And my taste buds sang

Yesterday morning started out early and early mornings are not something I do well. (That’s what I get for checking my work email on Sunday – but at least I was prepared when I got in!) But it also started of with my cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and the icing I licked off my finger from the cinnamon bun I put into a Glad container. I hope my teeth enjoyed the acoustics of my mouth, because my taste buds sang “Alleluia” (like the nuns “The Sound of Music”) when I took that first bite of my bagel. One would think it would have been the “Hallelujah” chorus from “The Messiah” (much more boisterous), but it was 6:15am after all. Handel’s choral masterpiece rang out when I had the first sip of Beringer cab sauv at Cactus Club. Words cannot describe how lovely it was to have a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon after two very long weeks and a very hectic day.

Cactus Club on Burrard was the venue choice for the sole reason that they have Granville Island Winter Ale on tap. Clearly a Sean decision and I was happy to oblige that decision. 🙂 We were joined by fellow cleanse participant, Claire, Aussie Brent, and Sean’s friends Geoff and Richard H. from work.

I won’t go into detail about everything that we ate – the pictures (though not the best as they were from my iPhone in a dim restaurant) kind of say it all (except I forgot to take a photo of the lovely prawn and butternut squash ravioli – OMG it was good) – but it was so nice to be eating to enjoy and not care about a list. Sean, Claire and I were on Cloud 9 – real food! There we were, cleanse survivors with our meat and bread and there was brawny stuntman Brent with his chicken Caesar salad because he wasn’t that hungry.

I am very happy to have bread back in my diet, not just for my bagels and wraps, but if anything because my clothes will, hopefully, fit properly again. When wheat disappeared, apparently a portion of me did as well. I have a lovely highwaisted black skirt from bebe that I decided to wear this morning with a purple blouse and black knee high boots. It’s not a floaty skirt at all but when I put it on, all I could do was sigh because I didn’t have time to change. I suppose I could up my squats. Or maybe just eat more bread. (My friend Delisa from work says to me “Yasmine your skin looks awesome!” – which I am sure comes from all the veggies and water, but I joked that it was because I was eating bread again. I swear, I missed bread more than I missed going to Mexico. Bizaare, I know.)

This cleanse was refresher on discipline and restraint. It was so difficult to adhere to such a strict diet, but I don’t like to fail and I actually feel pretty good. Restraint with food seemed to have provided restraint with shopping, because The Bay was having a Coach purse sale and even though I stopped and looked – completely torturing myself when I found a WONDERFUL bag – I didn’t(!) buy anything and I walked away. I have other more important  things that $200 – that was the sale price – needs to go towards (like groceries, my Visa bill, etc.), but dammit, I wanted that purse. At the same time, I am so proud that I didn’t just hike out my credit card and buy it.

And now, we wait for Panago to deliver while watching the first period of Vancouver at Dallas. (It seems that we have, as someone said to me today, hopped back on the naughty train. But I think we deserve pizza after practically eating the produce market out of business. 🙂 )  American Airlines Center is very empty tonight due to the ice storm. But there are some people there and it sounds like as pee-wee hockey game – you can hear everything. Must be a throwback for some of those guys.

Home stretch!: Lessons learned

The project managers at work go through a thing called “lessons learned” after a project closes. Well, as of midnight tonight, this cleanse project closes (yay!!!) and I want to share our lessons learned and some tips for surviving this or any two-week cleanse.

(I’ve realized that I haven’t posted the actual cleanse to this blog. Click here for cleanse details; as provided by Claire’s naturopath.)

Tip/Lesson #1 – Be prepared: The timing of this cleanse was a bit last-minute so I prepped as much as I could. But you don’t really know until you get into it how your body will react, how you will feel and/or how to substitute almost everything you eat. Find recipes, make a meal plan, and do a big shop one or two days before starting the cleanse. Here is a sample list of items to keep on hand:

PANTRY

  • Canned chickpeas – 4 cans
  • Organic (sugar-free!) vegetable broth – 6 packs
  • Dried lentils – 6 packages
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1 bulk bottle
  • Brown rice flour
  • Spelt flour
  • Kamut flour
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Yams (for yam fries and mashed yams)
  • Onions – large size
  • Honey – 1 L bottle
  • Trail mix – no peanuts!
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Sunrype fruit bars – all natural and have 2-3 servings of fruit in each bar; some have veggie servings in them as well. An excellent snack.
  • Multi-vitamin supplement (make sure that it is all natural with no traces of dairy, gluten or any of the other no-no’s; Genuine Health Multi + Daily Glow is mine and I swear by it)

$$$ Saver: The bulk food sections at Save-On and Whole Foods are great. Buy food storage jars/containers from HomeSense or IKEA to keep flour and other dry ingredients fresh. Also, London Drugs sells cranberry juice, canned goods and organic sugar-free vegetable broth. Whole Foods, Choices, etc are the best places for the wheat alternative flours and dairy replacements. Tetra packs of soy milk and juice are cheaper than the cartons.

FRIDGE

  • Fresh berries (for baking and munching)
  • Apples
  • Lemons or lemon juice
  • Baby spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Red and green peppers
  • Fresh thyme, parsley, cilantro, rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Flax seed meal (egg replacement)
  • Deli turkey or chicken
  • Whole chicken or turkey to roast
  • Real juice (cranberry, guava, etc.) – no sugar or additives!
  • Soy milk
  • Kamut or spelt bread

$$$ Saver: Visit your local for fresh produce. They tend to have better quality and better priced organic and non-organic produce.

FREEZER

  • Frozen berries and fruit (for smoothies) – this is a cost saver all in itself as fresh berries can add up in cost. Make sure the packages contain just the fruit and no preservatives or sugar.
  • White fish filets (halibut, basa)
  • Chicken breast

$$$ Saver: Costco!

Time and Stress Saver: PREP, PREP, PREP. Plan and make your day one (and two!) meals the night before your first day of cleanse. That way you have snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner all set for what is, mentally, a super stressful day.

Tip/Lesson #2 – Google is your friend: Google has always been my friend and it certainly went to bat for me this last fortnight. I found some great recipes (most posted in previous entries along with a couple past/present go-to recipes).

Tip/Lesson #3 – Listen to your body: As previously mentioned, our bodies were baffled by this adventure. The key to dealing with it is sticking to the program but knowing your limits. We are active people and have high metabolisms, so we had to tailor the last week of the all of this to include protein all the way through. And while we stuck to adding one grain back in per day, we added fruit in general back in after the vegetable saga. I added my multi-vitamin and omega 3 back in because I felt really horrible without.

Tip/Lesson #4 – Hydrate and chew gum: Seriously. Do it. Water (at least 2L per day) is your friend and gum will save you from wanting to haul out the chocolate stash or hit McDonald’s for french fries (my weakness).

  • Craving Preventer: Hide the junk and not alouds and forget about them. Out of sight, out of mind. Hide them, give them away, eat them all the night before cleanse starts, whatever – rid the junk from your cupboards and fridge/freezer.

Tip/Lesson #5 – Enjoy but don’t overdo: The night before cleanse starts, have a great meal with wine/beer and a fabulous dessert. But when it’s all over, don’t gorge on all of what you missed for two weeks. You will make yourself sick. I have my whole tomorrow planned in terms of breakfast and lunch and we are hitting Cactus Club for dinner; but as much as I am looking forward to my bagel and carbs, baby steps are important otherwise, my body is going to revolt.

Tip/Lesson #6 – Don’t abandon the healthy: Incorporate the healthy aspects from this cleanse to your regular routine. We were relatively healthy before we started the cleanse, but we discovered and re-discovered some great alternatives that we are going to keep in the food repertoire.

I am really looking forward to my bagel tomorrow morning and I am so done with spinach for a while. Happy Sunday, all!

What’s in a name and the cost of healthy eating

Over the six months since Sean and I got married, I have been slowly but surely changing my stuff over to my new last name. Bank stuff was easy and I finally changed over my SIN card, which is essential for me to change my passport (at least I’ve had the current one for almost three of the five years of validity and have some stamps in it) and officially change my name at work. The thing about changing your ID is that they don’t make it easy for you. Nevermind all the store point cards and such – those places are at least open on the weekend and after work. Government offices? Not so much. And then there’s the lineups and well, I think there needs to be a support group for women changing their last names. :s The guys have it easy. They don’t necessarily do any wedding planning (my guy gave opinions when asked and planned the honeymoon, so he gets points for that 😉 ) and then they don’t have to do anything but get used to sharing a house (if not already doing so) and saying “my wife”, instead of “girlfriend” or “fiancee”.

Good thing I like my new last name.

With one day left in the cleanse, I find myself thinking about the the money we spend to have a healthy lifestyle: food, excersize, etc. I don’t even want to think about the money I have spent on work out videos, Pilates, yoga and dance classes and the gear and clothes to go with those. I try to be a savvy shopper at the grocery store, but the last two weeks more so than previous ones, I’ve noticed that they don’t make it easy when you want healthy items.

Last Friday, after my skytrain delay, I decided to make my last minute shop, a one stop deal. I hit Whole Foods and after Whirlwind Yasmine swept through, the damage was not pretty for two (TWO) paper carrier bags of groceries. Though heavily laden, these bags contained spelt flour, soy mozza, organic produce and a few other things for cleanse. This ended up being around 2-3 days worth of food. Not a lot all things considered.

If I hadn’t been in a rush, I would have stopped at Save-On for the produce and then WH for the fancy stuff. But really? We shouldn’t be having to do the the run around and not everyone can afford to eat as healthily as we are told we should be eating.

Fish tacos were on the menu last night. we added olive oil and lemon juice back into the cleanse diet, so the fish had a beautiful flavor after Sean fried it up. Topped with soy mozza and Sean’s burrito filling and spicy gravy and wrapped in homemade Kamut flour tortillas, it was delicious. (I also had grilled chicken in my salad for lunch. That and kamut bread toast drizzled with honey for breakfast and I was ecstatic. It’s sad, I know.)

Tonight, we grill basa fish to go with yam fries and spinach salad.

Yam Fries – Recipe from Cooks.com

  • 2 lg. unpeeled sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Vegetable cooking spray – I don’t use this. See note below.
Scrub potatoes; cut each into thin (4 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch) strips. Combine oil and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stir well. (You can use whatever herbs and spices you want.) Add potatoes and toss well. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. (You don’t need to do this if you place a sheet of wax or parchment paper on the tray instead.) Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Yield 4 servings.
I have been using this yam fries recipe for years. They are super healthy and go with everything. When you’re not on cleanse, you can make a mayo dip, with 4 tbsp Light Miracle Whip, 1 tsp Heinz ketchup, chili powder, fresh ground pepper, oregano, rosemary and thyme (all added to taste).

Welcome back fruit and grain!

This morning was a great morning – I got to eat an apple! After three days straight of nothing but vegetables, yes, that was exciting. Sean had a look of insane glee on his face this morning when I handed him his bag of berries from the fridge for his smoothie.

Today was meant to be a day of adding one fruit and one grain back into our diet. Same deal next day, etc until we’re back to how we were eating last week. Over our very large pre-game (Thanks again for the tix, Bec!) salads at Chopped Leaf (awesome place, excellent wraps, when I can actually eat them) last night, we made the executive decision that we were adding juice back in and that more than one fruit was okay. It was a good decision. My fruit of the day was Granny Smith apples which were supplemented with my breakfast yams and veggie lentil soup. Cranberry juice (not cocktail) and Sunrype fruit bars rounded me out which is good because I had to teach tonight. Energy is needed when teaching Pilates!

Speaking of energy, I had a great session with my work mentor today. Kat was a great choice for a mentor because we are very similar in personality, interests and how we view the world. We have an official monthly session and many impromptu conversations about work, career and life in general.

Every time I spend time with Kat, I learn something new. I was telling her about this cleanse which she thought was fabulous. She’s into yoga, healthy lifestyle and does Reiki massage so she was really interested in how Sean and I were coping. When I told her that we have been super hungry despite eating one week’s worth of veggies, chickpeas and lentil soup (with the addition of some white fish) in the last three days, she asked me what my blood type was. Weird question, right? But as it turns out, not so weird. Apparently our blood types dictate how/what we eat. My blood type (O negative) apparently needs more protein – which explains a whole lot. (Sean is A positive which, ironically enough, is vegetarian based – he looked at me like I was insane when I told him that. I guess he’s a black sheep of his blood type ;).)If you want to check it out, here are some links: http://www.drlam.com/blood_type_diet/ and http://www.dadamo.com/; or google “blood type food”. It’s pretty interesting.

Also interesting? This season’s “American Idol” – I really love the panel with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. They make a good group with Randy and Seacrest. And what about those 15 year old singers?!? Super talented – insane. And then there was that Chris Medina guy who brought in his fiancee in the wheelchair – Janice, you were right, I cried. I am routing for him; beautiful voice and a heart of gold.

—-

The soup recipe of this cleanse:

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup (makes 10 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2/3 large onions, diced (can be substituted with green peppers – really, really good)
  • 3-1/3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3-1/3 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) dried green lentils
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried oregano
  • 1-2/3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable stock (use organic with no sugar)
  • 5 cups (1.25 L) chopped kale or spinach
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice
  • 1-2/3 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 10 lemon wedges, (optional)

Preparation:
In slow cooker, combine onion, carrots, celery, lentils, oregano, bay leaf and salt ; pour in stock and 3 cups (750 mL) water. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or until lentils and vegetables are tender.

Add kale (or spinach); cover and cook on high for 20 minutes or until wilted. Discard bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Serve with lemon wedges (if using).

(Tonight’s dinner was fried basa fish breaded with quinoa (mixed with lemon juice, fresh rosemary, thyme, chili powder, salt and pepper), and leftover lentil soup. It’s nice to be eating something other than and along with vegetables.)

—-

After all this recipe hunting, I realize that I have a recipe (different from this one) for lentil soup from my friend Liss. She gave it to me at my bridal shower and once I have a break from lentils, I am going to try it and share it with you because it sounds delicious.

It’s really sad, but I am beyond excited to eat Kamut bread tomorrow. What has become of me?

Aroma heaven or torture?

My sense of smell has heightened since I started this cleanse. Mostly for the food items that I have deprived myself of; for example, chocolate. I walked into Urban Fare in Yaletown today at lunch to buy more yams and I kid you not, the second I walked in I smelled dark chocolate. It was not being given out by the sample lady and was not on display – it was halfway across the store in the gourmet section. Later or I smelled the wonderful smell of the hot dog vendor cart at Granville and Georgia before I even got halfway up the station escalator to the street. Sigh.

Today is day 2 of nothing but veggies (excluding potatoes, tomatoes and corn); the root of my aromatic sensitivity, I’m sure. Also the root of both Sean and I still feeling hungry despite copious amount of yams, cucumber, veggie laden lentil soup and chickpeas (which I made last night without the olive oil and they were still delicious!), and various other veggies. We both have high metabolisms, which doesn’t really help things and we’re both active people. So when I got home from Pilates feeling famished and ready to fall over, we decided that would activate the stated “if feeling lightheaded, white fish is permitted” clause of the cleanse. We need protein and no amount of chickpeas or lentils will be able to provide it. (Nicola, a friend from work, does a MONTH long cleanse with just veggies but she adds fish, which I think is very wise.)

So I bought some basa fish filets from Urban Fare – they were on sale and I’ve never tried or heard of basa before, I think. (After some googling by the fish counter I can tell you that it is a white fish (catfish to be precise) of Vietnamese and sometimes US origin.) We are banned from olive oil and lemon but with some dried herbs and fresh rosemary and 20 min in the oven, we had tasty catfish. Mashed yams and a spinach salad rounded it all out, if not as fillingly (new word) as we would have liked.

If you ever decide to be crazy and do this cleanse, yams are a lifesaver and are fantastic morning meal with some cinnamon mixed in. (Thank you, Claire!)

So now I sit here, catching up on my “Castle” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, with what is at least my tenth glass of water for the day. I’m wondering why there are ten (TEN?!?) movies nominated for Best Picture this year and I really, really want a glass of wine and that chocolate that I smelled in Urban Fare. Maybe some yoga will take my mind off that lovely smell.

Getting around the wall for bread and cheese, not crashing into it

As we prepare to enter Days 8-10 which involve nothing but vegetables for 72 hours, I find myself thinking about the top two things that I miss A LOT right now:

1. BREAD – I nearly cried when the bread basket was put in front of me at Joe Forte’s last Tuesday – it smelled SO good. Kamut and spelt (wheat alternatives) loafs smell good, but they are small and just aren’t, well, bread. This morning’s berry smoothie was accompanied by two pieces of spelt flour toast with honey and I pretended it was my cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter – it didn’t work. I don’t eat a lot of bread per say, but I love me a good bagel and I’ve been known to buy tortillas and nice fluffy baguettes (for Sean’s fabulous garlic bread). I would really love to sink my teeth in my Joeys ahi tuna club sandwich. But all these things have wheat in them – the top no-no of the cleanse.

2. CHEESE – I would do almost anything for a slice of pizza heaped with mozzarella or some creamy macaroni and cheese.  (Pasta is something else I miss a lot, which could have been avoided, but not being able to have eggs and starch put a damper on experimenting with making different kinds of noodles this past week.) If you look at your diet, you will probably see that cheese plays a pivotal supporting role. There is a reason that there is a marketing campaign tag-lined “All you need is cheese!”

Sean and I each miss the above so much that I searched and searched until I found a simple Kamut flour tortilla recipe and broke down and bought soy mozzarella – which, believe it or not, actually tastes like real mozzarella. The burritos turned out so well and as burritos should be, a little messy. We were happy campers.

And now to make mashed yams for tomorrow’s breakfast – we’re told they taste good with cinnamon so we’ll see how that goes. I love mashed yams, but it’s going to be a long three days. 😉

——

Spicy Turkey and Red Pepper Kamut Burritos


 

Kamut Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3  Cups KAMUT® Khorasan Flour (can be found at Whole Foods; 2 1/2  cups works fine)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1/4 Cup Oil of choice

Preparation:

Combine water and oil in mixing bowl. Add in the dry ingredients, mix well and knead lightly. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 10 balls. Roll out each tortilla very thinly on a floured pastry cloth or on a floured board or counter. In an ungreased hot skillet cook on one side until bubbles form then turn over. Cook on other side until brown “freckles” appear. Bubbling and air pockets can be accentuated by pressing down with a dry cloth after it has been turned over. Store in plastic bag to keep soft. Makes 10 tortillas.

Burrito Filling

  • Leftover turkey – however much you have or choose to use
  • Enough gravy (see below) to accommodate the amount of turkey you use
  • 1 large red pepper and half of one large white onion, sautéed (onion first) in olive oil with a dash of chili powder
  • Soy cheese (however many packages needed for the amount of burritos being made)

Sean’s Spicy Gravy

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable broth
  • Kamut flour
  • Pure apple juice
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder and a pinch of

Preparation:

As previously mentioned, Sean is very “a bit of this and a dash of that”, so I can’t really specify quantities for the above list of ingredients. Enough gravy should be made to accommodate as a thick bath for the turkey being used. Use a large pot or sauce pan.

Before gravy is ready, add the turkey to the gravy bath. The juice from the turkey will run into the mixture and help the gravy thicken,

After a few minutes, add the sautéed onion and red pepper to the mix and let simmer.

Pile on to the tortillas, wrap them up and enjoy!

A new tradition is born

It is intermission of the Canucks vs Flames game and we have just finished our inevitable and wonderful leftovers.

I’m not sure yet if the title of today’s post refers to this cleanse (we’ll see how the three days of nothing but veggies go,) but definitely to an annual turkey dinner in January. Just because. Despite and/or because of our food limitations, dinner was a success. We had awesome company in our friends Matt, Dori, Claire (the catalyst of this food thing and fellow cleanse participant), John, my Aussie friend from work and a later addition of Claire’s buddy, Brent – another Aussie. (They are everywhere and such good fun!) Our neighbours must hate when we have people over because I swear, it’s nothing but very (loud) animated conversation and a lot of laughter.

Everyone arrived a bit after the indicated 7pm time, which was lovely because being stuck on a stand still train put me behind at least half an hour. As I had to work during the day, Sean got the turkey in and cleaned the house. And then he had to wait for me to get home with the groceries needed to make the last half of the meal. You should have seen me zip through Whole Foods with my list and cart – Whirlwind Yasmine was in fine form. A taxi ride got me home with about 45 minutes to spare. Phew!

A Cleanse Friendly Turkey Dinner – Served Family Style

Spicy Baked Chick Peas – As previously blogged, so delicious and as my recipe source of Sarah Robinson from “5 Ingredient Fix” promised, a crowd pleaser. Who knew?

Turkey – Thank goodness we can eat white meat in Week 1! Sean cooked the bird beautifully and, as we later found out, upside down. 😉

Gravy – Juice from the turkey, whole grain spelt flour, sugar-free vegetable stock, pure apple juice and herbs. I would put quantities, but Sean is very “a bit of this and a dash of that”, so make the gravy based on your consistency preference.

Vegan Stuffing – Really good. Sean says this recipe was more of a guideline. See above as to why. Breads used were half a kamut loaf and half a spelt loaf.

Cranberry Sauce – This recipe called for orange zest, but guess what? Not allowed, so lemon juice went in instead.

Garlic Mashed Yams- a Sean creation

  • 4 mid-sized yams – peeled, chopped, boiled (until tender)
  • Drain and mash yams with 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • Add a splash of soy milk
  • Add pepper to taste

Caesar Salad – Courtesy of Dori. Croutons, parmesan and dressing were served separately as the cleanse trio looked on longingly over their greens.

Spelt Crust and Honey Apple Pie – I used Spelt flour for the crust and honey replaced the sugar in the apple mix. My go to apple pie recipe is from Kraft.ca, but I think any recipe would work with these replacements. Tenderflake is my preferred shortening. While I realize that, in theory, it may have been against the cleanse rules to use lard, olive oil wouldn’t have cut it, vegetable shortening has hydrogenated canola oil in it (can’t have canola on cleanse and hydrogenated is not a good word in terms of food), and the fancy-dancy organic pig kidney stuff is just expensive. I would rather use what I know – rules be damned – and it was a fabulous pie. The spelt flour gave the crust a sweet taste and it felt good to be eating dessert. 🙂

(Speaking of the rules, when I got home to help with dinner, I relayed my tomato story to Sean and when we looked at the list again, we saw that bananas weren’t allowed either. Sean’s smoothies of the past day or so had bananas but as Claire states, these are not set in stone rules. So this is Sean’s pass.)

There was a lovely Tinhorn Creek Merlot, courtesy of John. Rather unfortunately, I only know it was lovely because the smell was divine and Matt and John seemed to enjoy it. Brent came with a lovely (from past experience) Baron Philippe de Rothschild white and all I could do was wish I was having a glass. Jan 31 is a day I look forward to with great anticipation… I will have definitely earned a very large glass of red.

So now, after eating the inevitable and awesome leftovers, the second period has started and Edler just tied it up 2-2 against the Flames. Time to pay attention.

Tomatoes, the health crisis and turkey dinner

I am patiently (sort of) waiting for the skytrain from our Burnaby office that I am on to get going again – ah, delays. Anyhow, Day 5 and there I am at Moxie’s with Rebecca, one of my best girlfriends, for her birthday lunch. I had looked at the menu online this morning and carefully selected my meal – Chipotle Mango Chicken – grilled. Upon asking, it seems that there is no sugar in the rub for the chicken, just spices. Awesome. It came with rice, which wasn’t brown, so that hwas a wash, but also with avocado, mango slices, steamed broccoli and a lovely fresh salsa.

It was delicious. And as I’m eating said delicious meal, I am reading the cleanse list to Rebecca. And what does it say but “all vegetables but potatoes, tomatoes and corn,” – Wait, what? Tomatoes. Crap. Of course by this point I’ve already had the salsa. I almost never eat tomatoes except in fresh salsa and pasta/pizza sauce – I guess we aren’t going to do our vegan pizza with tomato sauce on the weekend :s. Maybe homemade pesto… – so this was all rather ironic. Slap on the wrist for me for not remembering tomatoes were a no go. But I’ve been very diligent and I think I get least one pass. This is a learning experience and if I don’t make a mistake then it’s just not an “experience”.

On the topic of vegetables, despite eating more veggies in the past 4 days than I do in a span of 2 weeks, and the fact that I am eating super healthy and drinking gallons of water, I have been feeling off kilter. (And it’s not just because I’ve been stripped of my morning bagel.) After some googling, it turns out that I am going through a health crisis – a common thing for people on a long cleanse. My body is in shock and this explains a lot.

But after further pondering, I realized that this also how I feel when I run out of my multivitamin and forget to buy more for four days. My face breaks out a bit (not cool) and my energy is just meh. Now, vitamin supplements are not allowed on this cleanse but I’m assuming that this is because many have traces of dairy, wheat, yeast, and all the things that ate a no-no on the program. So last night, I got the bottle out and there is no dairy, wheat or any of the no-no’s in my multivitamin. So, I took two and guess what? I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better. Sean has decided that this means he has “won” the cleanse (such a boy reaction) and that I’ve cheated but there aren’t any of the forbiddens in my faithful capsules of health so I’m putting my high heeled foot down. This is what my work friend Janice would say is going around or climbing the wall instead of crashing into it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for a health crisis. 😉

Tonight Sean and I are making turkey dinner for our friends Matt and Dori, John – a new friend from work, and Claire – who got us started with his cleanse business. Everything will be according to cleanse – even the stuffing and my apple pie – so it will be an interesting meal.

Sean is home with the turkey and I am en route to Whole Foods Cambie to do a last minute grocery shop at my current second home – Whole Foods. I swear I will probably know that place by heart at the end of this.

And my train is still at a stand still. This is a time where I wish I could apparate Hogwarts style to where I need to go. If J.K. Rowling ruled the world… At least I have a book.

Happy Friday!!