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I would describe myself as a fairweather healthy eater; the kind of person who occasionally snatches up things like vegan banana pudding or frozen faux-meat patties on random binges at the local health food store. It's probably 70% genuine interest in wellness benefits, and 30% culinary curiosity.
I've had medicinal teas concocted by an herbalist in Chinatown with ingredients that were barely identifiable (and tasted like a cigarette put out in a cup of stale coffee) and on the other side of the coin, I've sampled deep fried pig ears—so basically, I'm down to try new things. Which is why when local nutritional meal plan service Kore Kitchen offered to let me try their 3-day whole food Kore Cleanse ($285), I wasn't scared. I like a challenge. And besides, I'm kinda healthy.
After receiving my very first delivery in a sleek little refrigerated tote, and feeling a little Gwyneth P, I was raring to begin.
My first day (just like each of the following days) kicked off with a filling smoothie. To be honest, as a die-hard breakfast lover, I wasn't sure this bottled blend of nut milk, berries, banana, dates, protein powder, and chia seeds (hey! I've tried those before!) could fill me up. I was wrong. I sipped slowly, knowing my biggest meal (lunch) was in the distant future. Plus since I couldn't have coffee I felt like I could trick my brain to think I was having my morning cup.
Midway between breakfast and lunch, sustenance came in the form of a green juice. This one was sweetened with a bit of soothing fennel, and the big-ol bottle almost kept my belly distracted until around noon, when I knew that actual chewable foods awaited.
A salad with arugula, brussels sprouts, roasted squash, and dried cranberries was lunch, and I had no complaints. By this point I'd yet to feel deprived of anything, and the trend continued through my mid-afternoon snack (flax crackers and cashew cheese), and dinner (a to-die-for rich Thai carrot and basil soup). As as sweets-addict, I didn't think I could be totally chill with ending my day with a measly cup of tea, and although a slice of cake would have been cool, I got through it—perhaps a bit hungry, but mostly out of late-night-snacking habit.
Day two kicked off with a spirulina-spiked smoothie and much like the other, it staved off any deep desire for pancakes. By this point, I was pretty jazzed that my body was full of wholesome stuffs, and I was psyched to keep it up. And potentially the most amazing feat? No caffeine-deprived headache. A miracle!
After another green drink around 10am, I was at peace, but quite honestly ready to tear into what looked like THE. MOST. DELISH. LUNCH. The salad of black beans, brown rice, and nearly every vegetable imaginable was deconstructed in its package, so I did the classic Kardashian "salad shake" (if you've seen the show, you get it) with the mustard-y dressing and gobbled up every nutrient-rich bite. Hey, maybe vegans are onto something...
When 4pm hit, it was snack time again but this day it took a sweet turn (#blessed) in the form of two superfood truffles. I'm surprised I could even could take a second to snap a photo before inhaling these little babies.
Still cruising on my lunch and snack bliss, it was a piece of cake (cake who?) to wait until dinner for another creamy, pureed soup. After tea time, I was convinced by body was now a holy temple of nutrition.
The morning of day three I was still gung-ho, but also kinda getting excited to re-introduce myself to wine and coffee (though still no headache). After my blueberry-oat smoothie, which I will 100% be recreating, I had to leave the house to run a few errands. Oh, did I mention the previous days I stayed pretty much at home? Once out and about, it was easier to get off-schedule and so I blew past both my morning snack and lunch times. Uh oh.
It wasn't until I was reaching hangry status (I don't advise sitting in stand-still traffic during a cleanse unless you're super strict about eating time) around 2pm that I arrived home and simultaneously chugged my last green drank and plowed through a salad of spinach, apples, and—you know what? I forgot because it was practically already digested by the time I thought about the ingredients. Good news, though. I didn't have to yell at anyone.
Since I'd been late with lunch, dinnertime—after a 5pm kombucha—fell around 8pm and was a bowl of squash soup with some pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top. Not sure why I haven't mentioned this yet, but the soup portion is huge. I added a little bit of water to mine when I heated it on the stove so it wouldn't reduce to an even thicker consistency. I easily filled two bowls with the contents, and yes, happily ate one after the other.
Then something amazing happened. My post-dinner tea, a mushroom hot cacao drink by Four Sigma Foods gave me literal life—even at around 10pm. Maybe it was the bit of chocolate, the energy boost from raw cacao powder, or the immunity-boosting reishi mushroom, but this cup of slightly thin cocoa was a welcome treat that also gave me a mini surge of energy to power through a late night writing session.
The genius of this cleanse is that it keeps you just above the point of hangry—so long as you follow the rules—and loaded with all the good things your body craves (FYI to my knowledge meat, dairy, gluten, and nightshades were all absent from the menu). But those just aiming to shed pounds should be aware, that's not the goal for this regimen. Instead of rushing to see how my tightest jeans were fitting afterwards, I found myself inspired to parade myself to the grocery store and stock up on the similarly wholesome eats. But um, yeah. The jeans fit a bit better, too.