Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All Good Things

Well, hello there.

Long time, no see.

Let me go ahead and clear the air: I've been bad- very bad.

In addition to my blogging negligence, I sort of fell off the wagon.

Ok, I wasn't that bad. I'm still off meat and have no desire for it, but...

Let's rewind:

It all started with the cleanse. Remember that little 3 week plan of mine?

As I expressed repeatedly in posts from several weeks ago, I wasn't too gung ho from the start.

While the 21 days without gluten, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, animal products and drinking liquids 'til noon left my system cleaned out, it left my tummy RUMBLING!

The first week and a half wasn't too bad and, to be honest, the only reason I was able to stay afloat all 21 days was because of Alex.

Round about the start of week 3, my appetite started going stir crazy. I distinctly remember the breaking point.

It came at about 7:30 on a Monday night.

Alex and I were running an errand across town and we were hungry. He said he knew of a really great Indian place in the area. I suggested we stop in and grab a bite. He protested slightly, saying we probably wouldn't find anything to meet our dietary needs, but eventually gave in due to my ravenous, grump-meister attitude.

We walked in. The place was elaborately decorated with Indian flare; a cheerfully colorful Bollywood flick donned the big screen TV in the middle of the dining room.

It smelled of all things decadently Indian and I was excited.

Until I read the menu... and there was practically nothing for us!

Indian cuisine is arguably one of the most vegetarian-friendly, healthy types of food in the world!

We couldn't even eat the complimentary papadum that came with the table.

Now I was seething inside.

Why was I depriving myself of something I knew was ok for my body? Something I wanted and had enjoyed plenty of times with no abysmal after effects?

I expressed my discontent to my partner in crime, and we both decided we'd come this far and might as well finish the task at hand.


That's around the time that people who see me on the regular started commenting on my weight- how I was losing some. If you know me, you know that's no bueno. I am NOT trying to get smaller, I'm trying to get ripped- like Madonna, remember? ;)


Then the mad cravings started...

While I used to ache for hearty salads with all sorts of fruits and veggies, homemade vegan chocolate granola bars and whole wheat toast with eggs, in the midst of intense deprivation, my yearnings shifted to things like:




I couldn't even satisfy my sweet tooth with a doctored up bowl of oats in the morning


A: I couldn't eat breakfast (I had to drink it)


B: Oats weren't allowed on the cleanse!


Finally day 21 hit and I was free. Free to indulge, free to run wild and eat whatever my heart desired.

And that's just what I did.

The first morning off the cleanse started innocently enough.

I had iced coffee-

Ah sweet caffeine, how I'd missed thee!

Oh, and 2 croissants- one of them plain and the other chocolate.

From that moment on, a downward spiral reminiscent of my sugar, caffeine and simple carb-laden college days took over my life.

Things got hectic, I didn't have time to meal plan, I'd stopped going to the gym at the beginning of the cleanse (since I lacked the energy to get my butt into gear) and I proceeded to live off coffee, bread products and ice cream for the week and some change that followed my 21 day "cleanse."

Until this weekend.

One of the most kindred of spirits in all the land traipsed into town and with that came a weekend of eating, drinking and being merry to my heart's content... But not so much my belly's.

My darling Lee and the one and only Hannah Banana with the Great Wall of Chocolate

Come Sunday night, I was drinking wine solely because it was placed in front of me, not because I wanted it.

I knew then and there that enough was enough. My skin was looking ragged, I was bloated, stopped up and lacking any semblance of energy.

It was as if I'd put my body through some sort of insane science experiment: draining and clearing it of all toxins through a cleanse, then stuffing its new pristine emptiness with the worst possible products.

I wasn't too happy with myself, but learned a ton about what my body can handle and what it can't.

I also realized that in my "normal life" (what I consider my lifestyle before embarking on the cleanse), I'm a pretty balanced person and should be proud of that. I used to scold myself for indulging in a blondie sundae from Milk every now and again, but those days are over.

The way to live a balanced, healthy and happy life is NOT by depriving yourself to prove a point. It's about finding the pace at which you optimally operate and maintaining that. Sure, you'll eat a brownie now and again, maybe even have one too many shots of whiskey on a Friday night but that's what life's all about: enjoying the little things.

To be clear, this is not me poo-pooing all cleanses or detoxes. Kudos to those of you who can successfully live in such a way! I've found that 3 weeks is simply too long for my sanity and body to handle.

The 21 days wasn't all bad. Alex's cleanse was a success! He still hasn't had a bite of meat since cutting it out about a month ago. (He's agreed to do a little write-up about his experience, which I hope to have posted in the coming days)

As for life now, I'm making strides to get back to the mind and body space I was inhabiting while writing this post.

It's all about baby steps.

First thing Monday morning, I woke up, chugged a huge bottle of water and kept the hydration going throughout the day. I also made coffee- yes I'm back on the stuff but I love it, I want it and one cup a day won't kill me!! Life's too short.

For breakfast, I dusted off my oats container and made a fiber-filled concoction from the Gods:

Rolled oats, almond milk, banana, cinnamon, ground flax, chia seeds

I continued eating veggies for the rest of the day, along with tons of fiber and got back into my groove.

As crazy as it sounds, I was already feeling a big difference half a day into my readjustment plan.

Once the sugar cravings kicked in (because hey, it is a legal drug and those fiendings are legit), I got my booty in the kitchen and figured out a way to satisfy my ice cream craving in a healthy way.

That's where these babies came in:

Guiltless good things abound! Organic instant coffee, light coconut milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and shredded coconut.

All that, ice, banana and a blender


A refined sugar-free, healthy fat-filled milkshake.

Yes, please.

This morning, with a jar of light coconut milk to use up, 

I wanted pancakes... And so it was.

I adore the creamy texture of coconut milk. 

I adapted this recipe for one person.
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a blender, combine coconut milk, banana and vanilla.

Add wet mix to dry and whisk. (I added a touch more coconut milk to get the right pancake batter consistency)

Grease your pan and pour on the goodness. 

Wait for bubbles to stop forming and flip.

Note to self: make smaller cakes next time.

While they may not be the prettiest pancakes, they certainly are the tastiest.... 

No lie: vegan, slightly sweet and creamy. Next time I'll add flax to get some extra fiber in the mix!

Lesson of the month: All good things in moderation.

I'm so thrilled to be back in the kitchen free of restrictions, even the mess won't bring me down.

And that's saying something ;)


  1. I've done the same thing before unfortunately. It happens to the best off it! It's good that your back on track now! Congratulations!

  2. saturday. A.M. we *shall* have pancakes. i have whole wheat mix & lite coconut milk. that's a start. i cannot. wait. to see you!