Detox: Day 7

Last day folks! The goop detox has recipes for chicken and fish, which I don’t eat. I realized I hadn’t gotten a good source of protein in any of my meals this week and I’ve lost weight, so I decided to have eggs for breakfast. And I would think that organic eggs are less processed than an organic chicken.

Breakfast: Eggs with Veggies & Tea with Almond Milk
2 eggs
1/2 bell pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
A few leaves basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste 

After heating up the olive oil in a non-stick pan, I added in the egg, bell pepper, salt and pepper mixture. With constant stirring over low heat, the eggs were done in less than two minutes. I sprinkled the chopped basil on top. Normally, I use milk and butter in place of the olive oil. This was tasty, but the milk and butter add a fluffiness that I didn’t achieve using the oil.

The eggs were the densest things I’ve eaten this week. This was a late breakfast so I didn’t get hungry again until dinner.

Dinner: Beet and Carrot Salad
1 cup arugula
1 cup lettuce
3/4 cup sliced beets
2 tsbp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste 

Beets and arugula go really well together. Again, I’ve had this salad at restaurants a lot of times, but never thought to make it at home. I ended the day with a rose tea and almond milk. Success!

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I can now look back on the week and say that this detox was overwhelmingly a positive experience. I didn’t feel the effects of eating well until a few days in, but once I did, I felt and looked better with each progressing day. I learned new combinations of fruits and vegetables that taste delicious together. While the time I spent shopping, cooking and cleaning was significantly more than usual, I felt a sense of bliss as I was preparing and eating my meals. Having three unprocessed meals every day is unsustainable for me, but my goal from tomorrow is to have at least one unprocessed meal per day (barring vacations, holidays and special events). I think having a smoothie for breakfast or a salad/soup for lunch is definitely doable.

If you’ve been keeping up with me this week, I hope my posts have inspired you try this, even if it’s only for a few days. It’s definitely worth it, even if it’s just for an exercise in self-discipline. I would love to hear about your experiences!

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Detox: Day 6

This morning I woke up early to run errands and get to a group meeting at school.

Breakfast: Tea with Almond Milk

Lunch: Greens and Carrot Salad w/ Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Dressing (see Day 3’s lunch)

Dinner: Apple, Carrot and Ginger Soup
All of the pulp from Day 4’s snack – apple, carrot and ginger juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup basil
Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe follows the same process as Day 1 and Day 3’s soup. You can squeeze in some lemon at the end if you wish.

This soup is different from the others I made. It’s slightly sweet and spicy and has a more subtle flavor, reminding me of butternut squash or pumpkin bisques. Despite not having any cream, it tastes rich. It was also the easiest to make since I already had the pulp ready. I love efficiency in the kitchen!

And so, six days down and I truly feel great. I slipped on my skinny jeans to go out with friends after dinner and they fit me differently than before. I’ve lost a pound or two (unintentionally), but I feel stronger. My whole body seems more toned, as if I’ve been deflated and my skin is a lot brighter. One more day to go!

Detox: Day 5

After a hectic week, I slept in on Friday (ah the joys of being a student!). I only had tea for breakfast and wasn’t hungry for any food, which is rare. I am always hungry in the morning. More side effects of this detox? Probably!

Breakfast: Tea with Almond Milk

Brunch: Oatmeal with Berries (see Day 4’s breakfast)

Snack: Rose Tea White with Almond Milk

I continued the day not feeling very hungry. But I needed something to warm me late in the afternoon. I only like to have caffeine once a day, so I brought out my loose organic white tea infused with wild roses. So fancy, right? The rose flavors went together wonderfully with the almond milk. I don’t know why I haven’t tried this combination before.

I had pledged to do my best over the weekend and stay away from processed food. I went out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant and steered clear of tempura, teriyaki or anything heavy. I ordered a veggie sushi entree. It doesn’t look like a lot of food, but given how much I’ve eaten for the past few days, it was quite satisfying.

We finished dinner at 8:30 and came home after a late movie five hours later. And I wasn’t hungry before bed. That deserves a wow.

Detox: Day 4

I wanted a more hearty breakfast with my tea today so I tried out another option (although it is a variation) from goop.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Berries
1/2 cup plain oatmeal
2/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup of mixed berries

I heated the milk in a saucepan first. Once it felt hot to the touch, I added in the oatmeal, and stirred until most of the milk was absorbed. I added the berries in last and let them cook for another 2 minutes.

If you’ve followed me since the beginning of the week, you’ll know that this is the first complex carb-meal I’ve eaten in four days. This is a big feat for me as I’m someone who always welcomes the bread basket at restaurants. So I was looking forward to the oatmeal, but funnily, I got full a little more than halfway in. Usually, I find myself wanting two bowls. And now I’m eating less, and also craving less. But I’ve been expending the same energy – going to classes, work and working out. Hmm…..  For lunch, I kept it light.

Lunch: Avocado and Cucumber Soup
1/2 avocado
1 cucumbers, peeled
1/4 cup basil leaves
Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 tsp salt

I blended everything together until it was smooth and creamy. The soup was refreshing and reminded me of guacamole. Cucumber and avocado work really well together. Has anyone ever added cucumber to guacamole? I’m going to try it.

Later in the day, I made myself a pre-workout snack.

Snack: Apple, Carrot and Ginger Juice
2 apples
12 baby carrots
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1 1/2 cup water 

I roughly blended the water and apples (chopped) before adding in the other ingredients. I’ve mentioned before I don’t have a juicer, so what came out was quite pulpy. I don’t mind pulp, but this time I strained it and refrigerated the pulp for a future soup or smoothie. I was left with three glasses of juice. It had a beautiful color and sweetness, plus a little kick from the ginger. goop’s recipe includes beets, which I couldn’t find in the supermarket. I’ll definitely make this juice again – it was so easy – and keep looking for beets (canned ones are fine too). For the amount of ingredients I used above, you can add 2-3 medium beets (cut into wedges) into the blender with the apples.

Dinner: Greens and Carrot Salad and Spinach and Peas Soup (see Day 3’s lunch and dinner)

Dinner was quite filling and some steamed almond milk later on was a comforting way to end my day.  With the fourth day almost behind me now I can say that I am experiencing the powerful effects of cutting out processed foods. My skin’s brighter, my head’s clearer and I don’t have any of the usual energy spikes and dips throughout the day, which obviously came from consuming sugar and heavily processed foods. I know I haven’t made a great discovery here. I was expecting this outcome. But all the same, it feels good accomplishing it for myself rather than reading about someone else doing it.

Tomorrow is the start of the weekend and this might be one of the few times in life I find myself wishing it was still the middle of the week. But social life be damned. I am seeing this full week through, even if it means ordering a salad, hold the dressing, when I’m out with friends.

Detox: Day 3

I woke up again feeling very hungry, but refreshed. I’m not doing this detox to lose weight and I don’t own a scale, but I feel lighter. It’s a good feeling. I didn’t have time to make a smoothie this morning (I intern 2x a week at the Asia Society), so I kept my breakfast blender-free. I felt incomplete without it though, so I’ll plan to wake up earlier tomorrow.

Breakfast: Tea with Almond Milk + Asian Pear

Lunch: Greens and Carrot Salad w/ Olive Oil and Lemon Juice Dressing
1 cup Arugula
1 cup Lettuce
1 cup baby carrots, chopped 

Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Dash of white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste 

I’ve had plenty of salads with arugula when I dine out, but I’ve never bought it home, although I’m not sure why. It makes the salad taste so much more tasty. Lunch was kind of light and I need something to get me through the rest of the work day. I go on the search for a cafe that serves almond or rice milk. I love milk, but I’ve decided to cut out dairy for the week. I’m allergic to soy milk and nevertheless, it’s a processed food. After a 10-minute search on yelp, I discover that Le Pain Quotidien stocks almond milk. Score! I think all of their locations do do. I went to the one on Lexington and 64th and the barista got kind of excited when I asked for it. I guess it’s not that popular. I get a chamomile tea with steamed almond milk with a drizzle of agave syrup…and let me tell you, it was divine. I can’t wait to try almond milk with coffee after this week.

Dinner: Spinach and Peas Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
12oz of chopped spinach
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon

This recipe follows the same directions as of Day 1’s Broccoli and Arugula Soup and also makes two big (or three small) bowls of soup. I love spinach and I love peas – and together they were delicious. I was surprised at how good the broccoli variation tasted, but this one tasted much better to me. Doesn’t the dark green color just scream “healthy!”

It’s late at night now and I’m not missing the sweet stuff for the first time. I read my book without the urge to snack. I love this!

Detox: Day 2

Last night got a little rough when I was up late doing homework/watching TV and had nothing to munch on. This was the time of day I was worried about, but I stayed disciplined and it paid off. I woke up today feeling less sluggish that I usually do. I’m someone who needs an hour to get out of bed once I open my eyes in the morning. My theory is that it was easier for my body to get out of bed this morning because it was hungry. When I eat late at night, it has less of a reason to.

Today I started the morning the way the goop detox wants you to, with room temp lemon water (pretty disgusting). Instead of following with herbal tea, I had weak black tea with a splash of almond milk.

Breakfast: Berry and Almond Milk Smoothie
1 cup almond milk
1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)

The original recipe calls for whey and ProGreens powder, none of which I have or want to get because I’m staying away from processed stuff and the ingredient list on those bottles scares me.

Almond milk is becoming a big hit with me and I think I’ll continue the smoothie idea for breakfast after this week, at least for a few days per week. I have more energy until lunch time than I do with my usual breakfast of a latte and Nature Valley granola bar (the two pack).

Lunch: Broccoli and Arugula Soup (see Day 1’s dinner)

Dinner: Salad with Carrot and Ginger Dressing + Miso Soup
Dessert: Glass of Almond Milk
I had to cheat tonight because I got home very late from class. So I ordered this as takeout from a Japanese restaurant close by. I still think it’s pretty healthy and light. I feel sleepy a lot earlier in the night (10:30pm) then I usually do.

Detox: Day 1

This week I’m starting a detox (this is not a hardcore Master Cleanse) that’s based on the recipes included in a previous issue of goop, by Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s been one of my favorite actresses since Sliding Doors. I know it’s cool to hate on Gwyneth, but I think she’s pretty damn talented. Anyway. I’m not sure if it’s an extended hangover from the holidays, which included a one month India trip, or if I’m just getting old and can’t eat (and drink) like a college kid anymore, but lately, I’ve really been feeling the effects of bad dietary choices. I don’t eat meat (no to poultry or fish too, but yes to dairy and eggs) but I get more than my fair share of processed food, which I think is the main culprit of my malaise.

Last night – Sundays are the best for making resolutions – I decided to eliminate processed foods from my diet for a week. I thought about trying the Blueprint cleanse that everyone’s been raving about, but decided to be economical given my grad student status. I just got a granny cart (no shame; I’ve been in the city for 12 years now and my shoulders are getting tired) and realized it’s going to be very easy for me to lug home fresh fruits and produce. I’ll be updating at least once a day with what I’ve come up with for meals and snacks. Just putting it out there:

  1. I will drink one morning cup of weak tea with a dash of honey.
  2. The recipes here are mostly taken from goop, but I will make variations for personal taste and what I have available.
  3. I don’t have a juicer, so I’ll be using a blender and strainer.

Breakfast: Carrot, Apple and Berry Juice
1 apple
8-10 baby carrots
1 handful of blueberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon

I tossed everything in a blender with 1 cup of water, liquified and poured myself a glass. It was delicious. So far so good.

Lunch: Cucumber, Basil and Lime Juice
1 cucumber
1/2 cup basil
1 apple
1/2 lime
1/2 cup water

Dessert: Almond Milk

The juice was incredibly refreshing. I have a pretty big sweet tooth, so I had the goop-approved almond milk. I’m not sure if this will fend of my chocolate cravings (I usually have a little chocolate every day), but I’m trying to build up a good defense.

The munchies hit me in the late afternoon. But I didn’t cave in and instead, went to the gym for a quick workout to sweat out the bad stuff. And then I got to work on dinner.

Dinner: Broccoli and Arugula Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
12oz of fresh broccoli
2 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of arugula
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon

I heated up the olive oil in and then sautéed the diced onion and garlic for about a minute in a large non-stick pan. Next, I added in the broccoli, which I cooked for about 5 minutes, until it turned a bright green. The water, salt and pepper went in next. I brought the mixture to a boil, and then let it cook for about 10 minutes, covered. I poured this (very hot stuff!) into the blender, adding about a third each time, along with the arugula. Then it was into a bowl with lemon squeezed in. The recipe above made almost 3 bowls of soup, so I saved half of it for tomorrow.

The warm soup was just what I needed after a day of cold stuff. I’ve never been a huge fan of broccoli, but it tasted great here. I think the spicy arugula might have had something to do with it. I’ll definitely be making this again. It was also a big hit with my husband. He’s not completely refraining from processed foods like me, but is trying to limit them this week and give me company. I made him a grilled cheese with his soup….what a temptation!

I would say Day 1 has been successful. But I’ve read that the first day is always the easiest. Oy.