A healthy recipe to impress your guests
Two years ago I did The Food Lover's Cleanse, from Bon Appetit magazine. The cleanse was a two-week meal plan created by Bon Appetit dieticians and launched every January. I discovered this cleanse on their website in the nick-of-time because 2016 was the last year they offered it. You could follow the plan at no charge, which is perhaps why it stopped, to give your health a kickstart for the New Year. The cleanse promised to be delicious, to result in a safe amount of weight loss, and to leave the body feeling nourished and cleansed of all the post-holiday treats. Did it live up to its promise?
I felt incredible! My energy was through the roof. My skin improved. My mood improved. And all the bloating from , Christmas vanished! It gets better: I never had the desire to snack, I never felt hungry, and, even though wine was suggested to be off the list for two weeks (which I refused to do), I found it easy to ration myself to one glass of red wine a day (a compromise Bon Appetit was willing to make with it's patrons … they are appealing to "foodies", after all).
The meals in the cleanse were well balanced within themselves and throughout the day, and really took into consideration the importance of flavour and taste as an essential component of enjoying your food. I knew every dish I was having was healthy but the flavourings (courtesy of herbs, chilis, healthy condiments like mustard and apple cider vinegar) made me feel like I was having a decadent meal.
The only draw back to the cleanse, for me, was that it was time consuming. Perhaps a seasoned cook could have whipped these dishes together quickly, but for me it was hours. I can still envision my husband waiting anxiously on the couch, munching on almonds until dinner was ready … at 9:30pm! What was further time consuming for me was that I had to create two dinners. As much as I would have loved to introduce my then 4- and 7-year-old daughters to this type of cuisine, there was no way they were going to eat it and I didn't want to waste the lovely ingredients to see whether or not that was true. Continuing to eat like this everyday was not an option for our family.
Not all was lost, though. I now have a wonderful list of delicious recipes that I can even use on guests. I learned how to prepare meals faster (by the end of two weeks I had picked up some valuable tricks to help speed up meal prep). I am now very conscious of eating not just healthy food but a variety of food, not only to insure that I'm getting all the nutrients but that I enjoy my food and look forward to the next meal because it's a flavour or texture or smell that I don't normally have. I also learned that, when managed well, a "cleanse" doesn't have to be a bad word. I detest smoothie cleanses, juice cleanses etc. but this was a cleanse of the body with normal meals. My hat goes off to the dieticians who created this because they did their research and my body was absolutely cleansed after the two weeks, will no ill effects.
The recipe on the link below was one of my favourites. The star-rating is low but I would disagree. The best part of this dish for me, was that it was two items I like, but would never think to go out and buy. Plus, it's delicious enough and sophisticated enough to bring out at dinner parties. There's nothing nicer than serving your guests yummy food, that's good for them, and they can't really tell that it's good for them :-)
Enjoy this Mahi-Mahi with Smashed White Beans. Thank you Bon Appetit for this great dish!
I gained a lot from this cleanse and recommend the recipes to this day. Old recipes can be found online. The cleanse I followed can be found here.
If you like this and want more check out the Food Lover's Cleanse book.