"I cheated and I'm not that sorry about it." This is not really a text message you want to receive from your significant other, but it's the text I got from Frank earlier this week. Thankfully, he was referring to a slip in loyalty to the Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse, and not a bigger issue.
Thursday rounded out our second and final week of the cleanse (Week 1 recap here) -- a moment of both relief and (strangely) anxiety for me. I'm glad to be relieved of kitchen duty for the first time in two weeks, but I'm already stressing about next week's menu since it isn't laid out for me. Last night we celebrated the end of the cleanse with dinner at Estela -- highly recommended way to undo all of your hard work!
Other than my aforementioned baklava snack and Frank's fall to a sandwich on a day he wasn't able to bring lunch to work ("BREAD!" he texted), we stuck to the plan pretty closely. Here's my final assessment.
Week 2 Summary
Week 2 felt a little more streamlined than Week 1, but cooking fatigue definitely set in about halfway through the week. We still enjoyed the majority of the recipes and both continued to feel really good.
Cost: A much smaller shopping list meant a (slightly) less expensive grocery bill. We rung in at $200 this week, bringing the total for the entire 2-week cleanse to just about $500. That's more than we usually spend in a month for groceries, but we also didn't eat out at restaurants for two weeks, which is unheard of for us. A lot of the pantry ingredients we bought during Week 1 are now new, fun ingredients for us to use going forward.
Time Commitment: this week's shopping list was much more manageable than last week. I only made two major grocery store runs, and having everything on hand made it easier to prep things ahead. Cooking time was about the same -- an hour and a half to two hours per night.
Level of Ease: There was nothing particularly challenging in this week's recipe packet! Very straightforward.
Quality of Recipes: Like last week, we enjoyed the majority of the recipes. I did notice that some of the instructions got a little sloppy this week (i.e. no indication to save something from dinner for lunch the next day, which they were very good about in the first week), but nothing that totally ruined the results.
Results: I'm really happy that we decided to take on this cleanse. We're thinking very differently about portion sizes and our ability to re-purpose elements of dinner to create a new lunch item the next day. We were introduced to some fun flavors that we'll use going forward as well! I also really enjoyed being able to follow along with the creators of the cleanse on the Bon Appetit site. As far as weight goes, I have to say that I'm surprised by how much we lost! Changing our eating habits (and more importantly, not starving ourselves) for just two weeks resulted in losing 9 pounds, which is enough to make me really think about how much food really impacts us. I'd encourage anyone curious about the Food Lover's Cleanse to give it a try! If nothing else, you'll walk away with a few new go-to recipes that you can feel good about.
Favorite Week 2 Recipes:
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Porcini Broth -- I'm honestly not a big pork person, but this tenderloin in a mushroom broth felt like a very sophisticated Friday night dinner at home.
- Roast Chicken with Butternut-Tahini Puree -- You really can't go wrong with a good roast chicken, but the butternut-tahini puree was the real showstopper here. As a bonus, the puree was a great dip for carrots the next day!
Least Favorite Week 2 Recipe:
- Beet and Escarole Salad with Avocado and Walnuts -- I was surprised that I didn't love this salad because I really liked all of the elements of it. But alas, the result was a little lackluster in flavor, and the lack of a side dish on this particular night was also sort of a bummer.
- Roasted Celery Root with Walnuts and Thyme -- I thought this one was fine, but Frank was not a fan. Again with the root-vegetables-taste-like-dirt thing. It's a personal preference, for sure.