Tu and I have begun a self-imposed 7-day 5-day Pseudo Vegan Cleanse. Yesterday was Day 1.
- No meat
- No animal products (including butter, cheese, dairy)
- No gluten (including pasta, white bread, flour)
- No sugar
- No alcohol
- No caffeine
- Well, because Oprah did it. And Dooce did it.
- Because our bodies needed to be cleansed of toxins after this past weekend.
- It's just an exercise of self-control that has added health benefits.
- I can have coffee. I need to function, yall.
- It's now 5 days. We can eat stuff on Saturday b/c my mom is throwing me a birthday party and not eating is just plain rude, right? I'm pretty sure I'll fall off the wagon after that.
Dinner: red curry w/ tofu and vegetables
Dessert: nectarine, grapes
Notes: Tu said he didn't think the dinner we made was filling enough ("Yeah i'm full...OF VEGETABLES."), but I thought it was really filling. I don't think this diet is as restricting as it sounds. Then again, it's only been one day.
Lunch: cucumber slices, hummus
Dinner: stir fry w/ soba noodles, tofu, and vegetables in peanut sauce.
Dessert: grapes, cherries
Notes: This morning I threw away the entire batch of brownies I baked this weekend, as well as a bunch of oatmeal cherry cookies I made last week. So wasteful and delicious. When I got to work, I saw that someone brought donuts for the office. MAN I love Shipley's donuts.
Soba noodles are made of buckwheat and yam. Using fresh, natural peanut butter in the sauce made it gritty, but the flavor was good.
Breakfast: coffee, handful of granola
Lunch: grapes, cherries, 1/2 nectarine, 1/3 orange.
Dinner: field greens salad, fried tofu and okra, sauteed green beans and creminis w/ onion and scallion
Notes: At first I thought it was just in my head, but I really think this no meat/no carb thing is making me have zero energy, at least while my body is adjusting to the change. I've been SO TIRED. I've eaten much less than this on a regular basis (1 bagel per day; cookie for lunch, ice cream for dinner), but when you cut out fat, proteins, and carbohydrates, there's nothing for your body to convert to energy.
But other than all the weakness, I haven't felt deprived of any tastes or foods yet (besides that donut from yesterday). I think Tu is taking it harder than I am b/c he's already started talking about that burger he's going to eat once this is over.
Dinner was kind of bad. Tu was really craving "bad" food, so I caved and agreed to have something fried. Instant regret afterwards. At least it was a fried vegetable and tofu?
On an aside, I've never made fried tofu on my own before, but after researching about it a little bit, I made a few tweaks to my mom's method - which is just throwing cubes of tofu into oil. The result was surprisingly really good! We both agreed the tofu was "better than our mom's." YEAH I SAID IT.
The consistency almost reminded me of the banh bot chien (rice cake) from Tan Tan, which led to a great idea of a no-carb bot chien that I want to try soon. But not this week. Because we have to wait until we're allowed to eat eggs again. And I don't know where to get those little pickled radish cubes.
- Drain the tofu - I pressed the tofu using folded paper towels placed between 2 cutting boards with a heavy bowl on top for about 45 minutes, changing the paper towels whenever they got soaked.
- Dust with cornstarch - This was the real tip. After cutting the tofu into cubes, I dusted each side w/ cornstarch, which helped absorb any extra liquid, and also produced a crispy exterior that STAYED CRISPY. Usually, the tofu is crispy for the first 10 minutes out of the oil, then it becomes spongey. The cornstarch prevented this.
- Pre-season - I ground up a mixture of sea salt, peppercorns, and red chili flakes and seasoned the tofu before I fried it. If it needs more seasoning, you can sprinkle the mixture on top again afterwards too.
Lunch: grapes, cherries
Dinner: lettuce wraps with mixed vegetables and tofu, "General Tso's Chicken" (really tofu) over bok choy.
Dessert: cherries, grapes, nectarine
Notes: I think The Weakness is better today. We temporarily put our marathon training on hold this week due to The Weakness. I can't even imagine running right now. It's tiring going down a flight of stairs to let the dogs out.
Today we didn't feel like cooking so we ate at Pepper Tree, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant at Richmond and Weslayan. It was surprisngly good! Much better than I expected. I'd eat there again voluntarily. The old chinese ladies who work there are cute and nice.
It's 2 doors down from Berripop. We can't eat yogurt b/c it's diary. =**(
Lunch: silken tofu with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sliced green onion
Dinner: olive oil and garlic oven-baked fries
Dessert: granola, pineapple
Notes: We made fries by slicing them shoestring style, then drizzling with olive oil and sea salt/black pepper. Bake for 40 minutes and then tossed them in garlic, parsley, and green onion. SO GOOD! They taste like they're bad for you, but besides the fact that potatoes are starch, they're totally not unhealthy.
I baked cookies (dark chocolate chip and lemon shortbread) to bring to my mom's house tomorrow and I DIDN'T EAT ANY. I didn't even taste the dough! Check ME out!
TOMORROW I EAT MEAT!
So was the cleanse successful? Yeah I think it was. I didn't cheat once! But most of the benefit came from being more aware of what you put in your body. It makes you realize how much you need, or DON'T NEED, certain foods. I'm not giving up any of the restricted foods, but I'll think twice before eating them.
The cleanse is not meant to be a long-term, permanent change in your diet. Kathy Freston, the woman who developed the cleanse, said that she only does it once or twice a year. Granted, the REAL version lasts 21 days and not 5, but Kathy Freston emphasizes the fact that the cleanse can be as long or as short as you want it to be. It's not the end of the world if you slip up; just start over again tomorrow. The real goal is to make yourself more aware of what goes into your body.
We'll be incorporating some of the changes into our diet from now on. I can't totally give up meat or animal products (LOVE butter and cheese), but we'll try to eat more tofu and if meat is necessary, fish or chicken as opposed to beef. More vegetables, definitely. Less "bad" carbs, more whole grains.
And one last interesting thing - after eating lobster and ribeye at my mom's house on saturday (omg best meal ever), Tu and I got stomachaches. Looks like our body is already rejecting all that delicious, delicious fat.