My Cleanse is over!

My cleanse is over!  And how do I feel?  Great!  Better than ever!  Truly this journey of 21 days has surprised and awakened me to my body’s response to vegetarian, clean eating in ways I did not expect.  Midway through I felt that I had a longing for a bagel, but I can report as of today, I simply do not.  As the end approached, I actually began to feel sadness, as I do not want to lose this healthy well-being I have been experiencing. 

And what do I mean by that?  There are a several things: 1) I have not felt “hungry” until it was nearing my mealtime.  2) My blood sugar remained stable, no crazy cravings or drops up and down.  3)  I feel lighter, more energy.  And as busy as I am, no real fatigue.  4)  I wake up ready to start my 5:30 am yoga!  5) I am truly enjoying the new foods I am experiencing with and eating.  6)  I know deep down, this is very healthy eating that I am doing for myself.  I could probably go on and on, but here’s the next question:

So, why don’t I just continue?  I LOVE food, all kinds of food, trying and testing exciting new dishes.   Food association with relationships and events.  And what I mean by that is having turkey on Thanksgiving, sharing a decadent dessert with someone special, drinking hot Saki and sharing sushi rolls, dipping biscotti into wine…..plus so many seasonal delights that may include animal, dairy, gluten sugar, alcohol and caffeine. 

For year and years, I have maintained fairly healthy, clean eating.  It’s not like I would even think of eating processed, fried or fake foods.  This “cleanse” or break from five key ingredients enlightened me to eating even better.  I will continue to incorporate a lot of the changes I made in these 21 days into my eating.  And, I will continue to seek out new and exciting dishes that do not include animal products or gluten.  Basically, I will continue to enjoy my food, leaning a bit more to watching what I am eating but also eating what I truly enjoy without an ounce of guilt! 

I would love to recommend this to everyone I know.  BUT, I must be honest.  Taking on this change in eating really does require that the individual be prepared to experiment with new foods, take the time to plan and prep ahead dishes and seek out and shop at places they may not normally visit.  If not, you will be faced with ‘what to eat’ and most likely not very satisfying meals to keep you full, healthy and content.  At the very end of the book it does have easy menus for those that do not cook so I’m not saying you need to be a professional chef to do this!  Just have a passion and interest in improving your health and eating the best that you can!

 Here are my final days of menus:  (I do love my gluten free waffles and oatmeal!)

 Day 13:  Breakfast:  Oatmeal, Lunch:  avocado and tomato slices with hummus on toasted millet bread, Dinner:  large chopped salad

Day 14:   Breakast at a diner:  Oatmeal with banana slices, raisins and blueberries, Lunch:  large chopped salad, Dinner while watching football:  salad, corn tortillas and hummus, roasted veggies

Day 15:  Breakfast:  gluten free waffles with pumpkin and almond butter, Lunch:  brown rice pasta and roasted veggies, Dinner:  Grilled eggplant wrap with rice tortilla

Day 16:  Breakfast:  waffles, as above, Lunch:  Florentine White Bean Soup, Dinner at Sushi Restaurant:  Veggie roll with brown rice, edamane

Day 17:  Breakfast:  waffles, as above, Lunch:  brown rice with roasted veggies, Dinner:  Baked eggplant slices with quinoa pasta and tomato sauce

Day 18:  Breakfast:  waffles, as above, Lunch:  leftover baked eggplant with quinoa pasta and tomato sauce, Dinner:  Risotto with roasted veggies

Day 19:  Breakfast:  waffles, Lunch:  leftover risotto, Dinner:  veggie enchiladas, rice and beans

Day 20:  Breakfast:  waffles, Lunch:  tomato and avocado on millet bread with hummus, Dinner:  Antipasto platter of eggplant caponata, artichokes, grilled zuchinni, kidney beans and roasted red peppers, minestrone soup

Day 21:  Oatmeal with pumpkin, Lunch:  large chopped salad, Dinner:  Roasted Fennel Soup with dried cranberries and chopped hazelnuts

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