After seven days living more (or less) on the vegan cleanse I did successfully do without: meat, dairy, added sugars, and gluten. Here were the positive outcomes of week 1:
- I learned about new foods - I had never tried rice milk, grilled eggplant, soy mozzarella cheese, or brown rice pasta. I liked all of these new foods and plan to eat them more often in my normal diet as well.
- I laid off the sugar - I am an admitted sugar freak and taking six days off of the hard stuff seemed difficult but I really didn't miss it as much as I thought. Until Saturday. Then I splurged on dark chocolate with raspberry filling and some PB Whoppers. Once a week I think might be a better pace for sweets than the 1-2 servings a day I used to have.
- I realized dairy is disposable - Up until this week I loved, loved, loved dairy. Brie was a weekly purchase and Greek yogurt with honey was a lunch staple. But going off the milky stuff turned out to be easier than I expected, and I don't think I will go back to eating it as much as I used to after the next two weeks of the cleanse.
- Eating gluten-free is next to impossible - Limiting gluten was prescribed in the cleanse because millions of Americans are unknowingly allergic to gluten. After 1 week on the gluten-free bus I can say I did not feel any different and therefore deemed myself pro-gluten. I will continue to eat wheat the rest of the cleanse. Another annoyance with this stipulation was the fact that brown rice products like pasta and waffles had next to no protein and fiber compared to the whole wheat versions.
- Eating out on the cleanse is actually impossible - Here is my advice about eating out on a cleanse like this one: don't do it. I went out four times last week. Dinner 1 was at a Spanish tapas bar, Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, where all I could eat were olives and spicy potatoes. Dinner 2 at Justin's, a bar and grill was somewhat easier- grilled veggie burrito (without the wrap and cheese) with black beans and a side salad. Dinner 3 at Bistrot Margot I skipped the menu altogether and ate beforehand. Dinner 4 was the best because we went to Karyn's Cooked, a vegan restaurant, where I ordered the grilled veggie wrap (gluten and all).
Look out whole wheat homemade zucchini bread.
[photo found here]