Clean & simple whole foods, please!?

I am READY.  I am ready for this next 6 weeks.  My body feels horrible.  I feel super lazy, and uncomfortable.  My mood is completely unstable.  I am irritable, not sleeping well, and I have a dull headache.  Let’s just say one treat over this holiday was out of the question.  One indulgence led to the need for another, and that’s pretty typical of holidays and celebrations.  The important thing is that you know when you’ve had enough and you’re willing to do something about it.  For those that have severe sugar addictions, this can take months to get over.  I know personally I have had instances where eating a few days in a row that are sugar-filled can lead to months of cravings and failed attempts to cut it out.  I used to think that I was alone in this, that maybe it was just mental and it was really me not being strong enough to stop.  The more I talk to other folks that struggle with sugar, especially women, I am finding that many individuals have this problem.  I personally binge on sugar when I have too much of it.  I can go months at a time not having any, with no issue — this is when I feel my best.  Then a few high-sugar days sneak in for whatever reason and I am lost for months.  For several months I will not eat just a few sweet things here and there but literally not know any limits, not recognize when I am full, and it is not uncommon for me to eat massive amounts in one sitting.  It’s embarrassing, really.  I shouldn’t even be telling you this!  But I know that I have a problem, as cliche as that sounds.  So, needless to say — I do know (after lots of practice) when I have had enough, and I know that something needs to be done.

Over the next few weeks I am thinking about adopting sample menus from other sites/blogs I have visited in order to minimize my access to making my own things that may not be compliant.  Let me discuss a little bit what kind of 6 week detoxification I am talking about.  I am basically going to omit anything that has sugar or that is considered to be very starchy.  That means a strict diet of meat, vegetables, and lots of healthy fats.  Most of the vegetables allowed will be less starchy things like greens, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, peppers, etc.  Sugar in the form of fructose will be especially omitted.  This means no fruit – not even tossed in a salad or a handful of raisins before a workout; this means no honey or coconut sap – not even in a dressing or marinade.  Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, winter squashes, etc will be omitted as well.  Now, what will likely happen is the first 3 weeks will be incredibly strict in that the things mentioned above will be left out 100%.  However, I do not think that these things are bad for your health.  The antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins in fruit; for instance, make them super foods that are worth including in your diet.  But it is important to get your body on track as far as using them properly.  Also, these items can be beneficial to individuals who workout or consider themselves to be athletic.  Fruits before working out and starchy vegetables post-workout can not only help you recover, but seriously fuel your body to workout to your best potential.  After the first 21 days I will most likely bring some of these things back in slowly, and at the appropriate times a.k.a. before and after exercising. The last 3 weeks (making 6 weeks total) will take place with these few things added in.  Then, and only then, will any sort of treat or indulgence be allowed.

Sorry this post is lengthy, but I wanted to cover these points and backtrack a bit on some recipes I have made over the past few days.

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Avocado & Cilantro Marinade

Ingredients

  • 2 wild-caught yellowfin tuna steaks
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • avocado slices

Process

  1. Whisk all ingredients together for your marinade.
  2. Salt and pepper both sides of your tuna steaks, then pour the marinade over tuna.
  3. Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, or as much time as you are able to give.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and scrape excess marinade off steaks, reserving for later use.
  5. Heat grill to medium-high, and cook about 4 minutes a side for medium-rare.
  6. While tuna is grilling, pour reserved marinade in a small skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until it has heated through and has thickened just a bit.
  7. Serve tuna steaks with slices of avocado on top and some of the marinade.

I served my tuna with asparagus spears wrapped in bacon!  I have made bacon-wrapped asparagus so many times, but I decided to go a little different route this time.  Wrap your asparagus spears in bacon slices as usual.  Then, in small bowl combine 1 tbsp. of toasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and 1 tsp. honey.  Rub this mixture all over your bacon-wrapped asparagus.  Generously sprinkle some sesame seeds over spears before placing in the oven.  Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes, or until bacon is nice and crispy.

As for the main course of our Easter dinner…I made a beautiful rack of pork.  It is basically the same as a rack of lamb, well cut-wise…much cheaper, too!  Rack of pork is also known as a center-cut rib roast.  Whatever you want to call it, because it is meat that is right by the bone it is super flavorful and moist.  Here’s what I did with mine:

Rack of Pork for Easter

So simple.  Really.  It looks fancy, but in reality there was nothing to it and it doesn’t even take long to cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 full rack of pork (6-7 lb, with 8 ribs)
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 4 tbsp. EV olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 c. apple cider

Process

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well blended.
  2. Salt both sides of your pork and place in a deep enough dish to accommodate marinade.  Pour marinade on top and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.  I marinated mine for 24 hours and flipped it half way through the total time.
  3. Transfer pork to a roasting pan (with non-stick rack preferably).  Fat side of pork should be facing up.   Marinade should be on the bottom of the roasting pan.  Let your pork sit out for about 30 minutes allowing it to come to room temperature before baking.
  4. Place in oven that has been preheated to 325.  Bake for about 15 minutes per pound.  Make sure to baste it every 20 minutes or so.  Slice between each rib and serve!
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