My hubby and I have been on a two-week cleanse diet: no caffeine, no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no red meat, no processed foods. While that sounds kind of onerous, I realized pretty quickly that this is not a weight-loss diet. We are eating lots of food! Tons of fruit and veggies, chicken and fish, beans and legumes, nuts, rice, potatoes and squash.
That’s not to say it hasn’t had its challenges. The caffeine withdrawal was BRUTAL. I don’t drink coffee but I do drink tea every morning and I indulge in chocolate now and again but I wasn’t expecting it to be so bad. My head was in a vice grip for 3 days and then it moved into my lower back and body. I felt like I was in a fog for a week. I feel much better now but if I do go back on caffeine, I’m not sure I’ll ever go off it again!
I miss yogurt and cheese but I’ve discovered almond milk and coconut milk on my oatmeal is very yummy. I have wished for a Guiness a few times, in particular when I went to my son’s concert at Joe’s Apartment. But all in all, the two weeks have been pretty good. I feel better, I’ve lost a bit of weight and it’s helping me change my relationship with food.
The other thing it has done is make me more organized. I used to do meal planning all the time but had gotten out of the habit. Doing this cleanse made me do that again and I am so glad: it saves time and money – perfect for a thrift-minded person like me.
Here’s my process: on Fridays (since that’s my day off) I sit down with a cup of tea, my daytimer and my recipe books. I figure out what my week schedule looks like, when I have evening meetings and need a quick supper, when I have a free evening and can indulge in something that takes a little longer to cook. I pull out recipes, check the grocery fliers for deals and then start a grocery list. I also check my pantry and fridge to make sure I’m not buying something I already have. Mid-week, I usually stop at the local produce place and pick up a bit more fresh produce. I keep the menu list on my fridge and the recipes in my holder on my kitchen counter and just follow that each day.
This routine keeps me from wondering what to make for dinner while I’m driving home from work and it also prevents impulse buying.
Here’s a new recipe I discovered in the cleanse process. It’s a keeper!
Red Potato and Green Bean Salad
4 medium red potatoes, baked and cut into chunks
1 lb fresh green beans, cut into thirds and lightly steamed
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup red onion thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, slivered
2 Tbsp fresh basil or oregano chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine potatoes and beans with olive oil, vinegar, onion, garlic basil and/or oregano (or 1 tsp each dried herb.) Salt and pepper to taste. Eat!
What’s your handy tip to simplifying life in the kitchen? Do you have a cleaning tip? A cooking tip? Share your wisdom!