Welcome to my world: I’m on this 21-day cleanse designed to detoxify the body and support weight loss. For the first 10 days, we eat only Standard Process protein shakes, fiber capsules, cleanse capsules, and unlimited fruits and vegetables (maintaining a 2-1 ratio of veggies to fruit).
I won’t share any more statistics, like how much I weigh or my body fat percentage. This is, after all, a blog, and disclosing that kind of information seems akin to standing naked in front of a bathroom mirror in a very public and dressed-up place, like the symphony on a Saturday night. Suffice it to say that thanks to a demanding schedule and a delightfully permissive diet, I could stand to shed more than a few inches.
Initially, the list of foods allowed on this cleanse worried me. It's not that it seemed too short - it just seemed to be missing a few items. I’m no stranger to elimination diets, but I’ve never been without meat or nuts or tofu or something that seemed filling, in a pinch. Now, unless I cheat, I am going to have to forsake all those familiar safety nets. However, when I open my refrigerator, I see a formidable garden! I think I may have gotten a bit carried away at the store. Asparagus spears are elbowing the bell peppers for space on the bottom shelf, crowding in front of three bowls of baby greens. The top shelf is arrayed with seemingly every variety of melon known to humankind. It’s becoming abundantly clear to me that I'm not going to starve, or be hungry, or even feel deprived. Every time I turn around, it’s time to eat more vegetables!
I did feel a bit foggy today, unmoored from my habit of morning tea and whatever at all I want to eat, whether a virtuous bowl of oatmeal or a big Southern breakfast. I spent the morning running errands and mentally cataloging every eating establishment on my route, fast and slow and in-between; I never realized just how many restaurants lie in wait, like sirens in a rocky cove. However, I made it home safely in time for lunch, and this is what I made:
East Indian Curried Cauliflower Soup
½ small onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 lb. cauliflower
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (optional garnish)
Cook the onion in the oil in a saucepot over medium-high heat until soft. Add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper and cook for an additional minute. Add the cauliflower and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool; Puree. Put the coriander seeds in a small cast-iron skillet on medium-high, stirring occasionally until they brown.
Serve chilled or warm with coriander seeds as garnish; makes 3-4 portions.
~ Recipe adapted from Pulse it up! Your guide to unlock the power of food
Delicious, if I do say so myself. Whew. 20 days to go.
Ruth A. Cochran, MS, LAPC, NCC is a psychotherapist at TRU Integrative Health & Wellness in Atlanta, GA. Ruth works with individuals and couples; her therapeutic focus involves helping clients gain insight into limiting self-perceptions and behavior patterns to manage stress, create new meaning, and achieve the clarity, balance and interpersonal effectiveness they are seeking. Ruth approaches therapy collaboratively, using mindfulness and meditation as central tools for awareness-building and transforming moment-to-moment experience.
Ruth practices under the direction of Kathryn Truax, LPC and the clinical supervision of Annie Kelahan, ATR, LPC.