I’m often asked how I can survive this 3 week cleanse (and how I can be a vegan for that matter) and not starve. Trust me, it’s can be done and it’s not even all that hard. It can however get a bit tricky when I am away from home- especially during cleanse time. When I’m separated from my kitchen and my beloved vitamix I have to be prepared.
Actually, I had to be out 3 nights last week and I was fairly sure that vegan/gluten-free options would be in short supply. So I armed myself with snacks, drinks and creative ideas for finding something to eat that wouldn’t compromise my 21-day clean eating plan.
I always keep a container of nuts and seeds and a couple of Larabars in my purse for emergencies. I also lug along a big container of water or my new favourite refreshing/energy boosting drink: Chia Fresca. I got this recipe from Oh She Glows and it is a neat one. The drink itself is simply made with water, fresh lemon juice, agave and chia seeds and is a very popular beverage in Mexico and Central America. Chia seeds are considered a superfood because of their incredibly high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, protein and fiber. They are also a mucilaginous seed which means that they get gel-like when wet and pull toxins out of your body as they travel through your system. The texture of this drink is really different so it’s not going to be for everyone- but give it a try and see what you think.
Chia Fresca (adapted from OhSheGlows.com)
- 3-4 cups water or coconut water
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Sweetener, to taste (I used 1 tsp agave nectar)
Add chia and water into a jar or glass and stir very well to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell up. I like to use a jar with a lid so I can shake it up really well and break up the clumps of chia.
Add lemon juice and sweetener to taste. Stir (or shake) well to combine and enjoy!
So what did I do in addition to my snacks and Chia Fresca on those 3 nights? Well, on night #1 I hit up Mucho Burrito for a veggie salad bowl (minus the tortilla shell bowl) and ended up with a delicious dinner of chopped romaine lettuce, rice, grilled veggies, black beans, fresh tomato salsa, guacamole and cilantro all topped with a light vinaigrette. Not bad eh?
Night #2 I was off to Toronto for an evening voiceover gig so I packed a dinner to take along. Here is my quick on-the-go creation that left me full and satisfied:
2 cups of leftover rice
1/2 a can of organic mixed beans, rinsed and drained
Handful of chopped cilantro
1 chopped mini cucumber
Handful of raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp gluten-free tamari
Salt and pepper
I’m going to be honest and tell you that night #3 was the toughest and it had nothing to do with the food. My husband and I were out at a local restaurant with friends and I really, really, really wanted to enjoy a cocktail! It was so tough when everyone else was sipping wine and beer to sit there like a teetotaler with my water and lemon. I did it though and by the end of the night I was happy to just watch the crazy drinkers and thank my lucky stars that I wouldn’t be feeling like them the next morning ; )
Bottom line – as a (mostly) vegan, I’ve had to learn to be adaptable to ensure that I can enjoy something to eat and drink in all situations without being too much of a pain in the butt. It has taken some work, some exploring, some mistakes, some research and some frank discussions with friends and family but most of the time things work out just fine. Do I always get it right? Not a chance! But hey, I’m sure not starving in the process.