Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Version of a Fast.

So a big part of French Women Don't Get Fat are stories from Mireille Guiliano's childhood, as well as stories about her friends. She starts off explaining how she came to America to study as a student (and again when she studied in Paris) and became overweight. I'm sure her story is one that many people can relate to: a love affair with chocolate and pastries. She has this wonderful doctor (whom she refers to as Dr. Miracle) who gives her all sorts of advice about what to do. He also sounds a bit like a psychologist... I'm pretty sure my doctor would just tell me to go on a diet and move on to the next room. Maybe prescribe some diet pills, I don't know.

Anyway, her first step was to write down all of her food intake for a few weeks. I skipped this. I already knew that I had large portions and large cookies. Plus, I ate processed foods, which I had already decided to cut out.

The next step was going on a fast for 2 days. It's suppose to be over a weekend so you can relax and take it easy, but my weekends are never relaxing. Plus, I've always been highly suspicious of fasts. I feel like most people who do them are out of their minds and must like the feeling of starvation. I do not. But because her doctor recommended a fast, I decided I would do a bit of research to see if I would die.

It turns out I won't die. Generally speaking, of course. Her version has nourishment and I shouldn't faint halfway through it. But while I was googling all this information, the strangest thing happened. I got lightheaded and started craving the most random things (as if I hadn't eaten 2 hours earlier!), things I wouldn't normally eat on a regular basis like friend chicken and macaroni and cheese. I decided then and there that my body couldn't handle a fast.

But I couldn't stop thinking about it. A few days later, I decided I would try it. I would just go the grocery store, buy the ingredients, and make it. I would just do it! If I couldn't follow through, then I couldn't follow through, and that would be that.

Of course I had to get in all of my "last meals." I made Macaroni and Cheese. I went out to Potbelly's and had one last sugar cookie. I indulged with a few more rum and Cokes. The usuals that were no longer going to be in my life.

I decided to go ahead and proceed Wednesday evening. I bought the stuff for my fast that was to take place on Thursday and Friday. Below is the recipe from her book:

Magical Leek Soup

2 pounds leeks

1. Clean the leeks and rinse well to get rid of sand and soil. Cut off the ends of the dark green parts, leaving all white parts plus a suggestion of pale green. (Reserve the extra greens for soup stock.)

2. Put the leeks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 or 30 minutes. Pour off the liquid and reserve. Place the leeks in a bowl.

The juice is to be drunk (reheated or at room temperature) every 2 to 3 hours, 1 cup at a time.

For meals, or whenever hungry, have some of the leeks themselves, 1/2 cup at a time. Drizzle with a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice. Season sparingly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if you wish.

This will be your nourishment for both days, until Sunday dinner, when you can have a small piece of meat or fish (4 to 6 ounces), with 2 vegetables, steamed with a bit of butter or olive oil, and a piece of fruit.

So I didn't even know what leeks were. Seriously, when I went to the grocery store, I walked slowly around the produce aisle until I found the sign. I put something in my basket, and walked around looking for other vegetables when I noticed that what I put in my basket had a label, and it was not labeled leeks. So I had to walk over and put them back, and then I finally found the leeks. Then I had to look up instructions online to figure out how to cut and clean them (Sand? What?). Finally, after all the work chopping, cleaning, and soaking, I was able to boil and steam them. It originally looked like I had a lot of leeks, but apparently once you boil something down, it shrinks. I packaged everything up for work the next day.

The results? I couldn't last a whole day. I almost made it. I wasn't lightheaded, not really. Everything tasted very good. But I ran out of leeks at dinner, so I decided I should just end it on Thursday.

That night I had some veggies in the fridge that I also purchased on Wednesday evening. Having no idea what to do with a cucumber and red bell pepper, I decided to chop them up and sautee them in olive oil. I also added a bit of goat cheese and some pepper. It tasted pretty good, considering it was my first attempt at cooking. I was still a little hungry by the end of it, but I got over it and ate nothing else for the evening because I was pretty sure I wasn't hungry, it was only in my mind.

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