Day 7 - Cleansing Spree and Ginger Carrot Rice Pudding

Day 7 on the Goop Cleanse Elimination Diet - Including no dairy, eggs, tomatoes, bananas, corn, red meat, pork, gluten, soy, sugar, coffee, or alcohol.
I think the Cleanse is finally getting to me.  I woke up this morning with the extreme urge to clean my entire apartment and rearrange the furniture.  If you knew me well, you would realize that this is not normal behavior.  At all.  I am not a messy person per se, but I am certainly not the type of person who wakes up and starts cleaning the apartment and rearranging furniture at 7:45am.  That just doesn't happen.

But it happened today, and it felt great.  The cleansing process has been surprisingly therapeutic and has encouraged me to reevaluate many aspects of my life.  Today I was reevaluating which way my dining room table should face and where to put my overabundance of hair accessories.  Tomorrow I might be reevaluating my monthly budget.  All the small things that we put off on a regular basis eventually add up and can make life seem a little out of control.

Cleansing is about taking control of the things that you have the power to change and then letting the rest go.  Eating is all about control, and when you control what you eat with the intention of making your body feel as good as possible, it has an effect on how you approach the rest of your life.  So many things are out of your control in the world, but your food and living space are two things that you do have the power to manage.

As I looked around my apartment, which I had thought was fairly clean when I wasn't looking at it too closely, I realized that I had let certain things pile up around the house and allowed some dust to accumulate.   Out of habit I ignored these things that were really making my everyday life worse in the long run.  However, while clutter and dirt are easily fixed with a day or two of thorough cleaning, our eating habits are a bit more complex.

It's so much harder to see the "clutter" in our eating habits - extra food that we eat that doesn't benefit us, yet we can't seem to cut it out.  The toughest part about food "clutter" is that until you strip down your diet, it can be difficult to identify what is the clutter and what is the good stuff.  Fruits and vegetables are obvious good stuff, but what about those processed protein bars that you eat?  They're supposed to be "healthy," and yet they contain a million different ingredients and probably a bit too much processed sugar.  Is that clutter, or is that still good stuff?

I can already foresee a million questions that I'll be forced to answer after I finish the 21days of cleansing.  What foods will I reintroduce first?  How many of the excluded foods do I want to put back in the rotation?  Do I really need to start drinking coffee in the morning again?  I can't say for sure what my answers will be to these questions, but I know they will involve a bit of self-reflection, and that's the important part.

For now, I will post another "clean" recipe - Ginger Carrot Rice Pudding.  This version puts a healthy spin on a traditional dessert, turning it into a dish that can be eaten at any point during the day when you want something slightly sweet.   I used short grain brown rice, but you can experiment with other types of rice or even other grains like quinoa or millet, which would substantially cut down the cooking time (no need to pre-boil, just rinse the grains and add to the ginger carrot mixture)

Ginger Carrot Rice Pudding (6 servings)
1 cup organic short grain brown rice
3 cups water
3 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces*
4 dried pitted dates
1 pear, cored and cut into large pieces (no need to peel if organic)
½ cup cashews
1 small piece of ginger (about an inch long), peeled and cut into small pieces
Kosher Salt
2 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Optional) ¼ cup dried cranberries, or another dried fruit, roughly chopping larger pieces
(Optional) Chopped almonds or toasted cashews for serving

*If your blender has a tough time blending raw carrots into a puree, you may want to cook the carrots before blending.  Steaming or boiling until tender will do the trick. 

1. Bring the rice to a boil with 3 cups salted water in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Lower the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. 
2. Add the carrots, dates, pear, cashews, ginger, a pinch of salt, and the 2 1/2 cups of water to the pitcher of a blender and blend on high for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  You should end up with about 5 cups of liquid purée.
3.  Transfer the carrot  purée to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat.
4.  When the rice is ready, drain the rice in a strainer and transfer the partially cooked rice to the carrot  purée.  Turn the heat to medium high to bring the mixture to a boil.
5.  When the mixture boils, reduce the heat so that the mixture is just simmering.  Allow the mixture to cook for about 25 minutes, stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan.  Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, stir into the mixture, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Taste the rice to determine if the texture is to your liking.  If you like your rice more well done, continue cooking over low heat until you achieve the desired texture. 
6.  Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla and dried cranberries. 
7.  Distribute the rice pudding evenly in ramekins to create individual servings or transfer the pudding to one larger bowl. 
The pudding can be served warm, room temperature, or cold based on personal preference.  Serve with some chopped nuts on top – almonds or toasted cashews would be good – and perhaps a couple extra pieces of dried fruit. 

To store: cover the ramekins or bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down on the plastic so that it touches the surface of the pudding.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Nutrition facts for one serving, assuming you get 6 total servings:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 209 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 102%Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 3%Iron 7%

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