So this morning I totally had a giant plate of eggs, topped with cheese and sour cream, with a side of DEEP FRIED BACON and a huge slab of cinnamon raisin toast with strawberry jam and cinnamon sugar, and I washed it all down with a giant latte made with whole milk.
April Fools! Ha…haha. I’m sure the two of you reading this thought that was hilarious. I know it’s sort of silly but I’ve kind of always loved April Fools, despite the fact that I fall for something EVERY YEAR. I love it but I always forget it’s happening. However, even if I’m the brunt of the joke, fools make the world a goofier place, which is something I appreciate deeply (being a goofball myself). There are plenty of little jokes floating around the internet today, many of which are goofy as all get-out. My AdBlock software, for example, turned all the ads that pop up on every page into pictures of cats. For example:
Of course, I fell for this (i.e. got really excited). But it’s a good sign, I think, that I’m feeling excited and trusting and happy on this, the final day of my cleanse. That’s right, it’s DAY SEVEN. I figured I’ve shared plenty of reasons why I did this, and what I’ve learned so far, so this post will be a kind of round-up of realizations, recipes, and photos I forgot to upload.
Things I’ve learned:
1. This time was harder than last time, mostly because I wasn’t as busy. It’s important to keep moving, for many reasons, but especially because I tend to dwell and brood….and if I’m already low-energy and, well, slightly depressed from the lack of stimulants in my system, then it’s a big old snake eating its own tail kind of situation. A big, sad, snake.
2. It was also harder because I was documenting it. Now, I love having this old blog thing, here. However, it does change the way I cook, a bit. I feel like I’m always cooking for others, which I love, but which also puts the pressure on to make something into a complete meal when I might otherwise have just reached for leftovers. And the combination of being hungry and tired and feeling pressured to make something blog-worthy was a little rougher than I expected. Basically it meant I didn’t snack as much, which is key.
3. Snacking is key.
4. I miss dairy so much. I could never be vegan. Holy cow. Pun intended.
5. I forgot how much I love avocados. Also, coconut water is freaking delicious. Who knew?
6. Looking back on it all, I am really glad I did it. I believe it’s worth it to take the time to force ourselves to be creative, even if it means other areas of our life get neglected for a bit. The key is to incorporate what you’ve learned into your daily life as much as possible when that restrictive period is over. It’s about setting standards for yourself, ultimately. And being grateful for what you have, and proud of what you’ve done. There is value in simplicity and this experience is a testament to that.
With that, this is what I’ve been eating this weekend, much of which I will definitely make again (but maybe not for a few weeks). I included some brief recipes in the captions; if you have questions just get at me in the comments. Here’s to April being a healthy, creative, simple month for all of us.
Friday lunch: Leftover steamed broccoli, cabbage salad (1 cup each of chopped red cabbage & mixed tender greens, plus 2 tablespoons diced red onion), brown rice with baked tofu, and tahini-lemon dressing (I just whisked some tahini into a tablespoon of lemon juice and then whisked in olive oil until it looked good).
Afternoon snack: grapefruit and avocado drizzled with citrus olive oil. Fantastic, simple, and doesn’t really even need the oil.
Friday dinner: Leek, rice and corn soup. Inspired by a pizza my aunt created a few weekends ago, I just sauteed three or four leeks (just the white parts) in some olive oil over med-low heat for about fifteen minutes, then added about 4 cups vegetable stock (I made my own, but any mild-flavored stock–or even water–would be fine probably) and simmered for twenty or so minutes more. I added the corn (frozen) maybe five minutes before I served it. I steamed brown rice separately, added about ½ cup to each bowl and poured the soup over. Garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
Saturday lunch: I’m gonna do a whole post about this red pepper-sweet potato salad. But not today. For now, I’ll just describe it: roasted sweet potatoes and yukon golds, red pepper dressing, scallions, jalapeños, parsley. Served warm over rice.
Saturday snack: Kale chips! These barely got photographed before they were gone. Go here for the recipe.
More Saturday lunch/snack: grape & celery salad in a lemon dressing. Whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil into about a tablespoon of lemon juice and add salt & pepper to taste. Add 1 cup chopped & deveined celery stalks and 1 cup grapes, halved or not. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Unbelievably delicious, sweet and crunchy and refreshing.
Saturday dinner: Brown rice “chili”. Ok, I got bored with plain rice. Half an onion, sliced, in a hot pan with some olive oil. Add a clove of minced garlic and some chopped sweet pepper if you like. Sprinkle with salt and cook for five minutes over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add ¾ cup of brown rice and stir regularly until you can smell it get a bit toasty and a few (not all) of the grains turn darker. Add 2 cups water, a teaspoon each of chili powder and cumin, and half a can of tomato paste. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally and adding water a little bit at a time as needed until the rice is cooked (took me about 45 minutes from beginning to end). Season with salt, hot sauce, and whatever else you like on chili.