Spring Cleaning Week 2 Day 4

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It turns out Katya didn’t really like the pancakes enough to have again. Perhaps with chocolate spread to improve the experience.  Instead, I made us all a delicious smoothies with blueberries, mangoes, avocado, almond milk and a touch of mint.  I really enjoy smoothies and juices as a start to my day and that is generally how I begin.  Katya had some sweet juicy cantaloupe on the side for something to chew on.

I vamped up the coconut salmon adding curry and hot paprika.  I warmed together the fish, quinoa, vegetables and broth.  The spicy smells scenting the kitchen were what I was hoping for last night.  What a happy improvement this was to my palette – an enjoyable lunch indeed!

Tonight’s dinner of roasted vegetables that will include a smoky paprika is very promising. I am serving it with a black Japonica rice instead of quinoa.  I am looking forward to that first bite.

Now for some stretching to loosen up after a long day of work.

Spring Cleaning Week 2 Day 3

stack of gluten free pancakes and fruitWas it worth all the trouble to make pancakes on a busy work and school morning? Seeing Katya go back for seconds pushed it in that direction so I am glad I made enough for her tomorrow.

For my part they were a little mealy. The fruit and honey helped to mask the sort of after bitter taste. I am gluten free and make plenty of gluten free pancakes. They taste good. I won’t be making any more of these.

The rest of the day was crazy and then I spent two hours in the car between getting home and Katya to her piano lesson. I walked in the door at 8pm! It was kind of late to start cooking dinner but we had to eat what was on the menu or similar. I was looking forward to having the salmon in the coconut broth. I love anything involving a coconut. And I was imagining the kitchen filling up with the aromas of lemon grass and garlic.

This is why I was so underwhelmed with this recipe and how over complicated it was: 3 pots, 2 burners, and one oven for just this one part of the meal! Plus the pot I made the quinoa in (it would take too long to make the brown rice). Who cares about all the health benefits – I wanted it to taste good! The dish was disappointingly bland. It would have been so much better to first sauté the vegetables, add the cleansing broth and coconut milk, followed by the salmon.

Now I am just waiting for the oat date bars to finish baking. Then it will be off to bed for me!

Spring Cleaning Week 2 Day 2

I have to say counting the cleanse days is a little like counting the omer.  This is a thing some of us do between Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot which are 49 days apart.  A counting up or toward a great finish line.

Katya has a big AP test today so I brought her breakfast in bed.  It was the quinoa porridge again accompanied with fresh squeezed blood orange juice.  Happily it was received just as well as yesterday and when I went to clear it away there was barely a trace left.

As the dinner hour approached, I just shoved in the oven tonight’s dinner of black bean patties.  Fortunately I cooked the rice this morning while preparing breakfast. I served them like burgers with sliced tomato, red onion and lettuce. They came out fairly well though Walter thought they were a bit crunch and Katya didn’t appreciate the romaine lettuce bun that I thought was so innovative.

Spring Cleaning Week 2 Day 1

So we have made it through a week and now on to the second.  The big emphasis of this cleanse is the food.  That is the way most of us think about detoxes.  There is more to it then just what we eat.  We need to keep moving from our sedentary lives. We also need to think about leaving time to relax and getting enough sleep to allow the body to reset and heal from the daily stress or other ailments. This has been quite the challenge and I have been rolling out of bed at 5 to get in some exercise. But back to the eating!

After a week of juices and smoothies we are now moving on to grain like foods.  This morning we started our day with a quinoa porridge seasoned with cardamom.  I adjusted the recipe for three and replaced the salt (not in my breakfast cereal!) with cinnamon.  This was all topped with sliced up pear and toasted almond slivers.  I was a bit skeptical that Katya would eat it but to my delight she really liked it and the bowl was empty.

Lunch was left overs from the night before and we were all looking forward to dinner.  Fish was on the menu for the week so again we deviated from the meal plan and I made ceviche.  I cut up in small cubes onion, avocado, mango, tomato, jalapeno, tilapia and mixed it together with chopped up cilantro.  This all stewed in lime juice.  We ate this up with soft ‘melt in your mouth’ pieces of sweet potato and arugula; both drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Spring Cleaning Day 7

Food shopping at Bearrs Groves MarketWhat a great day.  It’s mother’s day for starters and I was brought the delicious minty blueberry shake with fresh squeezed oranges.  Today Katya and I will deviate a little from the cleanse as we are meeting a friend for brunch in St Pete.  I found a raw, vegan, sugar-free, gluten free place that would allow us to actually socialize while still supporting the ingredients for week one.

We went to the Leafy Green Café and feasted on a Thai curry soup.  We were wondering if it would be warm or cold and my tongue was surprised when it received a cold spoonful.  It was most flavorful with hints of curry, lemon grass and basil. We  followed up the soup with veggie “pizza”.  The crust was made from hemp and walnut which made Katya’s eyes roll.   The vegetables on top were jump off the plate fresh with just the right hints of basil. This wasn’t your typical New York pizza, but it tasted very good.   Katya thought so too, even if she did pick off every piece of cucumber and could make bracelets from the crust!

As it is Sunday we needed to plan and shop for week two of the cleanse. This time we were armed with our ziplist shopping list.  It is not the greatest of lists because it takes each individual ingredient exactly from the recipe instead of accumulating them.  It also categorizes them oddly, like putting sardines in a beer section.

Making an adventure out of it we went to a couple of farmer’s markets getting a great harvest at Bearrs Grove’s market.  We then got the rest at the super market including fish.

For our seventh night dinner we veered a little off the path.  Since we really didn’t like the portabella mushroom recipe we opted to do our own variation.  I grilled them with large scallions and served it along side spaghetti squash topped with kale and garlic.  This really felt more like a meal rather than a side dish of mushroom.  We finished the first week with a bang!

Spring Cleaning Day 6

By the sixth day we had most of the dishes at least twice and the broccoli soup even more.  At this point in the cleanse I’m not feeling too different except for some aches and pains.  Walter and Katya have been experiencing some headaches. All natural side effects during a detox.

Overall everything has been pretty satisfying though some meals have been better than others.  Katya’s big craving has been for peanuts but cashews did the trick.  It has been a lot of work to plan and keep this going.

Like everyday so far, we started off with our morning juice.  Today we had a mango tahini shake which I enjoyed but was not a favorite amongst the rest of the team.  After a less than satisfying breakfast for the troops, no one was looking forward to a repeat of anything on this week’s menu. So we opted to have kabocha squash soup, spinach sautéed in garlic and toasted pumpkin seeds on the side.  While we came up with this together, Katya was the real inspiration though she originally wanted my butternut squash soup.  The kabocha was a terrific substitute flavored with coconut, curry, turmeric, red pepper flakes and an onion.  It was a hit and we were all quite satisfied.

There are a couple of things this plan hasn’t really stressed and both I think are important: sleep and relaxation.  With all the planning and cooking on top of a full time job,  I haven’t gotten much of either.  Walter and Katya were both out so tonight I got my chance.  I filled up my tub with bubble bath, Epsom salts and just the right temperature of hot water; lit some incense.  I climbed in with book in hand and a cup of the golden elixir waiting on the side.  This was a great way to end the day!

Spring Cleaning Day 3

Well this morning’s drink was a hit. Yeah! A minty blueberry avocado smoothy. I don’t think Katya will ask for it on a regular basis but she actually smiled and was able to get it down before having to leave for school. I didn’t really hear any complaints so that was a good start.

I was also able to heat up in the pan last nights left overs and pack that up along with apple/almond ‘sandwiches’ for her lunch!

Broccoli soup topped with avocado again. This time I used more spinach than broccoli to change it up a bit. To accompany that we also had the left over broth vegetable dip with baby carrots. I like different textures with a meal so it just seemed like a good idea to have something nice and crunchy to go along with the creamy soup.

The broth was finished so I had a night of cooking ahead of me, food for tomorrow and a new batch of broth. I also made the sweet potato snack. Preparing these meals for three and working full time makes for less sleep. Hmmmm. With all the cooking and the food the kitchen was just a mess so I spent the time getting that all in order which makes it a better environment for me to create food in. It was a late night!

Spring Cleaning Day 2

Cauliflower Stir Fry

I actually enjoyed this morning’s breaksfast despite the hemming and hawing from my Walter and Katya.  It was a cucumber pear juice spiced up with fresh ginger that to me was refreshing and had just the right bite to it.
Cucumber Pear Juice

For Katya and I, I heated up the broccoli soup and packed us up a lunch that also included sliced apple drizzled with lemon and a side of almonds.
I also toted along the Golden Elixir which is a concoction with hot water, lemon, spices and honey.  I didn’t have the tumeric but used cinnamon and it was like drinking a delicious spicey apple cider throughout the day.
Dinner was a stir fry using cauliflower finely chopped as the ‘rice’ with a mix of vegetables.  I did leave out the sweet red pepper because I don’t like the taste of cooked peppers.  As the cook I got to make that choice!
I also got creative with the left over vegetables from the broth.  I just couldn’t stand to see those go to waste so I pureed them with some tahini, curry, salt and pepper.  Even my daughter reached for more!

Spring Cleaning Day 1

Green Lemonade and Broccoli Soup

We started our day with drink number one: Green Lemonade. I modified the quantities somewhat as I don’t have a juice extractor, but rather a Vitamix blender. It was thicker and frothier and while my daughter found it too sour, we drank up and enjoyed.
Our lunch would be a little off: it was leftovers from the evening before. Sautéed vegetables in a coconut sauce, with noodles made from a Japanese root. It has some corn starch and the dish had organic GMO free tofu. Other than that, for better or worse we were off to a good start.

In the evening I came home and got the cleansing broth going while Walter ran to pick up a few missing ingredients. During that time I got to browse the on line version of the article. Online you can launch a little app called ziplist which allows you to create shopping lists with a couple of clicks for each recipe. In this tool I created lists for weeks one, two and three. I still think it would be better to include a weekly shopping list that gives you quantities for one, two, and four participants. And online there could even be a calculator where you plug in the number of people and the quantities adjusts accordingly.

Dinner for night one was a creamy broccoli soup with the broth as the base. As I just made the broth, I used the spinach from it for the soup. The recipe worked as expected and it was delicious.

Spring Cleaning for the Body

First Week Pow WowWe are finally going to do it; spring cleaning for the body: a three week cleanse! Back in January I read about a cleanse that seemed very palatable. I have done several different types and what I liked about this was you could eat the whole time and you didn’t need to invest in all sorts of supplements. Just real whole food, preferably organic.

I definitely wanted to try it but when – months went by? Then Katya, my daughter, suggested we do the cleanse. With Walter, my husband, in agreement, we picked Monday as our day to begin. We figured all was in the magazine so after a beach morning on Sunday, we went to do the shopping for week one.

The magazine wasn’t as well organized as we would have liked – including some recipes being left out. We did our best to get everything so we could follow the plan as closely as possible. As a health coach I wanted to see if this would be something good to recommend to clients.

The day got away from us so I didn’t have too much time to prepare. I did make us a great dinner that would be a good substitute for the first day’s lunch even though it included tofu.

Stay posted to see how we progress…