My January Detox: A Chef’s Food Cleanse, Week 3

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By Carolina Santos-Neves

I’m on Day 20 of my new food path and I can’t believe how relatively easy it’s been to give up sugar, dairy, wheat and alcohol. As I mentioned in last week’s post, I did cheat a few times, so maybe that’s why I’m able to happily sustain it. 

My craving for fruit has happened only once (hello, banana!), but amazingly, I have craved no actual desserts. I’m convinced that after eliminating the need for sugar I’m not as hungry—I don’t need as much food as I think I do. 

With that in mind, this week I’ve also purposefully tried to listen to my body to see when I’m actually hungry. For example, I work out early in the morning and have always woken at least an hour before to have coffee and something to eat. But as I’ve continued this new cleanse, I still want my coffee but I don’t feel hungry and so I’ve waited till after my workout to eat. I am enjoying my breakfast more now, and not feeling rushed. Not only is eating slowly better for you, but it also takes your brain and stomach 20 minutes to say to each other, “hey, you’re full now.” You can see me blending up my favorite part of breakfast, a Kale Protein Smoothie, in the video above.

I did practice a day or two of intermittent fasting, almost without realizing. The idea is that you eat your last meal at 8 p.m., and then wait to eat 16 hours later, at noon the next day. Considering I had some bigger dinners this week (I went to a few birthday parties) to my surprise I wasn’t actually hungry when I awoke and was able to wait a few extra hours before eating. This fasting allows your body to digest your food and also give it a break.

So week 3, I feel good. I’m feeling clearheaded and not lethargic. I’ve lost a 1/2  pound this week, which is a bit surprising considering how much exercise I pack into each day. In going through this it’s been awesome to share my experience with others, only to realize that several people in my life are doing a cleanse, too. One friend who snores said that after being on this same diet for two weeks, he has stopped snoring.

It all speaks to the power of food. If we listen to how our bodies react to food, we will feel better mentally, emotionally and physically. Check back next week for my final diary entry (when I will show you how to whip up one of my favorite simple recipes). Meantime, check out Instagram for photos of my creations.

 

Friday: 1/12/17

Breakfast

Kale Protein Smoothie; 1 cup of Coffee with Almond Creamer; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Lunch

Korean Short Rib Lettuce Wraps, Green Onions & Avocado; Oven Roasted Broccoli; Almond Cappuccino; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Dinner

Pan Seared Grass-Fed Sirloin Steak; Oven Roasted Green Beans; Bibb Salad with Heart of Palm & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds; 3 8-ounce glasses of water

Exercise: 55-minute Total Body Conditioning Class, totaling 6.45

 

Saturday: 1/13/17

Breakfast

Kale Protein Smoothie; 1 cup of Coffee with Almond Creamer; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Lunch

Curry-Spiced Roasted Veggie Bowl Topped with Grilled Tuna Steak; 3 8-ounce glasses of water

Dinner

Shaved Cabbage & Quinoa Salad; Grilled Zucchini & Eggplant; Grilled Steak; Piece of Chicken Sausage; 1 Mezcal with bitters; 3 8-ounce glasses of water

Exercise: 55-minute cardio dance class and walked, totaling 5.01 miles

 

Sunday: 1/1/17

Breakfast

Avocado Ginger Coconut Smoothie; 1 cup of Coffee with Almond Creamer; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Lunch

Kale & Broccolini Bowl with Soft Egg, Avocado, Smoked Salmon, Toasted Sunflower Seeds; 2 8-ounce glasses of water; Almond Cappuccino; Ginger Tea

Dinner

Greek-Style Braised Octopus, Oven Roasted Branzino Filet; Sauteed Spinach; 3 8-ounce glasses of water

Exercise: 55 Total Body Conditioning Class and walked, totaling 5.88 miles

 

Monday: 1/15/17

Breakfast

Coffee Coconut Smoothie; 1 cup of Coffee with Almond Creamer; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Lunch

Hanger Steak; Sauteed Brussels Sprouts; 2 Fried Eggs; 2 8-ounce glasses of water; Almond Non-Sweetened Chai Latte

Dinner

Oven Roasted Salmon Over Greek Salad with Tomatoes, Peppers, Olives, Tomatoes and Cucumbers; 3 8-ounce glasses of water; 1 seltzer with Bitters and Lime

Exercise: 55-minute cardio dance class and walked, totaling 4.79 miles

 

Tuesday: 1/16/17

Breakfast

Kale Protein Smoothie; 1 cup of Coffee with Almond Coconut Creamer; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Lunch

Fried Egg, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Zucchini Noodles with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce; 2 8-ounce glasses of water; Americano with Almond Creamer

Dinner

Mussels, Pan Seared Branzino with Roasted, Fennel, Tomato and Shallots; 3 8-ounce glasses of water; 1½ glasses of red wine

Exercise: 55-minute cardio dance class and walked, totaling 3.24

 

Wednesday: 1/17/17

Breakfast

Kale Protein Smoothie; 1 cup of Coffee with Almond Creamer; 2 8-ounce glasses of water

Snack

20 Toasted Almonds; Americano with Almond Creamer

Lunch

Roasted Salmon with Dill, Chipotle-Marinated Shrimp, Roasted Cauliflower; Salad with Sherry-Vinaigrette; 1 8-ounce glass of seltzer water

Dinner

Pan-Seared Wild Cod with Oven-Roasted Crimini Mushrooms with Spinach Bagna Cauda Puree; 3 8-ounce glasses of water

Exercise: 45 minutes Total Body Conditioning Class; 55-minute cardio dance class and walked, totaling 4.61

 

Thursday: 1/18/17

Breakfast

 Kale Protein Smoothie; 2 8-ounce glasses of water; Americano coffee with Creamer

Snack

2 tablespoons Almond Butter

Lunch

Chopped Kale Salad and Roasted Chicken Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Baby Zucchini and Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette; 1 8-ounce glass of seltzer

Dinner

Quinoa Salad with Soft Poached Egg, Grilled Chicken, Avocado and Herb Vinaigrette; 3 8-ounce glasses of water

Exercise:  55-minute cardio dance class and walked, totaling 6.12

 


Also published on Medium.