So, tonight marks the end of Team Kombucha’s 21-day CLEAN cleanse, which means I can finally go back to being the patient, kind mother I was before pre-cleanse coffee.
It’s been an interesting process that included both easy days when imbibing mostly liquids was a piece of cake spinach smoothie and days that were more difficult when I would have given my first-born – hell, ALL of my born – for an iced coffee and a muffin.
This past weekend, I asked the members of Team Kombucha a few of the questions that I’ve been hearing over the past three weeks and here are just some of their answers…
What was your favorite smoothie or new food discovered?
… We like the Chocolate Cherry Smoothie* a lot and will probably continue to drink that for breakfast most days.
… I like mango and pineapple in any of the smoothies that I make. I loved the Quinoa Flakes that I bought for breakfast during the Elimination Diet; they remind me of Cream of Wheat.
… I love the mango, pineapple, spinach smoothie and the Mango Chicken with Wild Rice* is awesome! I know, lots of mangoes. I am not sure I ever had a mango before this month! I have definitely opened up and tried lots of new things and liked some of them. Although I am pretty sure the people of Whole Foods see me coming and hide so they don’t need to help me find everything! Speaking of Whole Foods, you’ve all seen THIS, right? You know how I don’t throw around the “LOLs,” right? Well, THIS made me L. O. freaking L.
… Garlic Lemon Chicken* was my favorite meal.
… My favorite smoothie is the Chocolate-covered Blueberry Shake*. I’ll continue drinking this every morning.
*Recipes included at the end of this post. Because I’m SURE you’re all ready to run right out and start making this stuff.
What was the most surprising positive side effect (if any)?
… the weight loss!
… In the last few months, I have begun to suffer from arthritis in my fingers. It was especially bad when I first woke up in the mornings. Since I’ve been on the cleanse, it has been completely gone. Not sure why, but I’ll be interested to see if it comes right back when this is over. This is so awesome to me. Smoothies and Quinoa Flakes CURED arthritis?!? It’s a MIRACLE!
… increased energy, lack of hunger, better mood and brighter skin.
… my skin feels/looks great and no bloating, which I love.
Please note: I personally have not experienced any increased energy levels or dewy, gorgeous skin… WTF? I blame both of these things on
Happy Won’t-Let-Us Sleep Dude.
What was the most surprising negative side effect (if any)?
… [the fact] that I haven’t had any other side effects or changes. I don’t really feel much different, no extra joy or extra energy. In fact, I often feel sleepy in the afternoons and have really missed caffeine at those times! Well, say you can say hello to your old friend, again!
… my biggest disappointment was that I had read that it would help the dark circles under your eyes…it hasn’t done anything for mine.
… the fatigue and bloating in the first week.
… the lack of enjoyment in social situations (the glass of wine at dinner, popcorn at a movie, etc.). This week, it was just boredom. I wanted desperately to sink my teeth into anything different, something with just a little more “substance”. I would eat a raw-hide bone right now if it was allowed 😉 Let’s just clarify, as of tomorrow, raw-hide bones ARE allowed. Yippee!
What was the biggest challenge (a specific social event, cooking for your kids, etc.)?
… missing the “social” aspect of food. This was pretty much everyone’s answer. We get it, Team Kombucha, you like to party.
… the biggest challenge came when I was on a 4-day trip with my husband and son to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. No shakes for breakfast or soups for dinner 😦 I stuck to the elimination diet but it was hard, I was hungrier and just off routine, which creates its own challenges.
Would you do it again??
… Not sure. I guess I’m hoping I won’t NEED to do it again — that I’ll keep good eating habits, (minimal snacking, more “real” food and much less junk/processed foods). But if I feel myself slipping back into crazy habits then I would definitely do it again because it absolutely helped me reset my compass.
… I would definitely do it again… “The Spoiled Way” (which is how I’ve been describing the fact that we are having it catered!)
… I am hoping to lose lots more weight, so another cleanse further down the line is definitely in my future.
… This is my second time doing it and I would definitely do it again. I plan to do it twice a year (Jan and June), and otherwise I’m going to just try and stick to a version of the elimination diet and avoid gluten, sugar and fried food as much as possible, and eat dairy in moderation.
My answer? Absolutely yes. But not anytime soon.
What was your total weight loss?
… 14 lbs. Awesome.
…10 lbs. Fantastic.
…16 lbs. AH-mazing.
… 9 lbs and am actually considering wearing a bikini on vacation – that hasn’t happened in a long time! YAY! Love this. Wanted to write “You go, girl!” but realized… no.
… 12 lbs. I switched to soup for dinner, thinking that the smoothies twice a day may have been hindering weight loss. The soup wasn’t awful, but I am so excited to give that up for food you can chew. 12 lbs… incredible!
… 7 lbs. (I had a few days of the elimination diet instead of true cleanse in the middle because of my trip so it may skew the true results just slightly) You took a vacation in the middle of the cleanse and still lost 7 lbs? Crazy.
… 15 lbs. Yahoo!
… I don’t know, somewhere between 9-11 lbs. Count me for 10. (Typical guy… not caring about the EXACT number)
I’m still waiting to hear from one team member, but just in case your math is rusty, that gives eight of the nine members of Team Kombucha a total of 93 lbs lost in just 21 days!! How freaking awesome is that??
Any additional thoughts or comments?
… By biggest take away is to make changes to what my kids eat…It’s very easy to be lazy and quick with their food. My daughter did the elimination diet for a week and felt so much better with her stomach issues. She went to a sleepover party this weekend and that all went out the window, but like all of us, she learned that what we eat/don’t eat can really change the way we feel! All this and your kid learned something, too? MOTHER OF THE YEAR!
… My favorite part that I will really try to stick to is eating within a 12-hour window. Yes, I agree with this… nobody wins when you eat a bag of Pirate’s Booty while watching ‘Orange is the New Black’ at 10:30pm.
… I found it very surprising how long I could go without eating and without feeling that hungry. That said, once I ate, it was like opening the flood gates and I would just want to eat more (even after I was full). It was important to eat my lunch (or smoothie or soup) and then WALK AWAY from the table and get involved in something else.
… Having a caterer prepare the lunches and soups made it much more expensive, BUT also much easier. In fact, I am pretty sure that I would have cheated more than once if I didn’t have my lunch waiting for me.
So there you have it… straight from the [empty] mouths of Team Kombucha.
Personally, I thought this whole experience was awesome. Doing the cleanse with a team made it a lot of fun… we shared smoothie recipes, constipation complaints and funny stories like spitting out food that we put in our mouths by accident. We commiserated and celebrated; gave support and received encouragement. I would have been MUCH more likely to cheat with a bag of peanut butter M&Ms if I didn’t feel the potential guilt of letting Kombucha down.
Doing the cleanse with a spouse or roommate is also helpful. It was hard enough to cook for our kids and watch them eat… if KJ had been eating steaks and pasta for dinner every night while I sipped my soup, it would have been MUCH more difficult. Oh and also, we’d be divorced.
Thanks to all of you who supported us by offering compliments, words of encouragement or a glass of water. Now please start inviting us all out to dinner. And pay. (Just kidding.)
And now, Who Needs A Nap? ME can return to its regularly scheduled program of complaining and moaning about kids, parenting and also, how there’s no chef making me lunch, dinner or Margaritas every day. BOO.
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
1 cup almond milk
1 cup frozen dark cherries
1-2 tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. cacao
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal or chia seeds
1 serving vanilla protein powder
Ice and Stevia to taste
Chocolate-covered Blueberry Shake
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup purified water
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tbsp. protein powder
1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
½ cup frozen blueberries
Mango Chicken with Wild Rice
Adapted from The Healthy Foodie, serves two
¼ cup wild rice
½ cup brown basmati rice
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 small onion, diced
½ mango, diced
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp coconut nectar
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Generous pinch hot pepper flakes
Directions: Soak the wild rice in cold water for an hour prior to cooking. Rinse wild rice and basmati rice, add to saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 50 minutes or until all water has evaporated. Meanwhile, coat a skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, then turn each piece to cook the other side. Add onion, cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden, then add mango, lemon juice, vinegar, hot pepper flakes and coconut nectar. Toss in rice and parsley. Stir and serve immediately.
Garlic Lemon Chicken
1 lemon, quartered
5 sprigs fresh rosemary, bashed around with knife to release flavor
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
Pinch sea salt
Pinch fresh ground pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 carrots peeled and chopped into pieces
2 medium parsnips peeled and cut thin and lengthwise
Directions: In a bowl squeeze lemon juice from lemon and add ingredients in list through pepper along with squeezed lemon quarters. Slice chicken into pieces. Add to bowl and massage marinade into chicken. Marinate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425. Combine carrots, parsnips and chicken (along with all content of bowl) to a lightly oiled baking dish. Cook 40-45 mins.