Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crazy, Sexy, and Done!!

I made it! I finished the 21-day Crazy Sexy Diet cleanse. Today was the last day, and you know what that means? It means I can have coffee again on Monday morning and gluten for dinner. And even sugar for dessert! Oh, and booze too.

Actually, I sorta cheated last night and had a glass of organic red wine. It was my friend's birthday, and I was so close to being done. It seemed silly to totally teetotal. And even though it's not midnight yet, I'm about to have another glass to celebrate. After all, I can't let this nice bottle of Bonterra organic cab sav go bad. Right?

I cooked (or uncooked) a few more Crazy Sexy Diet dishes over the weekend, like this Prana Marinara Sauce Over Raw Zucchini Fettuccine:

The sauce is made with blended cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil. I enjoyed this with a big ole salad with raw ranch and a slice of gluten-free toast spread with white bean dip.

I also made the Aztec Salad, a quinoa/black bean salad topped chipotle barbeque tempeh and pumpkin seeds, from Crazy Sexy Diet tonight. But I forgot to top mine with the pumpkin seeds until I was halfway through eating. So I'll wait and share pictures of leftovers (pumpkin seeds included) tomorrow.

Even though I'm glad to welcome back my old habits, like coffee, booze, and gluten, I do plan to keep a little of what I've learned on this cleanse:

* I will continue to drink green juice every morning, but rather than have a 16-ounce juice, I'll make smaller 8-ounce glasses to drink with breakfast. Juicing is expensive, and I can't afford to keep up the 16-ounce habit.

* I will try to maintain a 60/40 alkaline/acid diet that's heavier on veggies and alkaline foods like tempeh and tofu and lighter on acidic foods like pastas, grains, faux meats, and oils. The ideal plate for me should be 60% alkaline and 40% acid.

* I will try to limit my sugar consumption by checking products for added sugars and opting for unsweetened versions when available (like unsweetened soy or almond milk).

* I will try to limit desserts to no more than two per week, not counting dark chocolate.

* I will continue to dry brush my skin every morning and use the neti pot at night.

That being said, you'll still see vegan junk food, my beloved faux meat, and treats on the blog. I'm just hoping to incorporate more raw stuff to balance everything out. I've become quite the junk food vegan over the past few months, and I basically spent from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve living on fake meat, chips, and sweets. Before the holidays, I was already eating pretty healthy, so I'm really just going back to that.

And that brings me to one final point. I had an anonymous comment from someone who said he or she couldn't support the idea of a vegan going on a more restricted diet. This comment came from a new vegan, and that's totally understandable. When you're transitioning from the Standard American Diet or even a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, it's hard to imagine why an already diet-restricted vegan would restrict themselves further. The commenter asked, "Is eating at all an enjoyable part of life for you or just another means to execute control and 'routine'?"

Of course, eating is enjoyable! Anyone who knows me will tell you that food is THE most important thing in my life. I live to eat. When I'm not eating, I'm dreaming about what I'll eat next. But that sometimes means that I gorge on too many treats, like I did over the holidays. Every year in January, I do some sort of cleanse to get myself back in line and re-adopt healthy eating goals that may have fallen by the wayside. Besides, healthy raw food is delicious!

It is a means to execute control, of course. But sometimes, a girl's gotta execute a little control to get herself back on track. Just because you're vegan doesn't mean you're healthy. Not by a long shot. I applaud the the commenter for trying to go vegan in the new year. But it's important for new vegans to realize that not all things vegan are good for you. Vegan cupcakes, donuts, and fried foods should be occasional treats, not everyday indulgences. And that's really all I'm trying to accomplish with this cleanse. More veggies, less indulgences.


Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

Congrats on finishing the cleanse!

And I'm impressed with your very civil response to that commenter - well said.

Karen Beth said...

Such an interesting comment about eating and restriction and control.

I'm vegan. I also just went gluten free and I try as best I can to keep my sugar and carb intake down. Way down.

I guess it is restrictive to someone looking in but it isn't to me at all. I get so so excited about food that the earth provides and all that I can do with it (the kitchen is the most creative place I know) and all the delicious things I can make from it. I also get so so excited about how my body feels eating such things.

I think that more than having control it is about being mindful and conscientious about what goes into my body and how what I fuel myself with affects every living being around me, the earth itself.

I've never EVER enjoyed food more or been more excited about food than I am now, with all the "restrictions" I listed above.

Scissors and Spice said...

I totally agree with Karen Beth!

When one door closes, a new one opens. The world of raw food and/or veagn and/or gluten free is so exciting with so many possibilities. Eating healthy is so freeing!

bitt said...

I don't find vegan eating at all restrictive, but I could see a new vegan might, so having as many options possible would be good. I think there are a lots of types of vegan diets out there and I think in time the newly vegan commenter will realize that. I appreciate your sense of balance and realism to health and veganism.

Sasha Mitchell said...


James said...

I completely agree with your final comments. I had to sit down a friend the other day who made a comment that some of the vegans they know are "big" and they don't get why all vegans are not skinny and healthy.

I had to explain that A) not all vegans are healthy, and B) not all big folk are unhealthy. People and media have for a long time made wrong associations, including slim = healthy, and vegan = healthy, or vegan = lacking in nutrients. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes, and just because someone subsists on a diet that does not include animal products does not mean they don't gorge on sugar, carbs and high-fat foods. Sure, a certain level of consciousness is required when cooking and eating out and having to make sure something is vegan, but vegans have to watch what they eat just like anyone else (you know, if they choose to)

Stacy said...

The thing I don't get about the juicing craze is why it wouldn't be just as good, or even better, to just eat those veggies straight. Then you're getting the fiber, too. So many vegans seem obsessed with juicing that I may have to give it a shot, but I'm not convinced. Plus the clean-up seems like a bitch.

foodfeud said...

Congratulations on finishing, Bianca. Great job. Glad to hear you've found a balance. You make every dish you eat sound so appetizing, it'll be nice to get excited by zucchini noodles and raw marinara as well as your dining out adventures.

Sheridan & Drew said...

Congrats on finishing! I've always been amazed by your attention to detail in your diet. Some may call them "restrictions," but I think you exhibit an awesome sense of balance and self-control. Yes, you enjoy splurging on alcohol or desserts, sure, but you almost always swing it the other direction and choose really healthy options after you've indulged in something. I think the cleanses you've tried are great. I want to do more of them myself. And I do believe that there is a sense of accomplishment in completing a cleanse that can be just as rewarding, if not more so, as just eating whatever you want when you want it.

The Health Sleuth said...

"I don't find vegan eating at all restrictive"


anyways, back to reality. congrats on your cleanse Bianca, I am impressed you held out until the wine last night ;)

kudos to you for taking initiative and your blunt honesty throughout the cleanse.

Danielle said...

Well said.

Erin said...

Congrats on completing the cleanse! You are a master of willpower. I like your response to the comment as well - it can become all to easy for us vegans to reach for caffeine, alcohol, sugar and processed foods, just like it is for everyone else, so I feel like a healthy, reasonable cleanse to reel all that in is a fine idea. If you were only drinking juice for 21 days I would be worried, but the way you did the cleanse seems really great!

AliveintheFire said...

Great post, and congrats on finishing out the cleanse challenge :) I've enjoyed following your journey and hearing your tips. Thanks for sharing, and here's to your improved health!

Rachel @ Alive in the Fire

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!! I love that cleanse and am getting ready to do it again. The holidays can really make a healthy diet pretty unhealthy. Glad you made it through. Giving up coffee is the most difficult part, but I am proud of you. Now, besides the wine what will you have first? I can't wait to see!

Sara said...

I loved reading you daily cleanse posts and see nothing wrong with doing a cleanse as long as it's healthy and balanced! I agree with Amber- great response to that commenter.

Jenna said...

I have totally enjoyed following along on your cleanse! I've tried my hand at this cleanse but I've never fully committed to the food aspect. I started neti potting and I even got a colonic! I feel like I might be able to do it full on after reading about how you handled eating out and social events. I definitely need to get a handle on my sugar consumption!

Mili Bee said...

Wow! I love the point you made! SO TRUE!

tender b. said...

Congratulations. Very impressive.

Jaime said...

There are restrictions within the vegan diet, like many consciously chosen diets, but I don't feel restricted as a vegan. I can eat everything that I want to eat, and on the rare occasion I find myself wanting something with animal products in it, it's not really about the food itself. It's about nostalgia or comfort.

As a new vegan, though, I can see feeling that you have "sacrificed" enough as it is without making other dietary considerations. One thing at a time.