Today ends my first week on my cleanse! You may have noticed that I have not blogged at all. This is because I am a pretty terrible blogger. :D Let’s see if I can change that in week two!
Day 1: Sunday, 9/18
It never really occurred to me until this morning how few breakfast items are free of gluten, soy, egg, and dairy. I wanted to start the month off with a treat and order in from The Organic Grill, a gluten-free spot on Seamless that delivers to my apartment, but every single thing on their breakfast menu was stymied by one detail. The gluten-free pancakes or french toast had maple syrup and a side of tempeh sausage, both no-nos. The omelets and frittatas were out for obvious reasons. I find it frustrating that gluten-free restaurants are likely to be vegan as well, and practically everything has soy protein or soy cheese or soy kitchen sink.
Looks like I’ll be making Amaranth. Mmm, the nutritious, gluten-free whole grain that is high in protein and calcium and reminds me of the Codex Alera!
I will kick off this cleanse with something I intended to make a regular feature, but neglected to do so! My first I Can’t Believe This is Allowed: Strawberries with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter!
Like Nutella? I sure as hell do. Like strawberries dipped in Nutella? Even better! Nutella is a major no-no, but I recently discovered Justin’s Nut Butter has an all-natural Nutella equivalent, and it is DIVINE. It tastes nuttier and less sugary than Nutella, richly flavorful.
I brought it to a sleep-over party a few months ago, and we dipped strawberries in it that evening and spread it on our pancakes the next morning. I’m overjoyed to see that it narrowly squeaks into permissible territory.
Ingredients: Dry roasted hazelnuts, organic evaporated cane sugar*, organic cocoa*, organic cocoa butter, organic palm fruit oil, natural vanilla, sea salt.
* Yes, the Basic Dietary Guidelines forbid chocolate and many sweeteners, but cocoa and evaporated cane sugar seem to be fair game.
It’s made without hydrogenated oils and is gluten-free and dairy-free. Be warned that it may contain trace amounts of peanuts or almonds, so if you’re allergic to them, be careful.
I’ll still need to enjoy this in moderation, as it has 7g of sugar per 2 Tbsp serving, but hey! Strawberries with a natural Nutella equivalent! I can’t believe this is allowed!
Snack: “Mary’s Gone Crackers” Caraway crackers with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.
Dinner: Il Bagatto: Half spring chicken marinated in garlic, lemon, rosemary and thyme; cannellini beans with tomatoes, garlic, shallots and rosemary.
Day 2: Monday, 9/19
Strike what I said yesterday. It is impossible to find ANY food that satisfies the requirements of my cleanse. I am so hungry. I am hungry to the point of distraction. I barely have the attention span to read complete sentences.
I may have to resort to actually cooking. I might as well turn in my New Yorker card right now.
Breakfast: Amaranth, “DeLish” mango trail mix crunch.
Lunch: Minute Maid apple juice, Karam II: cauliflower, babaganoush, stewed string beans, falafel, chopped salad.
Dinner: FreeFoods: mixed greens salad with lemon chicken, olives, asparagus, and roasted peppers, with balsamic and EVOO.
Day 3: Tuesday, 9/20
I am fantasizing about cooking a sumptuous gluten and dairy-free Indian foodgasm this weekend and eating it forever. Too bad I have no experience cooking Indian food, and apparently it’s crazy difficult to cook at home when you’re not drastically changing the recipe. I am calculating how soon I can have Indian food after the cleanse is over. Answer: not soon enough.
Fortunately, I’ve hit my first windfall: Steve’s, the all-natural ice cream parlor right across from Bryant Park, where my coworkers and I eat our lunch nearly every day, has options that actually fit in my ridiculously restrictive cleanse! Come to my belly, cucumber shiso sorbet. You are welcome here.
Breakfast: FreeFoods: oatmeal with raisins and walnuts.
Lunch: Karam II: Chicken Shawarma, hummus, rice. Steve’s: Cucumber shiso sorbet.
Dinner: Leftover chicken shawarma, hummus, rice.
Day 4: Wednesday, 9/21
Dear god, I am going to have to eat every single meal this month at FreeFoods. I will have no money. I spend an hour searching for new places to eat lunch, and then I just go back to the same standards. FreeFoods is delicious, and they have a wide variety of options that fit my cleanse, but this is not sustainable.
Breakfast: FreeFoods: oatmeal with mixed berries and walnuts.
Lunch: FreeFoods: Wild Rice and Summer Squash with Chopped Walnuts and Fresh Basil; Roasted Artichokes with Pignoli, Olives and Parsley Pesto; Spanish Style Free Range Chicken Skewers with Grilled Vegetables and Salsa Roja; Tomato ‘Lasagna’, Cashew ‘Ricotta’, Pistachio Pesto, Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
Dinner: Leftover lemon rosemary chicken.
Day 5: Thursday, 9/22
I have never had sushi without soy sauce. It’s actually delicious without it! I am the worst foodie ever.
Breakfast: FreeFoods: oatmeal with raisins and walnuts.
Lunch: Mai: Salmon Avocado sushi roll, broth with mixed vegetables. Steve’s: Cucumber shiso sorbet.
Dinner: Gustorganics: Cauliflower ginger onion soup, 1/4 gluten-free, dairy-free veggie “pizza.”
Day 6: Friday, 9/23
I met with my doctor this morning. With my Mom on speakerphone, we went over my blood work from a couple weeks ago, in which I had approximately twelve gallons of my precious bodily fluids drained to feed an elite sect of Hollywood vampires. I was pleased to report that my sense of smell has improved, which I credit to the zinc lozenges I’ve added to my daily regimen.
I treated myself to a bit of cleanse-friendly decadence at BareBurger and enjoyed a lovely rain-drenched evening, betaing Jim’s latest as I ate. Okay, this cleanse is not the end of all joy in the universe. The waiter tried to tell me balsamic vinegarette contained milk, which is false, but id does traditionally contain brown sugar, and is therefore off-limits. Sigh. My dinner salad was therefore dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Acceptable.
Breakfast: 1/4 gluten-free, dairy-free veggie “pizza.”
Lunch: FreeFoods: mixed greens salad with chicken, asparagus, olives, roasted peppers, and avocado, with balsamic vinegar/EVOO dressing.
Dinner: BareBurger: lamb burger on gluten-free tapioca rice bun, with sauteed onions. Garden salad with EVOO and lemon juice.
Day 7: Saturday, 9/24
My last night before the most restrictive week of the cleanse! I will only be permitted fruit, veggies, and rice. I won’t be allowed meat for 12 days. So why did I eat vegan today? I am clearly tired of finding places that serve meat that satisfy the cleanse guidelines.
Breakfast: Remaining 1/2 gluten-free, dairy free veggie “pizza.”
Dinner: Earth Matters: Kelp noodles with tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, cashews, parsley, paprika, olive oil, sea salt, lemon and garlic; “Alkaline Water”: pH-balancing trace minerals, alkaline water, oregano oil, lavender, rosemary, and lemon juice.