Monday, November 28, 2005

The Post Thanksgiving Cleanse

So, I love Thanksgiving. I really do! Once - or in my case - twice a year, I love to look down at a plate filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, rolls, corn bread, creamed onions, and the occasional green vegetable - as in broccoli cheese casserole or green beans in mushrooms soup with fried onions on top.

But two days a row of this stuff really does me in. It almost makes me dizzy, like this picture! And I didn't even have much pie!

Actually, some of the traditional Thanksgiving fare is pretty healthy. A moderately-sized portion of turkey breast (as much as I'd prefer the dark meat), homemade cranberry sauce that's light on the sweetener, sweet potatoes or squash sans butter and added sweetener, and something green sans cream of mushroom soup or velveeta (as much as we love the taste of both!) - well, THAT would be a plate of SuperFoods.

I haven't posted about SuperFoods yet, but I've certainly been meaning to, and now is as good a time as any. The SuperFoods are 14 foods (and related foods) that Dr. Stephen Pratt has written about in his book, SuperFoodsRx, foods that contain all of the necessary micronutrients for good health.

You can learn more about SuperFoods and their benefits at, but here is the list:

Beans, Blueberries, Broccoli, Oats, Oranges, Pumpkin, Wild Salmon, Soy, Spinach, Tea, Tomatoes, Turkey, Walnuts, and Yogurt.

I highly recommend the book. It's been my food bible for a couple of years. I bought it. I read it. I loved it. I started eating as many SuperFoods as I could lay my hands on. I told my sister about it when she was visiting. She liked the sound of it. She started reading it. She took my book, handed me $20, and told me to buy myself another one. And I did.

Anyway, mashed potatoes...not a SuperFood. Mom's traditional whitebread stuffing...not a SuperFood. No beans, no tomatoes, no yogurt, no salmon, no soy, and not enough of everything else. See? After two Thanksgiving dinners, I'm way off the mark.

So yesterday I started a five-day cleanse. Day one: Brown rice and all the organic fruits and vegetables I could eat. No dairy. No nuts. No oils. No salt. No sugar. No processed foods. No fats.

I did okay on day one, except that my larder was full of mostly conventionally grown produce. And I cheated a little, not meaning to, but thinking I was being clever, and made a dressing for my spinach salad out of tahini and lemon juice. Oil. Oops. Dinner was an ample bowl of rice with steamed broccoli, onions, and carrots. I did get a smacking headache in the afternoon, which I think was mostly due to the caffeine withdrawl.

Day two: Only organic fruits and vegetables. I went to the store to fill my larder. Breakfast was homemade apple sauce from the last of the summer farm apples. Lunch was a big mess o' Swiss Chard, steamed, mixed with a little garlic and topped with some organic herbed white wine vinegar. I think I'll have a little afternoon fruit snack and then a big bowl of salad for dinner.

I have been cheating just a little today. I decided to drink a kind of green tea - Kuki-cha - which is made from the roasted twigs of the tea plant. It's low in caffeine, but just enough to forestall a headache.

Day Three is the same as day two. Day Four will be the hardest - only broth from an organic veggie soup that I have to make between now and then. Just broth. Nothing but broth. Day Five, which will come none too soon, I'll be back to brown rice, fruits and veggies. The hardest part of days three through five will be that I'll be away from home most of the time and for most of my meals and so will have to really plan ahead and take enough to fill me up. But I think I am up to the challenge.

I expect to feel fabulous by Friday morning! I'll let you know how it goes...

In the meantime, enjoy eating all the things that I can't eat...and just for fun, let me know what food you think you'd miss the most if you were doing a five-day cleanse.


AP3 said...

You and your superfoods... and the cleansing! Geez. Better you than me.

Minka said...

This post is a little inspired by a guilty feeling after all those delicious things you have eaten over Thanksgiving, is it not?
But I agree with Superfoods, although this is the first time I hear the term. I love most of the things on that list and eat them quite a lot. Although I dislike beans and walnuts :(

Manchego said...

ap3 - yeah, so now I sit next to my wife when she eats real food and just stare at her the dogs. 3 more days...

monika - not guilt so much as toxicity. I was starting to feel icky. How about greenbeans? They count. Almonds? Any kind of nut or seed works.

Minka said...

I like peas and green beans I can deal with.
Love nuts, except walnuts-they are bitter!

katty said...

I love when my husband and i pass time together specially when we are with all the family celebrating the thanksgiving. Is sure this year we´ll be happy all of us together and enjoying. But i am thankful because my husband buy viagra and he has more self-steem.I am really happy.