I’m learning a great way to start your day off is a fruit blend (plus exercise and tea) and the Great Green Fruit Blend was no exception. I mean surprise, surprise: I, the guy with a crazy sweet tooth, likes the fruit blends more than the vegetable juices: who would’ve thought? But all kidding aside, I can’t get enough of these fruit drinks. Between the banana, pear, apple, coconut water and strawberries, you can’t get much sweeter. A fruit blend means it’s going to be a great day, and the diet continues. We’re five days in and about to embark on a whole new adventure (just juice), but before we do there’s a couple meals left.
The Mid-Morning Juice was Refreshing Fennel-Pear and for me, Fennel brings to mind one thing and one thing only: black licorice. If you were to ask my brother (go ahead ask him) he would tell you that you he loves black licorice and it’s all because of me. See, I don’t like black licorice, I prefer its sweeter cherry cousin, so I would avoid eating any kind of black licorice and the most common one I’d come across would be black licorice jelly beans at Easter. My brother swears to this day that I’d eat all the jellybeans minus the black licorice of course and he would be stuck eating all of the black jellybeans. Well I guess after years of this, he discovered he likes black licorice and it’s all thanks to me… I like to think this story is semi-embellished but I guess there could be some truth to it (no matter how small). So long story short, I was a little worried about this particular juice because fennel was one ingredient and pears were the other. As it worked out this juice was refreshing and the pears were very sweet with only a mild and pleasant black licorice after-taste. I like this juice and I’m sure my brother would love it.
Baked Zucchini with Tomatoes and Herbs and a Reboot Green Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. The zucchini reheated fine the next day and still retained its natural buttery goodness (how could I have ever not liked squash?). The green salad I made was pretty massive and definitely filled me up and the salad dressing made all the way back on Day #1 held up nicely. I’m really getting used to eating all these salads again, it’s just too bad that soon all this will change. When I was trying to lose weight originally back in 2006 when I first got back from Iraq, I ate salads almost every day and it wasn’t a big deal. It seems like only recently I’ve turned away from the light and started snacking in the dark side. Not that my meal choices are necessarily unhealthy, they just don’t add up to my recommended vegetable servings a day (so I guess that would be unhealthy) and that’s what I’m really hoping to get out of this, eating more vegetables and enjoying it again.
Speaking of eating more vegetables, the Crunch & Munch was exactly that: raw carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower (bleck!). For the most part I was loving this snack, with the exception of the cauliflower; there are just certain vegetables I don’t get along with and cauliflower is one. I blame it on the South Beach Diet that convinced my wife to make a mashed cauliflower side dish to replace mashed potatoes that had the very distinct smell of rotten garbage. I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking the liquid that congeals at the bottom of a large green dumpster but I can only imagine if I did it would taste a lot like that side dish. So me and cauliflower are not exactly best buds, but luckily I still had some of the Mustard Vinaigrette to mask the flavor and help me soldier through it.
For dinner I was on my own. Jaclyn had clinical until 10pm so it was on me to stick to the plan and create a meal rather than buying one (I get lazy when cooking for one, it’s depressing). Not only was I cooking for one, but I was making Garam Masala Spiced Collard Greens and Sweet Potato and Bok Choy Soup; both sounded scary to me (not the meals, just making them). I think the Collard Greens scared me more than anything, mainly because I didn’t have the slightest clue how to prepare them or even what they looked like (Jaclyn had done the shopping while I was at work). I started with the soup that for most part was cut and dry. I guess the only part that was truly scary was the Bok Choy and a quick Google search and YouTube video cleared up the mystery. Then it was on to the Collard Greens. Once again, with the aid of YouTube I was able to figure out where to start and what I was doing. On my own, dinner well… it took a bit longer than I expected. It’s always nice to have a partner in the kitchen and the hole was definitely felt with Jaclyn’s absence. But I can say that after the smoke cleared I made a pretty tasty meal for myself (and hopefully for her, too). The Sweet Potato and Bok Choy Soup is a keeper recipe. My family already makes a Vichyssoise (potato leak soup) that I grew up loving so it wasn’t a hard jump to this one. The sweet potatoes lived up to their name and were just that sweet, and the leaks and onion gave the soup a nice flavor that was complemented by the Bok Choy. I thought the Collard Greens came out alright tasting, sort of like a mix between spinach and Indian food, but the soup made this a fantastic last meal considering it will be my last…
That is until Day #11 and right now that seems like light-years away (okay not really but I’m a sucker for being dramatic). After I finished my dinner my night wasn’t over, actually far from it. I had to work in the morning and so did Jaclyn so there were juices to be made. That’s right, tomorrow marks day numero uno in our straight juice diet. It took awhile to knock all the juices out (matter o’fact that’s why this blog is late), but I managed and now I need to get some rest for the first day of the rest of my diet…
Day #5 Complete!
*This is actually the cost for days #5 & #6