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Jump to Day 12: Cleanse Continued

Gina Iannitelli
iBerkshires Contributor

A lot has happened since my last post—cabbage soup, kale salad, lots o’ rice, and the reintroduction of lean protein (meat) back into our diets! Unfortunately, accompanying these exciting events is the inexplicable and frustrating return of my exhaustion. This weekend was restful (at least on the inside of my cozy home) but now I am back to a little bit of a mental haze. And I am absolutely CRAVING coffee like I have never craved anything before. Tonight I’m going to start taking 1000 IU of Vitamin D, just as I did before I began the cleanse.
I’m going to be honest; I needed a break over the weekend. Don’t we all? Nemo put me in a semi-functional state but now I’m back to posting regularly.

Gina Stats:
Weight Loss: 3 lbs (gained back a pound…hmmm). I’m going to save my thoughts on the weight issue for a later post.
Headaches: Rare
Skin: Broke out with a few blemishes over the weekend. Also—and I apologize for how graphic this is—dry areas on my back are super itchy and have spread.
Diet cheat: I had some tequila Saturday night. Super guilty right now. On the bright side, tequila is gluten free! But still, bad cheat.

Dylan Stats:
Weight Loss: No lie, this kid is shedding weight like there’s no tomorrow. BMI is probably -1. He needs some new belts.
Joint pain: None!
Cigarettes, past 4 days: Five. He says that his cravings are getting easier to ignore, except for high-stress situations.
Diet cheat: One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, guilty.

New Recipes!

Fantastic Cabbage Lentil Veggie Soup

I got the idea for this meal from Clean Eating Chelsey’s Cabbage Lentil Soup. It looked like a solid recipe and a good base for what I was craving. But, to me, cooked cabbage always leaves something to be desired unless it has a hint of that sour and wonderful sauerkraut flavoring. I followed the recipe exactly: 1 cup dry lentils, 2 diced carrots, 2 celery stalks, ½ head of green cabbage, ½ diced onion, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 4 cups veggie broth (I used organic and unsalted), 2 cups of water, olive oil, basil, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, add other ingredients, and simmer until lentils are cooked.About thirty minutes into the simmering process I added ¼ cup of white vinegar. It turned out to be the perfect amount—not overpowering, but definitely gave the cabbage the kick it needed! Around this time I also spooned out some of the broth and cabbage and blended it with the amazing immersion blender to give the soup a heartier broth. For the next few days I heated up bowls of the yummy soup and experimented with different additions—garlic powder; just a pinch of brown sugar to balance out the sour flavor; oregano; served over brown rice. They were all slightly different variations of one another but equally as delicious. I would also like to try adding a bit of organic tomato paste to the broth next time.   

Kale and Avocado Salad with Tomato and Onion

I was tempted to try this recipe for myself after eating the Kale and Avocado Salad in Renee’s store. All I did was mash up a ripe avocado, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice, sea salt, garlic powder, and pepper, and mix with some washed and cut kale, tomatoes, and diced onion. It was so delicious for the first dozen bites but I definitely added too much lemon juice and, as it soaked into the kale, the texture and “wiltiness” began to freak me out. I would definitely go in the other order—choose how much kale you would like to eat, mix in the avocado mixture a spoonful at a time until you reach the desired consistency, and save the rest for later!

Pan-Seared Salmon with Brown Rice and Spinach
Dylan made the salmon! And he was so unbelievably excited to consume protein again that he made it for brunch on Saturday, first thing. I’m going to try and summarize his method from what I observed; the two of us actually have very similar cooking styles, very intuitive, trial-and-error types with little patience for complicated recipes.
He rinsed off the salmon, which was organic and wild-caught, and let it sit in a mixture of fresh lemon, fresh garlic, a teaspoon of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper for about 15 minutes. He then seared it in a pan with another teaspoon of olive oil until the outside was cooked and the inside was a light pink and just a bit translucent. Don’t overcook! Google some pictures to confirm the perfect consistency of perfectly cooked salmon—nobody will judge.
Place the salmon on top of a pile of brown rice and spinach (throw a splash of balsamic on there if you want) and enjoy. SO good.

Mostly Banana Fritters
I am craving sugar. I’m not really that into sweets, and neither is Dylan, but we needed something that sated the sweet tooth. Hence the banana fritters, which are literally just mashed banana, a little bit of brown rice flour, and a teaspoon of organic honey cooked like a pancake in some olive oil. Call it a day, done and done.


                                   A Meal Out

Last week we treated ourselves dinner at Flavours in Pittsfield, our first meal out since starting the cleanse—also our first time at the joint! They were super nice and didn’t look at us strangely at all when we asked for advice on a dish “without gluten…or dairy…nope, no meat or eggs…oh, and no nuts. Or soy. Nope, no tofu.” We made it happen! Vegetable Fried Rice, Mushroom Rice Wraps and Edamame (for Dylan). Yum. It only took 20 minutes of scouring the menu, which is a million pages long. Definitely a challenge but well worth it.



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