Six days ago I started the "Whole Living 21 Day Challenge," details of which can be found here. This is no nothing-but-lemon-juice-and-cayenne cleanse. However, it does require eating naught but fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats during the first week, adding on fish, legumes, and soy during the second week, and then re-introducing eggs and gluten-free grains during the final week. For those of you who are curious about how I've been subsisting on plants alone, here's a sample of a day's worth of herbivorous meals from the second day of my "cleanse":
Breakfast: A cup of warm water with lemon juice, followed by this awesome antioxidant smoothie (two cups frozen mixed berries, a banana, one cup pomegranate juice, and one cup water). It was a nice surprise that this smoothie was as delicious as it ended up being--it made me feel as if maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all. And I actually found that drinking warm water with lemon woke me up just as much as a cup of green tea.
Lunch was spiced butternut squash soup, which was warm, satisfying, and gingery. I also had half of this giant globe artichoke I snagged at Trader Joe's, and dipped the leaves in some olive oil with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Also surprisingly yummy.
Afternoons and evenings have been the hardest for me, mainly because I still have so many meetings and events to go to, plus work. Snacks are essential, and I've been relying on seeds and nuts for protein. Above is an apple, a cashew, almond, and dried cherry trail mix, two dates, and some pistachios. I've also been drinking a lot of almond milk.
Dinner! This was a recipe that I initially wasn't excited about. Underneath the sunflower seeds, broccoli, and acorn squash is shredded cabbage and red onion. What really made it was the tangy hummus dressing/sauce, which has garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and paprika, plus hummus and water. It actually ended up being really good. This meal definitely took the longest to eat--there was a lot of chewing involved. I did feel a bit bovine.
I'm still alive! And I've found that I'm reacting to hunger more patiently that I did before I started this. Feeling hungry used to spark intense wrath, but now I've become more accepting of the sensation. I also haven't had any processed sugar or carb cravings since day two. However, I am SO EXCITED for salmon, black beans, and tofu starting on Tuesday. My brain does feel a little starved, and even doing yoga makes me super sore. More high-quality protein should alleviate these issues.