Today my 7 days of veganism/sort-of Ezekial diet/anti-processed-food made-up detox diet are up. You all were a big help to me! I never would have gotten through my week without you. Thank you!
I often tell Handsome Hippie Hubby that I’m going to the store for “staples.” This means, in our house, bread (usually whatever store-brand wheat bread that is on sale), eggs, milk, cheese, pasta and ground beef (or sometimes chicken). From these ingredents I can build almost anything! I’m not Wolfgang Puck, but I can put together a decent meal. I’m pretty good at tacos and enchiladas, fried chicken, sloppy joes, burgers, spaghetti, and home-made mac and cheese.
Know that about me and then drop me in a wheat-free, vegan world. After a day of eating salad I sent out a Plea For Help. I needed some real FOOD, you know? I simply didn’t know what to eat or how to prepare it. Boy, did I get answers! There was a great response in the comments, on Facebook, and in person.
Several people recommended “green shakes,” or “green smoothies.” There are a lot of recipes out there, but the basic idea is 1/2 (or a little less, depending who you ask) spinach or other green leafy veggie and 1/2 fruit with a splash of water or almond milk. On drinking green slime I have to say…. it’s not that bad. I probably wouldn’t be lying around watching TV and thinking, “Golly, you know what sounds good? A spinach smoothie!” But the fruit made it sweet and it was very filling and I felt good about so many healthy foods going into my body.
I explored the world of tofu (pretty good!), and vegan chili (eh. It was OK.). I ate a lot of mushrooms. I think it’s because the texture gave my food some substance that was “meaty.” Strawberries are in season right now so they are cheap and exceptionally sweet. I must have eaten 4 pounds of them. The only bread I had was on Thursday when we grilled portabella mushroom “burgers.”
I visited two sites, almost daily, to get ideas:
Overall, I have to call the week a great success. I would recommend 7 days of this randomly created “detox” diet to anyone who’s just feeling bloated and bogged down. I was warned that I would feel worse before I felt better but I really didn’t. By day 2 I had noticeably more energy and the random achyness and ill feeling I’d been experiencing started to ease. I slept more soundly and woke up feeling more refreshed. The week didn’t have anything to do with appearance or weight loss. I just wanted to give my body a rest from all the chemicals and processed junk that I tend to gravitate toward. That said… I lost 9 pounds! In seven days! (And, truth be told, I cheated on the last day and had a hotdog). Granted, I’m guessing a large portion of that was because less sodium = less water. But, still!
In a stroke of synchronicity this article was Freshly Pressed over the weekend. The author started off where I was a week ago and ended up a whole-foods evangelist of sorts. I wish I could say I had that level of enthusiasm and perseverance. But I’m a sucker for a Pizza Hut ad. I enjoyed the foods I ate this week very much. But I also found that it was a lot of work to eat healthy. 21 meals a week + snacks need to be washed and sliced and cooked (as opposed to opened and thawed). All that prep dirtied a lot of dishes. I ended up going to the market 3 times (I usually go 2-3 times a month) because veggies don’t have much of a shelf life. I think the expense probably comes out about the same since organics cost more than “regular” produce but less than meat.*
I don’t want to lose the great, healthy feeling I have right now.
I don’t want to find the 9 lbs I lost.
But I miss meat and cheese and ice cream. Oh, my dear friend, ice cream.
So I’m thinking maybe this doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing proposition in my life. Just like using “one less” napkin can help save the planet, perhaps eating from my new menu just some of the time, can be a step in the right direction. I’m thinking I could probably commit to 4 days a week. That means I’ll be eating well (and so will my family) more often than not. Who knows, I may grow as a person and find, someday, that I no longer mind the shopping and washing and slicing and cooking so much. Maybe, when my body gets used to green slime and tofu I’ll no longer have such a taste for pepperoni and cheese.
After all, life is a journey, right? See you along the path!
* A little P.S. – When I lived in Tucson, every corner market had a lovely selection of organic produce and free-range meat. In Michigan… not so much. My local market has a few items but they are really more of a convenience store than a super market. Wal-Mart had virtually nothing. And their regular produce was horrible. One more reason for me to never go in there. Kroger had a lot of great healthy choices and they were very nicely organized and easy to find. And really really really expensive. Some of their organics were 3 and 4 times the cost of the “regular” items. MEIJER, however, wins 4 gold stars in my book. Their organics and vegetarian choices are a little hard to find. They are not really in their own section and they are not really mixed in completely so you have to go searching in seemingly random places. But, if you can find them, the selection is impressive and the prices are very competitive. Plus, since they are a Michigan-based company I could feel good about keeping my dollars (relatively) local.