Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 8: Changing the Rules in the Middle of the Game

No, I haven't added cookies to the cleanse; I'm just trying to tailor it in such a way that I feel better and not worse from one day to the next.

As previously mentioned, hunger and cravings are not the problem.  Because it is delicious and can be prepared beforehand, I have really been enjoying my daily kale salad lunches.  The fresh dinners are terrific, albeit incredibly time consuming to prepare.  Due to the timing of my headaches/nausea/fatigue/exhaustion, I can only assume that what I would have thought was the healthiest part of my day- the juicing- seems to have taken the most toll: on my patience, my morning, and my stomach.  While I know that surely I could eat better on a regular basis, could this really be the answer for me if the trade-off are these distracting side effects?  The bottom line is that I cannot afford to be prohibitively sick on a regular basis; I have a job to do, a house to renovate, and a real life to participate in.  As an experiment, I decided to skip the juice and see what happened. 

Let's do this.

This morning I started my day with a simple cup of water, and followed it up with a small banana and some almond butter.  I know it's not green juice, but it's also not Fruity Pebbles (swoon!).  Mind you, this wasn't exactly a superb treat; I am very particular about bananas and so therefore only eat them rarely.  They must be the perfect size, ripeness and scent.  I also have to cut off any visible bruise- no matter how tiny, and de-string every vein.  The almond butter was another story*.  I've never had it before; it was a purchase made specifically for the cleanse and let's just say it ain't peanut butter.  But for some strange reason, the stickiness and lack of sweetness in the almond butter perfectly complemented the taste and texture of the banana; who knew?  I was pleasantly surprised with the combination and the breakfast left me feeling fine.  Whether or not it was really ok to have as part of the cleanse is another story (although it's fruit/sugar, it is low on the glycemic scale), but for me, today, it was a positive.

Lest you think I abandoned my greens altogether, I brought some green snacking to work with me.  Celery hearts:

And an apple.  Yes, an appleIt was leftover from my week's juicing and I couldn't let it go to waste.  See how committed I am?

I also ate the last of my pre-prepared kale salad- still feeling fine.

For dinner there were more leftovers (I cook in massive quantities),

and a fresh salad of romaine, asparagus, and onions, dressed with something I based on the shaved kale avocado salad (CSD p. 208).  I mixed all of the dressing ingredients in the Magic Bullet, adding water until thinned.  Contrarily, you could leave it thicker and use as a dip.

Bonus: a baked Japanese yam!

I felt much, much better yesterday and I have to say that the support of family, friends, and blogreaders has prevented me from quitting not only been helpful, but has also opened my eyes to what an incredible resource of kindness, nutrition, and health I have available at my fingertips.

Family, I am fickle- with the juicer, and everything else.  But I'm just as fiercely loyal and compassionate, so you get to benefit from that too.  I also bake.  Under normal circumstances. 

Friends, you really are the greatest.  You know I'm a big sweets hog and grant me countless trips to Lula's.  Then you turn around and worry where and what I can eat out during the cleanse!  MVG in particular, thank you for not un-friending me (literally), when I was having the most irritable day and email yelled, "DON'T BULLY ME!" because, in the midst of my misery, I had misunderstood that you were simply pointing out a typo in my blogpost and not judging my very existence.  For your understanding, humor, patience, and friendship: I am grateful.

Blogreaders, thank you for not abandoning me whilst I give up my signature feasts for a finite period of time.  I wish I could send you all a cupcake of thanks!

*Can we all acknowledge the oddity of stirring almond butter?  Not only does it look gross, but the sloshing sound is awful.  Is there a trick I'm missing?  Because Skippy doesn't separate.


  1. Not really, no. I just use a chopstick and stir stir stir. Though, really, I make my own almond butter since I got a Vita and I'm cheap. I know those two phrases don't seem to mesh as Vitas cost the damn earth. LOL.

    Honestly, almond butter and bananas is my FAVORITE snack lately. OMNOMNOM. Have you ever made banana "ice cream"? Peel and chunk bananas and freeze them. Process in magic bullet or whatever with a bit of sea salt and a splash of almond milk.

    It's like soft serve ice cream but only fruit! Mmmmm. I like to add pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice or strawberries and cinnamon. Or cocoa and peanut butter! It's such a healthy, satisfying dessert.

  2. It helps to store the almond butter upside down at first. Usually, if you stir it well with a knife, and store it in the refrigerator afterwards (or is that not OK) it stays together.

    Can you drink the juice at some other time of day? Like early evening while you're making dinner?

  3. The banana/almond butter breakfast sounds like a good start to the day- glad that it felt better than the juices!

  4. Melissa, You crack me up. I will have to try that in my bullet b/c Vita isn't on the shopping list right now. Great tip!

    Thanks, Andrea; I'll give the upside down trick a go (it is in the fridge). The cleanse actually does suggest a juice in the a.m. AND between lunch and dinner if you're hungry, but 1) I'm not and 2) I'd be too full for dinner if I drank it!

    Hi Micah, Thanks!

  5. Abby I swear I didn't put Melissa up to that Vita plug!!!
    Glad you are feeling better

  6. Hey, do you normally eat cereal for breakfast?? If you do THAT could REALLY explain the headaches you'd been having from the juice because most cereals are fortified, you could be missing nutrients the cereal provides. Just a thought, brought on from personal experience.

  7. Abby,

    THANK YOU!!!

    You are really inspirational to everyone who has ever wanted to become healthier, anyone who wants to diet, anyone who wants to cleanse, anyone who wants to run.

    What you're doing and documenting is challenging to say the least. But because of you, anyone who's reading is giving the power to say, "hey, maybe I can do this too?" And that includes myself. I plan to start in Dec and will save these entries as a guideline.

    Once again, Abby. Thank you!

  8. Melios, YES! I'm a cereal and (sweetened vanilla) soymilk type of girl. Good catch, although it would surprise me if the small amount that I was eating had more nutrients than a cup full of chlorophyll?

    MVG, Aw, what is this world coming to when I have to be a healthy inspiration? Thank you for enjoying!

  9. Oh I had these same crazy experiences on the cleanse. I had to publicly thank my husband on my blog for not running away from our house. I guess the big changes just get us out of whack? I know after the fact, I am feeling great. I guess that's the main point!

  10. Leslie, Thanks for letting me know the end result is worth it...I was having some doubts today as I glanced down the potato chip aisle and looked longingly into the ice cream freezer. I resisted!


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