We all know by now that I have been on a fun journey called the Conscious Cleanse. We also know that I’ve had a few “slips” (cough cough…eating all the fries) on the cleanse. We know that I have tried to move towards a more whole foods way of life, less popcorn (who thought THAT was a good idea?) and more carrots. And let me tell you all, this cleanse has certainly done the trick.
But first, let me back up to this weekend. After the “fry-gate” experience of last week, I was back on track. Fresh smoothies for breakfast, giant salads for lunch, and healthy meals for dinner. Snacks are fruit and veggies. The cleanse offers an optional “Purification” cleanse on days 6 & 7, and days 13 & 14. On these days, the goal is to only eat (or drink) fruits and veggies, to really kick the cleansing into high gear. You can participate in the purification for both days, one day, or no days at all. Remember: this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of a cleanse. It really is whatever you want it to be.
So here’s what happened. First, I took my happy ass to Dulce on Saturday morning (http://dulcevegan.com/), this super rad vegan bakery and cafe, to meet and hang with my new friend Adrienne. She is of cracktheplates.com, and she just so happens to be super duper rad. I indulged in a homemade biscuit, with tempeh bacon, tofu egg, arugula, and chipotle aoili. I should pause to mention here that NONE of those foods are on the cleanse. NONE. I consciously cheated, and I loved every bite. And it began as easily as that.
I didn’t feel guilty, or ashamed. I realized on Saturday that I was never 100% devoted to the Conscious Cleanse. If I had been, I would never have a single slip. My will power is like that of a crazy person when fully engaged, clutching tirelessly to strength long forgotten. My goal with the cleanse was not perfection, because that shit is boring as hell. This is my perfection: to do the best that I can, and to never shame myself for falling. I want to live a pleasurable life, one filled with delicious foods and awesome desserts and great friends. I also believe in that bastard cousin of perfection known as “moderation” and therefore aim for that. I basically decided, after that ridiculous biscuit at Dulce, to take it easy on myself and to let my body do the talking.
Saturday night I found myself at Taverna Plaka, a Greek restaurant on Cheshire Bridge (http://www.tavernaplakaatlanta.com/). Full disclosure: I used to serve and bartend at Plaka, and that place will forever hold a little chunk of my heart. I haven’t eaten there in a long time, mainly because I didn’t know what I could eat there since going vegan. I told the server I was vegan, and she helped me put together an AMAZING menu with which I proceeded to stuff into my face. The chef made a special dish: hollowed-out eggplant filled with chopped veggies, served over a bed of rice with steamed green beans. This was the real deal, y’all. I nearly cried from the ecstasy of it. I also ordered the Horiatiki salad (with no feta), the hummus (of course), and the dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves) – one of my favorite foods. To say that my cup runneth over with yummy foods is quite the understatement. The good news is that I proceeded to dance the calories off with the belly dancers. My body felt great: the food was light, nourishing, and wonderful.
On Sunday, I felt the effects of a late night out (I’m usually asleep by 10:30 pm. #old) and decided to try out the newest healthy grocery store in town, Sprouts. First, I found something highly disturbing on my tomato plants. Friends, my world has a new monster:
Thy name is hornworm. This prehistoric creepy sonofabitch has haunted my dreams, and now he munches on my plants. OH HELL NAW. Not on my plants. So I snipped off the leaves that he and his two buddies where attached to and I placed them in the yard to find another host. Then I burned the clothes I was wearing and took a brillow pad shower because GROSS.
Sprouts, however, is amazing! Like a mini Whole Foods, except closer and cheaper. I walked out of there with eight bags of groceries, most of them organic, and it came to a total that, at Whole Foods, would have been at least $100 more. Happiness is getting delicious food on the cheap! I decided that even though I was eating some things that weren’t on the cleanse, that I would keep going with certain meals: a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch. In this way, my body is feeling most happy and delightful and light. I’m aiming for the 80/20 lifestyle, and I’m slowing getting there.
Hippie alert: guess what has arrived? I got my dry brush and my sprouting kit! Ah, to be a dirty hippie in life is to know the utter love that comes with sprouts and brushing away your dry skin to improve your circulation. Read more about what Kris Carr thinks about dry brushing here: http://kriscarr.com/blog/dry-brushing/. And if you don’t know who Kris Carr is, spend some time on her site. She rocks. My sprouting love will finally come home when I begin growing these bad boys.
I also received my first order from the Hippy Homemaker (on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHippyHomemaker and her blog: http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/) this weekend. I love a sea salt spray for my crazy hair, one that allows me to comb hair after shower, spray, scrunch, and bounce. I don’t do the whole high-maintenance hair thing anymore. Christina makes all of her products to order and uses only natural goodness. Let me just say, my hair is ROCKING these days. Oh, and her son drew me a picture on my receipt. I died.
So how will I continue with this cleanse? I’m still doing an amazing smoothie every morning, which usually includes most of the following: unsweetened almond milk, banana, blueberries, kale, parsley, collard greens, arugula, sunflower sprouts, hemp seeds, and sometimes almond butter. I eat an awesome GIANT salad for lunch which includes: romaine, spinach, arugula, broccoli, sunflower seeds, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, and olive oil and lemon for the dressing. Then for dinner, I cook something nutritious and filling. Last night’s dinner was green curry with tempeh, broccoli, bok choy, jalapenos from my garden, basil, and kale over quinoa. I even sprung for some delicious butter and garlic toast. I feel healthy, I feel lighter, and I am confident and comfortable in my decisions. Usually when I “fall off the wagon”, I eat fries, popcorn, chips, anything salty and fried will do. I haven’t done that (and I didn’t buy any naughty things at Sprouts. A first!) This time, I feel like I’ve made healthy changes that make me feel awesome. Oh, and the best news yet: my pants are slightly looser. Smoothies and salads for the win!