Detox Week 1: Will someone please get me some chocolate ice cream?????

So I’m done with my first week of detoxing, and to be honest I haven’t done that badly.  Only three glasses of wine (I’m allowed four) and pretty much no wheat or cow’s milk consumed by yours truly which is pretty good.

I’ve been exercising and feeling really good, I’ve taken up yoga– well the Runner and I both have really as part of a 4 week Yoga Challenge with his Triathlon club.  We’ve been to two sessions this weekend and we’re both loving it– especially nap time at the end.

The food side has been pretty easy, it’s one of those things where the thought of going wheat and dairy free is really worse than the reality of it.  It takes a bit of willpower and a bit of planning, but really it’s not so bad. I’ve eaten out– and that hasn’t been too bad, Japanese, Mexican and Vietnamese.  Ten, the Japanese place we go to in Randwick, actually has gluten free options including soy and teriyaki sauce which was a bonus! I will admit to having Mad Mex’s Naked Burrito twice this week!  It’s pretty good, and totally on my detox plan especially if you skip the cheese and the rice!    Mexican’s my favourite cuisine anyway, so even if it wasn’t on my plan, I’d find a way to put it there.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right??

Most definitely!  The one thing I have been struggling with is my other favourite cuisine- Ice Cream…. and shut up, Ice Cream does count as a cuisine.  It’s almost impossible to find dairy free, gluten free, no extra sugar ice cream.  Wait, I said ALMOST.  Last weekend, in Jervis Bay, I found the Holy Grail. Ice Cream that’s on my detox! It’s a brand called So Delicious from the States (http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/) and they make Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free Ice Cream.  What the what????  I know!  It was actually pretty good, because of course I had to get a tub when I saw it in Jervis Bay.  Even at $11 a pint, I couldn’t resist.  Cookies and Cream Almond Milk Ice Cream.  Ok, so they won’t put Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s out of business any time soon, but it was pretty tasty and given my present detoxified state, it was just what the doctor ordered.   Any port in a storm right???   Except for one thing, I want more.  I’ve been craving Ice Cream all week, literally salivating at the thought of it.  Ideally, it would be a big bowl of Ben and Jerry’s mint cookie (my absolute favourite) or even a big bowl of chocolate ice cream, and I can’t have it…. and I don’t know where to find more So Delicious.  It’s nowhere in Coogee.  And the store finder on their website, only works in the States. If I were in DC, I’d go to Whole Foods in Silver Spring, or Yes Organic on Georgia Ave, but it’s a bit tougher to nail it down in Sydney.  Even Uncle Google is letting me down in terms of finding a place to buy it in Sydney.

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“Why don’t I just go back and get it where I did last weekend?”  I hear you ask….well, there’s a pretty good reason.  It’s nearly a three hour drive away.  Fail. Big Fat Fail.  

I’ve been looking for somewhere to order it from online but it’s ice cream….not exactly practical to home deliver ice cream when it’s the middle of summer in Sydney.  So I’m stuck with a conundrum, do I cheat on my detox and give into temptation or do I stay strong and stay the course????

Who was it that said, “I can resist anything, except temptation”?  Oh yes, Oscar Wilde, you were a VERY wise man!

 

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Lent/detox

You may remember a few months ago I basically gave up everything fun and good and went on a six week detox…. Well I’m going to do it again- with some slight modifications. Why? Why would I put myself through thatagain? Well, because I felt really good while I was doing it and I looked a lot better too. It also happens that it’s Lent, so lots of people are promising to give up things they enjoy. And no, it’s not because of lent that I and doing it. I’ve never given anything up before for it, and I’m not overly religious- I love Christmas and Easter eggs but I don’t go to church– my mother is definitely shaking her head at that but it’s true and she knows it.
Lent isn’t a big deal to me, I didn’t have a pancake yesterday, I’m not getting ashes on my forehead today, in fact I’m not even sure if I could do the whole ash thing, isn’t it just for Catholics?

Anyway, much like Christmas is an excuse to give presents and drink egg nog, I’m using lent as an excuse to get healthy again and detox.

No gluten, no cows milk, and I’m only going to drink once a week. No white foods, no deli or cured meat, limited red meats and shellfish and very little pork too. There’s a whole list of no foods including no fun at all! Don’t despair, I am giving myself one day a week probably on the weekends to break it with one treat, so if you come for a Sunday dinner, it will be real food. Trust me, I won’t be having detox dinners anytime soon, but I am going to do my very best to be good and stay on the wagon most of the time.

I have done this detox before and I lost weight, mostly fat, and felt amazing! I had clear eyes, a shiny coat and a wagging tail. Well, maybe not the tail and coat but I looked great and since I’ve been feeling less than amazeballs recently I figure why not give it a go again! The only thing to lose is my sanity. There’s also the small matter of three weddings coming up in April and May, and a dress I’m hoping to wear to two of them and a beach holiday to Hamilton Island if I’m looking for extra motivation!

So starting tomorrow and probably until my birthday in April, I’m detoxing. I will be the annoying girl who can’t eat half the menu and who asks what kind of milk your fetta is made from (traditionally, it should be goat or sheep, but most of the stuff in Coles is cows now). I’m doing it for vanity more than lent but if I tell people it’s for lent, they won’t ask lots of questions, but only you know the truth!

But just one thing, I know officially lent starts today, but I’m starting tomorrow. It’s my detox and I can do what I want! We’re going to dinner for valentines day and there’s no way I’m not pigging out one last time…. Hello counterproductive…. I know but be quiet willpower and conscience, you’re in charge for the next 6 weeks. I’m having my personal Mardi gras tomorrow night, hopefully there will chocolate shakes, fries, burgers and lots of regret on Friday morning!

Wish me luck!

The Meatball Experiment

So…..these could be really good……….or really bad!

I’ve gone off the reservation and off the recipe trail and am attempting something….

The meatball mix is sitting- and by meatball mix, I mean a mix of pork and veal mince, a few red chillies, half a green capsicum, 2 eggs, grated carrot, some white wine, parmesean cheese, italian herbs, mixed herbs and gluten free breadcrumbs.

I’m cooking mushrooms in butter and olive oil in a pan and boiling water for the quinoa…..

I’m about to roughly chop some tomatoes and throw them in with some garlic…..  and I’m a little nervous, so I open a bottle of red.  For me.

I start rolling out the meatballs and then stop and google….”How to cook meatballs….” hmmmmm…..  

 

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Quietly confident, or perhaps it’s just the half glass of wine,  I grab the biggest pan I have and put it on the stove…. apparently I need to fry my little meatballs in about a TBS of olive oil for 6-15 minutes (quite a big window) until they’re done.  Two things I’m not clear on, 1, How do you make sure they cook evenly– they are balls after all, and 2, how long they need to cook for.  Foolishly, I press ahead.  

And guess what, they’re not bad!  and just quietly, between us……  the quinoa is just a bit lovely!  

So far, my experiment has worked out….. gluten free, recipe free… and maybe it’s the glass of wine speaking but I think it’s pretty good!

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I feel like Chicken Tonight, Like Chicken Tonight….

Maybe it’s an American thing, but I definitely remember those ads from being a kid.  My mom was always pretty good and making things relatively from scratch- but for a fleeting moment in time, we too got sucked into the Chicken Tonight jingle and bought Chicken Tonight…..  (What can I say, I’m a marketer’s dream!)

Fast forward quite a few years, and a continent far, far away to me and the Avoca Cafe Cookbook and tonight’s dinner.  I may have mentioned before that I’ve gone gluten free.  Well, for the last 6 weeks I’ve actually been gluten free and cows milk free and so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I CAN eat whilst maintaining this regime.  

However, the Avoca Cafe Cookbook has stopped me in my tracks.  Everything has cream, flour, or fish (I’m not a massive fan of seafood much to The Runner’s disgust).  As a result our dinner pickings are, well, slim.  Very slim to be honest.  We have to rule out all of the Sausage recipes (gluten), Ham and mushroom en croute, Parma wrapped filet of ham, and a few options including a Lamb tagine (I don’t have hours to spend making dinner tonight).  Also gone, the Chicken, mushroom and asparagus lasagne- it sounds lovely but two lasagnas in one week is a bit much.  I can break out the gluten free flour which will expand our options a bit, but really we’re left with Beef Stew; Chicken w/garlic,red wine, and bay leaves; green chicken curry- although I won’t be making the paste from scratch tonight; and Duck breasts with celeriac mash and hot cherry sauce.  Yes, I ruled out pheasant and guinea fowl as well…. so as you can imagine, we’re having chicken tonight.  

Only 5 ingredients needed, and one of them is 3/4 of a bottle of red wine.    It looks like it will take 40 minutes to cook, fingers crossed, and the only things I don’t have in the house are 12 bay leaves and chicken.  It serves 6 so The Runner can take it for lunch tomorrow and Thursday.  Done!!!!!!

*** This blog is not Gluten Free……

Even Though I am now which poses its own set of questions and challenges…..  I’ve been on a wheat free, cows milk free, fun free detox for  6 weeks thanks to my naturopath.  I’ll spare you the gory details of why, but let’s just say that I’m feeling a lot better since going wheat free and dairy free.  So here’s the conundrum, will I only cook gluten free, cows milk free recipes for my project??

DEFINITELY NOT!

I think that would ruin the fun, random nature of this project!  The idea is to cook something random not to comb through the book looking for something I want to cook.  Luckily, I do have some flexibility so I won’t be gutting fish (hopefully) or making a croquembouche, but you never know and that’s part of the fun!

I may make some slight changes i.e Tamari instead of soy sauce or gluten free bread crumbs instead of normal bread crumbs but I will try to stay true to the recipe and I will of course tell you if I substitute anything!