CLEAN 28, Day 1: The Mental Cleanse Game

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The first day of my CLEAN 28 Cleanse was pretty anticlimactic. I started the morning off with a green juice made with cucumber, celery, kale and swiss chard. This filled me up since I usually don't have food until noon anyway.

Lunch

For lunch, I had roast chicken, cucumber & chickpea salad (tossed in red wine vinegar) and some roasted balsamic mushrooms with shallots. This is all on top of a bed of lettuce, dressed with lemon and a bit of olive oil. This was a great lunch, and I especially enjoyed the mushrooms. Didn't even really notice that I was on a cleanse.

CLEAN Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms, Shallots & Rosemary
Roast a variety of mushrooms (osyter, cremini, white button, shimeji mushrooms, etc.) tossed in olive oil, rosemary, salt, a dash of tamari, and chili flakes in oven for 30 minutes in 375°F. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar after roasting, and leave in fridge. Top with thinly sliced shallows. Put on top of salads or eat by itself!


Snack Time!

I mentioned in my CLEAN 28 post that lately I've been craving a ton of sweets and just craving unhealthy snacks. At around 2PM, I started feeling like eating something sweet. And the mental game begins...

Do I really NEED something sweet? Definitely not. My solution for that today was to curb my cravings with some chamomile citrus tea. This herbal tea was great because it still had some flavor, but nothing sweet.

At 4PM, I got a bit hungry, so I reached for one of my go-to snacks during the cleanse: almond butter + apples. I'm terrible because I'm not much of a fruit eater. It's just not something I've been trained to crave. Whenever I see people reaching for an apple for a snack, I secretly get jealous. I've never interrogated them on if it's actually something they're craving for or it's replacement for their actual craving of a bag of chips. I know my brain and palette changes after eating Clean for so long because I've done this in the past before. So here's to hoping I can train myself in this instance.
After work, I went to spin class which is a regular routine for me. I usually go on Monday, Thursday and Fridays because that's when my favorite instructor is there. No matter how much of a routine it is for me, there are always days when I'm thinking about not going. It's silly because it's almost not even a choice not to go anymore, yet I'm still thinking about skipping.

Whenever I get these thoughts, I try to tell myself that I'll feel so much better afterwards. I have to admit that during the first half of the class, I felt pretty unmotivated. However, my spin instructor keeps me accountable and never fails to help push me to do better. I also wear a heart rate monitor that he actually looks at and checks up on me. He knows if I'm cheating, but most of the time my personal guilt pushes me to try to meet his expectations anyway.

I have to say at the end of this, I felt so pumped and ready to continue and do Chest Day from Week 14 of BiteSizedArmy.


Dinner

By the time I get home, I'm pretty tired, so I'm glad that I had some roasted balsamic mushrooms from lunch waiting for me. I used about a cup and a half of those mushrooms, tossed it in and added enough store-bought vegetable stock along with a few pieces of raw cashews, and a baby splash of almond milk to help give the blended soup some creaminess.

The BEST thing about having a Vitamix 750 (got it during my last cleanse!) is that it has presets so that I can truly just set it and forget it. I had these few ingredients, used the soup setting on the blender and let the machine have at it. Since I knew these ingredients didn't need THAT much whipping, I ended up stopping the blender when I felt that the container felt hot. I opened the lid to find piping hot soup.

There's nothing better than having this within 10 minutes of coming home when you're exhausted. This is the first time I've tried adding roasted mushrooms that had balsamic vinegar as a sauce in a blended mushroom soup. Also the first time I tried adding cashews to it, and I have to say it is GREAT!

I've made versions in the past that doesn't have quite the flavor and creamy texture of this version, so I think this might be a keeper. Love it also since the mushrooms are multipurpose, yet doesn't taste the same as my lunch.

The Mental Cleanse Game

Throughout the day, I just kept thinking about how 95% of this cleanse is mental for me. It's a constant inner conversation with myself debating about what I should do and what's best for me. Should I eat this? Should I go to the gym? Can I do this for 21 days?

Finding a balance between enjoying life (for me food) and staying healthy is especially hard living in our world of instant gratification. With the touch of a button, I can get food delivered to me a la Seamless. But, the internet is really a double-edged sword. Just as I can easily obsess about new restaurants to try on Yelp, I can also easily find healthy recipes that I would never thought to try myself on a blog.


I often think about what someone reading my blog must think about my polarizing messages between healthy living that appears alongside posts about 20-course tasting menus. The two messages are a bit polar opposites, but I'm hoping to bridge the gap between the two worlds. I imagine there must be people like me out there who want to try to live a healthy-ish lifestyle, while still enjoying a delicious meal here and there. It's all about balance right?

Most of the healthy bloggers I follow lead a lifestyle that I don't think I will ever live up to because I enjoy carbs, dairy, gluten, way too much to stick to any particular diet for my life. Yet, I'm completely open to learning more about foods Vegans eat like cashew mayo or a Paleoista's Cauliflower fried rice. I'm just keeping it real and hopefully my message doesn't confuse you. I want to eat my (donut) cake and have it too!

Okay, that's enough rambling for today. If you've made it this far, I thank you for following me on this journey. I know it's not always the easiest to make the best choices for yourself, but sometimes it's necessary when you've been giving in to the devil for way too long. It's really time for that mental cleanse game, and we'll see how long it takes for this cleanse to wear me down mentally.

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