It is a common misconception that pursuing ‘clean eating’ with a meal plan is as difficult as trying to attend every single 8 a.m. lecture. How are they analogous? They both start off with a heightened sense of optimism, only to be doused by that piece of pecan pie at crossroads or the blessed existence of webcasts, respectively. In reality, eating clean is all about the kind of choices you make and being strong-willed. As a result of eating clean, you will feel less groggy and have a renewed sense of energy.
It is also often falsely assumed that in order to detoxify your body after stuffing yourself endlessly with Cafe 3’s cheese pizza for five days straight, you need to starve yourself on the sixth day to overcome the guilt. As much as your body needs cleansing, your system doesn’t require you to survive for 24 hours with just bottles of exotic drinks marketed for this purpose.
Instead, if you wish to give your body a break without sacrificing foods that will provide your brain with the necessary glucose for optimal functioning (because homework still has to be done), it makes greater sense to consume lighter, nutritionally adequate meals at regular intervals throughout the day. That would include avoiding any type of meat, which tends to put quite a bit of stress on your digestive tract. After sunset, when there’s a shift in energy investment from digestion to assimilation of nutrients, you should avoid eating larger meals and stick to easily-digestible snack such as fresh fruits.
Here is a simplistic outline of how your sixth day would be like if you choose to follow the path of eating right, which trust me, is better than starving yourself.
Breakfast at Pat Brown’s: The congee bowl
A staple dish across many Asian countries, congee (a porridge made of rice that is cooked in plain water) can also be pronounced as “Kanji” in Southern India. Typically consumed by persons recovering from maladies, this humble bowl is the perfect way for you to “break-a-fast”.
Top tip: you could request the server to not add chicken, and rather, add a little more of the delectable tamarind sauce to get maximum flavor. By combining that with the crunchy peanuts, coriander, ginger, garlic and scallions, you can obtain a palatable meal that will boost your metabolism and gear you up for the day.
Midmorning boost at The Den: Chlorophylling good smoothie
This drink stands true to its former name, for it is indeed no less than a “Green Goddess”.
Absolutely low on added sugars, this smoothie a wondrous blend of avocado, spinach and almond milk. However, don’t worry about it being tasteless, because mango and pineapple will add just the right amount of natural sweetness. Consuming this for at least 3 days in a row will make you wonder why were ever reliant on caffeine.
Top tip: if you want your smoothie to actually be “smooth”, request the server to add less ice. You don’t want the lusciousness of all these immune boosting ingredients to be compromised by the prickly texture of the ice.
Lunch at Golden Bear Café: Fruit and Nut salad
Filled with blueberries, strawberries and dried cranberries, this rather attractive salad provides almost all the required antioxidants for your daily quota. The crumbled feta cheese is source of calcium, and the mixed greens aid in boosting up your Vitamin K and A. The slivered almonds add much the needed warmth and crunch, in addition to acting as a great vegetarian protein source. Plus, the light and juicy raspberry vinaigrette drizzle used isn’t available in any other campus restaurant (that we know of)!
Top tip: unlike any other salad, this quite time-consuming to eat, so make sure you give yourself enough time to enjoy every bite. For all the ingredients to mix well, tightly shut the lid of the salad and shake the box vigorously for the optimum salad experience. In the case that you find yourself still hungry, then grab a small carton of unsweetened plain yogurt.
Early dinner at Pat Brown’s (because everything in life comes in a full circle): Beetroot, goat cheese and beet greens panini
This lightly toasted meal is a refreshing change from the typical heavily cheese laden sandwiches we buy for ourselves elsewhere on campus. The beet is simply boiled and roasted, allowing you to enjoy the natural sweetness of this nutrient-packed tuber. Since the beet leave are only slightly cooked in vinaigrette, its nutritional loss is minimized. The great amount of folate, calcium, magnesium it is known to possess will still be remain. Unfortunately, they do not serve it on whole-wheat bread, but you could still enjoy it with refined sourdough (a little cheating does no harm). Perhaps after reading this, they might exclusively use wheat bread, who knows?
Top tip: If you’re end up being hungry past 6 p.m. (which is likely if you stay up late), then munch on a handful of walnuts and pecans, or make yourself a bowl of fruit. This way, you can still be sticking to your goal of detoxification and won’t be craving your usual pizza.