Detox Deconstructed: Days 7 through 9

Feel free to back up to learn more about what we’re doing, why, and how it’s going so far.

Necessary recipes here and here.

Day 7

Breakfast

Arielle: Toast with natural peanut butter, banana slices, and cinnamon

Us: Avocado toast, egg, fruit

Thoughts

  • We’re just really pushing for time when it comes to breakfast. When Arielle does simple breakfasts like this one, we can get on board, but you’ll see on the next couple days how her delicious sounding breakfast choices didn’t exactly work in our favor.

Lunch

Arielle: Egg white omelet with shallots and kale, with a side of greens

Us: Toast with asiago spread

Thoughts

  • Her egg white omelet sounded pretty awesome, but it was a Tuesday and we both had to go to work. Eggs do not travel well.
  • Eating only toast with cheese spread meant we were both pretty hungry soon after, but we had plans for dinner and didn’t mind the light lunch. Besides, snacks.

Dinner

Arielle: Stuffed acorn squash with ground turkey, spinach, and pomegranate seeds

Us: Chipotle

I mean, look at that…we’re all just pawns in its game.

Thoughts

  • I can see you judging. Chipotle is awesome and doesn’t have added sugar. Enjoy their list of real ingredients.
  • Remember we’re not trying to eliminate all sugar, either. We’re monitoring how much natural sugar we consume and avoiding added stuff as much as possible (which is quite a bit easier than you might expect. Just eat whole).
  • This was a convenience thing because we went to see Wonder Woman that night. Go now. Here’s the schedule. Do it. I’ll be here when you get back.
  • The good thing about not being home to cook was it allowed us to address something you might be wondering if you’re considering a similar detox situation. How do you deal with eating out? Hopefully, even if you have an off day or you don’t make the whole 30 days, you’ll learn more about where sugar is unnecessarily added, why this happens, and what you can do to recognize and avoid it. Doing this exercise has forced us to do a little research before consumption, and even if we don’t spend forever avoiding added sugar after this, we’re both more informed about its presence in our diets and we’re more appreciative of restaurants like Chipotle and Panera for their efforts to reduce or eliminate it as well as other preservatives and processed shortcuts. I hope other restaurants continue to follow suit.
  • What I really hope, though, is that restaurant market forces and consumer demand curtail any potential efforts by the current administration to roll back these types of labeling practices. Last year, the FDA approved new packaging standards that will draw attention to sugar amounts, but the change doesn’t go into effect officially until 2018. Unfortunately, that’s plenty of time to find a half-cooked, horseshit excuse to stop it from happening. Oh. Wait. The excuses have already begun, and while this one is pretty minor (relatively speaking), I expect more attempts to stop a very useful change to nutrition labels when this one fails. It seems I’m not the only one with this expectation, either, as you can read here.
  • Back to those market demands, though. Despite some restaurants’ and food packagers’ obvious resistance, some companies recognize an increase in interest by consumers in what we’re eating. Even if there’s a halt in federal guidelines, there will still be companies who know the shift to greater understanding of what’s in our food is likely a long term one.
  • Keep fighting the good fight, Chipotle. You, too, Panera.

Snacks and Dessert

Arielle

Dessert: Frozen pineapple

Snack: Carrots with yogurt lime sauce

Us

Dessert: Nope

Snack: Carrots, random fistfuls of blueberries, the rest of a pineapple

Day 8

Breakfast

Arielle: Hearty breakfast hash with eggs, ground turkey, spinach, pomegranate seeds, and a side of roasted acorn squash

Us: egg white, toast with asiago spread, raspberries and blueberries

Thoughts

  • That breakfast will make a weekend appearance shortly.

Lunch

Arielle: Salad with romaine lettuce, roasted cauliflower, bell peppers, red onions, grilled chicken, chickpeas, and Buffalo sauce

Us: Stuffed spaghetti squash

Thoughts

  • Made this the night before (after the movie) with the intention to take it for lunch for a couple days. It keeps very well as a leftover item, so if you can carve out the time to make it ahead of time, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Also a good leftover item, the Buffalo turkey thing from last week.

 

Dinner

Arielle: Grilled cheese with lite mozzarella, red onions, garlic, mushrooms, and fresh figs

Us: Salad with a variety of veggies from the fridge, chicken, and yogurt lime sauce

The lineup here: mixed greens topped with baked chicken tenderloin, red pepper slices, leftover Brussels sprouts from the grilled cheese sandwiches, roasted chickpeas, carrots, black beans, avocado, and yogurt lime sauce.

Thoughts

  • Let’s talk about why we didn’t make the grilled cheese. In short, it didn’t do anything for either of our palates. Rightfully, it might have been good to me with everything but the figs and to my sister with everything but the onions, but it was just a bit too much of a customization project to justify making it.
  • We’re also trying not to overdo the bread. One of the things we both struggle with is how carbohydrates affect us; all we have to do is walk by a Carrabba’s and we feel full. This is unfortunate in a family with not-so-distant ancestors of Italian origin.
  • Our salad was something of a savior project. There were a number of vegetables that needed to be used, so we opted to take advantage of that and see what we might come up with that looked like food. Was this awesome? Not really. Was it a complete failure? Nope. Will I go out of my way to do it again? Definitely not.

Snacks and Dessert

Arielle

Dessert: Frozen mashed banana with frozen blueberries

Snack: Baby carrots and hummus

Pre-workout: Raw almonds

Us

Snack: Nope. Didn’t really get hungry between the squash and the salad or between breakfast and squash.

Dessert: Now, AFTER the salad was a different story. It was a high impact gym day, so we had to end the night with an apple and peanut butter.

Day 9

Breakfast

Arielle: Toast with peanut butter, banana slices, and cinnamon

Us: pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, egg white

Lunch

Arielle: Crab, Mango, and Avocado Tacos

Us: leftover squash

Thoughts

  • Once again, we were both in a big hurry. I swear we don’t rush around like idiots. We both just live a bit far from where we work, and in order to follow any more elaborate breakfast and lunch recipes, it either has to be a weekend or we have to get up at 5. Guess what’s not happening.
  • There’s also no way in hell we could take these tacos to either of our places of employment for several reasons, the most obvious being the whole prospect of assembling tacos in our offices like a couple douchebags.

Dinner

Arielle: Spanish Cauliflower Rice with red kidney beans, red onions, garlic, oil, bell peppers, and lite mozzarella cheese

Us: Crab, mango, and avocado tacos

Thoughts

  • We’ll get back to you on that Spanish cauliflower rice because it looks pretty awesome. Our problem was we wanted the crab tacos so badly we just opted for making them for dinner instead of lunch.
  • Let’s take a minute to talk about expectations and life. Then we’ll take another minute to ask a very important question.
    • These tacos looked like perfection. They even looked pretty adorable when we made them and set them up for this photo. Our expectation was taco divinity, but you see, reality has a way of laughing that idea down from time to time. To say these were bad would be wrong. There were a lot of things right with this recipe. However, they were missing something very important: flavor. I couldn’t find Tessemae’s Greek Goddess dressing, but I did find the lemon garlic variety. As a salad dressing, I’m willing to bet this is delicious. In fact, I’ll find out soon and let you know. When I tasted it prior to using it, it tasted exactly like what it said it was: lemon and garlic. It didn’t have that preserved flavor bottled salad dressings seem to have. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. However, as a taco seasoning, it was bland, even on crab.
    • When I read the recipe, I had a feeling these would be underwhelming, but my reasoning had less to do with dressing than with the taco toppings presented. Mangos and avocados are awesome, yes, but I wanted something more. Enter radishes and coleslaw mix. That was a good call to make them more interesting because, frankly, my expectation that crab, mango, some dressing, and avocado would be boring was right on target.
    • Finally, I have never liked seafood tacos. I do, however, like crab. I love real crab, to be clear. The imitation stuff is gross and has quite a bit of sugar so real crab was the only option. Unfortunately, I expected to find some fresh crab meat in this town but was disappointed. You know, though, I really should have known better. All I could get my hands on was the pasteurized stuff, and something about it just makes my stomach turn. I was also not eating it cold for all the money in the known universe. Coupled with my aversion to the combination of seafood and taco shells, it took a lot of mental coaching to make this. I was determined to try it, though, because it didn’t sound so bad in theory and maybe it would cure me of my seafood taco phobia. Verdict: eh.¬†Luckily, I expected not to love this, so I made a quick chicken breast, too, and tossed that in the dressing. If you really love seafood and hate flavor, this could become a favorite for you.
    • Squeezing some lime juice over these helped tremendously. Then I ate the lime. Because of course I did. I recommend this addition.
  • Now, speaking of flavor. Very important question: CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY
    Look. Beautiful.

    ARIELLE IS AFRAID OF FLAVOR!?!? Am I missing something here? Spices and herbs don’t have sugar so why is garlic the only flavor she believes in? Is she my mom in disguise? I’m not doing this anymore. From this second on, I’m going back to using herbs and spices. Sure, I believe the natural flavor of foods is important, but on what planet does that not get boring quickly? Definitely not the planet my sister and I live on. The thing that’s breaking us the most is not the lack of sugar but the feeling of obligatory eating. Instead of looking forward to the unique blending of flavors and how the right spice can elevate a bland protein to an out-of-body experience, we’re already starting to say, “Oh. Not that again,” because despite the variety of vegetables, there’s not much variety in flavor. That ends today.

 

Snacks and Dessert

Arielle

Dessert: Frozen pineapple

Snack: Baby carrots

Us

Snack: Navel orange

Dessert: I don’t want to talk about it. Fine. No one is perfect, okay? We were losing our minds, and in a moment of weakness, we found a Ghirardelli dark chocolate square and fell off the wagon. I told you I didn’t want to talk about it, and now look what you’ve done.

FINAL THOUGHTS AFTER DAY 9

  • I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said already.
  • My sister is going to LA and I have a huge party coming up so the next update might be interesting.

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