Saturday, after moments of feeling a bit panicked about the challenge of preparing to cleanse considering that I’ll be on camping trip 4 of the 10 cleanse days, I gathered my wits, a pen, paper, and inspiration from the recipes on the cleanse site. Armed with my list, I headed to the grocery store. By afternoontime, I was actually feeling like a champ. Without straying too far from my normal brief glimpses at prices (you know, just to confirm I bought the cheapest one of this or that), I managed to only go over the $4.10 limit by 70 cents! That’s just one shopping trip, though– and I’d be lying if I pretended I don’t anticipate another grocery trip before the 10 day cleanse ends!! I would also be remiss if I didn’t factor in the goodies I had at home before the trip, which absolutely cost money and I definitely used when prepping food Saturday(lentils, coconut oil, spices, rice, etc.). All in all, (at least so far!) I probably exceeded the budget by about $3-4 per day. And I am thankful I have the cushion to do that and donate to make up for my .
When I was shopping, I stuck to the produce and bulk foods sections.
Even in the bulk section, I found that it’s tricky to escape sugar. Everything seems to be coated with some kind of oil or sugar unless it’s directly from a farm, which speaks to the surprising number of humans who have interacted with our food before food has even entered our consumer sphere. At work, multiple times per day I interact with people who are involved with slightly- or majorly- altering plain ol’ food into glamorous Food Products. So, day in and day out, I pore through ingredient panels on packaged “foodie” products, confirming for the sake of certification that the product’s ingredient panel is being honest. So when I go shopping, I am ever-wary of the ingredient panel game. By now, my eyes are so well trained to spot the familiar ingredients I try to avoid (artificial & natural flavors, citric acid, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, etc.). A significantly large amount of the foodie products I review contain “evaporated cane juice”— I’m sure we’ve all seen it in many products- in bread, salad dressings, popcorn, peanut butter- you name it. I stumbled across this info- apparently, evap. cane juice content is so significant thatRepair the World’s Food Justice & Hunger Quiz and letsmove.gov say that the average American eats 15 more POUNDS of sugar annually now than in 1970 when food manufacturing was in its infancy. 15 pounds of sugar! Wow.
But even I was surprised Saturday when, with the cleanse’s “unsweetened foods” rule in mind, I found that even the unpackaged dried fruit and nuts in the bulk section are mostly coated with manufactured sweetness! So, upon finding the elusive raisins and currants not coated with evaporated cane juice, I felt like a detective cracking a case. I think I even quietly exclaimed to myself, “Look, ma! No evaporated cane juice!” Ha! After that search, I’m now armed for my camping trip with a homemade trail mix variety of raw seeds, nuts and dried fruit – all of which lack oil and sugary coatings. Whew.
Buuuuuuuut after all THAT, I had messed up by Monday morning. I made my coffee the way I normally make it- coffee, ice, organic half & half. I was so mad at myself when I realized, 2/3 of the cup through, that I had broken the vegan component of the cleanse. Now I think it’s funny, but I was pretty shockedMonday when I realized how easy it is for me to ingest things out of habit, without thinking about them. Cheers to working on greater awareness and intentionality through this cleanse!
p.s. I am craving cheese.