The Cleanse

morning miso

Yesterday morning, Mike and I began the first day of a modified version of the Food Lovers’ Cleanse featured in the current issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Now, we’re not typically proponents of fasts or cleanses as most of them are rather extreme (though trust me, I did my share of both during my teens and 20s), but we both looked at this one and felt that not only was it reasonable, but that many of the meals included were downright appealing. Since we were both feeling the effects of a little too much holiday indulgence, we decided to tailor the plan to our needs and our lifestyle, starting in once we had gone through the bulk of our holiday leftovers.

We spent a lot of time last week going over the parameters of the original cleanse, looking at the meal plans and recipes as well as our schedules and obligations for the coming weeks, and decided on the following:

We’ll stick to our eating plan for 10 days;

We will incorporate many of the recipes from the original cleanse into our meal plan, swapping in a few alternate recipes that are still true to the spirit of the cleanse where it makes more sense for us (i.e., there is no way in heck I’m making a miso soup recipe that is this involved for dinner on a weeknight);

We’ll pare down some of the suggested meals to include fewer or simpler dishes, and swap in local ingredients when possible, i.e., with tonight’s Bengali salmon dish (which Mike is preparing), I’ll make a bean curry using yellow-eye beans we picked up at Saturday’s farmers’ market, as well as simply sautéed kale in place of the roasted butternut squash dish that was suggested;

As I have little time on weekday mornings for most of the suggested breakfast options in the cleanse as written, I’ll continue my new-ish routine of heading out in the morning with an insulated travel mug of hot miso soup to sip as I commute to work (thanks for the tip, Jaden);

I’ll swap in alternate seasonal or organically grown fruit for the citrus fruits (oranges, etc.) that I am allergic to; and

We’ll continue to drink wine with dinner, pairing a specific bottle with each, while eliminating our pre-dinner cocktails or any other spirits.*

*Mike – poor baby – has a rather epic number of scotches to taste his way through and write about this month. Since that’s work, he gets a pass, though it’ll amount to just an ounce or so a day.

snack: avocado tartine

We eased in over the weekend, and for the most part things are going well, though I’ve found I have really had to tweak the recipes I’ve worked from so far (for example, I found their basic vinaigrette way too flabby with olive oil for my taste, and last night’s “ultimate couscous” was inedible, plain and simple). The biggest challenge for me will be not skipping meals – to actually eat (or sip) something for breakfast, and to make time during my workday to eat lunch, preferably away from my desk so I can eat mindfully. We’ll see how it goes – I’ll try to post regular updates as we go along.

8 thoughts on “The Cleanse

  1. We had the same reaction that you did — it seems like a truly appealing cleanse (other than the few squash recipes… both of us despise it). These first few weeks of January are too full of plans, but I’m thinking maybe the three weeks between our birthdays would be a good time to take a pass at it. Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  2. I tried and liked the salmon & black-eyed pea curry recipes (but I’m not much for cleanses either – making any food off-limit makes me crazy – though this one does look especially tasty!)

  3. Good luck! I’m going thru my own cleanse right now: Strep Throat. Hard to eat when your throat hurts this bad! Anyway, once I’m all better I am definitely looking to find some healthy non-dairy recipes. Thanks for alerting us all to this!

  4. Adina says:

    We thought about going this route, but agreed with you in that many of the recipes seemed way too involved for weeknight meals. Interested to see how it goes for you and Dietsch and how you feel after all is said and done.

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