I can't believe it. I threw my back out yesterday! And it wasn't even a big movement, I was bending over to put my dog's lead on and when we took a few steps on our walk, I thought "Why does my lower back feel funny?" Great. Now I'm pretty much immobile and I can't exercise which really annoys me. I wanted to work out every day this week to get the full benefit of my last detox week. :( Now I have to bed rest for a couple days. Argh.
Anyway since I'm here in bed, I might as well spend some time typing. Someone asked me today about this detox I'm doing and wanted to know what my experience was like and what, if any recommendations I may have. Well, as some of you know I decided to do this diet based loosely on the principles of Gillian McKeith's book/show 'You Are What You Eat'. It's not what you might think of detox. It doesn't require fasting on lemonade concoctions, or juice fasting or going 100% raw. What she recommends is cutting out things like processed foods that come in packages with ingredients you can't pronounce, sugary sweets, caffeine, alcohol, white refined breads/rice/pastas, store bought juices, salty snacks, meat, dairy....etc. The focus should be on whole foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, homemade soups, smoothies, whole grains, nuts and seeds. I thought it sounded easy enough. What makes her plan great is that she balances raw salads, fruits and veggies alongside cooked meals which I was very happy about. I love a good hot homecooked meal. I think most people who's diets are a bit out of control will find this diet not so bad and quite easy to follow. If you look back on my last two weeks of journal entries, I was able to have quite a variety of food from pizza to pasta, to stews and stuffed peppers. Not everything I made came from Gillian's cookbook. I was able to improvise existing recipes by taking her principles into account, for example leaving out the salt but using low salt tamari or soy sauce, decreasing oil and replacing ingredients for healthier alternatives. A lot of recipes out there adapt very easily to this diet.
An important part of this diet is to have the correct foods and staples in your kitchen. This is what I had in my kitchen at all times:
-Dried Herb and Spices: I used cumin, paprika, turmeric and italian herbs a lot. The sky's the limit with herbs and spices. Fresh herbs: cilantro, parsley, basil.
-Savory flavorings: Instead of salt, I used low salt soy sauce, tamari, veggie broth powder, miso paste, cider vinegar, nori flakes, tahini and dijon mustard.
-Sweet flavorings: Instead of sugar, I used brown rice syrup, maple syrup, agave syrup, carob powder, dates and vanilla extract.
-"Milks": Plain soymilk and rice milk
-Nuts and Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax, almonds, cashews, macadamias, pine nuts, walnuts.
-Oils: Olive, Sesame and Sunflower.
-Beans: aduki, black, chickpeas, lentils, kidney, white beans, split peas
-Tofu (tempeh is also recommended)
-Flours: whole wheat, oat flour
-Grains: brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, oats, millet, brown rice pasta
-Fruits: ALL KINDS! My favorites: bananas, apples, plums, mango, strawberres, blueberries, pears. I used fresh as well as frozen which are especially good for smoothies.
-Veggies: ALL KINDS! My favorites: broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, green leaf lettuce, spinach, onions, sweet potatoes, celery, onions, tomatoes, rocket, kale, collards, cauliflower, garlic, cabbage, squash and leeks.
The hardest time I had with this diet is my sweet craving and bread craving would kick in often. I also had a difficult time without my usual black tea and coffee. I found that snacking on a few dates (or date brownies!) or fruit would help with the sweet cravings. Herbal teas like lemongrass and licorice spice were great in place of coffee. There was really nothing that could replace good old white bread though. I love a good fresh french baguette and there were some dinner times where I wished I could have a slice of french bread with some Earth Balance margarine. I also missed Vegenaise but I didn't eat any sandwiches at all so I guess it wasn't all that bad without it. The lovely thing about this diet is that my fridge was always fully stocked with loads of vegetables and it would really inspire me to cook something wonderful. I also really enjoyed the yummy smoothies I made for breakfast as well. It felt good to eat so many fruits and vegetables which I felt were lacking in my diet before. I know that I will incorporate them much more after the diet is over. Being a vegan, vegetables and fruits are a big part of my diet anyway but I've been known to get lazy and go for foods that are not the best like quick processed stuff, carb heavy meals and sugary desserts.
So on to today's eats!
Breakfast: Strawberry, mango, banana, soymilk smoothie
Mid morning snack: 1 piece of carob date brownie and a tangelo.
Lunch: Super Green Kale Soup (from You Are What You Eat cookbook). The soup was delicious! It has kale, celery, onions and zucchini. It's even creamy without having a drop of dairy in it.
Along with the soup I also had a green salad that had green leaf, cucumber, red peppers, carrots, onions and sunflower seeds. I drizzled it with 2 tsp. of raw goddess dressing.
Afternoon snack: 1 apple, 3 sprouted grain chips, a few grapes
Dinner: Quinoa casserole (quinoa, chickpeas, onions, celery, broccoli, diced tomatoes, curry powder, soy sauce). I found the casserole recipe on Recipezaar. I served the casserole with a salad. It was very good, though a little plain. You can bump up the curry powder or soy sauce and it should be better I think.
I also made a healthy granola which I will have for breakfast tomorrow. Here's the recipe:
2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 TB cinnamon
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup raisins
Combine all ingredients except the raisins, thoroughly. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degreesF. Stir after the first 15 minutes into baking. Let cool. Pour into a container and combine with raisins.