breakfast · chicken · gluten free · pasta · slow cooker · soup · Uncategorized · vegetarian · veggies

The Good Cleanse

I hate the word cleanse. It makes me think of yoyo diets that make you lose 10 pounds in a week while being a miserable excuse for a human and then gaining it all back when you finally eat real food. I’ve done cleanses in the past. Cabbage soup diet, juice cleanses, that cayenne pepper bullshit. Since some loser in elementary called me “chunky” and I wasn’t as string bean like as some of my friends, I always felt the need to be on a diet. This never worked because I am a human vacuum. I’ve tamed it as I’ve gotten older but as a kid/teen I would eat and eat until my stomach hurt and I had to lie down. In high school I would try to do things like the south beach diet and then just end up eating a full thing of KD at 9PM and restarting the next day. It was stupid and not effective.

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Now, I’m older and wiser–I think. I just got back from a 19 day romp in Canada where I visited friends and family, attended a wedding and a cottage and drank and ate my face off. I was on vacation! Toward the end of my vacation I found out I’ll be doing a TV taping at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal at the end of July. HOORAY! I’m so excited. But I am also puffy and feel like a bag of garbage. My first instinct is to cut everything out, cold turkey. but then I remember high school Julia, and one of her many failed “diet” attempts. I don’t want to diet. I like food. I like choice. I don’t like being told what to do. So, I decided to cut out sugar, dairy, wheat and alcohol; all with a few exceptions of course. In terms of sugar, I’m eating some fruit. Dairy, the occasional scoop of plain greek yogurt. Wheat-none! and alcohol…well, I just googled “which wine has the least amount of sugar” so does that answer your question? Let’s just say I’ve cut back significantly and am not drinking beer!

I only started Thursday but I already feel less lethargic and blah. I’m not weighing myself, I’m going off of feeling. Turns out, when you don’t eat a bunch of cheese, gravy and beer, you feel a lot better! I wanted something that I would stick to and that I could maintain. I don’t feel deprived, other than always wanting to order a pizza but I could be eating a pizza and want to order another pizza so that’s just in my DNA.

Let me tell you a bit about what I eat! The most important thing is to set yourself up for success. If you don’t have food, ready to eat when you’re hungry, you’ll make bad choices.

What to do the day before/day of your ” cleanse”:

-go grocery shopping and load up on veggies, fruit, eggs, legumes and lean proteins
-make a pot of slow cooker beans (pound of dried black beans, 6 cups water, half an onion, 3 cloves garlic, 8 hours low. remove onion and garlic after)
-make slow cooker pulled chicken (pack of boneless skinless chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, add a bit of water, 4 hour high or 6 low. discard water, pull chicken with two forks.)
-make a pot of brown rice. (you know how to do this. it says on the package.)

OK! Now that we have our basics it’s time to have fun.

Breakfast:

Black bean poached eggs and salad

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Ingredients:

few scoops slow cooker beans
couple handfuls spinach
salsa
scoop plain greek yogurt
eggs
jalopenos
lettuce
fruit of choice
olive oil
lemon

Directions:

Add a few scoops of black beans to a frying pan. Heat the beans over medium and they should be nice and saucy. Crack 4 eggs in and cover pan with a tight fitting lid. Check after a few minutes and if the whites aren’t firming up, gently flip them and cook for a minute or two on other side. Once eggs are done, transfer egg and bean mixture to a plate on a bed of spinach and top with salsa, jalopenos and a dollop of greek yogurt if you’re feeling sassy. I made a simple green salad using leaf lettuce and nectarines with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Jazz it all up with salt and pepper.

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I never thought I’d enjoy eating salad for breakfast, but there’s something really nice about starting your day with a bowl full of greens. It’s colourful and fresh and you know you’re doing something good for your body before your day has ever started! Now, from this picture you can’t tell there are eggs in this dish. That’s because I’m not a food photographer and neither are you. They’re buried in there and when you cut them open they’ll ooze into the beans, and all of that warm goodness will slightly wilt the spinach and you’ll have a beautiful bite. Beans are the best and beans are what’s for breakfast.

Lunch:

Gazpacho

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Ingredients:

large can of crushed tomatoes
half cucumber, peeled and chopped
half red pepper, chopped
half zucchini, chopped
1/3 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup water
1 TBSP apple cider or red wine vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper
chili flakes
lemon juice

Directions:

Blend all that shit together! Add more water if it’s too thick and let it chill overnight to let the flavours get acquainted. The chili flakes and lemon are a garnish. Also, feel free to top it with chopped cucumber, red pepper, avocado, pickled onion etc. It gives the soup some texture and makes it feel like more of a meal. You could also use fresh tomatoes here but that’s more expensive and time consuming and sometimes you just want to make gazpacho in like, 10 minutes. There’s nothing better than a cold zesty soup on a hot day.

Dinner

Zucchini Noodles

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Ingredients:

zucchini
olive oil
garlic
salt and pepper

Directions:

I don’t have a spiralizer or a funky mandolin so I used a good old fashioned vegetable peeler. Peel strips lengthwise, stack them and then cut into ribbons. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan with a clove of crushed garlic and add the noodles, sautéing for about 2-3 minutes. You still want them to be crisp! Now for the fun part. Top them with whatever you want! Take some of that pulled chicken and sauté it up with mushrooms and spinach. Drizzle olive oil on top with some chili flakes and you’ve got yourself a meal! How about some sautéd shrimps with lemon and dill? or a ground turkey bolognese? Maybe a simple tomato sauce! Use them as you would any other pasta but avoid cream or cheese based sauces because that defeats the whole purpose of this “cleanse”.

There ya have it! That’s an example of what I eat during a day. Not too shabby, right? For snacks I’ll have raw almonds or walnuts, veggie sticks, herbal teas. I highly recommend slicesd cucumbers with a hint of white vinegar, salt and pepper. It’s a poor mans pickle and I love it.

So go ahead and try the good cleanse. and don’t beat yourself up if you have a glass of wine. We’re all just trying to get through the day. If anyone tells you any differently, tell them to shut up.

Love you! byeee!!

Julia

 

 

 

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