Sunday, January 27, 2013

UPDATE: Whole Living {detox} Action Plan 2013 +RECIPES!

Drinking my greens!
{kale, carrots, celery, pear} 
Hello everyone! Last weekend I posted about a 21-Day clean eating detox plan I'm currently following and I thought I'd give an update. But first, in case you missed what this detox is all about, it's basically a 21 day food based plan of sparse and simple clean eating that is designed to give your digestive system--especially your liver, a much needed break from working so hard to clean your body of impurities. By sparse and simple clean eating, I mean eating small amounts of highly nutritious, easy to digest foods. All meals are made from whole food ingredients, organic as much as possible and absolutely no processed foods or beverages, no sugar, alcohol, dairy or gluten (wheat, barley, rye) for the duration of the plan. Through this clean eating plan, your body gets a chance to catch up on cleaning out your system and you essentially gets a clean slate for a healthier you. For more information and source links, visit last week's post, Whole Living {detox} Action Plan 2013.

Salad with Orange and Sardines
In week one, I ate ONLY vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and plant-based oils. It was tough, but I made it. Today is Day 14 for me, marking the end of the second week and I'm still going strong. Meals were more satisfying and easier to plan this week since I was allowed to add fish, beans, legumes and gluten-free grains to my diet. The foods I added this week were quinoa, oats, brown rice, cannellini (white) beans, tuna, salmon and sardines. Yes, sardines! This was a first time for me--am I the only one who's never had sardines before? Well, I'm glad I finally did because they were a lot better than I expected! Did you know sardines are super good for you, too? They're also a very affordable and sustainable choice. I bought a 3.75 oz can of boneless, skinless sardines in olive oil (the only ingredients being sardines and olive oil) from Trader Joe's for under $3. Okay, so if you're feeding a hungry family of 5, maybe it's not the cheapest protein source, but since they're so healthy, I'm going to make them a regular choice in my salads in the future. I had them in a green salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Have you ever had sardines? If so, how do you like to prepare them?

The toughest part of Week 2 continues to be preparing "regular" meals for my family--they're still eating meat, dairy and gluten-foods such as pasta or bread--and making something completely different for myself. It was a bit easier this week, however, because we all could eat rice and fish a couple of nights, but I couldn't make them eat that every night! The key was to make sure my meal was planned and even ready before starting their dinner. This way I could have a few bites as I got hungry or started wanting a bite of their pasta or chicken. I stayed strong, though!

But.. I have a confession. I ate an oreo one night last week. Gah! For some reason I bought my kids a pack of Birthday Cake Oreos last week. I usually bake homemade snacks or treats for my family, but I thought that would be too tempting for me during the detox, so I bought them the Oreos instead. Well.. I was going mad not having one, so I did. Ugh. What a mistake. Not that I'm riddled with guilt or anything.. but it tasted SO sugary sweet and fake! Ick! I hope this means I'm on my way to un-conditioning myself to want sugar. I hope!

So what new recipes did I try this week? 
Two of them were hits and will make regular appearances in my diet long after this detox is over. One is quinoa porridge for breakfast. It takes a little while to cook the quinoa, but I'm learning to start my day with a mug of hot water and lemon and then waiting 30 to 60 minutes before eating, so I don't mind the time it takes to prepare the quinoa. It can also be made ahead and reheated. The other is Dried Fruit and Oat Bars--a great afternoon snack or workout snack. I'll be making these in the spring to take along on those long bike rides. I adapted both of these recipes to my own preferences and have posted them separately from this post so that I can link them with my other recipe posts more easily.

In the meantime, here's a quick and easy recipe for homemade pear sauce that I made when the mood for something apple-pie-like struck me last week. It's a delicious sweet snack with no added sugar--it's nice warm or cold--and a whole lot healthier than a piece of pie! I've decided this is my favorite way to eat pears. I'm just not crazy eating them out of hand or in a salad.

Unsweetened Pear Sauce 
6-8 pears, peeled and diced (I used a combination of Bosc and D'Anjou or Bartlett pears)
1 small cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/4 lemon)

Combine pears, cinnamon stick, lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover the pears halfway, about 1 - 1 1/2 cups water. Simmer pears until they are soft and about half of the water remains, stirring frequently, mashing a bit towards the end with a spoon. Remove cinnamon stick and let cool. Delicious served warm or chilled. Can be used in the recipes for Quinoa Porridge with Blueberries and Dried Fruit & Oat Bars [both vegan].

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Weekend Cooking, a weekly blog event hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food related post to share--a food related book review (fiction or nonfiction), cookbook review, movie review, a recipe, random thoughts, gadgets, food quotations, photographs, etc. Please visit Beth's blog for more information and join the fun! 

Note: your post does not have to be posted on the weekend, but do visit Beth's blog over the weekend to link up your post. 


  1. Congratulations on making it through week 2. It can be so difficult to cook for your family when you cannot partake of the meals.

  2. I've just discovered sardines, too! Wrote about it here:

    But I should try them on salads, because yours looks yummy!

    1. Joy, I visited your post--sorry I missed it went it went up! I am very interested in reading that book. I'll be looking for it at my library!

      I am in the process of discovering some sardine recipes .. I will share with you when I've found some that I love. In the meantime, maybe click around here for some ideas?

      I think cold water fish that the ones richest in omega fats.. salmon, sardines, anchovies, etc. Salmon is considered to have low mercury levels, so you don't have to worry about that as much compared to a bigger fish such as tuna. As far as sustainability goes, I use the Monterrey Bay Aquarium SEAFOOD WATCH app on my iphone all the time when I am planning meals and shopping for seafood. They even break down the varieties of a fish species, where and how they are harvested so that you know which ones to buy or avoid. I always have to check and recheck salmon since we eat that often and the market always has a few salmon choices. Have you tried Icelandic Arctic Char? It's very good--has a fat profile similar to salmon with a flavor and texture of a cross between trout and salmon. It's also a Best Choice for the Seafood Watch.. in other words, a sustainable fish choice for consumers.

      I wanted to leave this long comment on your blog post that you link above, but I cannot find the comment button! Do you close comments on a post after time? No worries.. hopefully you get this in your email inbox. :)

  3. Hi..Christine what a brave person you are...for the life of me I couldn't NOT eat chocolates and plastic food every week....I'm weak lol

    Regarding know, I haven't checked but after cod it's probably one of the most consumed fishes in my country. We have several summer festivals dedicated to them as they're more a summer fish and people eat them with potatoes and green pepper with a bit of olive oil on top, perhaps an egg too...I love this! During the month of June, we have three popular festivities related to patron saints and it's a time for party and people go out to the streets, there's parades, lost of things and people obviously have to eat and sardine is the queen. The sardines are grilled on barbecue but without sauces, they're just kept on salt and that's it. I like sardines only they have too many spines and I hate to find them lol

  4. I love sardines! We usually have them in sandwiches, on crackers, in salads. Ymmmmmm. I've eaten sardines all my life -- they were always a lunch option. I've rarely had them fresh (life in a land-locked town).

  5. You're doing great, Christine - I applaud you your willpower (especially making pasta and chicken dishes for the rest of the family)!! And that says something about your cleanse when the oreo tasted yucky!

    I will have to try your recipes - I've been looking for a breakfast quinoa recipe to alternate with oatmeal days. And a good snack bar is always welcome. I love the idea of pear sauce - I make homemade apple sauce the same way, never thought to make it with pears, and use it in plain yogurt, in my oatmeal, in baking instead of oil and warmed with a dollop of frozen yogurt if I'm looking for a dessert. I make enough of it to put up in sealer jars and then freeze. Fresh, chunky applesauce all year long. Now I'm going to do the same thing during pear season (and pear sauce in a muffin recipe would be yummy).

    OK, off to check out those other recipes. Thanks :)

  6. I admire your dedication to your detox diet. I hope you achieve the results you want/need. Blessings!

  7. Fay The toughest part of this plan is definitely preparing food for my family that I can't eat.

    Joy I completely missed your post in which you mention sardines! Off to check it out now. A week later..

    S. ah ha! A long time sardine eater! ;)
    I think I knew that sardines were popular in Portugal, but I forgot! And to think they even star in some festivals is pretty cool. Sardines with potatoes, green pepper and olive oil sounds divine. I'm going to try to find a recipe. I think that would be a really satisfying meal with a salad on the side.

    I don't like canned salmon for the same reason--I just don't like eating or messing with the bones! Which is why I am being super easy on myself and buying the canned sardines which are boneless. I don't even care that I pay a few cents more.

    Beth F I think that's great that you've been eating sardines all your life. I only learned in the last year how good they are for us. I am determined to make them a regular in my diet.

    Janet Thanks! I don't know how I made it through those first two weeks with such diligence. This last third week was even tougher.. which you'd think would be easier with even more food choices. I ended up cheating a few times. I'm going to blog about it this evening.. off to go on a run before sunset, first.

    You know regarding the pear sauce.. I am just not crazy about Bosc pears and we get them a lot in our co-op. I prefer D'Anjou or Bartlett and even then, I have to be in the mood. However, I adore pear sauce so from now on, I think that's what I'm going to do with the pears when we get them in our box. Since I don't even use sugar, I don't feel badly about eating them this way. Then I don't have to sweeten my oatmeal or quiona porridge with sugar (or honey, maple syrup or agave nectar).

    oranniaThanks! Hallelujah today is Day 21! More on a separate post.

    Brandy Thank you! ^_^

    1. Hi, it's me again....if you're really interested in doing that dish we've talked about here, try a tomato feels divine and really, if you grill the sardine you won't need much more.
      Try the first recipe in this link, but replace the red peppers with grilled green ones, you'll like it :)

    2. Thanks for the recipe link, Sonia. I am definitely interested in more sardine recipes! I already bought two more cans of sardines packed in olive oil. Fresh sardines are difficult to come by here, though, so I will likely improvise those recipes. Thank you so much! I will let you know how it turns out! :)


Leave a comment! I love to hear what YOU think.
[I apologize, but I've had to disallow anonymous users to comment on my blog due to an influx of spam. I'll change it back as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.]