Detox: the first 14 days [part 2]

In my last post, I covered why Adam and I are doing this 28 day detox. I also talked a bit about our breakfasts and lunches, but left the main meal, dinners, for this post.

Before I get there, we feel there’s a few things we should update you on as we continue to detox. First, if you’ve never done it before (and even if you have) please know that detoxing will make you feel sick for at least some period of time. Adam and I both got sick this week, partially because it’s winter and going around, and partially because our bodies are shoving toxins out of them and that makes you feel just oh-so-terrible. While detoxing overall has been a good experience, I don’t want to hold out on anyone and make it seem like its all rainbows and sunshine. I’ve felt horrible the last few days, but, thankfully, that seems to be passing now.

Also, one more thing we wanted to share, since we’re in the habit of not sugar coating things, the meals involved with this detox take a bit of prep time. We’re use to doing meal prep on a daily basis; as I said before, we try to buy ingredients, not prepackaged foods. That means meal prep. We’ve had to spend some extra time for this detox planning out all our meals and deciding what we wanted to do while keeping in mind what is cost efficient (because we’re on a budget and already spend a pretty chunk of change on our food each month). Needless to say, that leads us into dinners, where I hoped we could make up some time and money by making large batches of meals to provide leftovers for later days. Here’s a few dinners we’ve had the last two weeks.


Stuffed Peppers:

This was one of the first meals, and it was delicious. We’re trying to maintain our seasonal and local buying habits while doing this detox, so root veggies are a reoccurring theme for us. I mean what else do you eat in Wisconsin in February? So, we roasted up some potatoes and rutabagas-seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, and cumin. Then I made stuffed peppers. I didn’t measure anything because I was mostly using up random odds and ends but here’s what we put in this time: brown rice, frozen spinach, cut up bison brat, and homemade tomato sauce. Bake it all together for an hour or so, and bam, dinner is ready! *Note, we baked the peppers for a while first and then added to root vegetables so as to not over cook them.


Potato & Leek Soup:

We make a lot of soup at our house. I love soup; it’s easy, makes a lot of leftovers, and it’s yummy-especially in winter. This recipe became a favorite after I wanted to make a meal for a vegan friend of mine. Basically, I cut up 3-4 potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 1 large leek (or 2 small ones), and saute them all in a pan (using oil) for a few minutes. Then, add stock to cover the vegetables, add some salt, pepper, and herbs, and simmer away. My original recipe has a part to add some flour to thicken the soup a bit, but since we’re gluten free for these 28 days, we skipped that part this time around. It was still really good.


Fried Cabbage:

Adam says I should call this dish fried cabbage, and so I am. We made up this recipe after we looked at a few different cabbage ones online. We love cabbage-it’s such an underrated vegetable. We also got everything for this meal locally, and it tasted that much more amazing because of it.

For this, I chopped up an entire head of green cabbage, 3 small onions, 3 nice carrots (both orange and yellow ones), and 3 cloves of garlic. Add some oil to a pan, and put the garlic and onions on first-let them cook for a while. Add the carrots and cook a bit longer, and then add cabbage last. Put the lid on and steam it all through. Add salt and pepper-this night I was feeling a little daring and so I added some cumin too. All said and done, you have a nice one pot meal that’s tasty and healthy.

20170218_175618Butternut Squash Soup:

This is one of my favorite soup recipes-I make it anytime we have extra squash in the house. It’s so ridiculously easy, and it makes a ton of soup!

Peel and chop in chunks 1 large onion, 1 large butternut squash, 2-3 potatoes (we leave the skins on ours), and 2 stalks of celery. We didn’t have any celery handy  this time so I used celeriac (commonly known as celery root-a root vegetable that looks nothing like celery, but smells and tastes similar) instead. Anyway, put some oil in a pot and add the chopped vegetables; saute for around 5 minutes or so. Then add stock to cover all the vegetables and cook until tender. After the vegetables are cooked, let cool slightly and then blend half the soup in a blender and add back to the rest of the soup. This gives the soup a thick, creamy texture while retaining some nice pieces of vegetables. I season the soup with some salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and parsley leaves.

You’re probably wondering what the little pancake thing at the bottom corner of the picture is. Well, that is my first attempt at making flat bread with quinoa and amaranth. Adam and I gave it a good try, and they didn’t turn out too bad. However, I will happily give the link to the original blog post I used here, as there is a much better description of how to make this gluten free bread than I could describe. Adam and I are just testing the waters for making our own flat bread, and to tell you the truth, I just miss bread in general.

These four recipes are our favorites over the last two weeks, and I’ve made both of the soups before. It’s really not that hard to eat dairy, gluten, and sugar free if there’s a little thought and creativity behind the meal planning and prep; plus, Adam and I make it a point to try new foods because who knows-the next meal might just become a new favorite.

We’re going to try and be a little more creative over the next couple weeks as we round out our detox. Hopefully some of these meals will stick around and become family favorites that we cook again and again.

Stay hungry, local, and seasonal friends!




Detox: the first 14 days

Hello folks. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Adam and I are passionate about food. Potentially annoyingly so, but well, it’s who we are. Lately, we’ve been reflecting about our relationship with food (because everyone has a relationship with food-think about that for a bit), and we’ve been thinking about the health of our bodies.

Adam, who is as healthy as a horse, doesn’t seem to encounter too many food-related issues. I on the other hand, developed IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in high school. Basically, IBS is a chronic condition in which your gut hurts, but doctors can’t figure out why. I went through a ridiculous amount of tests in high school and then later again in college. It was terrible. I took pills that were supposed to help my digestive system, I consumed miralax on a daily basis (not fun), and I avoided entire food groups out of fear. 3 years passed without me eating one of my favorite foods: tomatoes. Imagine eating nothing tomato related for 3 years. No pizza, no pasta sauce, zip. Not fun.

And then one day, Adam tells me he doesn’t buy into the idea that my condition is incurable. So we accidentally order pizza with tomato on it, and he makes me eat it. And I didn’t die, which was nice all things considered. From there, we’ve had quite the food journey and have been slowly modifying our diet ever since. To make a long story short, we’ve almost entirely cut out processed foods, which means we buy ingredients and not pre-assembled food products. I’ve also done a few colon cleanses which have helped a lot, but my main point is that what we put into our bodies matter, intensely.

What you eat is the fuel that your run on. If you put garbage in, you get garbage out.

Now, let me add another piece to this puzzle. Adam and I, ok mostly me actually, read this magazine called Acres USA. It’s a pretty fantastic source of alternative/sustainable farming and food information. Anyway, I read an article in one issue (I believe this is the one, but I read it in a hard copy and not online), that talks about how we gather toxins in our bodies and how a mothers’ body can use a fetus as a way to purge toxins from herself. And that hit me as crazy. Like, why would you do that, body? That’s a baby-you’re suppose to be giving it life, not nasty toxins! But, taking a step back, it makes sense because if your body is full of toxins, then it wants to purge those harmful things before they get too stored up and hurt you-even if that means passing it on to another life.

So, in culmination of my history of having issues eating food and this thought that if (even if it’s just a tiny bit true) my body will potentially use the baby I carry someday as a dumping ground for toxins, Adam and I agreed it’d be a great idea to do a detox and get rid of the nasty things in our bodies.

Enter our 28 day detox. Just to get a few things cleared up, here are the goals for this detoxification: 1). Hopefully it helps me safely identify which foods are the target for my IBS symptoms, which I’ve been trying to do unsuccessfully for years, and 2). Rid our bodies of harmful toxins before we begin having children. Also, we have set up this detox through our chiropractor so we’re following special guidelines and rules. We don’t do this sort of thing willy-nilly. Also, we chose a rather expensive detox, and that means that I am following it strictly while Adam is following some amended food guidelines. I have protein powder and special pills that encourage my liver’s detoxification efforts, and as Adam isn’t taking these things, he’s supplementing his diet with some extra protein from select sources.

We’d like to share what we’ve been eating, so I’m going to run through a few breakfasts and lunches in this post. Next time, I’ll share our dinners, which have been far more varied and interesting than our other meals.

But onto breakfast!

img_20170207_062904_026 We’ve basically had two types of breakfast these past 14 days: oatmeal and hash browns. For our oatmeal, we eat two variations. The first is to mix in some kind of nut butter and eat it that way. The second one, pictured here, is to mix the oatmeal with homemade apple sauce and cinnamon. Let me tell you-it’s amazing!

Our hash browns are pretty much the normal type, with the exception that we’re strictly using oils for these 28 days because we’ve eliminated all dairy products from our diet. We also include fresh fruit for breakfast every morning, and that ranges from a banana and nut butter (pictured), to homemade smoothies that include two types of fruit and a juice.

Lunches are a little bit more varied, but I’ve only included two different days here.

Before I describe my actual lunch, I must make a tiny plug for my lunch container. I have a Planet Box stainless steel lunch container, and I LOVE it. It’s totally worth the price-I use mine 5 days a week at least- so you should check it out. 20170210_061108

Lunches have always been hard for Adam and I. We’re typically sandwich people, and extremely boring sandwiches at that. So this detox has really pushed us to expand our horizons because we’re not eating any dairy, gluten, or sugar basically.

One of the first lunches I made for us is pictured here. We’re eating a lot of raw foods including raw carrots, tomatoes, (broccoli not pictured), sometimes avocado, and apples as another serving of fruit. For the main course, I made up a simple potato and green bean salad. Basically, I cooked potatoes and added beans and peas (but you could do anything) and tossed them in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings.  It was actually quite an amazing lunch.

To keep things interesting, we’ve been switching out parts of the lunch here and there. Another variation we’ve done quite a bit is using rice as our staple instead of potatoes. 20170215_214317

This particular photo is of brown rice, broccoli, and peas tossed in the olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice for a little extra kick. We’ve also added tuna to these main courses, but days  7-13 of the detox required us not to eat meat, so these photos don’t have the meat included. We also add apple sauce sometimes to shake things up a bit.

Overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how tasty all the meals have been. I’ve complained a tiny bit to Adam about the repetition of certain foods ( I definitely do not enjoy eating carrots every day for lunch), but we’re both finding we like trying these different meals out. Who knows, maybe after this detox is over we’ll continue to incorporate these simple but wholesome meals for breakfast and lunch.

Until next time friends, eat simply, eat deliciously.

A Zen-filled Bathroom

Adam and I started this year with some relatively lofty goals. As per usual, we finished our chalkboard of goals (which we’re doing excellent on, by the way. The student loan number is already shrinking-hurrah!), and then I add something along the lines of “BUT what if we also do *enter such and such crazy idea here*.” Luckily Adam’s a really tolerant person, and he finds most of my crazy ideas amusing.

Let me backtrack a tad bit. This year, we’re planning on buying a house and land so at some point we can farm. I spend a lot of my time thinking about our future house and what I hope for it, and what I kind of impressions I want to give my children for what makes a home, etc. etc. For some reason, I love hypothetical thoughts and conversations; I feel it helps me prepare for when events start happening. So, bright and early in January, I’m looking around our house thinking about what it means to live a simplified life.

Enter idea.

“Adam!” I say excitedly, “we should go through every room in our house again de-cluttering and reviewing our possessions! We’ll do one room a week, and it will be amazing!”

Needless to say, Adam gave me an amused grin and agrees to my new found task. We decided to begin in the bathroom because it’s one of the smallest rooms in our home, and I thought we wouldn’t find that much to part with. We use everything in there on a daily basis, right?


I pulled everything off the shelves, cleaning and rearranging as I went. Now, mind you, we only have one skinny corner shelf with seven square foot ledges to put our belongs on. And yet, there was a plethora of items hiding in plain site. I even made a pile of them, and snapped a photo because I was surprised at what I’d found.


Foot powder, old Lysol (gross), old perfume (gross), a host of personal care products, and some old make-up. Perhaps this doesn’t seem like a lot, but for us, it’s quite a bit compared to what we have now. We sent these aging products off to the best disposal places we could find, which unfortunately means some ended up in the dumpster. We’re holding onto a few things to take to our hazardous waste facility once it reopens in the spring.

That being said, now that our bathroom has been cleaned and de-cluttered for a second intensive time, it has this wonderful zen feeling to it. A year ago, I would have told you the same thing the first time we went through our bathroom, but this time, I feel even more so. It’s a wonderful feeling to not have to sift through things I never use looking for what I will use.

Our bathroom has become this easy to clean, easy to navigate, nothing-ever-gets-cluttered-here zen place because we’ve intentionally made it that way. As I marveled at the simplicity this little room now holds, I am reminded of Bea Johnson’s book called Zero Waste Home. This book was responsible for a large part of Adam’s and my’s journey toward simplicity, and I think another round of reading may be in order as we move to other rooms of our house.

Now, one caveat-we definitely are not reaching my goal of finishing one room a week for this intensive cleaning process. But, we are moving forward one space at a time, and that’s good enough for now. I suppose we’ll be able to master our 700 square feet of space long before we move to something larger, and in the end, that’s all I’m really looking for anyway.

Because, once we’ve mastered the little things, much bigger things will be waiting for us.

Stay simplified, stay humbled, my friends.