You’ve all read the teasers on Pinterest – “lose 10 lbs in a week eating only tuna fish and cottage cheese.” #Nope. I opted for a vegan cleanse instead, and here’s what happened …
Many of you know, I’m on a serious weight loss journey – I’ve lost 35+ pounds since I moved to Chicago a year ago – my mission is slow and steady implementing habit changes that I can keep in the long term. Because, duh.
I’m so lucky to have a group of supportive coworkers – we call ourselves the FitFam since we’re all connected via our FitBits. I wanted to do some sort of reset before Thanksgiving food craziness, and I talked these awesome ladies into doing a three-day vegan cleanse with me.
What I didn’t want to do is go vegan by eating nothing but pasta and potatoes for three days. Most of my recipes focused on fruits, veggies, and non-meat protein like quinoa and beans. I also cut alcohol and stuck to green tea and water.
Sunday breakfast: berry kale smoothie with coconut water base
Sunday lunch: kale and quinoa glow bowl
Sunday dinner: veggie burger patties with sweet potato fries
Monday breakfast: berry kale smoothie with coconut water base (same each day)
Monday lunch: leftover glow bowl
Monday dinner: Thai spaghetti squash with peanut sauce
Tuesday breakfast: berry kale smoothie with coconut water base (same each day)
Tuesday lunch: Spaghetti squash hash browns
Tuesday dinner: leftover veggie burger patties with roasted cauliflower
For the berry kale smoothies, I used my normal morning smoothie recipe (banana, kale, frozen berries, milk) but subbed milk for coconut water. I didn’t think I’d notice at all. I was wrong. That said, if you didn’t look at the black sludge, it tasted great and kept me full all morning.
Holy roasted chick peas. These things are my new crack and I’ve been making them every couple of weeks since doing this cleanse. I like mixing different spices, but I think my favorite is paprika.
Another recipe winner was the glow bowl. I still make these, but I make them better by adding beef. 😉
What Didn’t Work
The vegan burgers – which were a combo of beans, oatmeal, mushrooms, and lots of spices – were practically inedible. I threw all of it away and ate raw carrots and the sweet potato fries for dinner. Not my finest moment, but I really couldn’t stomach the burgers. On the third day I was supposed to have leftovers, so I subbed in yet another glow bowl.
I felt very tied to my kitchen for these three days and it was more expensive than my typical grocery trip. I’m sure the *real* vegans out there have this down to a science and are more conscious about optimizing their meal ingredients. Regardless, I have a new respect for vegans as I really don’t know how I would have gone out to eat.
Other TMI …
Yeah, what you’ve read is true. I’d recommend doing this (or at least starting it) on a day when you’re home with quick access to a private bathroom – you get my drift …
I lost 6 lbs in three days and felt fabulous! I think if you binge eat a pizza, cookie dough, and a bottle of wine the next day, it probably doesn’t stay off. But I went back to mindful eating, so it did! Plus, it really got me out of my comfort zone in terms of cooking and meal ideas.
For anyone who wants to give it a try, I’m linking the FitFam’s Pinterest board of vegan (or modifiable) recipes.