Posts Tagged August cleanse

August Cleanse: Days 22-30 & Wrap-up

I’ve been putting this post off because I knew it was going to be a monster, and also between preparing for a friend to visit, said friend’s visit, and preparing for Dave’s birthday party this weekend I’ve been a very busy girl.

Day 22

This breakfast smoothie had banana, strawberries, peanut butter, flax, cocoa, agave, coconut milk.  This is probably my favorite smoothie combination, and for that reason I don’t let myself have it very often.  Saturday mornings are a good excuse!  I also took my multi and coQ10 and had coffee with coconut milk.  After breakfast I headed to the farmers market with no particular plan in mind.

kale, spinach in the back, persian cucumbers, celery, corn and okra

blueberries in the bag, peaches, baby eggplants, carrots, shallots, zucchini (they’re yellow and light green!), multicolored potatoes and a canary melon

When I returned home I had napa cabbage salad with spicy peanut sauce and smoked tofu.  I skipped my morning and afternoon snacks to keep it light in preparation for the evening’s activities – a vegan potluck housewarming party hosted by Megan and Kelly, The Sisters Vegan!  I decided in advance that I was going to cheat on the cleanse a little bit (how could I resist trying everything at a vegan potluck???), so I tried to make my contributions as healthy as possible.  I made my Potato & Fava Bean Salad with Miso-Mustard Dressing, except there were no favas at the farmers market so I went with lima beans instead.  A good substitution, but not at all the same as favas.  I didn’t get to snap a picture of the dish because I was running late.

I also wanted to make a wheat- and sugar-free dessert, so I consulted Diet, Dessert and Dogs and found a good looking recipe for Jam-Filled Turnovers.  Of course, I didn’t have any sugar-free jam at home, so I made my own and it probably wasn’t quite thick enough.  I also didn’t have coconut oil and couldn’t get any without driving almost an hour round trip, so I substituted canola oil and hoped for the best.

They didn’t turn out so well.  I could tell when I rolled out the dough that it was much too oily and soft, but I tried to put together some cookies anyway.  They were edible for sure, but not potluck party worthy, so I bagged ’em up and left ’em at home.  I don’t think this is the recipe’s fault at all – I think it’s a good recipe and I just made bad substitutions.

Oh, did I forget to mention that while I was baking and cooking I had two vodka tonics?  Yeah?  Well, there it is.  Again, that’s what Saturdays are for!  I had a great time at Megan and Kelly’s place, their house is super-cute!  Here’s my plate o’ food.

Sorry for the crazy redness, I couldn’t get my camera to take it any other way.  From top left going clockwise, this is hummus and some jalapeno sauce with pita chips, a delicious bagel bite with the new Daiya cheese made by Melisser, fruit salad, pesto pasta, my potato-lima bean salad, part of a sundried tomato scone, part of a blueberry muffin, and TWO types of corn dog nuggets with an awesome spicy-sweet mustard.  (Thanks for sharing wheat products with me Melisser!)  This was a really great meal, and far more than I should have eaten.  Now I see why people rave about those sundried tomato scones – so good!  I didn’t take a picture of dessert, but if memory serves me I had a snickerdoodle, a small chocolate thing (truffle?), a brownie, and there may have been another cookie involved.  This is why I shouldn’t wait almost three weeks to write blog posts.  Aaaand I had a few beers at the party too.

Day 23

Sunday morning, I didn’t have anything I wanted to put in a smoothie, so I made fruit salad.

Strawberries, banana and grapes with flax meal.  I also had coffee with coconut milk, a multivitamin and b complex supplement.  Lunch was napa cabbage salad with spicy peanut sauce and smoked tofu, along with spirulina and (four) jam turnover cookies.  Afternoon snack was a grapefruit.  I was planning on leftovers for dinner, but when I went to pick Dave and a friend up from bart and he suggested that he might pay for taqueria if I took them…

…this happened.  Rice, beans, salsa and chips.  It’s technically cleanse friendly, except for the rice not being whole grain.  It was also technically delicious.  Along with dinner, I had a beer or two.

Day 24

I woke up with a raging headache Monday morning and decided to stay home from work.  I don’t get migraines or anything, but I could tell this was the kind of headache that was going to stick around all day.

Luckily, I had already prepped my smoothie with spinach, banana, raspberries, chocolate hempshake, udo’s oil and coconut milk.  I also took my multi and coQ10 and had blueberry green tea.

For a snack, I cut into the canary melon from my CSA.  I had never had canary melon before, but apart from the bright yellow rind, I’d say it’s really similar to honeydew.

Lunch was the last of the napa cabbage salad with spicy peanut sauce and smoked tofu, as well as a probiotic, two blueberry jam turnovers and wild sweet orange tea.  My afternoon snack was also what I had prepped to take to work – carrot sticks, squash slices, red bell pepper and cucumber with white bean pesto dip.  Dinner was the last of the sesame tofu scramble with greens, yams, mushrooms and dulse over savory oat bran, two blueberry jam turnovers and camomile tea.  I was feeling much better by the end of the night and was able to work on some food for the next day.

Day 25

I was running late for work, so no picture of the smoothie, but it had spinach, banana, strawberries, berry pomegranate hempshake, udo’s and coconut milk, and I took a multi and b complex.   Morning snack was canary melon, a nectarine and black tea.  Also no picture of my lunch salad, which had leaf lettuce, baby romaine, mexi-millet from Veganomicon, black beans, guacamole and salsa.  There’s a picture below under Day 26 of basically the same salad.  I also took a spirulina with lunch, and my afternoon snack was carrot sticks, red bell pepper and cucumber slices with white bean pesto dip.

For dinner, I made a curried stew with many of the veggies I bought at the farmers market, plus some stuff hanging around the fridge.  This stew included onion, garlic, ginger, red jalapeno, curry paste, zucchini, eggplant, okra, corn, swiss chard, coconut milk, tofu and cilantro.  I was really happy with how this turned out and kind of wished I had written down a recipe.  After dinner I had two blueberry jam turnovers and wild sweet orange tea.

Day 26

This very tasty smoothie included spinach, banana, raspberries, vanilla rice protein, almond extract, udo’s, almond milk and agave.  I really liked adding the almond and vanilla flavors, and also took my multi and coQ10.  The morning snack was a peach, canary melon and black tea.

Here is a picture of the salad mentioned above – leaf lettuce, baby romaine, mexi-millet, black beans, guacamole and salsa, with bonus cilantro and green onions.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the mexi-millet, but I quite liked it.  It was nice and flavorful and moist.  With lunch I took a probiotic, and had almonds for an afternoon snack.

The curried stew thickened significantly sitting in the fridge overnight, but still tasted great.  After dinner I had the last four blueberry jam turnovers and sugar plum spice tea.

Day 27

Thursday was a great day, if only because I was taking Friday off to hang out with our friend Mike who was visiting from Florida.  This smoothie was made from spinach, banana, strawberries, chocolate hempshake, udo’s and almond milk, and I took my multi and b complex.  At work, I had coffee with almond milk and more canary melon.  Lunch was a similar salad to the day before, with leaf lettuce, baby romaine, mexi-millet, black beans, avocado, salsa and lime juice, and I had almonds for an afternoon snack.

After work I headed downtown to pick up Dave and Mike, who had been afternoon-bar-hopping, and went straight home to have time to prepare for our first fantasy football draft.  I always get really nervous before drafts for some reason, so I cracked open a beer pretty soon after arriving home to sooth my nerves.  After a few beers and what I consider a pretty good draft, I had more of the curried summer veggie stew.

Day 28

Friday morning I slept in, and we were too busy chatting and planning our day’s activities for breakfast.  To introduce Mike to the taqueria experience, we went pretty soon after they opened for what would have to be considered brunch.  I had chips and salsa and a taco salad (lettuce, tomatoes, rice, beans, guacamole, salsa).  I took only a few nibbles of the fried tortilla taco shell.  We stopped by the grocery store to pick up tailgating supplies for the Giants game, and upon returning home I had coffee with almond milk.

We left for San Francisco in the early afternoon to meet Dave’s bandmate Brendan at Anchor Brewery, where he works.  He was finishing up a tour, just in time to give us a few samples and our own private tour!  It was very cool to see the inner workings of Anchor.

My food at the tailgate and game weren’t nearly as interesting as the game itself.  For a snack and dinner I brought a peach, a banana and leftover curried summer veggie stew.  In the game I snacked on some peanut, pistachios and a few garlic fries, and of course I had a few beers.

Photo essay on the wonder that is Tim Lincecum:

I love watching Lincecum pitch, but I’ve gotta say that the kid needs a haircut!

Dave and me after the game.

Day 29

I was seriously running out of fresh fruit by Saturday morning and had no time to shop, so this smoothie included baby romaine, banana, blueberry jam leftover from making the turnovers, mango pomegranate amazing meal, udo’s and  almond milk.  We were leaving for the whole day, so I took all my supplements in the morning too – multi, coQ10 and probiotic, and had coffee with almond milk.

The reason we were leaving was to go to our second fantasy football draft, at Dave’s cousin’s house about an hour away in Manteca.  Manteca also happens to be home to Taqueria Menteca, the sister restaurant to Taqueria Ripon, which is my second favorite place for Mexican food in the world next to Las Margaritas in Gainesville, FL.  I had had enough with taco salads and just went for the burrito.  However, I still tried to be good by cutting it in half and saving part for later that night.  It was nice to have leftover burrito, but that didn’t stop me from grabbing some handfuls of pretzels and tortilla chips.  We had some beers during the draft, and afterwards headed to a luau party also going on in town.  I did the limbo, tried to hula hoop, and had two veggie spring rolls prepared by the hostess for me and the one other vegetarian there.

Day 30

We got home really late Saturday night, and I slept in far past breakfast time on Sunday.  I was really, really out of fruit anyway.  I skipped straight to lunch and had another mexi-millet/avocado/black bean salad, as well as my multi, b complex, spirulina and coffee with almond milk.  Even though our guest was still in town, I needed to go grocery shopping to prepare for the coming week.  He wanted to go shopping for souvenirs, so we headed to Berkeley and he explored Telegraph Ave while I went to Berkeley Bowl.  When I picked him up we were both hungry and feeling too lazy to cook, so we picked up some Japanese food from a place just north of campus.  I had inari sushi and soba noodle soup with tofu and veggies.  It was quite bland, but I was hungry enough to not care much.

Conclusions

I figure I’ll report some conclusions, for anyone who might want to do a cleanse like this, or just for anyone who is curious.  I gained a bit of weight the last week (I suspect it was the lack of exercise and extra beers while our friend was visiting), but overall I was still just over three pounds down which is pretty good for a month.  After going back to “normal” with exercise and eating I dropped back down a bit fairly quickly.

Energy-wise, I didn’t feel any difference.  This was one area I was hoping to see a difference.  I get a good amount of sleep and have decent energy all the time, but I was hoping between the b complex and coQ10 supplements, healthy eating and exercise I would feel energized.  Not so.  I still needed my caffeine every morning and had those evenings here and there where all I wanted to do was sit on the couch.

Digestion.  I thought for sure my digestion would be great on this cleanse.  In reality, my digestive system was…ahem…unhappy the whole time.  Soon after starting the cleanse I noticed my…ah…number two was not in a good state, and this continued through the whole month.  For someone who normally does well in this area, this was a definite negative result.  I also had digestion pains a few times, probably from increasing the amount of raw vegetables I ate.

The other negatives were the amount of time spent prepping food, and the amount I spent.  My grocery bill was a full 30% higher than normal for the month.  I’m sure this was due mostly to buying supplements and a ton of fresh, organic fruit.  I felt like I spent a LOT of time prepping, especially for my daily lunch salads.  I was very happy when I could go back to taking dinner leftovers for lunch.

One positive was that cutting out wheat forced me to try new grains.  I tried buckwheat for the first time ever and liked it, and gave millet another shot after having it only once and not being a fan.  I will keep these grains, as well as spelt flour, regulars in my diet.  I was also shocked to find out how many products I was eating regularly had sugar.  All types of soy yogurt, for instance, are made with sugar.  So is soy creamer, and a few other products that I regularly consumed.  I’m going to stay off yogurt and take a probiotic supplement every once in a while instead, but I’m going back to creamer full force.  Coffee is just no good to me with “regular” milk.  Creamer is a deal breaker.

One rule I will continue to stick with for weight loss purposes is alcohol on weekends only.  It’s a good policy for me that keeps me from having a glass of wine on Tuesday here, a beer on Thursday here…it certainly aids in keeping my calories down.  I’m also continuing to exercise four to five days a week, and have started weight training again in addition to cardio.

Overall, I’m happy I did the cleanse (even though I “cheated” more times then I would’ve liked to), if for no other reason than to prove to myself I could do it!

Comments (11)

August Cleanse: Days 19-21

Day 19

My Wednesday morning smoothie had baby spinach and red chard, banana, strawberries, almond butter, chia seeds and coconut milk, and I took my multi and b complex.  My morning snack was two nectarines, figs and chai tea.  For lunch I had a semi-repeat of the roasted chickpea salad from the days before, except I was out of roasted chickpeas.  This salad contained leaf lettuce, sliced carrot, squash, radish and persian cucumber, chickpeas and an everything-in-the-pantry balsamic vinaigrette, and I took a probiotic supplement.  For an afternoon snack I had carrot sticks, green bell pepper strips and pistachios.  Exciting, I know!

I’d been wanting to make some breakfast for dinner, so I turned to Vegan Brunch and picked out the Sesame Tofu Scramble with Greens and Yams.

Honestly, if you had asked me after my first reading of Vegan Brunch what the first ten recipes I would try would be, this one wouldn’t have even been close.  I thought it fit best in my cleanse though since it has everything in a bowl, and I’m really glad I made this because it’s a spectacular recipe!  It’s less of a tofu scramble, I’d say, and more of a delicious, Asian-inspired, make-your-tummy-super-happy kind of dish.  I served it over savory oat bran which may seem like an odd choice, but the creaminess was actually a perfect texture foil to the scramble, which was soft but chunky.  I should also say that I added baby shiitake mushrooms and dulse, and I’d do it again because they were the perfect complements to round out the meal.  After dinner I had apple cranberry tea.

Day 20

Another fuzzy smoothie picture.  After this was taken, Dave bought and installed a bunch of new lightbulbs in the kitchen and living room, which have bettered my pictures.  I knew we had lightbulbs out and that I was having trouble focusing on some pictures, but hadn’t put two and two together.  Doh!  Anyway, this smoothie was made from baby spinach and red chard, banana, strawberries, berry pomegranate hempshake, udo’s oil and coconut milk, and I took my multi and coQ10.  At work, I had two apricots, a plum and coffee with coconut milk.

Since I had made dinner the night before and didn’t have the energy to prep another whole meal, and I was out of salad fixings, I decided to buy a salad for lunch.  Gasp!  Luckily, there is a restaurant near my office, Smart Alec’s, who claim they are “healthy fast food” and offer a few salad options, as well as a downright decent veggie burger and air-baked fries.

Sorry for the awful photo, I forgot to bring my camera so this is from a cell phone.  I chose their Sesame Tofu Salad, which is kind of funny because I had just had sesame tofu for dinner the night before, and the salad that I was supposed to bring but was too lazy to prep was an Asian-y cabbage salad.  I guess I really wanted sesame and tofu!  This salad had lettuce, a wee bit of red cabbage, baked tofu, crispy rice noodles and sesame dressing.  The tofu was hot when they put it in the container so it wilted the lettuce a little, which I actually like.  My only complaint about this salad is that it could’ve used more veggies, but overeall it was quite good.

The afternoon snack of the day was carrot sticks, cucumber slices and bell pepper strips with White Bean Pesto Dip from Versatile Vegetarian, which sounds uneventful save the fact that while I was slicing the cucumber that morning I sustained my first cooking injury!  I cut my thumb.  Not so bad that it needed stitches, but bad enough that it bled quite a bit and I felt a little woozy.  I was kind of excited to go into cooking school next month never having cut myself (I’m sure it would’ve happened eventually, possibly AT school), but I also kind of feel like I went through some sort of rite of passage into becoming a real chef.  So much so that I felt the need to document my battle scar.  Click here ONLY if you’re a bit morbidly curious and don’t mind the sight of blood.

For dinner I had more sesame tofu scramble over oat bran, and I took another picture because I thought the first one from the night before was too covered in sesame seeds.  For this one I mixed the seeds in first so you can actually see what it looks like.  Before bed, I had camomile tea.

Day 21

I had planned to make Friday morning’s smoothie with some blackberries, but upon taking the berries out of the fridge they had gone moldy.  So I went to plan B and included baby spinach and red chard, banana, frozen mango, mango pomegranate hempshake, udo’s and coconut milk.  This smoothie turned out fantastically, so apart from wasting berries, I was kind of glad I couldn’t use them.  I also took my multi and b complex.  For a morning snack I had a pear, a plum, figs and coffee with coconut milk.

For lunch, I made Napa Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce from Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen and added cubed, smoked tofu.  I feel this salad wasn’t named appropriately, because there’s no peanut sauce anywhere.  It’s really a sesame-soy dressing over cabbage with chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.  The flavors were good, but it was a whole lot of cabbage to eat at once.  The recipe called for the salad to be dressed just before serving, but I feel like it may have benefitted from the cabbage sitting in the dressing, like a slaw.  My afternoon snack was carrot sticks, squash slices and red bell pepper with white bean pesto dip.

On the way home from work I picked up some black cherry and citrus vodkas and diet tonic water to have some flavored vodka tonics.  I had one of each, and more sesame tofu scramble over oat bran for dinner, then we spontaneously decided to go to Oakland to see a friend’s band play.  I had two beers there, and when we got back home I was starving.  I wanted a crunchy snack and didn’t have much in the way of cleanse-friendly snacks that weren’t nuts, so I popped some popcorn and seasoned it using Bianca’s tip (see the comments of this post).  It worked!  I seasoned with nutritional yeast, dried dill, salt and probably too much black pepper.

You may remember that i was disappointed to gain a bit of weight during the second week.  Well, the good news is that I lost 2.5 pounds this week!  Yay!  That makes 4.7 pounds total in 3 weeks.  Not bad, for me at least.

Comments (11)

August Cleanse: Days 15-18

Onward and upward!

Day 15

I was all out of greens on Saturday morning, so my smoothie had banana, strawberries, chocolate hempshake, almond butter, chia seeds, almond milk.  I also took a multi and b complex and had some coffee with almond milk.  For lunch I had a repeat of the Polynesian salad, but without banana and cucumber.  It was a fairly unsubstantial salad, but it was the weekend so I wasn’t too worried about getting hungry again quickly…until I went grocery shopping for an hour and a half and found myself starving at Whole Foods!  I was hoping they would have a selection of juices at the coffee/smoothie/juice counter, but they only had two – wheatgrass, and a ginger refresher with honey.  So I ended up getting a smoothie of banana, blueberries and pineapple coconut juice.  It didn’t occur to me until after I ordered that the juice probably had sugar in it – I got a little buzz from the smoothie.  Oops!  When I got home I had another snack of zucchini slices and red bell pepper with black bean and orange hummus.

I had bbq sauce leftover in the fridge from my grilled Thursday dinner and had been trying to think of a way to use it other than just brushing it on something grilled.  I also had a bunch of tomatoes that needed to be used before they went bad, and my mind went to bbq chili, which I served over brown rice.  It’s really simple, and really tasty.  Along with my chili I had a few beers.  Ahhhh, the weekend.

BBQ Chili

1 Tbs canola oil
medium yellow or white onion, diced
green bell pepper, diced
jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup bbq sauce
2 cups veggie broth or water
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups or 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups or 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
optional toppings:  shredded vegan cheese
chopped green onion
diced avocado

Heat oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add green pepper and jalapeno and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Add all other ingredients except toppings, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium low and simmer at least 30 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and top with toppings.

Serves 4.

Day 16

I didn’t have much time Sunday morning between waking up and rushing out the door to run some errands, so I just ate a peach and a banana, and took a barrage of supplements – multi, coQ10 and spirulina.  I also had some coffee with almond milk.

Upon returning, I prepared this pretty salad.

It’s leaf lettuce, baby arugula and mustard greens, shredded carrot and squash, sliced radish and persian cucumber, Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and goddess dressing.  I was going to make a homemade tahini dressing, but was again pressed for time.  This salad came together really well!  Of course, goddess dressing makes everything taste better.  The shredded squash kind of looked like shredded cheese, which was fun, and it didn’t taste squash-y at all.  I didn’t taste a chickpea on its own so I can’t attest to the cheesiness, but I can say that I really like their texture.  They get kind of chewy, in a good way.

The reason I was in a rush was because we were heading off to Golden Gate Fields to watch the horse races.  Not vegan, I know, but Dave has taken an interest in gambling on horse racing as a hobby, and none of his buddies could go so I said I would go to check it out and see how I felt about the whole thing.  I actually ended up having a really good time and gambling a little, and we placed a large bet on the last race and made quite a bit of money!  However, after doing some reasearch on how the horses are treated, especially the ones that don’t perform, I don’t think I’ll be going back.  I’m a little torn on the issue because I really enjoyed going and it’s a nice time for me and Dave, and I’m sure that some of the horses are treated very well while they’re in racing condition, but I don’t think I can overlook some of the business practices that go on in the horse racing industry.

Oh, while we were at the track I snacked on some peanuts and had a few of their teeny dollar beers.  When we got back I had more bbq chili and brown rice for dinner, and two glasses of red wine before bed.

Day 17

All stocked up on smoothie supplies for the week, this one included baby spinach and red chard, banana, blackberries, amazon acai hempshake, udo’s oil, almond milk, agave nectar.  It was impossible to get a good picture of it.  I also took my multi and b complex.

My morning snack was some grapes and English breakfast tea, and lunch was an exact repeat of the salad from the day before, along with a probiotic supplement.  The afternoon snack of the day was carrot sticks, bell pepper strips and cucumber slices with black bean and orange hummus.

Immediately after work we went to the Coliseum to meet our friend Tom and his sister who was visiting for an A’s game.  Well, she wasn’t visiting FOR the game, she was visting and we happened to go to a game.  A game where the A’s shut out the Yankees!  There were some Obnoxious with a Capital O Yankees fans there, although I probably shouldn’t talk because the game last night went a different way and there’s still one more in the series.  Anywho, I had some peanuts and pistachios at the game, as well as some bbq chili and brown rice that I packed, topped with avocado.  I also had a Diet Dr. Pepper, which is against my cleanse rules.  I was determined not to have any beer, and considering I almost always have at least one beer at every game we go to, I wanted to have a different beverage in my hand so the temptation was lessened.  I also wanted the souvenier cup.

Day 18

It was also impossible to get a good shot of this smoothie, which had baby spinach and red chard, banana, blueberries, a peach, vanilla rice protein, udo’s and almond milk.  My smoothie-picture-taking-skills seem to be going downhill.  I also took my multi and coQ10.  For a morning snack I ate a pear, some figs and had darjeeling tea.  I think I may have some issues with figs – I got some mad stomach pains after eating this snack, and have noticed headaches after eating a meal with figs before.  I could be coincidence, but I’m kind of scared of figs now.  It seems to be okay if I only have two or three at a time, so perhaps I’ll stick with that and see how it goes.

For lunch I had another exact repeat salad.  Why mess with something so good?  My afternoon snack was more carrot, bell pepper and cucumber with the last of the black bean and orange hummus.

My dinner was the last serving of bbq chili and brown rice, topped with avocado and green onions, which is how I had intended to eat it each time but didn’t.  Avocado is always good, and the green onions really perked the chili up.  Afterward while doing the dishes, I enjoyed some wild sweet orange tea.

I’m starting to have cravings for wheat, especially for a burrito or sandwich.  Every time we pass a taqueria I want a burrito BADLY, but it’s nothing I can’t hold off on for another few weeks.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a big burrito on September 1st though, maybe I just won’t eat the whole thing in one sitting!

Comments (7)

August Cleanse: Days 11-14

Day 11

I started the day off with some repeats from Day 10 – the smoothie of the day was spinach, banana, mango, strawberries, udo’s oil, almond milk and amazing meal, along with a b complex and multi.  My morning snack was cherries and constant comment tea.  Lunch was a repeat of the Greekish salad.

For an afternoon snack, I ate some zucchini slices, carrot sticks and red bell pepper slices with the Black Bean & Orange Hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.  It’s an odd combination, but just like the author says, it goes together really well.  You can taste the black beans, orange, garlic and almond butter without anything overpowering the rest.  It’s very good!

Dinner was leftover tofu vindaloo with buckwheat and sugar plum spice tea.

Day 12

This delicious smoothie had spinach, banana, cherries, chia seeds, chocolate hempshake, almond milk, and I took my multi and coQ10.  I really like using the chocolate hempshake, especially with cherries, strawberries or raspberries.  My morning snack was figs, an apple, and darjeeling tea, and lunch was another Greekish salad except this time with avocado, dried oregano and fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice for dressing.  The salad was so big and filling that I couldn’t even finish it and wasn’t very hungry for an afternoon snack, so I just had a small piece of canteloupe and a few strawberries at a work event.  Dinner was the last of the tofu vindaloo and buckwheat, and afterward I had camomile tea.

Day 13


This green smoothie was made from spinach, half a banana, peach, kiwi, amazon acai hempshake, udo’s and almond milk, and I had my multi and b complex.  I had a snack of fruit at work, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.  I also had some coffee with almond milk.  I must say, soy creamer is one thing I’m definitely missing on this cleanse.

I had gotten an e-mail from VegWeb the day before, and while I don’t normally pay too much attention to their e-mails, this Polynesian Salad with Curry Dressing caught my attention because I needed a salad for the next day, I happened to have all the ingredients called for, and it just sounded good.  I wasn’t too sure about bananas in a salad, but this is one fine salad.  I didn’t have walnuts so I subbed pecans, and the contrast of textures and flavors in this salad definitely makes it a winner.  The only small issue was that it didn’t keep me full for very long.  I ate my afternoon snack of zucchini slices and carrot sticks with black bean and orange hummus earlier than I normally snack.

I had a plan for when I got home to exercise, shower, make dinner and take care of a few things on my to do list.  When I got home I was in a bad mood though, and these were all the last things I wanted to do.  I didn’t even have the energy to take pictures of my CSA delivery, for the first time ever.  I grabbed a handful of dill pickle cashews to appease my growling tummy, went to the store with Dave, and grilled up some dinner.

This is bbq tempeh and eggplant with portobello and steamed broccoli, all over a baked potato.  The bbq sauce was an on-the-fly concoction of tomato sauce, agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup, vinegar, onion and garlic powder, allspice and ground red pepper.  For throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl, it turned out pretty well – it even got all sticky on the tempeh while it grilled.  I also “cheated” a little bit and had two glasses of wine on a Thursday night (I’m supposed to only have alcohol on the weekends), but at the end of the day I felt much better than I would’ve forcing myself to do things I didn’t have the energy for.  Sometimes it feels good to have a plan, then completely ignore that plan and do whatever you want.

Day 14

My smoothie on Friday had half a banana, blueberries, plum, orange, vanilla rice protein, udo’s and almond milk, and I took a coQ10, multi and probiotic.  It sounds like an odd flavor combination, perhaps, but it actually worked quite nicely.  Orange and vanilla are a natural match, and the blueberries and plum just kind of joined the party.

We had a large event at work that I knew was going to keep me busy all day, so I didn’t bother to take any snacks because I knew I wouldn’t have time to eat them.  I should’ve known that this was a silly move, because by lunchtime I was starving and the salad I brought alone wasn’t going to cut it.  I ended up eating a veggie dog on a bun from Top Dog, who was catering our event, and it was pretty much entirely made of wheat.  So, I cheated (again), but I had to make a decision and having food in my belly was a better choice than being out in the sun all afternoon running on just a salad.  It was another Polynesian salad, by the way, and again it was very tasty.

After work Dave and I went straight to the Coliseum for the A’s game.  I had brought leftovers from the night before (bbq tempeh, eggplant, portobello, baked potato and broccoli) to eat as dinner in the parking lot before we went in.  I also had a few beers – the beers inside the game are EXPENSIVE so we like to have some cheap ones before we go in.  Watching the game, I ate some peanuts and pistachios as a snack.

So I had a few missteps this week, but all in all I feel I did pretty well.  The food prep is getting easier; I’m getting used to putting a salad together every night before work.  I actually gained 0.7 pounds this week which I don’t understand since I’ve been eating well and exercising, but maybe I can make up for it next week.  Until then!

Comments (9)

August Cleanse: Days 8-10

Day 8

Saturday was a day of much repeated food, finishing up leftovers before cooking some more.  I started the morning with a smoothie of kale, banana, strawberries, peanut butter and udo’s oil, along with my coQ10 and multivitamin.  I love the cute little bubbles on top of this smoothie!  I also had some chai tea to wake me up before a big grocery shopping trip.  I tend to sleep in on weekends when possible, so no morning snack was required.

Upon my return from the grocery store and unloading what felt like a massive amount of groceries, I had a salad with leaf lettuce, shredded carrot, red pepper, sauteed cajun tofu and non-honey honey mustard, and brewed some cinnamony coffee then added almond milk, cause the tea just didn’t do it for me.  My afternoon snack was two apricots, half a cantaloupe and some pistachios, and I also had a few beers because Dave and our friend Tom were brewing in the kitchen, and how could I NOT have beer while the whole house smelled of it?  For dinner I ate the last of the brown rice ‘n’ beans jumble-aya and steamed green beans.  Due to getting up later on the weekends I also tend to stay up later, and I became ravenous a few hours after dinner so I popped some no-oil-added popcorn in the microwave.  I tried to stick some seasoned salt and nutritional yeast on the popcorn with a new olive oil sprayer I got, but it still didn’t work!  Most of the seasoning ended up in the bottom of the bowl.  Anyone have a trick for getting seasoning to stick to popcorn other than dousing it in Earth Balance?

Day 9

This nice purple smoothie contained kale, a whole container of blackberries, a peach, udo’s, almond milk, mixed berry rice protein powder and agave nectar.  The taste was good, but I put in the whole packet of rice protein powder which I shouldn’t have done since it made it kind of powdery.  I normally use only half a packet in each smoothie.

My lunch salad was inspired by trying to figure out what to do with the cherry tomatoes provided by my CSA.  I reeeally don’t like cherry tomatoes raw, either whole or halved.  There’s something about the taut nature of the skin, with the juicy inside and how they pop and all the raw tomato flavor.  Blech.  I remembered reading somewhere that you could slow-roast tomatoes, so I found this instructional online.  With as much as the author raved about them, I figured I couldn’t lose.

before…

…and after…

…and a close up.

Boy, do these tomatoes deliver!  All the weird texture that I dislike disappears and leaves a chewy, tasty little tomato.  I went for simple and left out the garlic and herbs called for, spraying the baking sheet and tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning simply with a little kosher salt and fresh black pepper.  These guys really don’t need a lot of help to taste good.  I took the smaller ones out of the oven after 2 hours but left most of them in for 2 1/2.  This will probably be what I do with any more small tomatoes I get from my CSA this summer!

To use my tasty tomatoes, I made what I am calling a Greekish salad.

This lovely plate has leaf and romaine lettuces, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onion, artichoke hearts, slow-roasted tomatoes, Sunflower Feta from Yellow Rose Recipes and an herb vinaigrette.  I’m not a huge fan of this feta.  The texture is feta-like and worked in the salad, but the taste alone just kind of tastes like tofu, lemon juice and sunflower seeds.  I think I’d like it better with cubed tofu that marinates or brines for a longer time.  Along with lunch, I took a spirulina tablet that I bought on Saturday to start taking a few times a week.  My afternoon snack was a pear and half a cantaloupe.

For dinner I made Tofu Vindaloo from Vegan Planet.  In the spirit of trying new grains, I cooked up some buckwheat.  Good news – I like buckwheat!  It has no actual relation to wheat, is ready in 15-20 minutes, and is quite good for you nutritionally.  I think I overcooked the buckwheat just a tad, so I’m looking forward to trying it again soon.  The vindaloo was just okay.  I liked the large amount of fresh ginger and spicy kick but hoped that there would be more of a sauce.  This was more like well flavored tofu and veggies with some juice in the bottom of the bowl.  After dinner I had two beers, to kind of say goodbye to the weekend.

Day 10

This was a great smoothie that I couldn’t get a good picture of:  spinach, banana, mango, strawberries, udo’s, almond milk and amazing meal powder (original flavor).  Using spinach as my green resulted in a MUCH smoother consistency than using kale gave me.  I also took coQ10 and my multi.

I was so excited about my morning snack that I took a picture while packing it up – figs and cherries.  Yum!  To perk me up, I drank some darjeeling tea.

For lunch I had the same exact Greekish salad as above, with some added capers and a probiotic supplement on the side.  I wanted to include capers the first time but couldn’t find them in the fridge!  My afternoon snack was an apple with peanut butter, and dinner was tofu vindaloo with buckwheat and chilled camomile tea.  It was much, much too hot for hot tea.

Well, that’s days 8-10.  I’m not hungry all the time any more, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m unwittingly eating more calories or if I’m getting used to lightening up my diet.  Jessy told me she wasn’t hungry all the time after her first week on ACT, so perhaps it’s psychological!  I haven’t seen any more weight loss, in fact I think I may have jumped up just a bit, but it’s only part way through the week so we shall see.

Comments (9)

August Cleanse: Days 5-7

My cleanse is still going strong!  I’m still almost always hungry, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Day 5

My breakfast smoothie on day 5 consisted of banana, raspberries, kale, udo’s, almond milk and chocolate hempshake.  Very tasty.  I also took my multi and b complex supplement.  For a snack I had a peach, a pear and blueberry green tea.

For lunch, I topped the quinoa salad with black beans and mango with some perfectly ripe avocado, all served over spinach.  The avocado greatly improved the quinoa salad in my opinion, but really, what doesn’t avocado improve?

Afternoon snack was carrot sticks, cucumber and green pepper strips with more roasted eggplant and garlic hummus.

For dinner I made Brown Rice ‘n’ Beans Jumble-aya from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan with steamed green beans.  I bought the suggested file powder, but was worried that I wouldn’t like it when I smelled it cooking.  Luckily it balances well with the rest of the ingredients and I liked it just fine.  I don’t think I’ll be going crazy with the file powder quite yet though.  Also, the brown rice didn’t cook all the way in the 45 minutes cooking time called for.  I let it cook for 10 extra minutes and the rice was still quite al dente.  Overall, this is a very good dish that I would definitely make again.  After dinner I had peppermint tea and called it a night.

Day 6

This smoothie had basil, kale, blueberries, peach, chia seed and amazon acai hempshake.  Basil – weird, I know, but I had some basil wasting away in the fridge and nothing else to do with it so I decided to experiment.  I wouldn’t call basil in a smoothie good necessarily, but it wasn’t bad either.  The basil flavor was definitely big but not overpowering.  I want to continue experimenting, maybe with fresh ginger and some spices.  Along with the smoothie I took coQ10 and a multi.

The rest of Thursday was less interesting.  My morning snack was a plum, two apricots, almonds and coffee with unsweetened almond milk.  Lunch was more quinoa salad with black beans and mango, topped with avocado and served over spinach.  Afternoon snack was carrot sticks and cucumber with the last of the roasted eggplant and garlic hummus.  Dinner was leftover brown rice ‘n’ beans jumble-aya and steamed green beans, followed by wild sweet orange tea.

Day 7

Friday morning’s smoothie was kale, banana, blueberries, kiwi, orange juice, almond butter and flax.  Another odd combination, perhaps, but I was out of almond milk and this worked okay.  Also had the b complex and multi.  I poured up some coffee soon as I got to work, with unsweetened almond milk.

I took a morning snack to work and didn’t get a chance to eat it because we were having new student orientation.  It’s a pretty intense day for me, I basically answer questions non-stop and have to be “on” and smile all day.  It only happens twice a year though, and it’s fun getting to meet all the new students.  I finally got a little break at lunchtime, so I ate my snack of a pear and a nectarine, then had lunch, the last of the quinoa/black bean/mango salad over spinach.  Afternoon snack was carrot sticks, cucumber and celery with non-honey honey mustard dressing.  For dinner I had more of the jumble-aya with green beans.  I had intentions of exercising when I got home, but I was so beat after work that I quickly settled onto the couch with a beer, and had a few more as the night went on.  While watching a movie a few hours after dinner I realized I was absolutely starving, not the kind of hunger I could ignore.  I wanted some plain popcorn but didn’t have any, so I settled for a handful of dill pickle cashews.

One week of the cleanse done!  Other than time spent on food preparation it’s been easy so far, and I haven’t really experienced any cravings.  One noted benefit is that my skin seems to be clearing up.  Also, I lost just under three pounds!  In one week!  That’s really good for me, normally I have to be happy to lose ONE pound every TWO weeks.

Comments (8)

Announcements!

1.  I have been accepted to, and am officially enrolled in the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College in Berkeley.  Yay!  Starting in late September and going through February I will be attending classes nights and weekends while holding down my 40-hour-a-week job and hopefully still cooking at home a bit (other than homework assignments).  Sadly, I probably will not be able to pay much attention to my blog during this time.  But at the end I will be a trained natural chef!  I am hoping to turn this into a career change sooner than later.

2.  With my crazy schedule impending, I’ve decided to take the month of August to clean up my diet through a “cleanse”.  It’s not a diet, per say, but my feelings won’t be hurt if I lose a few pounds in the process.  I lost 8 pounds between the beginning of this year and April, then went and gained it all back on my vacations in May and June.  Doh!  Mostly I want to focus on nutritious whole foods, and NOT CHEAT!  Details on the rules and first four days below.

3.  This one is inconsequential, but I feel like listing it anyway.  I’ve always referred to my boyfriend as bf on the blog because I thought he would prefer it that way.  It turns out he doesn’t care one way or another, so from now on he shall be called Dave, which is his name.

Now, here is the outline of my cleanse:

– first thing upon waking is a warm glass of water with the juice from a quarter of a lemon
– breakfast is a smoothie including fruit, greens, Udo’s DHA oil blend or flax or chia seeds, protein powder or nut butter and unsweetened almond milk, a multivitamin and either a CoQ10 or B complex supplement
– green or black tea or coffee with stevia at work
– morning snack is fruit or nuts or both
– lunch is a salad including some form of protein (open for interpretation – veggies salad/grain salad/bean salad, etc.) and a probiotic supplement a few times a week
– afternoon snack is raw veggies and hummus or nuts
– dinner is whatever I want, as long as it all fits in a normal dinner-sized bowl and is not high in fat
– decaf tea with stevia before bed
– minimal, if any, processed food
– no wheat (grains that may contain gluten are okay)
– no sugar or artificial sweeteners (stevia, agave and maple syrup are okay)

This is my own design, but I was inspired by a number of things including Jessy’s Adventure Cleanse Tune-up and re-reading Gillian McKeith’s You Are What You Eat.  Jessy did so amazingly well sticking with her cleanse, but I’m not making mine quite as intense.  She cut out everything I am, PLUS coffee, alcohol and gluten.  I generally only have coffee two or three times a week and tea the rest of the time, so I think it’s not that bad.  And I do like my beers on the weekend, so I’m keeping them but watching my intake.  (Geez, that makes me sounds like an alky!  I’m not, I promise, but I have to be honest about it if I’m going to detail my intake day by day.)  I will not be drinking any wheat beers though.  Speaking of wheat – I say “no wheat” because I’m not worried about gluten so much, so I may eat oats or other stuff that may contain gluten.  I just want to take a break from wheat and kind of force myself to eat other grains.

All that being said, I had a plan in place to start the cleanse off right on the morning of August 1st.  I was going to go grocery shopping and buy everything I needed for the first week on Friday night so that I could get going on Saturday.  I had planned my first few meals and written out a huge grocery list, and as I headed out the door I realized I didn’t have my keys!  Through a series of unfortunate events, Dave had gone to band practice in San Francisco with my keys in his pocket, so I couldn’t leave the house.  So much for being prepared!  I ended up going Saturday morning, but it left me a little stressed and wasn’t the way I wanted to start.

Day 1

Since I didn’t have my special smoothie making supplies yet or any greens in the fridge, I had a pear and some cantaloupe for breakfast along with my multivitamin.  Not exactly a power meal, but it’s all I had.  I also drank some blueberry green tea on the way to the store.  By the time I got back I was ravenous, so I ate some apple slices with peanut butter.

The first day presented me with a challenge because we were tailgating for the A’s game.  Normally I would have a veggie burger or dog and do some grilled veggies on the side, so I had to figure out how to fit grilling into salad form.

My solution was to take a salad of iceberg, tomatoes, shredded carrot and sunflower seeds and top it with grilled mushroom and squash and a squeeze of lemon.  (I only used iceberg because I had it leftover from a work bbq.)  This salad didn’t have as much protein as it probably should’ve and didn’t really fill me up, so I had some pistachios as a snack soon after.  I also had a few beers.  Told you I was going to be honest!

We didn’t end up actually going into the game (long story), and instead went to Dave’s uncle’s house for some chatting and board games.  On the way there I ate some carrot sticks, celery & cucumber slices with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Hummus from Yellow Rose Recipes as “dinner”, and then had two glasses of wine at their house.  So my dinner didn’t exactly fit into the dinner rules, but I felt it was the best I could do since we were very rushed that morning.

Day 2

Sunday went much more smoothly.  Dave took off to go fishing with his buddies (blech) and I slept in a bit.

My breakfast smoothie had a banana, strawberries, mango, kale, udo’s and almond milk and despite being a bit thick and me forgetting to add the protein powder, it was very tasty.  I also took my multivitamin and CoQ10.  The smoothie kept me full all morning, so no snack.  I also had some coffee with unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch was a second take on the salad from day 1 with iceberg lettuce, carrots, squash, mushrooms and chickpeas and a dressing of balsamic vinegar, mustard and agave (there was already oil on the grilled veggies).  It was more filling this time with the chickpeas – I couldn’t even finish it!

My afternoon snack was more of the roasted eggplant and garlic hummus with carrot sticks, bell pepper and cucumbers.  I have to say that this hummus is kind of weird.  It tastes really good and blended up smooth, but after sitting overnight in the fridge it had kind of gelled together, as if it had agar agar or something.  I had to stir and mush it up with a fork, and it was never again as smooth as when I first made it.

For dinner I made the Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango from Veganomicon and served it over spinach.  My first impression of this dish is that it was just a bit oily.  I get what the recipe is going for, and it tastes good and is easy to make, but it didn’t blow me away or anything.  After dinner I had camomile tea, which I’ve never had before, and was pleasantly surprised.

Day 3

My Monday breakfast was this tasty banana, cherry, kale, udo’s, almond milk and amazon acai hempshake smoothie along with my multivitamin and b complex.  It was actually more brown than red, this picture makes it look much nicer than it really was.  My morning snack was a pear, almonds and darjeeling tea.

Lunch:  leaf lettuce, green pepper, carrot, red onion, snap pea sprouts, cherry tomatoes, sauteed cajun tofu and Honey Mustard Dressing from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, and a probiotic supplement.  This dressing is wonderful!  I never would have though to use lemon juice in honey mustard and it gives the dressing the perfect tang.  No actual honey is involved – it calls for agave nectar instead.  The tofu was just sauteed in a little bit of oil and sprinkled with a cajun spice blend.

My afternoon snack was more of the eggplant and garlic hummus with carrot sticks, green pepper & cucumber.  Beginning to notice a trend?  A whole batch of hummus lasts me forever if it’s just for snacks.

Dinner was precisely the same as Sunday (quinoa salad with black beans and mango over spinach) with sweet wild orange tea to follow.  I thought the quinoa salad might be the kind of dish that improves overnight, but it was still just kind of “eh”. The orange tea, however, is awesome.  It’s by Tazo.

Day 4

I’m into this green smoothie thing.  This one had banana, mango, kiwi, kale, udo’s and almond milk, and I forgot to add the dang protein powder again.  This used up all my mangos – I got five small ones for 99 cents at Berkeley Bowl that were all ready to go mushy, so I didn’t want to let them go to waste.  I took my multivitamin and CoQ10 and had a pear, a plum, cashews and earl grey tea as my morning snack.

The lunch salad was much like the day 3 lunch salad, minus the onion, sprouts (they went bad) and cherry tomatoes (I don’t like ’em!), and plus sunflower seeds.  Also had a probiotic supplement.  Afternoon snack was celery, green pepper & cucumber slices with more roasted eggplant & garlic hummus.

Dinner was a challenge.  I was going to the recently re-opened Souley Vegan in Oakland to meet up with some PPKers and was hoping they’d have enough decently healthy options for me.  I meant to take my camera and forgot it like a dufus.  I ordered a three-item combo plate with collard greens, black eyed peas and yams.  The collard greens were very good, and different from any greens I’ve had – they were quite spicy and had a combination of spices that I could not put my finger on.  It drove me a little crazy that I couldn’t figure out the spices.  The black eyed peas were also good.  The yams…were incredibly sweet.  I’m fairly sure there was about a ton of sugar in them.  But I tried to stick to the cleanse, and I think I did pretty well for being at a place that has delicious chicken fried tofu and mac n’ cheese, and life goes on.  When I got home I had camomile tea.

(Souley Vegan’s Yelp page says they’re closed, but they’re not.  They are very much open at 301 Broadway, near Jack London Square.)

I hope that this style of posting doesn’t bore you all to death!  I want to post everything I eat, day by day, to hold myself accountable and to show anyone who may think I’m crazy that it’s completely do-able.  I’m hoping to post every two or three days, as opposed to four or more, so that there’s not so much redundant content.

So far I haven’t noticed much of any change in my energy or anything like that.  I do feel more hungry in general than before I started, but it’s not the kind of hungry where I HAVE to eat something, it’s just a little lingering hunger that tells me I didn’t totally fill up my tummy.  I’ve been cooking less in general but spending more time preparing food, which I guess is what happens when you eat more raw foods.  The only way I can make it in the mornings is to prep everything the night before, including putting the greens and fruit in the blender jar in the fridge, which kills a good amount of time at night.

Here is my latest CSA delivery.

cherry tomatoes, cherries, pears, an eggplant, tomatoes

pattypan squash, onions, peppers, basil, a cucumber,
a crookneck squash, grapes

And just because I can, some pictures of Jake from this weekend.  He’s taken to squishing his face on the arm rest when he’s trying to nap on the couch.

Kitty paws.

I love how his body looks humongous from this angle.

Comments (19)