Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 3: Eggs and Gluten-Free Grains

Breakfast: Baked salmon, asparagus, and quinoa with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Salmon for breakfast is weird, you say? As I like both sweet and savory breakfasts, I thought it was pretty great. And I've re-fallen in love with quinoa. Fluffy, nutty, chewy, and a complete protein all on its own.

Lunch was one of the most delicious things ever: Salade Niçoise. Aside from Gado Gado (an Indonesian dish I first had in Holland), Salade Niçoise is my very favorite composed salad. Starting from the top and clockwise: poached green beans, boiled new potatoes, a soft boiled egg, roasted cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke heart, and tuna mixed with Kalamata olives. The dressing is olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, shallot, and basil. This combination of flavors makes me so happy.

This salad traditionally calls for raw tomatoes, but I roasted mine in olive oil and rosemary 1. because roasted tomatoes are delicious and 2. because cooked tomatoes have like a bazillion times more lycopene than raw. Here's the before...

...and the after. Yum!

For dinner, I made sweet potato fries...

And had them with braised cabbage with caraway seeds, salmon, cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice. I coated the sweet potato chunks in olive oil and ground flax seed, since I've gone a little flax-happy (I add it to smoothies, soups, sauces, etc).

And Now for a Recap/What I Learned:

These past three weeks have been pretty great. I've added a bunch of delicious new recipes to my repertoire (kale chips forever!), I lost five pounds (three pounds the first week, and one pound each of the next two weeks), and I have more energy and have been exercising more.

However, it hasn't all been totally awesome; Having a restricted diet can be an isolating experience. I definitely feel more sympathetic towards vegans (Not that I'd ever go that way, mind you. If you are, more power to you. It's hard work.), and have increased empathy for people with food allergies. My friends were really nice about my choice to do this cleanse, even if it was something they'd never choose to do themselves, but it still feels awkward when you're the only one ordering a salad at brunch while everyone else has bacon and eggs and pancakes. I also had to refuse to feel guilty about refusing food, which is especially hard if someone made it themselves.

The cleanse ends on Monday, and I'm going to add a few things back into my weekly food routine at home: Tea, Greek yogurt, goat cheese, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, honey and maple syrup, and chicken, turkey, and pork. I've decided not to cook with or eat wheat flour, all other dairy, processed sugar, red meat or processed food/drinks at home...forever! However, I am going to occasionally eat the ingredients listed above sparingly when we go out for a treat once or twice a week (like at Shake Shack for burgers, Red Egg for dim sum, or Dinosaur BBQ for delicious southern food). The foodie and the health nut in me have irreconcilable differences.

There is one thing I'm giving up completely: Diet Coke and all other soft drinks. Even if Diet Coke has no calories, it still contains a crazy amount of chemicals with zero nutritional value. I'm going to be substituting plain iced tea when I crave Coke at restaurants.

And finally, a shout-out to my great-sport boyfriend Devin, who has been super supportive and who hasn't had a cheeseburger from Shake Shack in three whole weeks in solidarity. You're the best.


  1. You make eating healthy look beautiful and delicious. (And, indeed, it can be!)

  2. Never say never....

    That salad looks delicious!

  3. Good Job to you AND Devin!!!

  4. Yay! Congratulations on your cleanse! I love the bright and beautiful colors! Colours = nutrients! (natural colours that is...) It's interesting to read what you've learned. I've learned a lot from my cleanse too, and I also decided I wanted to give up wheat, mostly, but not being neurotic about it. As in, I'll still have soy sauce and some pastries when out and about. Maybe I should do a post-cleanse post. Hum.
    Also, I love quinoa! I had some red quinoa which was much nuttier than usual. I wish I had taken a picture of it now! When I get my next paycheck, I'm going to buy a bag of the tricolore quinoa, and will be sure to take a snapshot!
    PS. Good job Devin!