Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 1: Fruits, Vegetables, Seeds, & Nuts

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.


  1. Wow! Well done Laura! I am happy to hear you are still alive. Isn't it wierd how cravings for carbs and sugar just go away like that? I wonder if our bodies are smarter than us sometimes.
    Your food looks super yummy, even it it is starving your brain a little bit! I cannot wait to add more fruits back into my diet/cleanse. Where did you hear about this?
    Also, I heard that soaking seeds and nuts can make them easier to digest and process. I've started to do that, and honestly haven't reallly noticed a difference, but perhaps if you are eating copious amounts it could help absorb more nutrients.
    I hope you are going easy on the yoga, with gentle and supportive poses. I pulled a neck muscle, so I didn't have much of a choice. I think that my body was telling me to slow down and rest more. Of course it has to be really dramatic to grab my attention.

  2. What prompted the change? And how is Devin handling this? And how are you handling his pizza and Mac smells in the house???

    1. I had been partaking in far too much free food at parties and other events; this is only for three weeks to get me back in balance. And Devin has been helpful in the sense that he eats all the MAC and pizza brought through the door!

  3. Good idea! It must take a lot of will power. I have been thinking of something a little less severe myself. And how thoughtful of Devin. But then he did always eat all the MAC and pizza that came through our doors: car doors, oven doors, house doors, garage doors, doggie doors?!