Don’t worry we aren’t turning into a health blog! Just giving some healthier options in time for Spring cleaning. First up, my recap of week 1 on the cleanse followed by a recipe for Salty/Spicy/Sweet Noodles! Hint: they’re not actually noodles…Skip to the bottom if you just want the recipe!
Let me preface this recap by saying that for those of you who I don’t know personally, I work in events for a restaurant group and catering company. As you can imagine, this isn’t the most conducive environment for any type of restrictive diet. This week was especially trying as I had events almost every night of the week and each one with a food item I had not yet tried. GREAT TIMING. A sampling of the things I didn’t eat: croissant apple cinnamon bread pudding with caramel sauce, my FAVORITE mac n’ cheese in hors d’oeuvres form, a porchetta slider on focaccia, a 6′ muffaletta hero, and a remoulade macaroni salad. Did. Not. Eat. Not. A. Single. Bite. Or. Taste. I think if I can make it through that I can make it through anything.
The week started out a little rough because I expected the shakes to taste more like smoothies (don’t know why) and they are definitely shakes – more creamy and milky than tart and fruity. Once I got my fave combos down I was in business and now I LOVE my shakes. Mornings, I have almond milk, frozen mango, peach and some kind of berry mix with the vanilla clean powder and a few raw cashews or half an avocado. Nights, I have almond milk, frozen cherries, blueberries, raw cashews and a spoonful of raw cacao powder with the chocolate clean powder. A lot of people put almond butter in the shakes. I tried this but for some reason I really don’t like the texture and flavor it made the shake. It kind of overpowered the fruit which I didn’t like. Also, beware of raspberry seeds in the shakes. That is all I will say re: that matter.
Week 1 was a learning week in many ways. I learned that a lot of the time when I snack I’m probably thirsty or bored, I do actually need to put a top on your blender at all times, if I don’t shovel my food like it’s my last meal (I mean lunch is your only real meal of the day…but still) then I get fuller faster, green tea still tastes like water no matter how much I steep it, and that nutritional yeast is legit.
Overall I’m feeling good – I am sleeping like a new human. Not exaggerating. I have a Jawbone Up Band (get one I LOVE mine) and looking at my sleep patterns before the cleanse vs. now is like looking at two different people. My energy has also leveled out and I feel pretty energized consistently throughout the day. I used to always feel tired and sluggish and if I felt energized it was a miracle. I like the food I’m eating and I like the shakes, so not a lot to complain about. The only thing I would say is that it makes socializing pretty hard. I know I could go to a restaurant and order a salad or something else on the clean diet, but I don’t want to put my dinner date through that. It’s also just too tempting to break the cleanse if I’m in an environment. So if you are cool with being antisocial for three weeks you’ll be a-okay on the cleanse. I have added many new TV shows to my weekly lineup I’m pretty thrilled.
Here’s some tips for surviving the cleanse, week 1 and beyond:
- I didn’t have a blender prior to the cleanse so I order this one by Hamilton Beach. It has been great so far! Definitely order two cups vs. just one.
- Get raw cacao powder and add it to your chocolate smoothies. You will thank me.
- Make the recipes in the clean program packet for yourself or do some research and find more online. It will help to make you excited for your lunch and keep you interested and full. Make your lunch last! I would be miserable if I just ate a salad for one meal a day all 21 days.
- Use the online clean community. I have emailed the wellness coaches like 3+ times with frantic questions about what I can and cannot eat and they get back to me so quickly. They’re also incredibly knowledgeable and nice.
Now for a recipe that is relatively easy and packs a lot of flavor. Also no cooking required so it’s user friendly in that way.
- 2 large summer squash (zucchini or yellow), made into long thin strips with a vegetable peeler (if organic, there’s no need to discard the skins and you can use the seeds, going right down as far as you can still get strips from it). I also added in some roasted spaghetti squash noodles for some extra flavor.
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari sauce. Feel free to sub in soy sauce here if you aren't gluten free.
- 1 small package of anchovy fillets (packed in olive oil only, make sure there are no additives) - I omitted these because I hate anchovies.
- 1 small handful basil leaves, minced (should roughly equal 1 tablespoon, but you can adjust to taste)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon minced rosemary (fresh) or 1 teaspoon dried
- A pinch of sea salt to taste
- Dash of lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve immediately, or keep in airtight container in the fridge for several days - the flavors will keep mingling together.