Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm not one for defeatism, but there's absolutely zero chance I'm going to make it two weeks.

I write this tonight for two reasons:
1) If I die at the Derby mini-marathon on Saturday (and thus can't write it next Sunday), you'll know I had good intentions.
2) Since I now have it in writing, I can't spend the next seven days talking myself out of the foolishness I'm about to describe.

I've decided to do a cleanse. And no, not for the reasons one might logically assume. I have no interest in spiritual growth or physical or mental epiphany. In fact, I think the whole notion is rather stupid.

Suzanne Morrison, author of Yoga Bitch: One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment (one of my favorite books of the past few years), perfectly captures my attitude in this article for Books for Better Living online journal:

"'I’d like to put you on a cleanse,' he [her doctor/nutritionist] said.

'I make fun of people who cleanse,' I said.

'It’s only for three weeks,' he responded. 'It’s not forever. It’ll end.'

'Yeah,' I said, picturing the half-empty wine bottle waiting for me at home. 'Just like life.'

Here’s what a cleanse is: it is hell. First, you omit everything you might describe as delicious from your diet—coffee, alcohol, meat, dairy, sugar and wheat— and replace them with nutritional smoothies, supplements, and three weeks of abject boredom. Next, you wait for the three weeks to be over. Which, curiously, lasts an eternity."

I'm choosing to do this simply because I want to see how long I can make it. I'm curious. End of story. Even though I have a relatively healthy diet and exercise schedule, I'm no stranger to indulgence. I love my coffee, diet soda, and after-dinner desserts. I enjoy having a glass of wine on the porch and talking to friends. Convenience store crap makes me smile.

BUT, I also know that I like the environment I invariably associate with this stuff as much as the calories and caffeine themselves. That's a good sign, I think. I'm likely addicted to the experience, but not necessarily the product.

That's a lie. I'm going to explode or punch someone without caffeine.

Anyway, here's the plan: From Monday, April 30-Sunday, May 13, I will be on a strict plant-based diet. I also plan to give my body a break from running, sticking instead to walking the pups, yoga, and strength-training. Throughout the two weeks, I will document my journey on here. I do foreshadow a noticeable increase in cuss words and illogical rants with each post.

Dr. Melissa, you're going to be so proud of me!
(well, for a few days/possibly hours at least)

I'm now taking bets: How long do you give me?
Until then, though, here's a recipe for homemade brownies I tried today. I finished a giant one right before writing this post.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs (I used three because they were small)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
*I also added about 1/4 cup of leftover morning coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. 2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter (I just put in the microwave). Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla (and coffee if you so choose). Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. 3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook. 4. Add frosting if desired: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.


  1. You're not going to have a mint julep on Derby Day??!! And you call yourself a Kentuckian! Pshaw.

    Good luck to ya. Beets do wonders! ;) (and make for pretty smoothies)

  2. Ha. Funny. You talk like I'll actually make it to May 5.
    ;) Thanks, CDK.

  3. Not to be a downer, but research shows that moderate coffee drinkers tend to be healthier than those that don't drink coffee. Antioxidants or something...I don't know, I just read a lot of articles.

  4. Far from being a "downer," I think this is the most sensible statement on this page.:)

  5. I guess I should have used the word "discouraging." Instead of supporting your efforts, I simply gave you an excuse to drink coffee.