Clean Eating Cleanse + My First Turnip!

turnips

Where has the summer gone?  It’s already August and that means school, sweaters, and squash season are all right around the corner!  I can’t wait.  Autumn is my favorite time of year, and pumpkins are sort of a small obsession of mine. Pumpkin pies, roasted pumpkin seeds, and, of course, pumpkin smoothies! Yummm.  Okay, my mouth is watering now.  Point is, summer will be drawing to a close, and to quote one of my favorite books, “Winter is coming.”  Fasting and cleanses are pretty much non-existent in the winter thanks to a busy school schedule and cold weather, not to mention the fact that many of the yummy foods I eat during cleanses like cantaloupe, berries, and bell peppers won’t be in season.  Sad face.  Even though summer technically draws to a close in mid-September, us students must wave goodbye early, at the end of August, when classes begin and life gets put on hold until December.  So while I’m definitely excited for my kitchen to transition with the seasons, I’ll be gearing up for another cleanse starting next week in order to get my body one final reboot before my sweater-wearing, snow boot-loving, hibernation instincts take over!

One part of winter I won't be looking forward to is not being able to sit out on the river and enjoy my morning bagel!

One part of winter I won’t be looking forward to is not being able to sit out on the river and enjoy my morning bagel!

I’m still in the process of piecing together the “rules” for this Clean Eating Cleanse, partly because I think rules are silly.  For those that know me, I’m not a believer in mass-produced diet schemes, rather finding healthy alternatives that work for my lifestyle in particular.  That’s what I encourage everyone to do.  I obviously love my juice, but it’s not like I tell my followers “You HAVE to substitute 2 meals a day with juice” or “If you don’t do a juice fast for 10 whole days, you’ll never be healthy.”  That’s just ridiculous!  In my book, every health-conscious decision you make, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction!  Do you make fresh juice every day? Every couple weeks? Once a month?  Good for you!  I won’t lie, some nights I’m just too exhausted after working 10 or 11 hours to make a home cooked meal, and I’ll admit that I DO reach up to the tippy top shelf of my pantry for the Ramen noodles I tried to hide from myself.  It happens.  Health isn’t about perfection, people; it’s about progress.  Baby steps in the right direction eventually turn into miles and miles in the right direction! That all being said, I would like this cleanse to be yet another stepping stone in the right direction.

So what’s the general idea behind this Clean Eating Cleanse I’m about to embark on?  It’s exactly what it sounds like: 10 days of eating nothing but whole, fresh, unprocessed foods.  This means no Ramen (my heart is breaking a little).  This means no Franks Red Hot (I put that s*** on everything!).  This means no Oreos or tortilla chips or Earth Balance.  For a week and a half, I want to attempt a few raw recipes, as well as focus on vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and seeds exclusively.  Oh, and juice of course!  Substituting one meal for a green juice every day is good practice to begin with, so I definitely want to stick to that whilst on this cleanse!  It took me 6 months to fully transition to veganism, and though I’ve been a full-fledged veganista for 5 months and 16 days, I’ve still only scratched the surface when it comes to finding new foods.  Cleanses and special goals like this help expand my world, and I’ve never been one to stand stationary for too long; I love trying and experiencing new things, no matter what realm of life they’re in!

Take tonight for example.  Tonight, I had my first turnip.  Did you know turnips are little white radish-looking things?  I had no idea (says the girl who learned how to cook rice at 22)!  I made broccoli soup for dinner using the recipe my mother has sworn by since before I was born, and threw in some cubed turnips.  I don’t know anyone else’s take on cooked turnips, especially in soups, but in my opinion they almost had a meaty texture, and added some much-appreciated bulk.  I know most people are probably used to the traditional, cream-based, broccoli-cheese soup, but my mother always made us a water-based broccoli soup growing up, and that is what I made tonight. Ahhhh, mother’s cooking.  That’s a blog post all its own though.  For now, I’ll just say that turnips are now about to be a staple during grocery trips and I’m positively delighted about that!

What new foods have you tried lately?  What did you think?

6 cups water 2 tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic 2 small stalks broccoli (cut into bite-sized pieces) 5 turnips, peeled & cubed 1 bay leaf 1.5 tsp Old Bay 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper 1/2 onion, chopped Bring water to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. (pasta optional for a bulkier meal.  I like ancine di pepe noodles) Enjoy!

6 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 small stalks broccoli (cut into bite-sized pieces)
5 turnips, peeled & cubed
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp Old Bay
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
Bring water to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. (pasta optional for a bulkier meal. I like ancine di pepe noodles) Enjoy!

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