April 30, 2013

Cleanse

After seeing the scale start to creep back up slowly over the past 4 months, I decided that it is high time to nip this issue in the bud and get my body (and brain) back on track.  The incessant stress since Christmas - CHRISTMAS - has done bad, bad things to my eating habits and my waistline. And despite attempting a couple of "resets" nothing has stuck except the additional poundage on my ass, so it's apparently time to get hard on myself and try to regain some of my health so that I'm really ready to make these big changes in my life in the best of all possible states.

A couple of my friends have had varying degrees of success recently with cleanse programs.  I'm not going to name them because I'm still of the belief that any "diet" that costs you more than the foods you put on your plate on a regular basis is a fad, and I refuse to buy into them.  ALL of my weight was lost with the development of healthy habits, calorie counting and exercise.  Plain and simple.  And hard.  Very, very hard.  But actually, when I go back and read my food journals from those early days, not as hard as I've made it out to be now.  The key is actually SIMPLICITY.  Simple rules to live by, simple eating, cutting out the crap.  The hard part is being of sound mind enough to stick to it and when you have a good day, to wake up the next morning and do it again.

But anyway, the idea of a whole foods "cleanse" that I didn't have to pay for was still appealing to me, so I downloaded some of the food lists from these programs and they all seem to say pretty much the same thing - to reset your digestive system, eliminate wheat, gluten, soy, milk, eggs, sugar and a couple of other GMO foods (bananas, oranges and peanuts) and opt for whole grains, fruits and veggies and healthy oils.  Duh.  It's perfectly simple.  So for the next 2 weeks, this is what I'm going to do.  I am taking a daily multivitamin and calcium, so I'm not stripping my body of everything.  And while I'm laid up nursing this calf injury, this is the best time to reset my diet because I'm not burning a ton of calories every week that I need to replace.

This made me laugh this morning.  I'm such a bad ass for doing this.  HA!

Day One wasn't easy.  Probably because I totally had the "Last Supper" binge of Cheetos and Diet Coke on Sunday night.  (I mean - why?)  So when 4pm rolled around I was totally craving sugar, caffeine and pretty much any other junk food I could think of to shove in my face.  I didn't ignore my craving.  I fed it with a Raw Bar of nuts and fruit and a large iced green tea.  It worked well enough to get me through the slump.  I even managed to go out to a show with a 2 drink minimum last night and ordered a delicious iced pomegranate green tea instead of 2 glasses of red wine, which I would have preferred.  Thank goodness my motivation is still high.  I can imagine that as the weeks progress, this is going to get tedious.  But I know I'm going to start feeling better really soon.  So I'm going to hang on.  I'm not starving for anything but junk.  And that says a lot right there.

Today I put cashew butter in my oatmeal.  Already Day Two is so much better.  I have a new favorite breakfast item.  Oh damn it was so good.  And already in the mirror this morning my eyes are brighter and my face is starting to clear up.  I was broken out so badly it was gross.  Bye bye toxins.  Not nice knowin ya.

I'll keep you posted on the rest of the week.  My prep for food this week included baking fresh cod and chicken breasts in toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds.  So delicious.  And ever since I discovered my baby crockpot for cooking grains, I won't make them any other way.  So I cooked a big batch of wild rice and quinoa to go with the meats, and then another batch of organic pumpkin pie oatmeal (clean eating recipe below) which is what I added the cashew butter to this morning.  Picked up some huge bags of carrots, peppers, baby squash, kale, cherry tomatoes and berries, berries, berries.  I don't like not being able to eat eggs or yogurt right now.  Those are the two things that I will be adding back in rather quickly once this is over, but I'm going to at least try adding back in only organic and local stuff to try to stay as clean as possible.

The whole point of this is to feel good about it.  But I think I'm going to if I can hang on to it long enough.  The initial period is two weeks.  So let's see what good habits I can re-develop in two weeks (drinking water and cutting out soda is a BIG one right off the bat).  I'm not sure I'm a person who can live clean all the time, I like ice cream and fast food too much, but it's the moderation that I need to get back, and perhaps doing something that makes me feel really great about myself will jumpstart that process for me again.

Organic Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

1 cup organic steel cut oats
1 cup water
1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup organic canned pumpkin
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp organic vanilla
2 packets Truvia or Stevia (you can use organic maple syrup or honey to sweeten this as well, but my current plan eliminates those)

Mix all the above ingredients in a 4-cup slow cooker (Little Dipper) and set to high.  Cook for 4 hours - or until it's done to your liking.  Many people call this "overnight oatmeal" but with grains, I don't leave them to cook overnight even on low because they have too high a tendency to burn around the edges and get too mushy.  4 hours is plenty of time to cook this dish.

Enjoy!

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