I have heard a lot of talk lately from friends and family alike about diets, gyms and exercise regimens. Seems like it’s a hot topic on the minds of many as 2013 is still fresh and so is the memory of those pesky New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t make any :)! Nonetheless, I was awed by a friend who stuck out five full days on the lemonade diet. Although I had grand plans of joining her on this cleanse, I had a false start, punking out on day 1 (sigh!). After breaking down some time around dinner time on day 1, when I started feeling light headed after drinking the lemon concoction all day, I involuntarily dug into a plate of chicken and vegetables. Couldn’t help it. Anyway, the whole concept of cleansing, fasting and giving your digestive system a break has been top of mind and thanks to my holiday reading I decided to take a different approach to this cleansing thingy. You see, we know for fact that the food in Nigeria in fresh (generally), mostly home grown (except a few flown in South African imports like apples and pears), and available only when in season and so there really is no excuse not to “eat clean”. Given that my goal this year is to do justice to what’s available in Nigeria and re-create some of our amazing local dishes with truly healthy options I want a real clean start. Now I ordered this awesome blender to replace my current juicer and blender (more on this later), but it is currently in the US having arrived a day after I left. But anyhoot, I shall make use of my existing juicer, food processor and blender. Let the tools not be the excuse for not forging ahead!
So what’s the plan? 3 days on raw (mostly) juiced fruits and vegetables. A trip to the fruit and vegetable market today was a real motivator as there is just a ton of fresh produce coming into season. It was love and inspiration at first sight.
I made a smoothie for breakfast today. “The breakfast of champions!” as my oga called this was full of fresh fruit and vegetables. A number of smoothie recipes call for fresh spinach, I find the Nigerian variety of spinach to be quite tough, so unless you can find baby spinach in a market near you or frozen spinach, which I found in a store in Victoria Island, try some of the other locally available dark leafy green vegetables. Filled with amazing nutrients, this was an awesome start to my day.
Eating clean and eating raw in Naija? I got this!
What’s in my glass?
1 green apple (Yes I know! Not really local since they’re flown in from South Africa, but they were all over the market)
1/4 of a pineapple
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 cups of frozen spinach (lots of grocery stores in Lagos carry this, next time I’m going to substitute with efo leaves when I get some in)
1 tspn spirullina (optional – I got this on my last trip overseas. Haven’t found any in Lagos yet)
2 tbsp flax seeds (optional – I got this on my last trip overseas as well. Haven’t found any in Lagos yet)
1 1/2 cup of filtered/bottled water
A few cubes of ice (optional)
Rough chop the fruit and vegetables and put everything into a blender along with your superfoods (spirullina and flaxseed)
Squeeze in the juice from 1/2 a lemon
Add 1 cup of water and then pulse the ingredients
Add remaining 1/2 cup of water and ice and pulse until you get a smooth smoothie
Pour into a glass and drink up!