Sunday, January 22, 2012

[CLEAN Challenge] The End Has Come

Well kids, if you started your detox with us on January 2nd...tonight is the end.  Don't know about you, but we have been counting down the hours all day!  Congratulations to everyone that finished - it is no easy task!! We hope that along the way you picked up some healthy habits, found some new foods you enjoy, lost a few pounds, and feel a little healthier.  Here's to your first sip of wine, bite of chocolate, or whatever you have been dreaming of having - "it's so good...once is touches your lips"!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

[CLEAN Challenge] WEEK 3: Are We Done Yet?

Yes, this is when it starts to get a little tiresome but hopefully you are feeling great and seeing the benefits of detoxing.  I saved some of our favorite recipes for this week.  Hope you enjoy!

DAY 1, 3, 5, 7 [WEEK 3]
Breakfast Smoothie with peaches and raspberries
1 cup Dirty Black Beans & Rice
Cucumber & Red Onion salad
2 carrots with hummus
1-2 cups Cauliflower & Kale Soup
Sautéed yellow squash
1/2 avocado

DAY 2, 4, 6 [WEEK 3]
Breakfast Smoothie with pineapple and mango
6 oz chicken/fish
Large spinach salad w/ olive oil and vinegar
1 carrot
1/2 apple with 2 tbsp cashew or almond butter
1-2 cups Marci's Veggie Soup
Sautéed spinach
1/2 avocado

1 head cauliflower
2 garlic bulbs
3 yellow onions
1 red/purple onion
3-4 apples
4-5 avocados
Large container of spinach
4 cucumbers
6 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 cup mushrooms
1 bunch kale
Fresh parsley
Fresh dill
Dried rosemary
Dried thyme
Dried oregano
Cajun seasoning
Chili powder
3-4 pieces of chicken or fish
Cashew or almond butter
2 cups brown rice
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Frozen peaches, raspberries, pineapple, mango
2 cans spicy black beans (with the Mexican food at WF)
1 jar green olives (optional)
16 cups vegetable stock
Rice or almond milk

[CLEAN Recipe] Cucumber & Red Onion Salad

4 cucumbers, sliced in thin coins
1 red/purple onion, slide in thin rings
1 cup green olives, sliced (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Fresh dill, chopped

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

[CLEAN Recipe] Dirty Black Beans & Rice

1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans spicy black beans (found with the Mexican food at WF, not the other beans)
2 cups brown rice
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp chili powder

1. Bring 5 cups of vegetable stock to boil, add rice, reduce to simmer and cook until water is absorbed.
2. Saute onion and garlic in oil in large sauce pan until tender.  Add 1 cup vegetable stock, black beans, and seasoning/spices.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
3. When rice is cooked, combine with beans and mix well.

[CLEAN Recipe] Marci's Veggie Soup

1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
2 yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch coins
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch coins
3-4 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch coins
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1. Heat oil in pan, add onion and garlic.  Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onions are clear.
2. Add vegetable stock and all other ingredients.
3. Reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Yield: 6 cups

[CLEAN Recipe] Cauliflower & Kale Soup

1 large head cauliflower, cut in 2' pieces
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch of kale, cut into ribbons
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups plain unsweetened rice milk or almond milk
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

1. Heat oil in large skillet.  Add onion, salt and pepper, and garlic.  Sauté for 3 minutes, until onion is clear.
2. Add vegetable stock and cauliflower and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove half the soup and blend.  Add blended portion back into soup.
4. Add the rice/almond milk, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and kale.
5. Simmer for 5-10 minutes so flavors can blend.

Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, January 8, 2012

[CLEAN Tip] Snacks and Sweets

Here are a few of our favorite snacks and sweets:

Mary Gone Crackers - Great gluten free crackers, have some with hummus, soup or a salad
Beanitos - Chips made from pinto beans and flax seed, try with some hummus and avocado slices on top
Coconut Bliss - Yummy ice cream made with coconut water, vanilla bean and agave, have with some fruit on top

Saturday, January 7, 2012

[CLEAN Challenge] WEEK 2: Meal Plans & Shopping List

DAY 1, 3, 5, 7 [WEEK 2]
Breakfast Smoothie with blueberries and mango
1 1/2 cups Mushroom Quinoa (reduce to 1/2 cup and add chicken or fish)
1/2 cup pineapple
1 carrot
1 brown rice cake w/ 1 tbsp of nut butter (can add a drizzle of agave)
1-2 cups Broccoli & Arugula Soup
1/2 cup sautéed spinach
1/2 avocado

DAY 2, 4, 6 [WEEK 2]
Breakfast Smoothie with raspberries and pineapple
Turkey or Veggie Sandwich/Wrap
1/2 apple with almond butter
Kale Chips or carrots with hummus
1/2 cup sautéed zucchini
1/2 avocado

3-4 yellow onions
1 red onion
3-4 apples

3-4 lemons
Butternut squash (*or 3-4 yellow squash)
1 head of broccoli
2-3 bunches of kale (if eating kale chips)
1 cup arugula
1 container prepared pineapple
3-4 avocados
1/2 cup of 3 varieties of mushrooms

1 fennel bulb
2 cucumbers
Swiss chard

Kalamata olives, pitted
Fresh thyme, oregano, sage
Coconut oil

Olive oil
Cashew or almond butter

Brown rice cakes
2 cups quinoa
1 15oz can white beans
Flax seed meal
Cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds
Chicken/Fish (optional)

Turkey breast, sliced (optional)
Frozen blueberries, pineapple, mango, raspberries

1 loaf Millet bread (Food for Life in frozen section) -or- Brown rice tortillas 
8 cups vegetable stock (3 - 1 quart cartons)
4 cups mushroom stock (1 - 1 quart carton)
2 cartons of Rice Milk
Psillium husks
Red Pepper Flakes
Ground pepper
Fennel Seeds (dried)
Protein powder (we use Alive Pea Protein)

[CLEAN Recipe] Turkey or Veggie Sandwich/Wrap

2 pieces Millet bread or toast (we buy Food for Life from WF) -or-
1 Brown rice tortilla (Food for Life)
2 slices of turkey breast (optional)
2 tbsp hummus
1 handful of spinach (or other green)
1/2 carrot, cut in small strips
1/4 cucumber, sliced in coins
1 slice of red onion
5-6 sliced kalamata olives

1. Spread hummus on bread/wrap
2. Layer with remaining ingredients

[CLEAN Recipe] Mushroom Quinoa

2 cups quinoa
4 cups mushroom stock (Vegetable stock if you can't find mushroom)
1/2 cup of 3 varieties of mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow onion
3 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash of red pepper flakes

1. Bring mushroom stock to boil; add quinoa and cook 15 minutes or until stock is absorbed
2. While quinoa is cooking, heat oil in large sauce pan.  Add onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes or until onion is clear.
3. Add mushroom, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 5 minutes stirring frequently
4. When quinoa is done, combine with mushrooms

Yield: 8 servings
From: The Ditzell House

[CLEAN Recipe] Vegetable Ragout With White Beans

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed (*See below for substitute)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, halved and cored
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 15oz can white beans
2 cups vegetable stock
8 leaves of swiss chard (or other green), stems removed, cut in ribbons
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Combine squash, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 of the garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper in a large baking dish.  Toss to coat, then roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in large skillet.  Add onion, salt and pepper, and garlic.  Sauté for 3 minutes, until onion is clear.  Stir in fennel, fennel seeds, carrots, remaining salt, and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add beans, vegetable stock and *yellow squash; reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until beans begin to break down and sauce thickens.
4. Add *cooked butternut squash, chard leaves, and spices.  Cook for 10 minutes, adding water as needed to keep ragout saucy.

*Butternut squash can be sweet; if you prefer something less sweet or do not want to have to bake the squash - use yellow squash instead, cut into 1 inch coins

Yields: 6 servings
From: Shape Magazine

[CLEAN Recipe] Broccoli & Arugula Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, roughly diced
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup arugula
1/2 lemon

      Heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for just a minute or until fragrant. Add the broccoli and cook for four minutes or until bright green. Add the veggie stock, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for eight minutes or until the broccoli is just tender. Pour the soup into a blender and puree with the arugula until quite smooth. Be very careful when blending hot liquids; start slowly and work in batches if necessary (you don’t want the steam to blow the lid off). Serve the soup with a bit of fresh lemon.

      Yield: 4 cups [*Note: We double the recipe to have enough for the week]
      From: CLEAN via

      Friday, January 6, 2012

      [CLEAN Tip] The Benefits of Lemon Water

      Keep everything flowing and moving through your body...start each morning with a glass of room temperature water with 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice in it.  It will clean your liver and colon, can relieve heartburn, and so much more...

      Check out these links on the benefits of drinking lemon water:
      [Livestrong] Benefits of Lemon Water
      Water Benefits Health
      Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

      Tuesday, January 3, 2012

      [CLEAN Challenge] What To Expect During Detox

      The goal of CLEAN is to rid your body of toxins and substances that cause inflammation in order to allow your body to 'rest' and detox.  Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar can cause withdrawal symptoms that are similar to any other addictive substance.  As your body begins to detox, you may begin to feel some side effects.  Headaches, sore muscles, cranky moods, insomnia and the general feeling of being physically weak are common during the first few days of the detoxification process. People who are coffee addicted may have stronger "pull out" effects, as usually their PH Balance is not normal.

      According to experts, these detoxification symptoms are the normal reaction of a body in change. Note that when you undergo a detoxification process, you change your daily routine thus your body’s daily activities are altered.  If you start feeling dizzy and lightheaded, do not be alarmed. Give your body time to adjust to the changes. If you feel nervous and cranky, try taking a walk or doing some yoga exercises to calm yourself.  In a few days, you will start feeling a lot better!!

      Monday, January 2, 2012

      [CLEAN Challenge] I HAVE To Eat Out....Now What?

      It's bound to have to attend a lunch or dinner out!  Though not ideal, you can still follow CLEAN while eating out.  If possible, schedule your meals out at lunch so that you are still eating your biggest meal in the middle of the day.  Here are some tips to get you through (most restaurants are open to making modifications to food, just ask!):

      To start:
      •Drink sparkling water or tea
      •Have a salad - order it with no tomatoes and oil & vinegar dressing
      •Have a piece of chicken or fish, ask that it be prepared with oil (no butter)
      •Order several sides of vegetables prepared with oil, salt, and pepper
      •Mexican food: Try some chicken fajitas with veggies and guacamole but NO tortilla, sour cream or cheese
      •Asian food: This one is a little harder, most asian sauces have soy and gluten in them - Zen does have a gluten-free Miso sauce that you can put over a brown rice bowl with veggies or chicken on top
      •Hot tea
      •Fruit bowl (you may have to pick out the fruits you can eat)

      Sunday, January 1, 2012

      [CLEAN Challenge] WEEK 1: Are You Packing?

      The time has start cooking your food and packing a lunch!  Below you will find a sample week 1 menu and some items that are great to have on your shopping list.  We usually make 3-4 items each Sunday and reheat them all week for lunch and dinner.  Here we go...

      DAY 1, 3, 5, 7 [WEEK 1]
      Breakfast Smoothie with frozen pineapple and mango
      2 cups Quinoa Pilaf (reduce to 1 cup and a piece of chicken or fish)
      1/2 apple with 2tbsp of cashew butter
      2 carrots with hummus (be sure to read the ingredients on hummus, we buy Mediterranean Chef - Grandma's Hummus)
      1-2 cups of Pea, Mushroom & Turnip Chowder
      1/2 cup sautéed collard greens
      1/2 avocado

      DAYS 2, 4, 6 [WEEK 1]
      Breakfast Smoothie with frozen cherries and peaches
      1 1/2 cups of brown rice with 1/2 cup of black beans (we buy the 365 spicy black beans at WF)
      -or- 6 oz of chicken/fish with a large spinach salad w/oil and vinegar dressing
      1 pear
      1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
      Handful of cashews or almonds
      1-2 cups of Creamy Carrot Soup
      Sautéed green beans
      1/2 avocado

      3-4 yellow onions
      3-4 apples
      3-4 pears
      3-4 large turnips
      3-4 avocados 
      3 cups of mushrooms
      4 cups of carrots
      Green beans
      Collard greens
      6-8 cups of spinach
      Fresh dill/parsley
      Coconut Oil
      Cashew or almond butter
      1 1/2 cups quinoa
      2 cups long grain brown rice
      Canned spicy black beans (we buy 365 brand)
      Flax seed meal
      Cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds
      Chicken/Fish (optional)
      Frozen peas, mango, pineapple, cherries, peaches
      18 cups vegetable stock (5 - 1 quart cartons)
      2 cartons of Rice Milk
      Psillium husks
      Red Pepper Flakes
      Ground pepper
      Fennel Seeds (dried)
      Protein powder (we use Alive Pea Protein)

      [CLEAN Recipe] Brown Rice

      We usually make a huge batch of brown rice to eat on each week.  It is easy to put sautéed veggies, fish, chicken or beans on top for a fast lunch meal.  This recipe is from our very own Michael Lerner!

      5 cups vegetable stock
      2 cups long grain brown rice
      3 tsp paprika
      1 tsp salt
      1tsp ground pepper

      Bring water to a boil, combine all ingredients and reduce to simmer until all water is cooked down.

      [CLEAN Recipe] Quinoa Pilaf

      1 1/2 cup quinoa
      3 cups vegetable stock
      4 cloves minced garlic
      1 yellow onion, chopped
      2 tbsp olive oil
      2 cups sliced mushrooms
      6-8 cups raw spinach
      Red pepper flakes

      1. Add 3 cups of veggie stock to saucepan, bring to a boil and add quinoa.  Cover and reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
      2. While quinoa is cooking, add olive oil to sauté pan.  Add onions, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
      3. When onions are almost clear, beginning adding spinach and stir frequently until spinach is wilted.
      4. Stir the cooked quinoa into the vegetables and gently combine.

      From: Adapted from The Oaks at Ojai

      [CLEAN Recipe] Pea, Mushroom, and Turnip Chowder

      3 tbsp olive oil
      2 cups chopped yellow onion
      6 cups vegetable stock
      3 cups cubed turnips (3-4 large turnips), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
      2 tsp sea salt
      1/2 tsp ground black pepper
      1 package frozen peas
      1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
      Dash of red pepper flakes
      Fresh parsley

      1. Heat 6-8 quart pot, add 2 tbsp of oil and sauté onions for 5 minutes, stirring often
      2. Add 4 cups of vegetable stock and the turnips, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Cover and bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until turnips are tender
      3. Add the peas, mushrooms and remaining stock to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes
      4. Garnish with parsley and serve.

      Yields: 8 cups
      Adapted from: The Great American Detox Diet