Home About Contact Food as Medicine Consults Recipes Blog  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 8th and 9th: Schkinny Maninny detox days #4 and #5

By this time, super-early mornings and dashing to the front door for the day's juices was becoming second nature.

Day #4 had me commencing with the usual green concoction, a juice that continued to surprise me with it's ability to keep me 'full' for a lot longer than expected, considering I'm usually fastidious about eating a protein rich breakfast (hemp seeds, hemp seeds and hemp seeds!) and these juices are, well, not exactly protein packed.

The remainder of the day was fairly standard, however my curious and bewildering adoration of the Lentil Luncheon intensified, and I slurped that bad boy right down on both day #4 and #5.

My evening "soup-juice" on day #4 was the Schkinny Butter Seed, a pumpkin, white bean, pumpkin seed and nonspecific "thai spices" (it was ginger) combination. I gotta admit, I didn't quite expect the pumpkin to be raw, but raw it was! You know when you expect something to taste a certain way, and then it doesn't, and it's kind of a bummer? Yeah, that. But after my initial hesitation, it wasn't so bad - probably the only soup I warmed up to (hehe) within the first few spoonfuls.

Day #5, my final day, saw a whole new gamut of juices to final hurrah with - the not at all green Schkinny Cage Fighter for breakfast, the in fact very green Schkinny Pine Ginger Splice for mid-morning (oooh, like how they mixed it up there......just when you think you the score, bam - you're drinking your green juice at 11am), and my beloved nemesis Lentil Luncheon for lunch. Parting was such savoury sorrow.

My initial relief upon discovering that the 'dinner' juice was the very appealing sounding (and tasting!) Schkinny Beet Froot Tingle was shortlived. This juice was a straight up juice. Unlike the other lunchy-dinnery juices, it had no beans or nuts in it, and you definitely weren't required to heat it and eat it with a spoon. An hour after 'eating' it, my stomach was in knots from unfulfillment. I really cant say whether it was physiological or psychological, but unlike the other evening juices, which although occasionally unappetising, always filled me up. By the time I got home to my Schkinny Sleep Well, I'd barely restrained myself from attacking the toaster at work, with some bread. The attacking the bread, with peanut butter. And my mouth.

And with that - detox fin.

The next day, I was encouraged to stick primarily to fruits and vegetables for the next 2-3 days, and given some meal ideas (fruit for breakfast, and steamed or raw veggies for the remainder of the day - very little protein content), but I shunned that and promptly scrambled myself some tofu. Sitting down, plate on lap, fork in hand felt incredibly bizarre. As good as the food tasted, eating it was unsettling and felt almost dreamlike, but I soon re-found my eating legs and the rest of the day passed in a blur of Munsterhaus and enchiladas (recipe to come!).

The Schkinny Maninny detox was an experience. I was lucky to not experience any of the 'detox' symptoms I'd been warned of (except for the occasional hunger pang, but that's fairly standard for me), yet still got to reap the benefits. I needed less sleep and was waking feeling more refreshed. The eczema on my elbow cleared up (with the assistance of a wonderful nutritional and herbal cream my friend made up for me). I don't experience these symptoms on an every day basis but I had absolutely zero digestive issues - no bloating, flatulence, cramping or anything. I had plenty of energy throughout the day. My clothes started feeling looser and my tummy was flatter, and the scales at the gym told me I had lost approximately 2 kilos. And, apparently, the whites of my eyes were looking "very white".

Despite the benefits, a detox like this probably wouldn't work as a permanent fixture. It's quite low in calories (1700 per day), particularly for active people and additionally low in protein, which we need in good quantities for just about everything. However, it does reinforce the rewards we receive when taking good care of ourselves - health. It's a wonderful way to 'kickstart' a new way of eating or 'reboot' your system. If you want to maintain the benefits gained from the detox, you have no choice but to introduce healthy eating and regular exercise into your daily life.

I appreciated doing the Schkinny Maninny detox for the reasons above - as much as I do eat good foods and "take care of myself", I was aware that I could and should be doing more for my health. Five days of detoxing showed me what I was missing out on by not doing so. Since I finished, I have been far more conscious of what I am eating and why and do I really need a slice of chocolate cake at 11pm?

Things I didn't enjoy? Whilst I loved each and every juice to bits, the nutty nightcap moreso, I found the soups to be, literally, hard to swallow. Additionally, I'm not a huge fan of the name 'Schkinny Maninny' and the attached marketing techniques (bride "bingeing" on pasta - oh lord, not the dreaded carb bloat!), although I'm aware that this probably works a treat within some demographics. As long as customers are aware that any weight they may lose on this diet is akin to that lost on a crash diet and as we all know, it reappears the minute you revert back to whatever was 'normal' for you. I also would never have been able to afford to do this detox, but to be fair, $10 for a 600ml, organic juice, delivered to your door every day isn't too terrible - unless you're paying for 30 at once!

I'm also going to miss the convenience of waking up and being 'sorted' for the day as far as meals go, particularly for those days when I had long work or school hours. Don't get me wrong, I love cooking, but there's something so liberating about popping a few juices in your bag and knowing you're taken care of in the edibles department. The daily encouraging emails and cards were also a cute touch.

If you're keen to try out the detox for yourself, head to Schkinny Maninny to find out more about what they have available. Say hi to the Lentil Luncheon from me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 6th and 7th 2011: Schkinny Maninny juice detox day #2 and #3!

I woke up the second morning with the proverbial spring in my step (as promised by detoxes far and wide), and rushed to the front door for the unveiling of my second "fresky" of juices. A few surprises in store - a Schkinny Water Frog for breakfast, a Rocky Orange for my afternoon snack and a new soup - the Colly, Meg and Lee.

A busy day for me, I had a few appointments before a long afternoon and evening at work, meaning I had to drag a green bag of juices around with me for much of the day. I had a fitness assessment at the gym first thing as next week I start my very first six week boot camp (what's with me and torture lately?) and was able to weigh myself - 62.6kg. I dont own scales at home and rarely step on them in general, but it was useful to be able to as weight loss is, I suppose, one of the 'benefits' of detoxing (though, as with any temporary change in lifestyle that reverts within a week's time, some of these benefits can be fleeting at best).

I struggled again through my Lentil Luncheon, not quite able to finish it, and grimacing every time a stray cumin seed made contact with my taste buds, but as much as I was meh about this particular soup, the one I'd received for dinner (the Colly, Meg and Lee - cauliflower, white beans, nutmeg and leek) was beyond meh-ness and entering a brand new realm of ew-ness. I'm not sure if these soups are entirely raw (but as they contain legumes, I'm inclined to say they arent) but holy shit, leek needs to be cooked, not raw! Listen, I'm a massive fan of garlic, and will regularly consume enough to successfully ward off an army of vampires and/or potential suitors (okay, I dont have much to do with either of those anymore) but this was a whole 'nother level of pungent! The sinkhole got to enjoy the half-remainder of this number, and my stomach got to enjoy feeling sad and empty.

Thankfully, I had my almond-brazil-linseed milk to come home to and lull me to sleep with it's nutty caress.

Day 3 also found me naturally awaking a good forty minutes earlier than I normally do, feeling more rested and alert than I ever have at this time of morning.

I attempted a gym class (I had only been walking up until this point, as advised to by the nifty little cards we receive daily - recommending we don't "overdo it") and felt totally fine (in a "I'm sweaty and sore and ow my calves are burning" kinda way).

My mid-afternoon snacky soup was the Pine-Root (hehe) which - a combination of my alltime faves pineapple, beetroot, ginger, carrot and apple - was a huge treat.

Lunchtime yet again saw me tackling a Lentil Luncheon - I decided to strain out all the lentils with my spoon and leave the soupiness for never, however, I actually found myself enjoying it! Amazement of amazings! It went down quite a treat and I managed to finish the whole thing without wanting to cry.

Dinner soup was the Rockin' Tomato Soup which I was familiar with from day one, and didn't we have an experience together? I gave up about halfway through. Not because it didn't taste good, but I was just texturally unexcited. Lachie encouraged me to slurp up the rest with a straw which worked a treat, and got me through it, but it was a battle, I'll tell ya.

Nutty milk to finish, oh god, how I will long for you.

How am I feeling? Not a hint of headache or a minutae of malaise. The only main difference I have noticed is the waking earlier of the mornings. My bowel motions (which I was super interested in noting changes of) are largely identical to always (regular, easy to pass and well formed, thankyouverymuch) and my energy levels (which are normally quite steady throughout the day) are also samesies. Psychologically, it's had it's hellish moments. I'm certainly not hungry, but my brain is majorly crushing on SOLID (vegan) FOOD OF ANY DESCRIPTION! Over the hump and with two days to go, I shall report back on new happenings promptly!

Monday, September 5, 2011

September 5th 2011: Schkinny Maninny juice detox - day #1!

I remember first reading about home-delivery style juice detoxes in Lisa Dempster's blog and thinking it would be something I'd love to challenge myself with one day....when I could afford it. However! As a "health practitioner" who also blogs (erm, occasionally), sometimes lovely things like free detoxes just fall into your lap!

I've done a couple of detoxes before - the 10 day raw detox was simultaneously gut-gnawingly frustrating and enlightening (the first two days of eating only one type of fruit were notoriously awful - I gave up after four apples, preferring to eat nothing for the rest of the day rather than battling my way through another Royal Gala).

So, when Schkinny Maninny kindly offered me the opportunity to partake in their detox, I (somewhat anxiously) jumped at the chance - bravely selecting the longest cleanse available, a whole five days! Because I am so incredibly popular, it was somewhat difficult to find a period of five days where I didn't have some kind of eating-centric social outing scheduled, but I managed, thus yesterday I began my cleanse.

With some trepidation I went to bed the night before, conflicted with the fact that my last solid food for the next forever was a noodle dish prepared by my father (yes, very cute, but veggie dogs and bottled teriyaki sauce - oh and canned mushrooms - do not combine so well) and a few bites of vegan chocolate cake devoured minutes before midnight "as to not let it go to waste!".

I jumped out of bed early the next morning to find my little esky box and bag of additional treats waiting by the front door - all in all, six labelled juices and a loofah, some 'detox' tea, bath soak and a small jar of psyllium husk just in case your bowels seize up at the thought of a liquid diet. Also included is an informative little card, complete with "do's and dont's", letting you know how you might expect to feel that day - on this, the first day, "malaise, headaches, nausea and even vomiting" are what I have to look forward to!

My first juice of the day was the "Leap Frog" - a vibrant green concotion, super refreshing and a lovely way to start the day, consumed whilst doing my "gentle exercise" (a walk) of the day. Shortly after, I had the spicy "Pine Grapple". I am really enjoying that these juices are half juiced and half blended, meaning they are somewhat thicker and certainly more filling than they would be if they were just squeezed.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that two of my 'juices' were, in fact, soups! The first one I had was the "Lentil Luncheon", which I gently heated over the stove. Not being the hugest fan of cumin, particularly whole seeds, I struggled a little through this one, finding the flavour overwhelming but simultaneously enjoying having something more savoury and chewiness of the lentils. Normally, I insist on eating soup with a slice of toast, so I found it kinda tough not having my bready friend to help me out and bailed on the soup about three quarters through.

I had my next juice in clinic, where my head was clear and my brain was working just fine much to my astonishment (I had expected to be in a zombie-like daze by this stage) and it was the "Fruit Punch", sweet and a great pick-me-up for the late afternoon. I also nibbled on the little contained of pumpkin and sunflower seeds provided for the day (which I didn't really need, but hey, cant let them just sit around!).

Dinner was another 'soup-juice' (joup? souice?) the 'Rockin' Tomato Soup' - which was actually more green in colour than tomatoe-y in colour (from the rocket) and was nice and slightly bitter. Once again, I couldn't get through it, leaving about a quarter of it.

By about 9pm, I really wanted to go to bed. I realised that usually at this time of night, I've had a really filling dinner with lots of different flavours and am either settling down with some popcorn or a cacao hot chocolate or some other little snacky thing, and knowing that was basically not gonna happen was somewhat de-motivational. I just wanted to go to bed, and read, and not think about it. My lovely boyfriend consuming an exceptionally delicious looking salad right next to me also didn't help matters, knowing I couldn't even pinch a little bit of tofu from it was tough. Additionally, my usual night-time activity of perusing the pantry for deliciousness had been taken away from me. So! Bed it was. Prior to that - my last juice of the evening - a 'Sleep Well' mix of almonds, brazil nuts and linseeds. Holy shit! This stuff was truly liquid crack in juice detox form, I drank the effing 600ml bottle so fast, I felt seriously not great after. Will have to pace myself in future.

All in all, apart from a few psychological battles, the first day was fine. No malaise, not a twinge of headache and certainly no nausea and vomiting. Not even the furry tongue and bad breath I was promised, dammit! As much as I suppose this might be a reflection on me having a pretty clean diet (largely caffeine, alcohol, sugar and wheat free - oh and vegan), I cant help being a tad disappointed.

Fingers crossed for some malaise for tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

tortilla soup aka reverse nachos!

This literally took me under half an hour and did the trick in satisfying my craving for corn chip heavy/nutrition light nachos by replacing it with this nutrition heavy/corn chip light (but more than enough to fulfil the enduring need) stewy soup.

The recipe was quite heavily based on Isa's (wonderful, amazing, brilliant) newish cookbook 'Appetite for Reduction' which I am steadily making my way through. The biggest change I made was adding in a cup or so of cooked quinoa in order to amp up the protein a little in addition to providing a broader spectrum of essential (and nonessential!) amino acids when combined with the beans and corn. I also chucked in my everlasting love, avocado, because it's such a wonderful way to ingest good fats.

Tortilla Soup!

1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil (a relatively flavourless oil I like to use for cooking due to it's stability when heated)
1 red onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (which I obtained from Thomas Dux grocer in Richmond. They're so squat and cute!)
1 green capsium and 1 red capsicum cut into smallish cubes
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can of whole tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin (I had none so used some 'burrito seasoning' i found - 3rd ingredient was cumin)
1 can of vegetable broth (hot water + 1 teaspoon Massel salt reduced chicken stock)
good few handfuls of corn chips (the Macro branded 'spicy bbq' variety are without competition)
1 can of borlotti beans

1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cobs of corn, with the corn kernels knifed off
chopped coriander

Preheat your oil for a tad, and add your onion and jalapeno pepper and capsicums. Sautee until onions become translucent and soft, which took about 3-4 minutes. Next add the garlic and salt, and continue to sautee.

Empty the can of tomatoes into the pot and stab repeatedly with your stirring implement, breaking it up some, and add the vegetable broth. Mix in the cumin and a handful of crumbled corn chips (yes! Into the wet mix!). Cover and bring to the boil, once it has been brought to said boil - add the beans, quinoa and corn and reduce heat, allowing to simmer for about 5 minutes (or as long as you can possibly wait).

Plate (bowl?) up and cover with more crumpled corn chips, a half avocado or so per person, coriander and a wedge of lime for squirting.

God so good.

Apologies for crappy iPhone photo. I'm getting my blogging act together one step at a time, you see.