Spring Cleaning

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Back in January, I read an article in Outside magazine about this crazy detox diet called the Clean Program. Usually, things that involve the words “detox” or “toxins” or “cleanse” make me shudder, but the writer himself talked about entering into the experiment with the same amount of scorn and skepticism that I would have, so I put the book on my library hold list and actually read it. To my great surprise, I found it fairly compelling.

I’ll spare you all of the details behind it, as some of it is very hippie-dippy. The basic premise of the diet is to give your digestive system a break by eliminating everything that “taxes the system” (I warned you!) which includes just about everything: wheat, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, corn, soy, dairy, starches, some kinds of meat, eggs, and some fruits and veggies. You start with a sort-of prep phase where you just eat foods on the “approved” list, which is tough enough. Then you move to the full diet where you have a liquid breakfast and dinner and solid food lunch, with snacks as you need them.

With all of that, it might be surprising that such a thing would appeal to me. But after some of our terrible road trip food, I was having a really hard time getting back on track eating wise and doing a re-boot of our diet didn’t seem like such a bad thing. More surprising was T’s willingness to do it, but he felt like he needed a reset too.

So, for the last two weeks, we’ve been trying foods I never thought I’d ever buy (hemp protein powder anyone?) Breakfasts were mostly smoothies, beefed up with said protein powder and some ground flax seeds. We ate grains I’d never tried before (millet) and discovered the joys of almond butter on brown rice cakes and toasted “everything-free” bread. The only real challenge was the first weekend breakfast. We’d gotten in the habit of making a nice breakfast on the weekends and this just didn’t cut it:

(Those are vegan blackberry pancakes made with buckwheat flour.)

But for the most part, it wasn’t too bad. It definitely took some getting used to, but I’ve noticed a big shift in my eating habits. I don’t crave the junk food that I had been. I discovered the times where I eat when I’m bored rather than when I’m hungry. And I’ve gone two weeks without a Diet Coke, which might be a record for me. (I’m hoping to continue that streak, but the coffee is already back on the menu.) I’m planning to continue some aspects of the diet and keep the whole grains, veggies and lean meats as the foundation of my diet. We’re also going to keep some smoothie breakfasts in the rotation, as they were surprisingly filling and yummy. But not this weekend, I think we’re going back to our old tradition of yummy breakfasts. No more zombie pancakes allowed…

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