All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
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A bunch of my friends are doing the 28-day Arbonne detox. Click that link to go to their site & get a pretty thorough overview of the program. My friends all bought the whole program & committed to a 28 day cleanse. I was out of town for the first week, working, so – I started a week late. They all bought the products that assist in the detox – I did not (though I caved & bought the 7-day Cleanse). Other products they include are a protein shake & detox tea & some other things. Frankly, the price tag was a little out of my reach plus – I do not buy into the level of protein people in fitness & nutrition seem to be fixated on. Plus – the diet plan was not going to be especially restrictive for me as I eat pretty clean already. Here are the things you CANNOT eat on this cleanse (and it is a cleanse – NOT a diet):
- Peanuts & Peanut Butter
- Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup
- Artificial Sweeteners
- All Fruit EXCEPT limes, lemons green apples & berries
- Farm-raised fish
- Non Cage-Free Eggs
- Non Free-Range Chicken
- All Beef, other than grass fed
- White Potatoes
And here is the list of things you CAN eat:
- Almond, Coconut & Flax Milk
- Brown Rice
- Raw Almonds
- Almond Butter
- Coconut Sugar
- Stevia, Xylitol
- Green & Herb Teas
- Non Starchy Vegetables
- Organic green apples & berries
- Cage-Free Eggs
- Wild-caught Cold Water Fish (limit to 1x per week)
- Free-Range Chicken and Turkey
- Grass fed Beef (limit to 1x per week)
- Sweet Potatoes, Yams,
- Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Flaxseed Oil
So – I do not eat beef, chicken or fish & I really try to avoid eggs and I almost never eat sweets. But, a quick look at the menus & shopping lists found HERE left me confident that I could tweak things easily enough to stay satisfied. For me – the big challenge is not drinking a bottle of wine every night. Yes, every night. Also – my faux chicken of choice, Beyond Meat, has soy in it – so – I was going to try to minimize using it – but for the purposes of this cleanse ONLY! I will definitely return to it – likely before the end of my first week. Beyond Meat is just too good & the Quorn (I just realized) has both eggs & sugar in it. I bought this Quorn stuff to try, instead, though. It is NOWHERE NEAR as convincing as Beyond Meat but I will be using what I bought – and return to Beyond Meat. And it worked well in the chicken soup I am posting here.
Initially, I had no intention to blog about this experience but I did not want to go a month without posting things so – I am dragging you along on my journey. Because I did not intend to blog about it – I did not take very nice photos of the first dishes I tried – so please forgive the photography.
Oh – because I have a bunch of random vitamins & supplments around – I decided to add them (until they each run out) to my daily regimen. There is fish oil here because I bought some ages ago to aid my thin hair. Then I gave up fish – but – fuck it. I bought them, I have them, my hair needs help – so – I am taking them. Here is the random collection I amassed:
The plan suggests having one of their protein shakes for breakfast & maybe lunch, too. I never eat breakfast & do not believe I need a daily protein infusion so I am blowing off the shakes. So – I took the week 1 shopping list and spent $200 on everything on it that I did not already have. Five big bags, stuffed to the brim. For just me. For one week? But – know that the recipes I have made – made an ENORMOUS amount – enough for two – easily. In addition – they are easy & really very good, so far! So – if you and your partner want to do this plan – I would not double the recipes. So – $200 to feed two adults every meal & snack of the day for 7 days seems pretty economical, to me!
So far – I made their snack suggestion:
Serve chilled with carrots, sliced cucumber, snap peas or other favorite veggies or brown rice chips.
2 large beets, peeled and steamed
1 can garbanzo beans, mostly drained
2 lemons, juiced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 heaping Tbsp. tahini
¼ cup avocado oil (olive oil works well too)
- Place all ingredients in the blender and whirl till they have a smooth consistency!
- Chill and enjoy all week with veggies of your choice or brown rice chips
I could not find brown rice chips so – I used those above.
Then I made their
Beet and Avocado Salad
2 beets pre-cooked (or steamed)
1 cup spinach
Sweet and Spicy Dressing:
1/8 cup agave (I cut this in half)
1/2 Tbsp. siracha (I doubled this)
1/2 Tbsp. EVOO
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
- Cube beets and avocado.
- Layer spinach, beets, avocado, and pistachios.
- In a blender combine agave, siracha, EVOO and S+P.
- Drizzle dressing over salad, Enjoy!
This salad is a revelation!!!! I adore everything in it & the dressing was AMAZING! Plus, it made enough for two – so I ate some more with my dinner. AND I had it for lunch the next day!
Dinner was their:
Twice Baked Potatoes
*Veg: sub mushrooms instead of ground turkey
2 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. ghee
1 package ground turkey (I used Quorn meatless grounds – which I just discovered are merely vegetarian!)
taco seasoning (see recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com)
1 cup spinach
S+P to taste
fresh salsa (see recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com) – I used store bought
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook potatoes in oven 30-45 min. (or until easily pierced in the center with fork)
- Brown ground turkey with taco seasoning and a few tsp. of water.
- Cut potatoes in half and scrape inside into a med size bowl saving the skins.
- Mix in ghee, turkey, spinach and S+P to taste.
- Fill skins with the mixed potato.
- Place in shallow baking dish (covered in foil for easy cleanup) and broil for 5 min until top is browned.
- Add a scoop of your favorite fresh salsa and avocado.
TWO large sweet potatoes PLUS a 12 oz of protein? In my world, that is enough for two. I did not bother to stuff & cook the potato a second time. I ate it as above. I had another entire potato & more than half of the faux meat/spinach mix left over. I saved the second potato & fed it to my dogs over the course of two days, with their dinner.
The extra meat/spinach I added to the next recipe I made:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
*Veg: substitute veg broth and omit chicken
2 cups shredded chicken
4 Tbsp. olive oil
½ onion diced
1 large carrot; diced
1 zucchini; diced
1-quart chicken broth
2 cups water
1 lime + 1 more lime for topping
S+P to taste
4 Tbsp. cilantro + more for topping
1 can black beans
2 cups your favorite red salsa (fresh recipe at freshandcleanrecipes.com)
I added about 1-2 cups of leftover faux meat crumbles & spinach from the previous day – which was GOOD!
tortilla strips (brown rice tortillas cut in half and then cut into 1/4-inch strips and fried in coconut oil/ or EVOO)
chopped green onions
- Add EVOO to large pot over med heat.
- Once oil is warmed, add chopped onions stirring often so as not to burn. Cook approx. 3-5 min until onions are tender.
- Add shredded chicken, chicken broth, water, juice of 1 lime, carrots, diced zucchini, carrots, cilantro, black beans, salsa and S+P to taste.
- Simmer for 1 hour or longer.
- Pour into individual bowls and add preferred toppings toppings
The only toppings I used were avocado & cilantro. Frying tortilla strips (and I could not eve FIND brown rice tortillas, anyway) seemed like unnecessary calories.
This soup is delicious! Especially with the addition of the vegetarian meat crumbles from the previous night’s leftovers. I had it for dinner, lunch today and I still have more than enough for lunch tomorrow.
So – so far – this plan is great! I am not a snacker so – I have not indulged in any food outside of the two meals a day except – late night when I get hungry (because I have been way too energized to fall asleep before midnight – UNHEARD OF for me) – a handful of berries & maybe 8 raw almonds. I have not missed the wine, either, which is nothing short of a miracle! I will admit, I have become OBSESSED with My 600 Lb. Life! Mostly, I am amazed by the different shapes various people’s bodies take in an effort to store 600+ pounds. I would include some images but it feels like body-shaming – despite the fact that the show exists precisely to shock them into their own reality & then try to help them but MY LORD! The human body is an amazing thing.
So – I will keep you posted on my progress with this thing. So far – I am giving it an enthusiastic thumbs up. It might even be better if I could have sprung for all the fun products they offer but I will have to live with this budget version. If you CAN afford it – and I THINK it is about $300 – and you do it – let me know your results.