’s selling her cleanse for a reason and they’re not mine to share. However, recipes that I find via Pinterest or other sources will be listed and credit for them will be given.
I’ll be honest with you. This cleanse is a lot of work! Maybe that’s not the case for someone who was already vegan or a super duper health nut before starting this. I, however, eat meat and dairy and more processed foods than I’d like to admit. This cleanse has shifted my diet completely, and I’m loving it. I can no longer grab that fast snack or meal out of the box or package or go through a drive thru. I actually have to plan ahead and either make/prepare meals the night before or set aside chunks of time throughout my day for preparing homemade and healthy meals. Time is something that many people aren’t willing to give up over meal prep but I think your health and your body are well worth the small sacrifice. Lose the lazy, ya’ll.
So far, I’ve really been enjoying all of the recipes I’ve made from the Mise En Place Cleanse. Just about all of them have been new to me, along with many ingredients. For example, I’ve never cooked with corriander, tumeric, eggplants, collard greens, goji berries, chia seeds, lentils and chickpea flour. Because I wasn’t experienced in cooking with them, the results were less than amazing. After each meal, I’d make mental notes on how to improve them the next time around and so far, I have. Even though it was only the first week, it didn’t take long for me to tweak the recipes to better suit my liking.
As a result of the cleanse, my energy level has gone up. I don’t feel overly energetic, but I’m definitely out of that sluggish and heavy rut that I was in. What’s also gone up is my love for the food I’m eating. What I mean is, of course the “bad” food that I was eating before is delicious and I have many foods that I love. But, I always felt guilty while eating them! I knew that what I was putting into my body was unhealthy or fattening (a lot of the time) and so I couldn’t truly love and relish in my meals. With this cleanse, I can enjoy my food to the max. As long as I don’t stuff my face silly, I can actually savor every bite without feeling a bit of guilt which is truly the way to eat.
A few side effects that the cleanse mentioned were a possibility was an increase in gas and a change in poop. I won’t elaborate on either of those but I’ll just say that I have experienced both to be true. Moving on…
At the end of our first week, my husband and I celebrated our 2 year marriage anniversary in Santa Barbara. Traveling always brings out the worst diets in people and this could have been a great excuse to ditch the cleanse. But I didn’t….completely. I stayed true to it until Sunday (our actual anniversary) late afternoon. On our way home, we stopped by Carpinteria (cool beach town) for a bite to eat at our traditional spot that we hit up whenever we’re nearby. Dominic had been pleading for “real food” ever since we left home for our trip and for tradition’s sake, I caved. I ate a burger without cheese…at least I’ve remained dairy free. I’ll show you a photo below of the other vegan friendly meals I had while out of town.
Here are some photos of a few of the meals I ate during week 1…
Cooked oatmeal with some cocoa powder. Wasn’t a big fan of this.
My oatmeal skills greatly improved with this berry and almond oatmeal. Delicious.
Aw, no photos to show but for the first few days I ate a salad with dressing made from the ebook. I was short on time in the afternoons, having to get ready for work, and I didn’t plan ahead so I improvised.
Chickpea patties. This one is a time consumer. A food processor is now on our current grocery list as it will make this dish so much easier to make. The first time I made these, I served them in corn tortillas as a taco with avocado and sprouts (seen below). These were amazing and an instant favorite.
The leftover chickpea patties were served the next night over quinoa and alongside Brussels sprouts (one of my favorite vegetables).
Lentils and Indian cauliflower + peas. Both were very tasty, just a bit odd to pair together I think.
Lemon and cinnamon fruit salad. Another instant favorite.
HOW TO CLEANSE WHILE TRAVELING
The secret to this is simple. Look up vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurants and/or cafes online! Before heading to Santa Barbara for our 2 year anniversary, I looked up a few spots and jotted down their addresses. I also used reviews via Yelp to help me make up my mind. Having your meals preplanned before you travel may make it easier to stick with your cleanse and avoid the many temptations that your destination is sure to have. Trust me, it was hard for us.
For breakfast (and lunch) it was a no brainer. We love acai bowls and chose to grub at Backyard Bowls for lunch first (acai bowl with fruit, granola and honey) and then breakfast the next morning (for oatmeal with cashew milk, blueberries, almonds, chia seeds and honey). BOMB, people!
I planned to try a vegan dinner at an exclusively vegan restaurant called Adama. It wasn’t until the night of that I checked out their menu online and saw how crazy expensive they are! $22 bucks for a plate of pretty much veggies and grains is a bit much, right? I couldn’t justify spending that kind of dough on…dough. So we spontaneously chose Silvergreens which is a cafe type eatery that serves fresh, real, local meals from scratch. They do serve meat but have veggie friendly dishes, too. I ordered a veggie burger (patty made from mostly beans and corn) and a veggie platter served with edamame hummus. Both were perfect. I realize I cheated the cleanse a tad here, by eating the buns on my burger. Oh well. Everything else was legit.
I’m proud to have stuck with this cleanse for a whole week (not perfectly but close enough)! In the following weeks, I’d like to increase my water intake and exercise. I’m doing pretty lousy with both and the cleanse really encourages these.
Here’s to clean, real, fresh eating and a healthier me.