Last week I embarked on another Spring Liver Cleanse Diet and currently at day 10 of 21. It’s been going quite well this time around thanks to stocking up plenty from a trip to Costco and Fairway. The trick to the Spring Liver Cleanse really is get as much variety of vegetables and fruits otherwise you’ll suffer from boredom. Most of the old favorite liver cleanse recipes such as Roasted Red Beets, Garlic Roasted Asparagus and Peppers, Roasted Butternut Squash, and a couple recipes from Sarma Melngailis’s Living Raw Foods have done the trick but I decided this time around to branch out to some Asian inspired dishes such as this Three Lentil Dal Recipe that I modified from a Food and Wine recipe. I just got some beautifully colored lentils from Sahadi’s Brooklyn and had to put them to great use.
Summary: Cumin Turmeric Spicy Dhal Lentil Soup
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet (other): Low calorie, High protein
Meal type: supper
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern
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I’m on day 18th of a 21 day cleanse and feeling pretty good. It’s the third time I’ve done this cleanse and I think the familiarity with the routine (buying vegetables & fruits in bulk), the daily preparation, and the new raw recipes are making it a lot easier. When in a bind for time, the salad bar at Wholefoods and some Indian vegetarian restaurants are great places to get decent prepared meals.
The problem is that after the cleanse, I tend to drift back to poor eating habits such as not continuing the levels of fruit and salad, and having probably way too much fried food. As a preventative measure I watched Fast food Nation and Food Inc over the past week so hopefully that should cut down on fast food, ground beef and more incentive to buy local and organic. (Still going to eat the new Burger King Pizza though – hey, it’s for the sake of the blog right? haha)
But I also think having a better awareness of alternatives is going to help. Prior to the cleanse, I checked out Energy Kitchen in the West Village. Sure it’s still ‘fast food’ but it’s well prepared and the menu has many ‘healthy’ options, and they claim nothing is over 500 calories. I tried the Thai chicken wrap ($7.99) which includes grilled chicken, carrots, baked Chinese noodles, and cucumbers with a spicy peanut sauce. I thought it was very good and not very heavy on the sauce which can be a problem when ordering wraps. For $3.99 I got 2 more sides: garden salad and mashed sweet potatoes. All together my meal with sides was a little over 800 calories but that’s still lower than any 2,500 calorie BK Pizza!]]>
It’s Day 18 of 21 on the New Years health Standard Process cleanse diet. We are finally in the final stretch and I can already taste the steak, coffee and pork that I will soon be enjoying. I’m going to especially enjoy the pork ever since my friend Katie tagged me in a photo of roasted suckling pig chicharrón from her trip to Bali. FUCK that was mean! Overall I feel pretty good and I don’t need as much sleep as the first week. I’ve also lost about 3 Kg or 6.6 lbs already even though that wasn’t the goal of this diet cleanse. I think I lost about 8 lbs the last time I did this last Spring.
I could also really use a beer right now. I’m tired of the odd looks I get when ordering glasses of sparkling water and orange juice at bars although staying sober may have helped me last weekend when made a bit of money at a poker tournament.
Easy RAW Lettuce Wraps Recipe
Large swiss chard leaves
1/2 cup of thinly sliced scallions and cilantro
Fresh alfalfa sprouts
Brown rice (optional)
Avocado Coriander Sauce
5 sprigs of coriander
Juice of 1/4 lemon
4 scallions diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 small dried red chili (sliced)
Mix in a blender.
Take the Swiss chard and pile on the vegetables, top with sauce, wrap and enjoy!
R.I.P. JD Salinger.
YOU ARE AWESOME!!
Life can be lousey!
It’s now been over a week on the Standard Process cleanse diet and I’m beginning to see the results of the diet. I have a lot more energy, don’t need to eat as much and get great sleep. Adding a few of the RAW recipes from Sarma Melngailis’s Living RAW Food cookbook into the rotation has definitely helped us get over our quickly exhausted excitement of red beet salads, butternut squash and roasted vegetables.
Here’s 2 of our favorites so far:
Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber & Herb Salad
Adapted from Sarma Melngailis’s Living RAW Food cookbook
8 cups of watermelon -cubed
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes – cubed
4 cups of cucumber – cubed
1 small bunch of parsley
1 handful of cilantro leaves, shredded
small bunch of mint leaves
2-3 scallions minced
1 jalepeno or dried chilli pepper
fresh squeezed juice of 2 limes or lemon
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
sea salt to taste
Toss and enjoy!
Adapted from Sarma Melngailis’s Living RAW Food cookbook
6 cups cauliflower -diced
3 cups of cucumber – diced
3 cups of parsley – chopped
3 cups of tomatoes – diced
1/2 cup of scallion
1/4 cup of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Toss and enjoy!
I got a little frustrated browsing the vegetarian and vegan cookbook section at Strand because most of the books called for a lot of tofu, seitan and pasta which are all not allowed on the diet. Then I came across a book with the skinny blonde chick drinking a fruit shake on the cover. My first impression was this was some trendy diet book and laughed until I opened the book to a page with a recipe for Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato, and Herb salad. Hey this looks awesome and it’s totally in line with the cleanse diet! Next I flipped to a recipe for Avocado Soup with Blood Orange and Mango Salsa which also looked amazing and was also kosher for the diet! I not only bought the book, but we ended up going to her Pure Food and Wine Restaurant on 54 Irving Pl. When we found out they are only open for dinner, we went around the corner to the smaller take out restaurant at E17th Street at Irving Place.
One Lucky Duck RAW Take Out Restaurant
125 1/2 E 17th Street (at Irving Place)
212 – 477 7151
It’s a tiny little shack with 3 small tables, but they serve almost everything out of the book. We ended up getting a seaweed vegetable salad with wakame, carrots, beets and sesame-scallion dressing as well as plate of the spicy Thai lettuce wraps (mango, pea shoot, carrot, savoy cabbage, cashews and tamarind sauce. We weren’t sure if neither sesame nor cashews are allowed for the diet so we tried to pick them out. Otherwise this was a revelation for our Standard Process liver cleanse diet! This book and the restaurant are awesome. Stay tuned for recipes from the book.]]>
Ok it’s now day 4 of the 21 day Standard Process New Years Cleanse Diet. I know I just have to get through one week and it will get easier but seriously when you wake up having dreams of bbq ribs and chocolate it’s not easy. Having done this last year, we are a lot more efficient at the diet: we have all the recipes lined up, know where to shop, know how much time to set aside for cooking, cleaning, etc. But I think it’s also not as novel and the recipes aren’t as exciting. We’ve already had Butternut Squash and roasted red beets twice this week, so we really needed something new, novel and just plain good to eat.
Kale Chips and Salsa!
To our surprise we found a recipe for kale chips on the Standard Process website . Well, I guess more to Gisa’s surprise since in Germany Kale is usually eaten with sausages – not as a healthy snack, let alone as chips. Either way, the kale chips are great with a tomato salsa (recipe below) or a guacamole (still waiting for our avocados to ripen).
1 bunch kale
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite-size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with Sea Salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes
1 cup of heirloom or cherry tomatoes
1/4 of red onion thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp basil
sprinkle of lemon juice
1 dried red chili pepper (crushed)
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix for 3-5 mins depending on how chunky or smooth you want your salsa. Add salt / pepper to taste.
The kale chips break easily so my advice is to cut them slightly larger than bite size so it makes it easier to scoop up the salsa. Enjoy!]]>
Happy New Year ! How are those resolutions going? For those of you who opted for the traditional New Year’s resolution of health/diet/weight loss, here’s a proven way to achieve those goals with the Standard Process Cleanse diet. As you may recall, I blogged about this last spring when my girlfriend and I first tried out the Standard Process cleanse and this week we are kicking off the year with the same cleanse diet.
The Standard Process Cleanse is essentially a vegan diet + minimal carbs (cup of lentils or brown rice/day) + no alcohol + no caffeine. Yeah it can be frightening to think how you can live without meat and dairy let alone beer and coffee. Anyways, I’m not going to lie – the first week is a scathing bitch. I recommend quitting coffee a few weeks before starting this and eating less and less. I kind of ate more and more (see my last 2 blog posts) so I’m paying for it now. The cleanse lasts for 21 days and on day 11 you can begin to eat fish and chicken. Every day you supplement your meals with protein and fiber tablets. Unlike the master cleanse (lemon juice + syrup/molasses + paprika), you can eat as much vegetables and fruit as you like with the Standard Process Cleanse Diet. Also it’s probably better to do this in the Spring / Summer when you can get seasonal fresh fruit but don’t use that as an excuse because you can always get plenty of frozen fruits. (We did a Costco run on Monday and stocked up our freezer)
A typical day consists of:
Fresh Fruit Shake with protein supplements (Breakfast)
Salad and roasted vegetables (Lunch)
Fresh Fruit (Afternoon Snack)
Roasted Vegetables, Salad, Vegetable Soup (Dinner)
Fresh Fruit Shake (Dessert)
The benefits (realized within a week) include awesome sleep, alertness, and of course weight loss.
Anyways, here we go – I’ll be blogging regularly while on the diet! If you are interested in joining me, email me at eat.at.plateoftheday.com !]]>
We celebrated our final completion of the Spring Liver cleanse diet by hosting an Easter Brunch at our house with our friends. On the menu was an Easter Braid bread, a 2 layer German Buckwheat Lingonberry cream cake, fresh breakfast rolls, homemade waffles, dyed Easter eggs, salad (of course), and an assortment of delicious spreads for the bread (cheeses, hummus, butter, jam). OMG!! First off, I haven’t had coffee, bread, butter, cheese, sugar, syrup, meat and eggs for 3 weeks so it was a mind blowing enlightening experience to even break off a piece of warm bread, smother it with butter and chew it in my mouth. The chewy textures of the bread, the creamy butter and the crunchy seeds were all so new and unfamiliar.
Then there’s the coffee.
The warmth of the cup, the acrid smell, swishing the gritty bitter coffee between my teeth, followed by the final rush of caffeine that almost knocked me to the floor – so much so that I had to excuse myself and have a smoke outside with a friend (I don’t even smoke!). Alcohol? I was already tipsy after 2 sips of wine!
But alas, our orgy of new culinary delights was cut short when our newly shrunken stomachs from the diet reached full capacity with just half a bread roll!!! Crazy isn’t it? But to be honest even after having a slice of bacon a few days later, I kind of miss the simple flavors of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not to say I am going to give up meat, alcohol and caffeine but I can honestly say after doing the 3 week vegan/vegetarian liver cleanse diet I have a new appreciation of the basic fresh foods. I would be happy having as my main dish for dinner a plate of grilled asparagus and red peppers seasoned with garlic and sea salt or replace a grilled rib eye with a steamed portabella mushroom (ok maybe not). In conclusion – the spring liver cleanse was a great idea and Gisa and I have decided to do the liver cleanse again in the summer time. Until then, we are back to eating our favorite liver <unfriendly> foods.
Easter Braid Bread Recipe by Gisa Hartmann:
1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup and a bit of all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 sachet of dry yeast
1/5 cup of butter
150 ml milk
250 g greek yoghurt
mix flour, sugar, lemon zest
dissolve butter in warm milk, add yeast and wait till activates
add yoghurt and add to flous mix, knead
let it rise to about double the original size
divide into three pieces, roll to long tubes
let rise for another 20-30 mins
if you like add almons slices and coarse sugar on top of bread
bake at 350°F for about half hour
After 19 days of being a vegan/vegetarian for our Spring Liver Cleanse Diet (just 2 more days to go), we’ve become quite the salad experts. One way to spruce up any salad is to add your own fresh roasted red beets. In the past, I’ve used store bought canned and store bought prepared red beets but they pale in comparison to the deep colors and earthy tastes of fresh roasted beets. There’s really no reason why you should ever buy canned or prepared red beets.
Fresh red beets can be found at your local farmers market and most grocery stores. They are sold with and without the leaves. To prepare, take a sharp knife and cut the red stalk leaves off the top. Rinse off the exterior of the beets and wrap in foil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for one hour at 400F. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then using a paper towel, rub and remove the outer skin of the beet. Cut and add to your salad, or eat with some salt. You can also throw them into a blender to use as a base for soup or a vegetable drink.
As for the beet leaves, you can cook them much like spinach. After soaking and washing, I like to stir fry them with a bit of minced garlic and yellow or red peppers. Enjoy!]]>
Well the liver cleanse diet is going pretty well this week. The food and the diet is actually the easy part, the difficult part is fitting in social situations. For example the diet calls for no alcohol so last week when we had an office party at work to welcome a new team to their workspaces everyone was downing cold beers while yours truly was knocking back bottles of water. It however auspiciously turned out to be good thing though because when one of the paraffin wax burners under the buffet tray full of enticing churros (which I couldn’t taste) flipped over and started a small fire on the table, I was able to put out the fire with my water and save the office! Besides that incident, it also sucked when my friend Rolo visited and I ended up drinking OJ and 2 bottles of Perrier during our small bar crawl in Brooklyn. On the upside I did quite well playing poker the other night. Much to the credit of my sobriety, I played several solid hours of Texas Hold Em against my coworkers and came out winning the first game. Dude, just 7 more days to go! Seriously I don’t really miss eating meat (I can eat chicken and fish as of day 8), nor the starch really although yes a toasted bagel or a scone and cup of coffee (no caffeine allowed) would be something to die for.
In the meantime, here’s a quick recipe that’s quite easy to make.
Roasted butternut squash with pear arugula frisée with garlic lemon vinaigrette dressing recipe
Roasted butternut squash
Soak, rinse and dry arugula and frisée. Peel and cut pears.
Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
1/3 cup of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 – 1 whole lemon (depends on how lemon-y you want it)
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
Stir or place in a glass jar with solid lid and shake vigorously till vinaigrette emulsifies. Pour over salad. Eat with roasted butternut squash.
Well folks as I turn the corner on my last week of the Spring Liver Cleanse, I feel that apart from having to win back my friends as I make up for all the social activities that I’ve avoided over the past few weeks, I still believe the Spring Liver Cleanse has been well worth it so far. I had the side benefit of losing about 5 lbs by now, sleep much better and feel more alert.
Next weekend we are planning an Easter brunch to kick off the end of our liver cleanse. Some of our gracious friends are bringing bottles of champagne to help celebrate. I’ll definitely need to work on that tolerance again, but maybe a super clean liver will help that!]]>