So, I’m on Day 4 of the cleanse, and it’s going pretty well.  This is an easy week, though– eating plant foods while eliminating caffeine, sugar, dairy, alcohol, meat products, you know the drill.  I usually eat plant foods, so that part wasn’t hard.  It was the caffeine and sugar that got me.  The first day I had the traditional caffeine withdrawal headache, but that night I got food poisoning so that kinda started me off with (literally) a bad taste in my mouth.  But I persevered.  I know, you are all proud of me.

Now I feel better and the sugar and caffeine cravings are subsiding.  Next week will be harder with only raw plant foods, and I’m terrified for week 3 which is all liquid plant foods.  One day at a time, y’all.

So, the other night I made a Moroccan-style stew for dinner, since the program called for a vegetable stew but I didn’t really like the recipe.  It was quite delicious, and my Speedlite flash had arrived that day so it gave me a chance to try it out while taking shots of the stew.

I adapted this recipe from Dean Ornish’s book, which I’ve done before, and it turned out pretty well so I thought I’d share it.

Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew

serves 4

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, in 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (or whatever color you can find)
  • 1 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably no salt added)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas or great northern beans, or beans of your choice
  • 1/4 cup bulgur wheat

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, sweet potato, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 5 minutes until vegetables soften.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Uncover and add the beans and bulgur wheat.  Simmer for 10 more minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

It’s a really easy recipe and has a slightly more unusual taste with the spices.  You can serve it over a bed of pasta, couscous, or brown rice.  Or just eat it alone!

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  • March 4, 2010, 12:34 pm Erica Long

    I AM proud of you and extremely impressed. I can’t say I’d be able to stick to a cleanse for very long. Maybe I will try a mini-cleanse, let’s say for a week? I’ve really been enjoying all your personal challenges. They are inspiring and entertaining.
    xo

    Reply
  • March 4, 2010, 3:53 pm Paola

    Beth, I’ve never done a cleanse. Just curious as to why you do it. You lead such a healthy lifestyle already. Do you feel a difference afterwards? How often do you do it?

    Reply
  • March 4, 2010, 5:04 pm bethpc

    Well, I haven’t done many. In fact, I think this is only my second one, and the last one I did from a book and only did one week. I actually don’t eat all that healthy– I kind of reach this point when my life gets really hectic where I’m surviving on caffeine and sugar. So I really am doing it to get off of the sugar and caffeine treadmill that I get stuck on. You can do it anywhere from 4x a year (with the changing of the seasons) to once a year. I’ll let you know how it goes and if I have any troubles in the next two weeks!

    Reply
  • March 5, 2010, 10:51 am Paola

    I guess I could say I’m on the Catholic Cleanse…I gave up sugar for Lent. So far, so good.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing how you feel at the end of it. And can’t wait to hear about liquid plant week! I don’t think I could do one day of that!

    Reply
  • March 7, 2010, 7:04 am Michelle Gillette

    Hi Beth. Love the Site. Thanks for all the great ideas. …Sometimes I feel like a Mad Scientist, all alone in my kitchen, adding experimental Chia Seeds into my potions, breads, pancakes and muffins. It’s good to know I’m in good company. I will definitely try making your banana bread this morning. It will be far healthier than the Fiber One Blue berry muffin mix that we’ve been using, with all that sugar. (I added fresh blueberries,chia seeds & walnuts) …was so delish & very popular. But the sugar content annoys me still. We made chocolate chip chia seed pancakes last weekend…also yummy but less popular, because the kids are onto my wily ways and heavy-handedness in the seed dispersement department. Now, even when I just give them ice water, they’ll look at me sideways and ask “MOM? Did you sneak some seeds into this too?!” (I didn’t.) (That time.)
    Speaking of which… you might consider some good Aqua Vita recipes, or adding chia seeds to your cleanse. Here’s one recipe. I kept the Cayenne in mine though

    http://www.holisticnetworker.com/wp/356/master-cleanse-without-the-cayenne/comment-page-1/

    This comment was not paid for by the chia industry. All comments are strictly that of a seed-obsessed mom looking to trick her family into eating healthier.

    Reply
  • March 14, 2010, 11:33 pm John Canon

    The veggie-stew reminds me of a tasty ratatouille my ex-girlfriend used to cook. I called it “rat-tools”. Also I miss the lentil loaf she made.
    Do you have any (simple) recipes for this bachelor?

    Reply