Well, we are a week and a half into our food cleanse for Lent. I kind of want to jump up and down and shout how much I love it!! Of course I have some weak moments where I want to shove my face with 10 of the Trader Joe’s Donut-O’s that are sitting on my counter right now, but for the most part it’s been so yummy, fun and doable.
Like I mentioned in my Lent post, we are following Drea’s cleanse e-guide. Basically it’s all vegan, no (or very little) processed and no sugar. It’s not about counting calories, or starving yourself. It’s about resetting, feeling healthy and learning about what we are putting into our bodies. Aside from the cleanse, eating clean really is something we should challenge ourselves to do more often. Start by trying to eat clean even 1 or 2 days a week.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about eating clean this past week…
1. It does not cost more to eat all whole foods.
I was sure our grocery bill was going to go through the roof. LIE. When you cut out all the other processed food you normal buy (condiments, bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc…), you really don’t spend more when just buying veggies and fruit. Especially when you are heading the the grocery store with a meal plan and a list of the exact things you need. It also helps when you try to buy local and what is in season. Which is pretty much nothing here in the northeast, but oooh I can’t wait for the summer.
2. It does take time and thought.
It’s been pretty easy to eat clean, but it does take some effort. Every Sunday I sit down, look over the recipes and browse a few blogs for ideas. Then I come up with a meal plan for the week. I’m talking breakfast, lunches and dinners. I find my weakest moments are when I am hungry, without a plan and no allowable snacks. Those are the moments that have me justifying in my head that it’s ok to eat the Inner Peas from Trader Joes that I brought with us for the girls. After I grocery shop, I spend one evening cleaning, chopping and organizing all the food. That way when I am hungry I will have some homemade hummus and carrots all ready to go. Plan ahead. Plan filling and yummy meals. Eat often.
It might be just us, but whoa baby! we have a lot more dishes. Thankful for a dishwasher and a handsome husband that willing does the dishes.
4. Overnight Oats are gross.
Ha! It might be just me but the cold texture of the oats just doesn’t work for me. I much prefer cooking them and topping them with a dash of unsweetened almond milk, some cinnamon, hemp seeds and a ton of fresh fruit. *edit: Umm I didn’t know you could heat up overnight oats. Whoops! Trying that tomorrow.
5. Be adventurous
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “well, what can I eat then?” leaving you feeling like there is nothing to eat. Truth be told, there are tons of things you can eat. Try something new, even if in the past you thought you didn’t like it. Try new vegetables and fruit you’ve never eaten before. Find some recipes that excite you. Remember you can always substitute things to make a recipe work for you. I found a soup recipe I wanted to try, but it had a few things that didn’t work with the cleanse. I added water instead of veggie broth, almond milk instead of heavy cream and cut the oil way, way down and used coconut oil instead. The soup was DELICIOUS!! We have had it twice already.
6. Habits take a while to break.
The very first day I found myself with a mouthful of waffle pieces that I ate off of Finley’s highchair. Whoops. I was so used to eating the leftover bits and pieces of what they eat all day. Over the past week I have been more conscience about what I put in my mouth (that’s what she said- sorry. had to.) Although this morning I may have licked my fingers after a drop of Rowan’s maple syrup got on them. Oooh Sugar!! Speaking of sugar… After a few days and some good mental review over why I am doing this in the first place, I can pass the bag of M&M’s a lot easier than before. It really makes you realize the lies we teach ourselves that we “need” certain things.
7. Have fun!
I am actually having a lot of fun doing this! It makes me proud at the end of the day thinking about the good things I’ve put into my body. It will most definitely be something that last much, much longer than the 40 days. Clean eating has taken a hold of me! I am looking forward to adding a few things back once this particular food cleanse is done. I miss plain greek yogurt and some bread here and there (pizza!) but overall this cleanse has already really made an impact on our household.
You can buy Drea’s 30 Day Cleanse E-Guide Here.
*For those of you that are asking the top dish is just a bowl that I put a handful of spinach in then layered on top: roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, roasted chickpeas, carrot sticks, red quinoa, avocado, some hemp seeds and then added a big ol’ dollop of homemade hummus. Let me tell you… it was DELICIOUS!