Day 1: So Far, So Good

It was a long night of no sleep for me leading up to Day 1 of my cleanse. This was due in part to the fact that Ryan took me out for a belated birthday meal, during which I ate bone marrow, octopus, trout, five different kinds of cheese, three different kinds of liquor, wine, and a dessert which consisted of a dark chocolate crust underneath whipped vanilla custard, topped with salted caramel. I ate it with a spoon. A fitting end to normalcy, no? Suffice it to say I was enjoying myself so much it took me a while to fall asleep. And before I even ate breakfast I had to pack Ryan his lunch–only because those were the conditions to him doing the cleanse with me.

Condition 1: he still gets to drink coffee and have whatever he wants for breakfast.

Condition 2: I make him lunch and dinner every day.

Seeing as that wasn’t all that different than our normal habits, I agreed (it’s way better to do these with a buddy!). So I got up extra-early and made him lunch: curried lentils and rice, sauteed spinach with lemon, and sliced radish and carrots with a couple rice cakes on the side. I made extra for me, too, so it all worked out in the end.

Then I whipped up a smoothie for breakfast that left a lot to be desired texturally, although it tasted delicious (really, it did!). Turns out wild blueberries, banana, mango, spinach, and coconut water look a lot like radioactive sludge:

My real challenge today came in the form of four chicken breasts. I babysit occasionally for a girl who needs no real supervision, but her parents like for someone to just be in the house with her. My job has slowly morphed into also preparing dinner for the family (which I am only too happy to oblige, naturally). This morning I received this email from the mom:

We left a lot of chicken out to defrost. I hope that’s okay. Do you mind making something that Rachel wants but make all of the chicken?

Oh yes, I can make all of the chicken. I can bread and bake some chicken in a white wine sauce with capers and lemon and garlic and die a little inside when I smell it and know I can’t have any!!!!! Sigh. 😉

I made it home by 8pm and had this lentil soup waiting for me, made with homemade vegetable stock. And instead of a salted caramel pudding extravaganza and a glass of tawny port, I had a simple pear and a cup of tea for dessert. So far, so good.

Four Corners Lentil Soup
adapted from Sarah Britton’s favorite recipe ever


1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed very well
1-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 scant tablespoon minced ginger root
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 large tomatoes, blanched, seeded, and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
salt to taste
1 un-waxed, organic lemon, sliced


A medium soup pot


1. Rinse the lentils very well until the water runs clear.
2. Heat oil in a medium pot and sauté onions, carrots, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes until soft. Add a pinch of salt.
3. Add spices and stir for another minute or so, until fragrant. Careful not to let them scorch!
4. Add tomatoes, 3 slices of lemon and rinsed lentils, then add vegetable stock. Stir well.
5. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice.
6. Serve hot with some cilantro, green onions or parsley on top with a slice of lemon. Delish, Nutrish!

{images by carol catherine}

1 comment
  1. lifelikeweeds said:

    I am starting my own kind of diet called, “getting to know Seattle through it’s food.” It’s not a cleanse by any means, but I whole heartedly support yours and I think I might just make this delectable soup for suppers. xo

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