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Bon Appetit Food-Lover’s Cleanse Recap


So the cleanse is OVER and Mike and I made it through the entire 14 days. When the 3 line description of the cleanse made no mention of what you were to get out of it a lightbulb should have gone off in my head but I was determined to start the year right so the claim of flavorful healthy food and no calorie counting was all it took for me to say…sign me up! I had no idea what I was getting myself (and Mike) into.

The cleanse began after I spent hours reviewing the 30-page 1-point-font pdf of recipes so I could prepare my 4-page grocery list. We had to go to 3 stores to find all the items and many I ‘d never heard of (hello, bulger wheat?). The plan provided 3 meals and 2 snacks per day and Rachel Ray was definitely not consulted because there wasn’t a 30 minute meal in the entire 2 weeks! Recipes were very involved… especially dinner. I guess they thought it wouldn’t be “Bon Appetit” worthy if it weren’t. Thank goodness Mike and I have flexible work schedules or we would have quit on day 2. This was not designed for a person with a normal 9-5 job. We never cooked and cleaned so much before in our entire lives. To make matters worse the menus were poorly organized. Many recipes didn’t list serving sizes, days where you needed to make enough food for the next day wasn’t always noted, and they included too many courses at dinner which resulted in tons of left-overs. By week 2 we had to stop making everything they told us because it was not humanly possible to eat that much food. It became obvious that no one at Bon Appetit actually completed the cleanse before promoting it to their readers, which is a shame.

How was the food? We cooked things we would normally never make, and were introduced to cuisines from around the world that had unique flavors and tons of spices. There were a handful of recipes we enjoyed (see list below), a couple we didn’t mind and a bunch that were downright disgusting (Coconut Oat Pilaf). But we had issues with most of the menus because some foods didn’t complement each-other. It was as if the creators just haphazardly chose which recipes to pair together.

The results…how do we feel? I honestly feel the same as when we started. I was hoping for substantial weight loss, a re-energize body and mind, or at the very least vibrant skin. But, alas I didn’t achieve any of those goals. Mike ended up losing 5 pounds and I lost 2 (bitter party of 1 – right here!). Yes, as my mom said that is barely water weight. So would we do this again? No, but we will try and continue to follow the general guidelines.

Final words…Dear Bon Appetit: next time you recommend a cleanse to thousands of people test it out first! Having the creator do the cleanse with us may have sounded like a cool idea but hearing her blog about her daily struggles (many that I have pointed out) just pissed me off. To read how she would modify the cleanse next time really doesn’t help me now that it’s over. I feel like I wasted my time and money on someone’s practice run.

Mike – Sorry for making you do this. You are a trooper…

Here are the few things we will make again:
Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie
Black-Eyed Pea Curry
Almond-Banana Smoothie
Bulgur Pilaf
Kale with Pine Nuts and Currants
Quinoa with Pomegranate, Apple & Scallions
Salmon in a Bengali Mustard Sauce

The cleanse: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/food-lovers-cleanse/

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3 Responses

  1. The worst thing about this cleanse? The author from Bon Appetit who was supposedly doing the cleanse along with us blogged that on the first weekend that she blew it off to have dinner and drinks with friends. WTF? We’re going through this, you haven’t tested most of the recipes and then you blow us off?

  2. I actually did this on a Sunday – Friday lunch basis with mu husband. (But Friday for dinner and Saturday I didn’t eat things that would totally blow it either).

    I do agree with you on the ingredients thing. I realized that it was going to completely blow my budget if I bought all that stuff so I didn’t follow each menu exactly but I did follow the guidelines and we definitely used leftovers.

    That being said, I did feel better after the cleanse and lost about 3 pounds which I think is pretty healthy. My husband lost about 7. We had both gotten our exercising back on track as well though.

    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

  3. Glad to hear someone got something positive out of the cleanse.

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