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Kicking off 2015 by Eating Nothing. Nothing at ALL.

3 Jan

Today begins my first day of being more Boulder than I’ve ever been in my 20 years of living in this fine city. Today, I start a detox/cleanse/fit program/eat seaweed and love it for THIRTY DAYS. It is also the official start of my becoming a walking, talking cliche like millions of others across the globe who pick this month to get fit.

Let me tell you. Coming from a family who loves food and finds mocking the growing GF contingent endlessly entertaining (I’ll have the quatro DAIRY on my GLUTEN please, thank you) — this was not an easy decision.

I told my mom about it and she said, “You always have to do those programs. I just don’t eat.” Which is true. That woman can live on box wine and box wine alone. Yea. No.

Our plan is a bit more complicated and has transpired from multiple years of prodding (me), poking (me), and researching (also me). The prodee/pokee/research recipient being the hubby.

The idea started in those idyllic post-cancer treatment days when I was blazing a Google research trail. I uncovered endless info sets on how various foods cause inflammation and consulted a number of nutritionist friends who corroborated my findings. Inflammation is the hospitable host to cancer cells it seems. I also uncovered the whole acid vs. alkaline piece which was underscored by a friend of a friend who was up against the ultimate foe: brain cancer. And he later succumbed.

So I kept at the hubby for a while there. Trying in vain to convince him to just try going dairy free/coffee free/alcohol free/gluten free/red meat free. Just to see.

He wasn’t having it. And I subsequently gave up (though revisited the concept quite a few times over the last few years to deaf ears.) He was celebrating LIFE and I decided that was the path I’d take as well. Much to the dismay of his doctor (and I’m sure others), we just went for it. He was most definitely NOT going to jump off the cancer train straight into some strict dietary and exercise regimen and I had to agree. He’d been through hell.

And we were more than pissed. We’d been 100% organic and ran, hiked, biked – you name it. Had been proselytizing against Micky-D’s and their ilk for years. And it landed him straight in the cancer canoe on the river chemo. So fuck that.

We didn’t chose fast food. Still can’t go down that hard. But we have been celebrating for over three years with fantastic meals, plenty of cocktails and pairing that up with very little exercise. Add in some death in the family/job loss/house flooded stress and here we are.

I spent a lot of 2012 and 2013 traveling for work and lived pretty high on the hog. Fantastic steak dinners at some of the top steakhouses in the country. Flowing red wine. Lobster mac and cheese on the coast. Italian in Little Italy in NYC. Authentic BBQ in Kansas City.

My partner in crime during this debauchery and I had been talking. A lot. So when he and his wife decided to do a fit challenge last summer, I was intrigued. No way in hell was I going to DO IT. But my interest was piqued.

I couldn’t fathom going without my morning latte or evening vino. Much less the weekly cheeseburger. Or brie. Cheese is my most favorite food group. Even surpassing dessert. Give me a cheese plate with some house cured salumi and I am one happy girl.

I also knew that we are fairly healthy too. We are scratch cooks, eat very little processed food, zero fast food, and nothing with hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. But still.

I watched as my friend and his wife transformed themselves to the point that I barely recognized him in a recent picture he posted. Not sure if that was when the light bulb was relit or not. But it was a wake up call.

I decided that after the season of eating, drinking and being merry, it was going to be my turn. With or without the hubby.

I called my friend’s wife and told her I was in. She set me up with some supplies from the company she is a rep for (Arbonne) and the box arrived on Christmas Eve. I hid it in my office post-haste and didn’t even want to think about the implications of what was in that box.

At this point, the hubby was starting to be intrigued too. Then the girls had some questions. So it was decided. We were all four going dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, alcohol and coffee free for THIRTY DAYS.

My plan is to re-educate myself on slow and healthy food. Following the Michael Pollan religion of “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Get myself up and moving and away from my desk in spite of the stress of being self-employed and the sole bread winner (for the moment).

So yesterday was our planning day. I sat down with the program guides and menu plans and started working through the week.

The dinners were a breeze. I do a weekly menu plan for dinners already. But when I started trying to figure out lunches and breakfast, I stumbled. It was complicated to figure out what to feed all four of us for three meals a day and snacks and in a way that will translate to work and school schedules and lack of prep ability at those locations.

Trying to navigate the nuances of what is allowed and what isn’t and aligning that with smoothies, lunches and snacks almost made me quit.

It seriously took me until almost noon to wrap my head around it all. Then, factor in that the hubby currently does the bulk of the meal prep — and he needed to be up to speed on it all — well. My head exploded.

The fact that I was sitting there, researching brands of almond milk (Califia FTW!) and trying to determine the glycemic index of an orange on January 2, 2015. Well. Looks like this is going to be a brand new shiny year.

So yesterday we took ourselves to Whole Foods as per usual. And we left with two extra bags and even got a compliment from the cashier, “Lucky girls. Eating so healthy.” (I heart Anna. She’s watched the girls grow up on our weekly treks to that foodie mecca over the years.)

You can buy most of the grains, veggies, fruits, non-dairy milks, etc. at Trader Joe’s or Costco too BTW. But we bought three meals for seven days for four people and it came to $10 per person per day. At Whole Foods. And that included organic, free-range chicken and turkey plus wild caught salmon. (I love when I get to step up on my go organic pedestal and bask in the limelight.) I know I live in the very expensive kingdom of Boulder, but I would love to see what some of your weekly food bills are (including eating out). I think $10 a person per day is pretty damned good. Especially when it’s 100% organic.

And here is said menu for week one (my masterpiece) in case you think we are eating only nuts and berries:

Breakfast:

Smoothies

Lunch:

Farro salad with winter fruit & pistachios

Falafel Salad

2 Days: Butternut squash soup with green apple

Chicken & Rice Soup

Quinoa Fried Rice

Dinners:

Whole Roasted Chicken with Steamed Broccoli & Baked Sweet Potato

Turkey Chili & Salad

Burrito Bowl, Homemade Salsa & Brown Rice Chips

Veggie Loaded Spaghetti & Roasted Green Beans

Grilled Chicken, Veggies & Onions with Brown Rice

Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa & Brown Rice

Snacks:

Celery with Almond Butter and Raisins

Hummus with Veggies

Nuts

And now, today is the day. We did our weigh-ins and measurements and I threw up in my mouth. Then vowed to ignore the numbers and focus on the feelings of better health. Got support texts from True Blue and Mels Bells and another from the friend who created this monster. (Thanks Hemp.)

I have no freaking idea if this cozy first morning curled up with my detox tea and almond butter protein smoothie will turn into my worst nightmare. I may be coiled around a grilled cheese in a venomous, fangs-bared stance in two days flat. Or. I could just drink the damned tea.

And, that, dear readers is my Serial-esque cliffhanger ending. For now…

TODAY’S THEME SONG: When I grow up, I wanna work at Alfalfa’s where the cheese is dairy free. A birkenstocks, spandex, necktie, patchouli grocery store. I’d have a job, picking through the produce — no pesticides for me! I’d be a working moderate income socially conscience Boulder hippie. Alfalfa’s. Leftover Salmon.

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