As I mentioned yesterday, I'm doing Amber Shea Crawley's three-day Real Food Cleanse to reset my eating habits after letting myself go in Portland. The Real Food Cleanse is an e-book, and you can download it from her Chef Amber Shea website for $14.99. It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes for three days, plus a shopping list and tips on prepping meals the night before.
I started the cleanse yesterday (Sunday), and I felt great all day! The food is high-raw, so you do get to eat some cooked beans. But there's not supposed to be any sugar, caffeine, alcohol, grains, or processed stuff (but I am having hot raw cacao and tea for caffeine so I don't die). I woke up this morning feeling pretty darn good about myself after eating so well yesterday.
The plan includes "bulk it up" instructions for those needing higher calorie diets. Basically, it involves including sunflower seeds and bananas as snacks. Since I work out, I need more calories. So I started my morning with a pre-workout banana. I did a little cardio workout, and then sat down to breakfast — Chilly Cherry Coconut Porridge.
This was a banana and cherries blended together (like a smoothie!) with coconut and cinnamon on top. It was tasty! But as I suspected, it didn't fill me up. I'm a BIG breakfast eater. I typically have a large meal with grains (like oats, toast, English muffins, or bagels) and protein (usually tofu). I was satisfied for about an hour, and then I was FAMISHED. Luckily, since I'm following the "bulk it up" plan, I had one-fourth cup of raw sunflower seeds and some bell peppers for a snack.
That mostly kept me satisfied until lunch. But I was more than ready to tear into this Mediterranean Mezze Platter with One-Minute Hummus.
Now this is what I'm talking about! The hummus was oil-free but yet still so delicious. And it had nutritional yeast in it, which I've never put in my hummus. I'm not sure why because noochy hummus is amazing. To dip, I had an entire sliced cucumber, a whole sliced red bell pepper, 3 carrots, and 6 olives. This actually kept me full for a long time.
But come 4 p.m., I was ready for my dessert snack. I'm eating all of the desserts on the plan in the afternoon before dinner. That's just when I crave sweets. This Strawberry Avocado Pudding hit the spot.
I'd had chocolate avocado pudding before but never strawberry. It was so creamy and awesome. I loved the slight avocado taste mixed with the tart sweetness of the strawberries.
Dinner was another huge meal — Fiesta Black Beans with Coconut-Buttered Sweet Potato.
Coconut butter and sweet potatoes were meant to be together. Forever and always. The beans (left from the can I opened yesterday) were tossed with the leftover dressing from yesterday's salad and served over the remainder of the salad greens from the bag I opened yesterday.
That is the single most awesome thing about Amber's book, by the way. She has you utilize all of everything you buy for the cleanse in the three days. There's no waste. And each recipe makes a single serving. As a person who cooks for only herself, I can't tell you how much I appreciate a recipe that makes one serving and a cleanse that isn't wasteful. Thanks Amber! One more day to go!