Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3rd Annual Cleanse!

This year, from Sunday, April 14 until Saturday, May 4...
Greg and I did Dr. Junger's CLEAN cleanse--for the the third year in a row.  

The cleanse, if you don't know is: 21 days of:

NO alcohol, sugar, caffeine, gluten: pasta, bread, crackers, dairy: milk, yogurt, sour cream, eggs, soy, tofu, corn, tomatoes, night shade veggies and acidic fruit (except lemons) lots of other stuff too...

And basically...
you have a non-dairy smoothie for breakfast
A source of lean protein with vegetables and grains for lunch
and a juice for dinner.

You then give your digestion system 12 hours rest 
between your "dinner" of juice and breakfast smoothie.

Eating this way does a lot of good things for you:

1) Removing all the high-allergan food items from your diet allows you to see how you react to certain things when you come off the cleanse and re-introduce items back...its kind of amazing to have this "clean slate"...

2) Balancing our ph levels; reducing the acidic levels and increasing the alkalinity in our diet which is absolutely crucial to good health overall and helps reduce all sorts of inflammation. 

3) Giving our digestion system not only time to rest, but time to clean out...

Its hard and--at times--not all that fun...
but in an effort to to safe guard our precious good health, 
Greg and I commit to doing this every year.

Giving up WINE alone is enough to send shivers down my spine, but honestly, I like the challenge and once I get into it...I don't bitch THAT much...

For breakfast this time, 
I got totally hooked on these Kale, Mango, Avocado Smoothies.

I added Hemp protein (no soy or dairy!) powder and 
a high quality powdered form of greens...
like spirulina, wheat grass, chorella etc...amazing stuff--called Super GreenFood.  

Energy levels, honestly, THROUGH THE ROOF!

Kale, Mango, Avocado Smoothies

In a blender, add:
1/2 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond milk
2 leaves of Kale
1/4 avocado
1/2 cup mango
1/2 cup ice
scoop of protein powder
scoop of Super GreenFood
Squeeze of Agave (a low glycemic sweetner)

Blend on high until smooth--pour and enjoy right away.

This is an example of a lunch Greg made us...
Gluten-free falafels with home-made tahini and greek salad, of sorts,
 dressed with lemon, olive oil and a side of kalamata olives..

It was a very satisfying and this is just to show that you do eat--this isn't about
caloric restriction but about changing what you eat.

We enjoyed grilled salmon, roast chicken, home-made sushi, roasted broccoli, lots of sauteed leafy greens, brown rice, quinoa salads, wild rice--
just to give a sense of what some of our noon-time meals were like.

And then for dinner...its JUICE!

Chioggia beets with carrot;

Granny Smith apples with fennel;
Pears, gala apples, spinach.
Or basically, whatever you have in the fridge..

Adding ginger and lemon always brightens flavors.

And that its until the breakfast smoothie...its hard; you get hungry, but this is a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep and just turn in early..

But also, during the day--between smoothie and meal and then meal and juice, you can SNACK!
This is the great part!!  Apples; carrots & hummus; rice cake with avocado; rice cake with almond butter; cashews; almonds; walnuts; dried fruit...this is what I lived on during the day..

And also these little gems.  I call them my home-made Larabars...

I posted about them last year, but this year, I have added new recipes to the mix.

From left to right: 

Mango Cashew Sunshine Bites from My New Roots

Key Lime Pie
Cashew Cookie
Almond Cookie
Blueberry Bites
Carob Coconut Macaroons

The are really delicious, easy to make and the kids love them...
Easy to pack in their lunch;
nice with a cup of tea or when you need a little something sweet.

Recipes for all follows...

The crazy thing about this year's that I am still kind of doing it...almost 4 weeks after I officially finished.  No more juice for dinner, but still gluten-free and dairy-free--which is HUGE for me.  Still the smoothie for breakfast...and OK, so I immediately brought the wine and dark chocolate back STAT but am consuming far less of both now then pre-cleanse days.   

 I feel pretty great...mentally and physically...
we'll see how long it lasts!  : )

(from Left to Right)

Key Lime Pie
  • 1/2 cup plain cashews
  • 1/2 cup Pitted whole Dates
  • dash of sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • Touch of olive oil & agave   

Cashew Cookie

  • 1/2 cup Pitted whole Dates
  • 1/2 cup whole raw unsalted cashews
  • a dash of sea salt
  • Touch of olive oil & agave

Almond Cookie

  • 1/3 cup pitted whole dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Touch of olive oil & agave

Blueberry Bites

  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pitted whole dates
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Touch of olive oil & agave

Cocoa/Carob Coconut Macaroon

  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup pitted whole dates
  • 3 tbsp Carob powder or dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • Touch of olive oil & agave

For all recipes, put ingredients in food processor fitted with metal blade attachment and chop/pulse/blend till finely chopped.  I add a little olive oil just at the end, just to help bind it all together, but you could omit that.
You can form into bars--I find the balls to be quicker and easier.  They will store in the fridge in an air tight container for a week, if not longer.  Just to be clear, these are pretty calorie dense--you wouldn't would want to knock off a dozen if you are trying to loose a few pounds, but they really hit the spot when you want a little something sweet yet healthy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Soccer, Ballet & Dirt

On Sunday, for Mother's Day, this year
Greg asked me if I wanted a nice, fancy brunch...


 new and improved garden beds.

Happily, I took the garden beds...

(on the left is a view of the old asphalt driveway MINUS 
the asphalt we had ripped out recently to make room for the new garden)

We have lots of lovely new flowers and vegetables to plant.

But that meant a busy day:
 the building of the beds would have to happen AFTER ballet practice...

(getting ready for the dress rehearsal practice for the big performance next Sunday)

but before the final soccer games of the season...

and that would be games UNO y DOS!

(We were so busy, Magda forgot to put her pants on...
that is what she is claiming, anyway.)

(is that a ballet move?  Nice one, Magda!)

(GGGOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!!  She smoked past the goalie)

 an Awesome Mother's Day...
the garden beds are just wanted I wanted--
Thank you Greg!!

Rain check brunch next weekend and 
photos of the new and improved garden coming very soon.