Our trip was amazing. All of the places we visited had their charms, and it would be difficult to say what the best all around place was that we went. (No it wouldn’t. Tioman!)
But sometimes, the draw of home is strong, regardless. I think I am not too much of a routine person, because I do like doing new things, but I do start to miss some things about being in one place, like being able to exercise regularly (I will post more about my journey to exercise throughout the trip later) and being able to cook my own meals. I think I am routine “light” – I like to be able to have a few days a week where I am more in control of my environment or my days than it is in control of me (and I am a SAHM of a toddler? Good luck!), but then I like to do different things too, like take a hike on a weekend even though we are not regular hikers.
But the main thing I guess was the food and exercise imbalance that we found ourselves in come the end of the trip. We were eating too much, drinking too much, and not ever moving our bodies into the high intensity zone. Add that to the weirdness of coming back to reality, being done with our big adventure, wondering where we were in the world and where we were going.
There is something about being out in the world and seeing lots of different people and places that puts the big picture into perspective. I am talking about realizing how your daily life impacts the environment and other countries (there are no borders on the air or sea as far as toxins and sea life are concerned). I am talking about realizing that not everyone has the same issues swishing around in the heads as they make their way to their jobs and navigate their days. I am talking about how small you feel when you fly thousands of miles, get off the plane, and see millions of people walking around, in some place you have never gone and might not ever go again!
All that does something to you. I wanted to have a reset button so we could assimilate all the things we experienced into bodies and minds that were ready for them.
So. I thought of a cleanse that my good friend did. It is called the Quantum Cleanse, and involves abstaining from “the big five” or animal products, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, and refined sugar for 21 days, in order to cleanse your body but also your mind, if you will. And Hubby was down! So we started the first full day we got home. It’s been good. I have lost a couple pounds already (water weight?), and am, for the first time in a long time, am being conscious about what I am putting in my body. For me, having the rules (no gluten especially!) means I eat no junk, whatsoever, because the rules say not to. Because they have gluten. Or dairy. Or white sugar.
Also, I have realized that I get more likely to eat less healthful foods when I am hungry (like I have read a zillion times before), when it is the afternoon slump (read that too), or when I am emotional. I also have sweets cravings after I eat, and around 3-4pm, and before bed. It will be interesting to see how much of this is from habit or addiction (I totally am addicted to sugar – the headache for 48 hours was totally a sugar withdrawal headache). I haven’t craved other things, like burgers or anything. Fries and chips, maybe, which technically are allowed, but I am avoiding because of the slippery slope, and because I don’t want to interpret the rules in a way that makes eating processed snack foods okay.
A couple of interesting things: I had a couple glasses of wine on Day 7. It wasn’t even as nice as I had imagined it would be. I bought some rice crackers that accidentally had brown rice syrup in them, and then were SO sweet. Too sweet to eat. Unfortunately they had flecks of seaweed in them or Kiddo probably would have liked them (I tried, but she wanted me to get those bits out). Herbal tea is an amazing way to cut cravings, as are bananas, as are avocados (I guess I am used to eating a LOT more fat, probably from dairy and cheese).
I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the weeks go, since next weekend I have a baby shower and kid´s birthday party to go to, and I have other things during the week where I would normally drink wine or nibble on foods.
Meals week 1
Breakfast: baked diced sweet potatoes and regular potatoes; carrot, apple and cucumber juice.
Lunch: curried rice salad with squash, raisins and cashews, roasted potatoes, green salad (at a brunch).
Dinner: Steamed naan bread (from M.A.G. blog), red lentil daal from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook (WLNC) and curried vegetables also from WLNC. (P.S. – everything I have made from WLNC has been really good, although some of the desserts were not a hit for my guests. I really recommend this book!)
Snacks: Banana, carrots, almonds, herbal tea
Breakfast: Gluten free vegan pancakes
Lunch: Leftover dinner from Sunday
Dinner: Whole Meal Salad (lettuce with soaked raw almonds, cubed/pan-fried tofu, carrots, cubed steamed beets, avocado and a lemon tahini dressing) from WLNC
Snacks: Banana, carrots, almonds, herbal tea
Breakfast: Beet, carrot, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon juice and a banana
Lunch: Leftovers from Sunday´s dinner
Dinner: Rice paper wraps: rice paper filled with spinach, julienned carrots and cucumber, green onion, avocado, steamed beets, rice noodles, and tons of hummus.
Snacks: Banana, almonds, herbal tea, dried apricots
Breakfast: Beet, carrot, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon juice and gluten free vegan pancakes.
Lunch: Last of the leftovers from Sunday´s dinner (made a lot!)
Dinner: Quinoa, mushroom and green lentil pilaf (great, except I messed up and used bouillon instead of broth and it was barely edible for dinner, and I had to throw the rest out. So don’t make that same mistake!)
Snacks: Banana, almonds, an orange, hummus, herbal tea
Breakfast: Beet, carrot, cucumber and apple juice and leftover gluten free vegan pancakes.
Lunch: Whole Meal Salad from Monday
Snacks: Banana, dried apricots, hummus and leftover rice noodles and carrots, hazelnut milk with melted vegan chocolate in it (whoops – it had sugar in it, but I thought I had raw cacao and was going to use that but I didn’t, and I had already heated the milk ;))
Breakfast: Beet/carrot/apple/celery/lemon juice and steamed brown rice
Lunch: Japanese rice crackers, leftover vegan mac and cheese with broccoli
Snacks: Carrots and hummus, banana, rice crackers
Breakfast: Leftover cornbread with olive oil spread and beet/carrot/apple/watermelon juice
Lunch: Quinoa and sweet potatoes, iceberg lettuce salad with olive oil, rice cake (lunch at a Buddhist meditation center), banana
Dinner: Black bean soup (except I added two chilies and left out the bell peppers) with a dollop of vegan sour cream and cilantro, roasted potatoes in vegan butter, and steamed asparagus with olive oil.
Snacks: Rice crackers, protein shake with homemade almond milk, banana, avocado and chocolate protein powder