The last post about the Cleanse – Dinner recipes and the aftermath

Hello all! This is the longest stretch I have ever gone without posting since I began this blog. To be honest, I have so many things to share, I don’t even know where to begin.

First things first…the recipes.  There are way too many recipes to put in a single post so I’ve decided to share with you a list of recipes that we used during these weeks. Some of these recipes have already been posted and you can see them in our recipe page. The other ones will be posted separately.

Week 1 dinners included:
Beet soup with a side of beet tops – My favorite part about this recipe is the beet tops. Did you know that beet tops are even more nutritious than the actual beet? And they are delicious sauteed in some olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and pepper!!!! I will elaborate more on the health benefits of beet tops in a separate post.

Butternut squash soup – this recipe was Orlando’s favorite cleanse recipe of all. He fell in love with this soup and made it several times throughout the cleanse in large batches. Then we would have it for dinner or lunch on other days.

Veggie tray – the veggie tray is Orlando’s concoction of different roasted vegetables.

Ratatouille without cheese or grains

Week 2 & 3 dinners included:

  • Butternut squash soup – it’s really yummy!!!!!
  • Salmon with a veggie side such as roasted asparagus or sauteed leeks, shallots, and asparagus, or broccoli
  • Snapper with a side of veggies and cauliflower mash
  • Salmon en Papillote

Now for the aftermath:

These are my thoughts about the cleanse. My perspective might differ from Orlando’s. But from observing him, this is what I gathered.

The cleanse started out great. The 48 hour fast put Orlando in a good place. It made him feel powerful. It is an empowering feeling to know that you can control your hunger… that you control food instead of food controlling you. He broke his fast with a delicious ratatouille. We had never had ratatouille without cheese or grains and it was actually delicious. The first week of the cleanse went well also because it just feels so good to eat so clean.

The nicorette gum was terribly difficult for Orlando. He gave up too much all at once and he wasn’t feeling well. He decided for his own sake to wean off the nicorette gum instead of quit cold turkey. He had 2 gums a day for the first two weeks of the cleanse, then he weaned to one and I am so happy to say he is OFF NICORETTE ENTIRELY!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!

So far so good. The cleanse was going well…and then we hit the second weekend. Weekends are rough on all of us. Orlando is not really a fall off the wagon on the weekends kind of guy. For the most part he eats well. But he likes his drink. He loves to have his cigar and wine or scotch on the weekends.  The weekends are relaxed from our routine. So when the weekend hit, it sucked that Orlando couldn’t have a nice glass of wine with his cigar. But that wasn’t all, he couldn’t have anything. No chocolate, no cheese, no meat, no sauces, nothing.  Going out to eat was very difficult. He found himself simply not eating. Side note: we did go to Ruby Tuesdays and were shocked with their great selection of vegetables.  We recommend to anyone who is trying to stay healthy.

By the time he got to week 3 he was done. He was cranky. He was irritable. He wanted cheese on his Ratatouille. He wanted a piece of chocolate after dinner. He wanted his life back. He was so done that on the last day of his cleanse we visited his father in Hialeah and went to a little market that had awful disgusting food. And Orlando would have devoured it at that point. He was in such a bad place. And what’s funny is that he wouldn’t touch that food normally, but he was just sick and tired of not having a choice.

My opinion is that he did the cleanse for too long and it goes against what we promote in the first place…to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle. During the last week, he began to respond as if he were on a “diet” that he couldn’t wait to get off. It only strengthened my view that diets simply don’t work. Life is to enjoy. We are not meant to feel deprived all the time.  When we put ourselves in a place of constant sacrifice to lose weight…then we eventually lose weight, are tired of the sacrifice…and rebel…hence, we gain weight and the vicious cycle begins again.

I think the biggest reason we have successfully kept a healthy lifestyle is because we have learned to enjoy eating healthy. We are not bored to tears with our food choices  or eating bland food day in, day out. We have found delicious “alternatives” to the food we used to enjoy. We pick and choose what we cut out of our diet. We can eat a pizza on the weekend if we really want to. We are super clean during the week and then on the weekend we relax a little. If there is something we really want we have it. For me for example it might be ice cream cake at a birthday party. For Orlando it’ll be his scotch during a domino game. Its the 90/10 split that I always promote. If you make good choices 90% of the time, the other 10% doesn’t count. The key is to keep it at 10% only!!!!! Orlando gained a little weight during holiday/fantasy football season, and its because his exceptions were more than 10%, and he unfortunately has the tendency to gain weight.

But the cleanse was a different story. It was 100% all the time, no exceptions. And it took its toll. I would venture to say that it even had a negative effect on Orlando. The things he loved before his cleanse even became boring for him afterwards…like his lunch salad. He even started complaining about cooking. He was tired of chopping vegetables. He lost motivation.

The results were good from a weight perspective. Orlando lost the 10lbs he gained. But worth it??? I guess only he can answer that. I think a 1 week cleanse would have given him a jump start and he could’ve gone back to his 90/10 lifestyle and maybe it would have taken a little bit longer to lose those extra pounds but it would’ve been better.

But all in all, it was a great learning experience. Now we are back to our middle ground. After a couple of weeks of feeling worn down from the cleanse,Orlando has recouped and is happily back to his salads for lunch and although he does want to cut down a little on the cooking, he is finding ways to simplify his veggie chopping and making quicker meals.

And so my friends, the journey to health, happiness, and balance continues for our family. We hope it continues for yours also.

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