Sunday, January 3, 2010

Let the Cleansin' Begin!

On January 1st, I embarked on the Adventure Cleanse Tune-up (ACT, for short), an almost month-long cleanse that shuns sugar, alcohol, processed food, gluten, and caffeine. It's from the Crazy Sexy Life website, an awesome online vegan community founded by cancer survivor Kris Carr.

This summer, Carr launched a huge ACT cleanse and hundreds of people signed up to do it together (including my bloggy friend Jessy from Happy Vegan Face). Jessy's posts inspired me, but I wasn't quite ready to jump in this summer. And then my other bloggy friend Leslie of Pixiepine started a variation on the ACT cleanse in November. At that time, I was busy shoving Tofurkey and way too much pie down my throat. By December, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with processed food and sugar. But I scarfed it down anyway and enjoyed every bite.

With the new year however, I'm ready to do some detoxing. As a Level 3 on the ACT cleanse, I'm doing raw breakfasts and lunches, but I get to eat cooked, whole foods for dinner. It's supposed to be a 28-day cleanse, but I'm going to San Francisco for a work conference at the end of the month. So I'm cutting the cleanse off on January 26th.

Day one began on New Year's Day. I woke with a massive headache from all the champagne on New Year's Eve. So I whipped up this Green Juice of celery, cucumber, kale, sprouts, and an apple:

I drank it and went back to sleep for an hour. When I woke again, the headache (and my hangover) were totally gone! Green juice has crazy healing power. Thankfully, the ACT requires that I drink a green juice every day.

Lunch was tasty Raw Veggie Burgers from Living in the Raw Gourmet by Rose Lee Calabro:

These burgers (made from almonds, sunflower seeds, beets, bell pepper, and other veggies) were the first dish I made in my brand new Excalibur dehydrator, a Xmas gift from my parents. They were delicious, and I love the vibrant pink color. I served 'em on romaine lettuce "buns" with a big ole' side salad.

Calabro's book is another review cookbook from the Book Publishing Company. It's loaded with mouth-watering raw goodies, and many require a dehydrator. Until now, most of my raw cookbooks contained recipes that didn't require one, so I'm glad to have Calabro's recipes to try in my new toy. Expect lots more from this book throughout the month.

For dinner, I made Stuffed Cabbage with Black-Eyed Peas from More Fabulous Beans by Barb Bloomfield:

Here's an inside shot (that's black-eyed peas and brown rice peeking out):

I always, always have black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's Day for health and prosperity throughout the year. Yep, I'm superstitious. But I usually make my own version of Hoppin' John. Unfortunately, my recipe isn't ACT-friendly since it contains processed vegan sausage.

This recipe, however, was totally ACT-safe without any changes. It comes from a great vegan cookbook filled with over 100 bean recipes. Its author, Barb Bloomfield, lives on the Farm (an amazing veg intentional community) in Summertown, Tennessee, and I actually had the pleasure of staying with her on a visit to the Farm a couple years ago. She autographed my copy of her book. I can see this book being a great resource during the cleanse since I'm supposed to focus on getting most of my protein from beans. By the way, it's also published by the Farm's Book Publishing Company.

Day one was so far, so good. I've been working on getting off coffee for about two weeks now, so that wasn't an issue. Instead, I drink green and white tea. It's has a little caffeine, but I think that's okay. I'm not ready to give caffeine up altogether. As for alcohol, I'm subbing kombucha tea whenever I'd normally have a glass of wine or a beer. Though I can't have sugar, I'm allowed to have agave (and I'm also letting brown rice syrup slide too).

22 comments:

Sheridanna said...

Hey! Good for you! I read up on all of the cleanse stuff. It seems pretty challenging. I don't know that I'm ready to do all of it just yet, but I have set up my own set of goals to adhere to. I will enjoy reading your posts about it though and am going to try to follow along as much as possible.

poopiebitch said...

I'm so proud of you for doing this! What a great way to start the year.

I really wish I could do this too, but it's bad timing (stupid fetus). I think I'll plan on doing this next January - by then my body should be back to normal... right?!?!

pixiepine said...

Wow- off to an awesome start!!!

The Voracious Vegan said...

YAY! I did an ACT inspired cleanse this past July/August and I loved it! The changes have stuck with me since then, I still it mainly raw till dinner and I've never felt better.

Your eats look divine! Happy New Year!

Mihl said...

Good luck with the cleanse, Bianca!

Knit-Picky C said...

Budgetary constraints keep me from ACT, but I am doing the Whole Foods herbal/ fiber cleanse, eliminating unnecessary sugar(just natural, like fruit), no alkee-hall, & a few other items, as well. Yours sounds great, I wish you good health & prosperity!

The Bad Vegan said...

thanks for sharing the link to crazy sexy life - i've never visited it before, but now i'm hooked! i have always wanted to do a big cleanse, but - cooking together is a very enjoyable and important part of my relationship with my husband and i'm a little unsure how to really keep up with an intense cleanse like ACT and continue to be creative in the kitchen with him. we've talked about it before, and he isn't open to trying a cleanse - is your boyfriend doing this with you? if not, are there still (non-raw) meals you can share without him feeling like he's eating your detoxie-food?

Tom Scholfield said...

I wish I had the stength to start this on New Years day. Both my wife and I are looking to get much healthier in the coming year and this would be such a good way to start.

Breedale said...

Yay! What a great way to start the new year. I love the idea of stuffed cabbage with beans! I grew up eating a lot of Polish galumpki's and always wondered what I could sub out for the meat. I recently discovered that soy products are out because of my thyroid issues, so I am overjoyed to see this. Thanks for sharing. Also, I have found that white tea has just a bit more caffeine than green, so on days that I need it I will drink three cups and then I feel the same buzz as I would with a cup of joe. As always, you rock Bianca and you still inspire me with every post. Thanks!

T said...

I'm so curious as to how you like this! I read about it on HappyVeganFace too and was inspired... but its hard enough to find soymilk around here without going partially raw too. (Plus no blender...) but once my life is a little more stable I want to try it too! I've heard amazing things.

Jon Gilchrist said...

very nice. Good luck with that cleanse. Imma def employ that green juice concoction!!

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Your cleanse sounds great. I'd like to learn more about raw foods. In the summer I eat a load of raw fruits and veggies, but I'm an absolute know-nothing when it comes to preparing raw entrees like those delicious-looking burgers you made.

Jess of Veg Out! said...

What a fabulous idea! I want to join in... Is it too late?! Maybe I'll do it on February 1st, even though it's not "officially" happening then. I've been wanting to do a cleanse, but feel lost & overwhelmed.

Your food looks amazing. Come cleanse with me.

Jess of Veg Out! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Bianca, do you tweet?

Mary said...

That sound like a great idea, and not too far off from how I eat normally (besides the sugar). I'm gonna go look into it! I need some cleansin'.

Lindsay I-F said...

good luck during your cleanse!

jessy said...

your ACT eatz are all looking awesome, Bianca! the inside shot on the stuffed cabbages is most glorious! mmmmmmmmm! the raw burger looks super stellar and hooray for breaking in the dehydrator. nice! isn't green juice the best?! i haven't made one in weeks and i'm gonna start my day with one tomorrow - you've inspired me. thanks, Bianca! keep those tasty ACT eatz coming! yay!

Mike K said...

The ACT cleanse sounds like a great way to start the new year - good for you! Looking at what it involves, I'm sure I could stand to avoid some of those things too. The food looks great - especially that bright red raw burger - yum. Good luck!

Gina said...

This sounds like a great way to start the year Bianca!! I'm sure it'll set you off on the right foot, enjoy it!

Erin said...

I'm totally impressed by your gumption in doing two meals a day raw! Very excited to see how this goes for you...I'm hoping to do a less-intense sort of cleanse when I'm done with school in March.

Book publishing company said...

Budgetary constraints keep me from ACT, but I am doing the Whole Foods herbal/ fiber cleanse, eliminating unnecessary sugar(just natural, like fruit), no alkee-hall, & a few other items, as well. Yours sounds great, I wish you good health & prosperity!