Many of you already know…we fell of the crazy cleanse wagon last week. Truth be told, Bil and Madeleine jumped off and pulled me off with them. Why? Well there are a few reasons:
- Cutting out 7 foods all at the same time, cold turkey was really challenging. Not just to our emotional centres attached to those foods, but also to meal and snack planning. ( the 7 foods are; gluten, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweetener, eggs)
- What was supposed to cost me less at the grocery store actually cost me more-cutting out all the foods we did, they needed to be replaced by something–nuts, almond milk, coconut milk, alternative flours etc–none of which are inexpensive…especially when you have to stock up all at the same time.
- While we were all feeling much better by week 2 of the crazy cleanse (than we did over and after the Christmas break), we all noted that we felt the same as we do when we just eat better. (smaller portions, more fruits and veg, less meat, bake from scratch and a moderate amount of everything else…oh, and LOTS of water.)
- We were all feeling hungry and “deprived” most of the time. This is exactly the reasons why diets don’t work. Ever. There is a huge difference between thinking “I can’t have that” and “I choose not to have that”-I was definitely spending a lot of time feeling the former…
All that being said, there were a few positives that did come out of this experiment.
- We all developed a greater sense of “body awareness” and what it means to actually listen to what your body is telling you about how you treat it, and what you feed it.
- It made us much more mindful of what and how much we were eating–too many Christmas weeks of candies, cookies, chocolates and treats being around all the time made us lose track of how much extra we were eating.
- It reminded me to pay more attention to ingredients, recipes and choices while shopping.
- It made me more aware (if that is possible) that processed food, is processed food–even if it says organic. even if it says gluten free. even if it says it’s a “healthy choice”. If it’s made in a factory, it’s going to have things in it you don’t want.
So all in all the conclusion to this story is, as I predicted it would be: Cleanses don’t really do anything for you that Eating Better won’t do. It isn’t a magic pill, it isn’t the answer to your weight loss dreams. Do it if you want, it certainly won’t hurt you–but it will be so much easier (and cheaper) to just make better food choices–increase the good foods–they’ll quickly start crowding out the bad.
~I promised to share a new recipe or 2 that I found while on this crazy cleanse…this one was mighty fine, even though we had to eat it without the cheese. Imagine how good it will be with the cheese!
Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Dip
After trying the recipe as is, mix things up: Replace 1 cup quinoa with lentils, and season with curry powder to make Indian koftas. Or mix in more chopped parsley, and serve in pitas for quinoa falafel. Recipe by Kirstin Uhrenholdt at Vegetarian Times.
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ Tbs. tahini or nut butter
- 1 ½ tsp. red or white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
- ½ cup finely grated sweet potato
- ½ 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped nuts, optional
- 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese, optional
- 2 Tbs. finely diced onion
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
- ½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine egg, flour, tahini, and vinegar in bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, then mash together until mixture is firm enough to shape into cakes. Shape mixture into 1/4-cup patties with wet hands. Bake on prepared baking sheet 25 minutes, turning once, or until cakes are browned.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- 1 ½ cups roasted red peppers, drained
- ½ cup ground almonds (toasted if you like a deeper flavour)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Purée all ingredients in food processor.