Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Lovely Spring Cleanse

I was recently at a dinner with the family and my good friend told me that frankly she was quite sick of the lack of updates to my blog. In fact I think the word "threat" may have been used.  So... here I am! And let us play a bit of catch up.
Last month I did a "nutritional cleanse" which basically means there is a super long list of foods I'm supposed to refrian from for a month, consistent exercise, attend a few informative classes (about health and food), and get regular treatments from my doctor which were somewhat similar to going to the spa. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Check out my list of bad foods:
  • Dairy
  • Wheat/Gluten
  • Soy (including tofu, soy milk, or edemame)
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Corn 
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Nightshades (Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers, etc)
  • Citrus
  • Peanuts
  • Pork
  • Shellfish
Yikes, right? When this list was displayed in the class people's mouths fell open. Yikes indeed. Not only would I be without cheese or bread or PIZZA for an entire month, but it also looked as though I was going to have to prepare every single meal for the duration. Now I love cooking, but its tough for me to cook for every meal, every day. Usually time, hunger, and a lack of ingrediants are my biggest obstacles. And try to find a pre-made meal anywhere that does not contain any of the above. Go ahead. I dare you. I don't live in city anymore. There are no vegan, health food coops around here. We have safeway. So I had to get creative.

So let's see the good list:
  • Beans, Lentils, and Rice
  • Aramanth, Quinoa, Millet, and Buckwheat (actually gluten free, despite the name)
  • Beef, Chicken, Fish
  • Non-nightshade veggies
  • Non-citrus fruit
  • Honey, Agave, or Maple Syrup
  • All Nuts except Peanuts
  • Dairy Alternatives (Rice, Almond, Coconut, and Hemp <- my fav)
  • Herbal Tea
It was rough, but you know what? I felt great! No joke. I lost a little bit of weight, about 10lbs in 20 days. I had more energy. I slept better. Even my skin and hair seemed healthier. Of course I missed my bad foods so much that I don't feel quite as awesome anymore, but I'm working on it. On the plus side. I came up with some great recipes for some clean wholesome food.

Red Lentil Soup
Splash of olive oil
1 onion, chopped roughly
2-4 carrots, chopped roughly
1-2 celery stalks, chopped roughly
1/2 tsp salt
2 c red lentils, rinsed & picked over
3-4 c chicken stock
1 Tb cumin
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 can coconut milk
chopped cilantro (optional)
hot sauce (optional)

Heat olive oil in soup pot or dutch oven. Cook onion, carrots, and celery until onions are tender. Toss in the salt, lentils, chicken stock, & spices. Simmer until vegetables are tender and lentils have begun to break down. In batches, puree soup in a blender and return to the pot OR use an emerson blender (a magical tool) to blend in right in the pot. Blend until creamy. Add the coconut milk. Serve hot and topped with cilantro and hot sauce, if desired. 

Asian Breakfast Hash
Splash of olive oil
1 c sliced criminis
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c raw cashews
2 c cooked kasha (toasted buckwheat)
1 handful spinach, chopped
pinch salt & pepper
2-3 scallions, chopped

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook up the mushrooms, garlic,  and the cashews until browned. Throw in the buckwheat and heat it up. Throw in the spinach, cook until it wilts. Salt and pepper to taste (or soy sauce if you can have that.) Served topped with green onion. 

Healthy Easy Fried Rice
Splash of olive oil
3/4c raw cashews
2-3 cloves garlic, miced
2c chopped veggies (I use whatever I got in the fridge, but these work well: broccoli, cabbage, onions, carrots, kale, chard, spinach, mushrooms, boc choy, etc)
2c cooked brown rice

Heat the oil in a pan, brown the garlic, saute the veggies until tender. Add the rice, cook until heated. Top with hot sauce or soy sauce if desired.
These three recipes were my favorites. I also had a few of failures. Once I tried to make a dairy free-sugar-free, tapioca pudding. Not good... no sir, not good at all. 


The Gill Family said...

I love the new post. Thanks for making it. I was actually going to ask you about the clense specifics so thanks for answering that question. It was great seeing you guys lets get together sooner rather then later.

Erin said...

Oh holy wow, I feel your pain. I was just recently diagnosed with a nasty gluten intolerance, and I'm vegetarian, so I've been trying to scramble together recipes I can eat. Thanks for the post, I bet you really did yourself good for that month. :)

mp2athome@msn.com said...

Yea!!! So glad to see a post again! Thank you for sharing your cleanse info. Even though I heard all about it (and shopped with you at one point) it's good to see it in writing. I think I would like to incorporate some of these eating changes into our diet.

Love you oodles!!

Ms. Petey said...

Huh! I've been wondering for a long time if it's better to have honey in my tea, rather than sugar. It sounds like the honey is "cleaner"?

Handmade and Homespun said...

Yes, I think honey is "cleaner" because it isn't refined. A good rule to go by in terms of "clean" food is that is it looks pretty much like it did when it was harvested, its pretty clean.

I'm still looking for that pizza plant.

mp2athome said...

Erin, the gluten free diet is a challenge but there are a lot of things to eat that fit your requirements. I just made a recipe that was yummy nd gluten free!

I sauteed beef- slice to a 1/4 in thick and marinated in an Asian bbq sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, and chopped scallions. Saute all in sesame oil.

Add julienned carrots, more chopped scallions, chopped chard leaves and fresh spinach. Toss on onto the sauteed beef, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and cooked until done. Add 3 cups cooked rice. I used a blend of long grain wild rice, long grain brown and short grain brown (barley is not gluten-free). If you need additional moisture, add just a bit of white wine. Cook everything until just done. For a twist you can also add red curry paste if you have it.

Hollow out a bit of the rice mix and crack and egg. Add a bit of water or wine to steam the egg until just done. Serve with a chilled chardonnay or Sake.

Katy's Mom