I just recently completed my annual 3-week cleanse. It’s the whole No plan: No caffeine, No alcohol, No sugar, No wheat, No dairy….and no nightshades like tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes, although by the time you get to that No, really who is counting and who cares. Unlike the quadrillion diets I’ve been on in my life, I am always amazed at how easy this detox is to do. There is virtually no craving at all other than mental — as in, my day at work has sucked beyond belief and what I really want is a glass of wine rather than diets in the past where I would have killed someone to have a piece of chocolate…before basically reaching for the chocolate because really who can resist? (Answer: Not me.)
This non-craving reality lends credence to the idea that one reason we crave this junk is because … wait for it … we eat this junk. In other words, the junk makes us want more junk….Not really much different than heroin or crack is it?
As with years past, I’ve been thinking how I’m going to eat now that the cleanse is over. I am less congested, my skin is looking seriously amazing (other people have commented on this rather than relying on my own narcissistic view here), I’ve lost a few pounds (I don’t weigh myself but certain barometer clothes are easier to wear), my joints are less sore and overall the digestion system is working more smoothly. So I should — at least in theory — just keep going right?
But I just can’t eat this way all the time (apologies to vegan, non-drinking, non-sugar people who are clearly stronger than I am). It’s just too boring.
So I’m trying to figure out what to add and what to delete. It’s not a science but a gut — literally — idea at this point, week one after the cleanse. I’ve decided to stay as gluten-free as possible and I am holding back on the dairy. (NO YOGURT YET!!!!!!! AAHHHHHHH!!!!). I also have not had a cup of coffee in nearly a month.
I have had some alcohol and some sugar. I am trying to consume less of each.
I was doing fairly well, until today when I saw this in the grocery story.
Followed by this…
A little toddler puke in my mouth before sun-up, that’s what.
Or, that’s what I ate yesterday morning for the second time in my parenting career. And yes, that means this has become an annual occurrence in our house. Or in my mouth. Or whatever.
Happy new year?
We are pausing here until after the holidays. We’ll all be in California, spending Christmas together for the first time in seven years. We hope you are hunkered down with those you love, too. Thank you for visiting us here all year. We are oh so grateful to share this space with such lovely folks.
Eat, drink, and be merry!
Janet and Rachel
Like most of America, and in particular anyone who is a parent, I have been gut-wrenched in ways that continue to evolve as more details about Friday’s shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, emerge. I work part-time in an office located in the town next to Newtown and the tentacles of that crazy day have reached into the office where I work. One of the teachers who died protecting her students is the daughter of a copy editor in the newsroom of my part-time office, and my design director lives in Newtown. Thankfully, her children were not students of Sandy Hook Elementary.
I do not know how you go on when your child dies, much less is senselessly murdered by a deranged person in a place you once thought of as safe. I suppose this is just another example of how God or Biology or Whatever so wisely made breathing part of the autonomic nervous system; it happens whether or not we want to make it continue and so, under moments of extreme horror and sadness, we can’t literally choose to stop breathing.
I am the mother of older children. They are in the 20s and on their paths. And yet, I continue to worry, depending on the moment, on where they are going and how they will get there. I read something recently that made total sense to me. An older woman was handed a baby. After tickling her and hugging her, she turned to the mother and said, “When they’re young, they sit on your knee. When they’re older, they sit on your heart.”
And so, when our youngest child, Sam, was in the air on Saturday, winging his way home from a semester in Prague, I was more worried than I usually am when someone I love is in the air. And when he happily arrived and I hugged him for the first time in four months, I took a deep breath and for just a moment relaxed.
Sam loves bacon and ranch dressing and cheese. It was a no-brainer to make this recipe for his first dinner home.
Bacon and Cheese Slow-Cooker Chicken
from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 chicken breast halves or equivalent number of thighs
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
12 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
Pour the olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the chicken pieces on top.
In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce and ranch dressing. Whisk together and pour on top of the chicken. Add the shredded cheese and bacon pieces, trying to place in between chicken pieces where possible. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.