To prepare for the Catalyst Cleanse, I’ve been eliminating junk from my diet over the past week and a half. I don’t really eat too much junk, processed foods or meat (though I’m definitely not a vegetarian), but I made sure to be more mindful of my food choices as I began preparing to cleanse. I’m three days away from the start of the Catalyst Cleanse, so now I’m really phasing out lots of foods. My regular diet is very similar to how I ate today, but I’m documenting it all anyway. Besides, it gives me a reason to talk about any of the new recipes I’m trying!
My partner in crime for this cleanse, Asha, is also prepping for our three days of juice. Her diet was similar to mine today and included fresh juices, tomatoes, avocados, nuts, and tilapia. She isn’t a vegetarian and consumes meat and dairy on a daily basis. Starting today, she will be eliminating meat and dairy from her diet for the next nine days. I’m interested to hear about her reaction to this whole ordeal.
Breakfast: Banana-Vanilla-Cinnamon Smoothie
I started the day by whipping up a smoothie in my brand new Vitamix (happy birthday to ME!). I tossed in ice, bananas, a healthy dose of cinnamon, part of a vanilla bean and some pure vanilla extract. YUM! There wasn’t really much to it, but it was delicious and kept me full for the morning. I thought I’d need to add some liquid or some extra sweetener, but it was excellent just the way it was.
Lunch: Lentil Salad
Whenever I make lentils (which is often), I prefer to use red lentils. This time, I chose green ones because I thought the texture and flavor would work well with this salad. It’s cooked lentils, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic, basil, walnuts and dandelion leaves. For the dressing, I used some good balsamic, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos , extra virgin olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. It is filling, energizing, and packed with loads of flavor. I ate it for lunch the past few days and noticed that I had tons of energy in my training runs and yoga practice. Win!
Dinner: Sea Vegetable Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing and Asian Cold Noodles with Spicy Almond Dressing
I really got to break in my Vitamix for this one. It’s definitely going to be my weapon of choice when I make dressings and dips because it whipped everything up effortlessly. I’ve made these noodles before – they are pretty tasty and I like the texture. Sea Vegetable Salad…well…that’s another story.
Sea Vegetable Salad is pretty straightforward and simple to make. I used wakame and nori and added some mixed greens, cucumbers, and jicama (a Mexican turnip), so it really had a variety of vegetables in the salad. Thank GOD. I really like nori, but the wakame really ruined it for me.I know I should regularly incorporate more sea veggies into my diet and that was my intention when I decided make this for dinner. The only time I ever eat them is when I go out for sushi. I don’t like them enough to eat them otherwise. I’m not someone who is bothered by the texture of food, but I really hate the texture of sea vegetables. Maybe I just don’t know how to prepare them correctly. It wasn’t a total fail, because the Ginger-Miso dressing, is pretty spectacular.
Ginger Miso Dressing
Makes about 12 oz
- ½ cup mellow white miso paste
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/3 cup apple cidar vinegar
- ¼ cup cold-pressed sesame oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice (I used limes because I use lemon in everything else!)
- ¼ cup ginger, peeled and chopped
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Asian Cold Noodles are buckwheat soba noodles topped with lots of chopped fresh veggies (cucumbers, scallions, red bell peppers, and mung bean sprouts) and a homemade spicy almond dressing. I typically prefer udon noodles to soba noodles and sometimes use those instead. The dressing for this dish is another keeper:
Spicy Almond Dressing
Makes about 8 oz
- ½ cup raw or roasted almond butter
- 6 tablespoons of tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of Nama Shoyu or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons of agave nectar
- ¾ teaspoon ginger, peeled and chopped
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth.
Snacks: Spicy Lemonade and a Larabar
Nothing new or fancy here – these kinds of things are in my diet on a regular basis. I love the kicked up lemonade so I’ve been making it everyday. I also really cut back my coffee consumption in the past week and a half. Previously, I was drinking 4-5 cups per day. I’ve been drinking hot lemon water in the morning and only a half cup of coffee, and then herbal teas all day. I still love my afternoon caffeine fix, so I head to Starbucks after work. Instead of ordering a tall coffee (12 ounces), I started drinking the “short” size (8 ounces). I can’t give up my cup of delicious Pike Roast with soy milk altogether…at least not yet!
Pre- Cleanse Day #1 Reaction/Thoughts
Though I’ve done juice cleanses in the past, I never really got creative with my pre and post cleansing meals. Besides taking a few days to clean out my system, my secondary intention is to find more creative options to incorporate during the work week. Summer is so much easier, with endless varieties of produce available and an unlimited amount of time for cooking and meal preparation (the benefit of being a teacher).
Besides enjoying my food selection today (well, except for the Sea Veggie salad), I feel pretty great. I’m sure part of it is due to cleaning up my diet for the past week and a half anyway, but I feel very energetic and prepared for tomorrow. I wasn’t hungry at any point, but what I ate was very similar to the kinds of meals I would prepare on a regular basis. This was Asha’s first day with no meat or dairy and her first thought was that she felt less bloated, lighter, and empty. Not hungry, but she described it as feeling empty. However, since she usually incorporates meat into her diet, this was something she missed when dinner rolled around. Since she had tilapia, I think it helped with her transition. She’s also been eliminating junk over the past week and choosing to consume more natural foods, so yesterday wasn’t as challenging as she expected.
I’ve got another interesting menu planned for tomorrow, so I’m excited to see how things progress!