AND WE’RE OFF!
– by Scott Simon
ACT I – YOU SAY GOODBYE, AND I SAY HELLO
Like getting ready for prom, or cleaning for Passover, or heading to IKEA for that sweet Flardfuul shelving unit for your first apartment, preparing for a cleanse feels like something monumental. Like a holy task, ritualistic and purifying. Except in this case, I am purifying myself of Doritos, Patron, and Trader Joe’s greek yogurt.
First, I spent the weekend divesting myself of all carbs, dairy, sugar, processed foods. Gone, packed away.
Then, it was time for “the SHOP.” Yep, that earth-shattering, wallet-reducing visit to the local Whole Foods to stock up on all the chia seeds, organic celery root, and almond milk I would need for the first few days of detox.
So, I girded my loins (always wanted to do that), checked my debit card balance, and headed out. Instead of Whole Foods, though, I decided to hit the local Giant Eagle to see if I could get the items I needed. Truth be told, it was an AWESOME experience. And saying that about a trip to Giant Eagle is no small miracle.
Why? First off, shopping for a super-healthy, organic diet is quick and easy. You by-pass about 95% of the shiny, beguiling packaging that normally catches your eye. I spent most of the time – obviously – in the produce aisle, getting a wealth of celery, kale, parsley, sweet potatoes, lemons, blueberries.
Honestly, I looked down at my cart and it felt like I was leaving a farmer’s market. Again, a feeling I don’t often have at Giant Eagle.
I walked right past the soda, chips, dairy, and other-assorted-crap aisles, and achieved a kind of nirvana-like excitement when I fell upon the “Natural and Organic” section. It reminded me of when I need to cook a kosher meal, and I have to look closely at every single item … every single label. There is this sweet joy in the structure and precision of it.
When I checked out, I left like Organic Captain America. The woman at the register had never seen Swiss Chard before – even though it was for sale just 20 feet away – and had to ask me what it was. When I told her, she said that no one had ever bought it, as far as she could remember. I invited her over to join me for a swiss chard in coconut recipe in Jenna’s Detox guide.
I was on a high, clearly.
Detox? So far, so good.
ACT II – NEW RULES
In the spirit of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots (woo hoo!), I am reminded that some of my favorite meals ever have been in New England: eating lobster rolls on hot dog buns while waiting for the Hi-Line Fast Ferry at Hyannis port, waiting in lines that string down the block on warm summer evenings in Nantucket for ice cream at The Juice Bar, sneaking out of a week-long yoga retreat at Kripalu for wings and a Browns game at Mazcot’s in Lenox.
Oh, and that time that my oldest friend David and I went to Boston together at the age of 16 with our fake ID’s, and ate and drank our way through Faneuil Hall.
Safe to say, none of that would qualify for the next two weeks.
Jenna’s materials for the detox are voluminous. But what I have digested so far is the following:
- Stay clear of the no-go list – no eggs, soy, dairy, gluten, soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, beans, processed foods, alcohol, coffee. (I guess that means that this would be off the list.)
- Begin each day by drinking room temperature water, with lemon and some extra goodies, like cinnamon, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar.
- Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, plus mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. No skipping meals. Meals are all whole-food, eaten with intention and gratitude.
- Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.
- Write in a food journal each night (thank you, blog) … and try to incorporate one new healthy habit each and every day
ACT III – DAY ONE
My final pre-detox act (after inhaling several hot dogs and brownies at a Super Bowl party) was make my boy and me a late-night pasta dinner. Fresh spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce with chicken.
We pigged out at about 11:30, and then I feel into a deep carb-coma until 6:00 a.m.
First thing, made myself a cup of room temperature water with lemon. So far, so good.
For breakfast, I juiced a glass full of celery, apple, parsley, and pineapple. The day before, I had made a pudding of chia seeds, almond milk, chocolate protein powder, almonds, and dried cranberries. So then I did something I never do. I actually sat down and had breakfast. No Today Show on TV. No scrolling through my e-mails. Just eating. Nice.
For lunch, I made a smoothie with almond milk, almond butter, coconut oil, blueberries, half an avocado, and walnuts. It was super filling and awesome. So good.
For dinner, I was pleased to see that Jenna allows lentils. I have always loved lentils since my mother makes this great, dense lentil soup in the wintertime. So I cooked lentils, added mushrooms sautéed in coconut oil, avocado, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and drizzled over some vinaigrette made of oil, lemon and this really awesome smoky Hawaiian sea salt I got at a food show one time.
The food? Awesome so far. What’s hard? NO COFFEE. That’s the biggie right now. So feeling tired, and a little off my game, but psyched to continue the process.
1 day down. 14 to go.