Cleanliness – Days 1 and 2

By: Rora

Nov 30 2010

Category: Japan

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The Clean Food Challenge has begun! This week has gone well so far. I didn’t do as much preparation as I should have because on Sunday I was busy cooking sugary, glutenous food for a Thanksgiving potluck, at which I ate about 4 meals worth of food and sweets. I woke up Monday morning with a food hangover (yes, it’s possible). Everything smelled like stuffing- my skin, my clothes, my hair. I was ready for a cleanse.

Unfortunately I think I ate so much on Sunday that my stomach expanded to twice it’s size. Monday I had the same amount of food I always eat at school, but by the time my shift ended I was STARVING. Today I brought some extra leftovers and felt fine by the end of the day. Phew.

Here’s what I’ve been eating!

Monday

Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled

Lunch: 1 salmon + seaweed + sesame seed onigiri (a rice ball- the salmon, ect is mixed into the rice). 1 salad (cabbage, half of a hard boiled egg, a scoop of plain tuna fish, corn, carrots, cucumber, red onion. I don’t use dressing on it most of the time). Barley tea. This is my usual lunch every day, in fact. I buy it at the convenient store.

Snacks: 2 mikan oranges, half a cup of black coffee (can’t quite give up caffeine, but trying to cut back!), handful of corn chips (the ingredients on these seem to be ok…)

Dinner: Nutty Kabocha-carrot mash. I’ll post the recipe/explanation below! Then I went to English club at the Udon shop near my house, which is always full of food that is hard to avoid. I had a bowl of nabe (pictured above!!) which is a popular winter soup in Japan. It contains veggies and meat, but is generally different depending on who is preparing it. I’m not positive if this nabe was completely cleanse friendly, but I’m guessing it is because the Udon shop is the type of place where everything is made from scratch. This particular nabe contained mushrooms, egg, cabbage, dango (rice dumpling) and a small amount of pork. Usually nabe is eaten with udon, but I abstained from the noodles. There were also a ton of other snacks there I had to turn down, like Castella pound cake from Nagasaki that my friend brought. That was difficult.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Leftover dinner from last night (ahhh! I had no eggs and even less time)

Lunch: Salmon onigiri and salad, like yesterday. More of the pumpkin-carrot mash.

Snack: 1 cup of black coffee, handful of raspberries and 2 mikan oranges. 2 small rice crackers. Mixed nuts.

Dinner: Grilled salmon with rice and vegetables

So far, so good. I’m trying to drink enough water but having to pee all the time at school is a real drag, so I’m not even close to a gallon. I’m trying, though!

If I were doing this cleanse in the States, I would probably be killing for bread and cheese right now, but in Japan it’s pretty rare that I ever eat those things and I’ve gradually stopped craving them as intensely. They’re around, but the cheese is expensive and bread is no good without cheese. Right now the real killer is peanut butter. I just bought a huge tub of it at Costco last week and now it’s sitting in my pantry TEMPTING ME. I’ve been snacking on some mixed nuts to help keep that whole situation under control.

So, recipe time! This was pretty easy. I eat a lot of carrots and  kabocha (Japanese pumpkin, which is most akin to an acorn squash), because they are cheap and healthy and winter-ey. I could eat them every meal forever and not get tired of it!

Nutty Kabocha Carr0t Mash

1 medium carrot

1/4 of a large kabocha pumpkin / acorn squash

1/4 of a white onion

seasoning: salt, white pepper, nutmeg, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder

mixed nuts

Slice carrots and cut the slices into quarters. Cut kabocha in half, remove the seeds, and cut in cubes (including the skin- I think acorn squash is the same way). I would normally steam these, but I don’t have a proper steamer yet so I threw the carrots and kabocha into a frying pan with water and simmered them until the water had evaporated. Add dash of nutmeg, white pepper, salt, garlic, curry powder and cumin. When the water evaporates and the veggies become tender, add diced white onion and continue to cook. While this cooks, take a handful of mixed nuts, put them in a plastic baggy and crush them into pieces. Add the nut mixture to the veggies and serve!

When I made this last night, I also mixed in some cooked rice. Not sure it was necessary, but usually when I cook this way I serve the rice on the side, and I wanted to be different.

Tomorrow is going to be a bit of a challenge because I go straight from work to Japanese class, so I’m going to have to pack dinner to bring with me! Or buy something at the convenient store. I’m interested in seeing how other people are doing with this so far. Hope it’s going well!

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