21-day Cleanse Findings

February 04, 2014

Hummus Salsa Salad So I not only survived, but really learned a lot from our 21-day cleanse. I learned what my body really likes and doesn't. And I was happy that my creativity in the kitchen was put to the test; without having my usual go-to ingredients to go to like maple syrup, parmesan, herbed goat cheese, etc to top my dishes…. I found a host of new (and old) alternates to fill in. If you didn't get a chance to read my earlier post on the cleanse my husband and I did…the jist was to keep a whole foods diet and “stay away” from inflammatory foods (things like: refined sugars, alcohol, refined grain products, gluten, dairy, excessive salt, deep fried foods, refined cooking oils, coffee and processed foods and artificial food colorings, flavorings and preservatives). Since I've already been off gluten for about a year now, that made things a little easier since I wasn't really missing bready things. However, dairy and sugar were another story :), but by the end of the cleanse I came up with a few alternates that worked really well. For those of you that don't know, I have hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease…and in my case, wheat is huge allergen that aggravates my body and creates a lot of inflammation. For me the inflammation happens in my lungs. I get wheezy, super congested…and very phlegmy. Learning a year ago that the cause of this was wheat was really shocking for me, but at the same time answered so many questions. Last month, I had more blood work done and I tested positive for Celiacs disease. What an eye opener, no  wonder my nutrient rich diet wasn't being properly absorbed by my body. In the past year, even though I had been off wheat, I would still at times feel wheezy and congested. Come to find out, after being off of sugar for a few weeks, I had a bit of maple syrup and the same thing happened…I became wheezy and congested. I had no idea that sugar was reacting like wheat inside my body.  So as of now, looks I'm going to have to say good-bye to sugar for a while too. Dairy does tend to make me a little congested, but nothing like sugar and wheat so I'm going to keep it at a minimal; definitely not stop it completely. A girl needs at least one vice :). The most interesting part of the cleanse was that I also had a few emotional releases which I found to be just as important…since at the end of the day, I do believe we are what we eat. Below, is a list of a few of my favorite alternatives:
  1. Fresh fruit- I've always enjoyed fruit but now it's my go-to for sweet cravings (instead of my usual chocolate). It's great on its own, with a little nut butter or stewed in a morning porridge.
  2. Stevia- I've never liked this sweetener, but after a few weeks of no sugar, stevia was like nectar :). I didn't even notice the slight after taste that I previously always found it to have--funny how that happens.
  3. Hummus- a protein rich, creamy alternative for dips and as spreads in wraps or on sandwiches.
  4. Nutritional Yeast- a rich source B-complex vitamins and it's a complete protein. It also has a great cheesy flavor that tastes delicious on popcorn or whisked into a pasta sauce.
  5. Toasted Nuts- great nutritional value….awesome flavor. I add these to salads, rice bowls, morning porridges, etc; they're pretty versatile.
So here's to being OPEN….and learning how to get even healthier. What's are your go-to ingredients that you love? Have a great week! xo, Kajal  

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