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Cleanse With Benefits: Food Hangovers

Gina Iannitelli
iBerkshires Contributor

The test is almost over. The fun almost done. Finito. That’s right, I’m nearing the end of my original 21 cleanse days. I haven’t updated in a week due to some unforeseen technological issues of my own; however, I am happy (or disappointed?) to reveal that in that there were few significant changes. My total weight loss has halted at 5 pounds, which is where I have been for about a week. Perhaps I jinxed my weight loss by not updating CwB for a good long time…

My energy level has increased, which is awesome. Renee said that I look much more “peppy” than last week. Great success! Additionally, the skin on my face and lips is as soft and supple as ever, save for a few stubborn red blemishes. I’ve gotten accustomed to not wearing any makeup at all, which goes just fine with my sleepy yet hectic morning routine. I have also found that my hair does not get as greasy between washings.

Gina Stats, Day 20:

Weight Loss: 5 lbs

Headaches: Very rare
Skin: Improvement!
Diet cheat: See below

Dylan Stats, Day 20:
Weight Loss: He’s dropped a few pant sizes…I’ll have an exact number for you tomorrow.
Joint Pain: Rare
Cigarettes, past 3 days: Two. He’s had a sore throat, which has decreased his cigarette cravings.
Diet cheat: Definitely see below

                                       Do you see the heart in the melted cheese? Total accident!      

Valentine’s Day
As per usual, I was both dreading and looking forward to V-Day. It’s such a confusing holiday because there are polar forces working against one another; for example, the positives: Chocolate; candy; presents; delicious food; ‘love in the air’; those fun anti-Valentine’s parties…

The negatives: Sugar; sugar; fat; spending money; mushy couples; Facebook statuses.

D and I went to Mill on the Floss in New Ashford. I hadn’t been there in about five years but I completed my high school senior project with Chef Suzanne in gourmet French cooking. Awesome, awesome place! In terms of the cleanse this had to be my number one most challenging meal. I will admit that I am a self-professed foodie and culinary addict and, more than anything, love a new dish. I have had the chance to try a lot of new meals and flavors in the last twenty days, but even so I face limitations. So when I saw there was a special on sweetbreads (a dish for which MotF is well known) I had to stop myself. The dish contains three big no-nos: dairy (milk and butter), gluten (flour), and red meat (the thymus gland of a cow). Instead I ordered haddock and scallops with a tomato, basil, and garlic sauce. Still French cuisine, still acceptable under the cleanse diet. I also had a small piece of cheese from our complimentary cheese plate (but no crackers!) and a caramel cream.

Renee, this is when you should look away…
Dylan took it upon himself to eat everything that I was trying so very hard not to eat. Cheese, crackers, bread, butter, French onion soup, and rack of lamb. We were literally drunk with happiness over having such rich foods after almost three weeks without. ‘Drunk’ is a truly appropriate term to describe the night because, the next morning, we had a legit food hangover. I’ve carried food babies, even food triplets, from time to time, but never had this much of a food hangover. That piece of cheese and caramel cream caused my sinuses to fill up and the tone of my voice changed because my throat was feeling the effects of the dairy.

Dylan became full-on sick. Sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, fatigue. He stayed this way throughout the entire weekend. Who knows if it was caused by what we ate or just happenstance—either way, it’s an interesting coincidence!

New Recipes: Roasting and more!

Roasted Cruciferous Vegetables:
Yikes, what a scary name. It weirds me out every time I say the word “cruciferous.” The truth is, these veggies are so good for you! Google them for a complete list, but several of the most well known ones are kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. The reason that I roasted the Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli together is because they all cook in approximately the same amount of time. If you like your Brussels sprouts more well done and broccoli and cauliflower crunchy, you can do the Brussels for about ten minutes by themselves and then add the other veggies. It is most important to keep an eye on the oven and make sure that you are tossing or moving the mixture around with a spatula every once in awhile to avoid burnt areas. Otherwise, all I did was coat the vegetables in garlic, olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and ground pepper. Bake at 400 or 350 degrees until desired doneness--keep checking them with a fork. I believe I left them in for about 40 minutes but, again, don’t forget to stir em up every few minutes!

Roasted Root Vegetables and Squash:
Similar deal, same amount of delicious! I cut up turnip, carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato and coated them with olive oil, turmeric, and little fresh rosemary. Roast at 350 or 400 degrees, depending on your oven, and flip with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You can also experiment with different spices—I used what I had and it happened to be a good combo!

Chicken Piccata:
I’ve actually been using this recipe for many years and, surprisingly, only had to make minimal ingredient alterations. I dipped the organic chicken in rice milk and rice flour seasoned with garlic, sea salt, and ground pepper, and cooked it almost completely through in a pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. After the pieces were nice and brown I added mushrooms and a teaspoon more oil. Once a few more minutes had passed I added the juice of a fresh lemon, a little bit of water, and a pinch of rice flour. How thick you like your sauces will decide how much flour you want to add—remember to add it in small increments and stir it in with a spatula or spoon. I then topped off the meal with some organic artichoke hearts and just a few capers.

*The great thing about making this much chicken at once is that it will honestly last for days; I am only eating very small portions of meat which supplement my larger portions of brown rice and vegetables. And a little bit of the lemon sauce will make everything taste great; you won’t even want to go back for more chicken.



Did you know this is what a Brussels sprout stalk looks like? What the heck. Maybe I’ve just been a little oblivious. I felt like Gandalf marching out of the grocery store with this thing in my hand…