Arbonne, Day 4

I was a little hesitant to talk to Mom about how it’s been going for her (I’ve been asking what she thinks of the products, but honestly, no news + apparent compliance seems like good news, here.) But I was hoping to find a way to hedge against her going off the program because I’m not going to be there tonight, and I thought the best way was maybe to tell her, as I hadn’t before, about my going off Coke Zero and starting to see some weight loss. She hates that I drink cola of any kind and mentions it frequently. I try not to hit back in areas where she has less-than-healthful habits. I thought it would be meaningful enough to her that I was off Coke Zero that she might think twice about cheating. I also wanted to be clear to her that I wasn’t going out and eating with my friends— that I was packing my dinner to eat before I get there, because we’re in this together. She’s rebellious and doesn’t particularly like it when I’m out for the evening, but she wants good things for me, so instead of saying “you’d better x or else!” I thought this, and seeing the trouble I was going to to make tonight’s dinner would be more effective in keeping her on the program.

I was waiting for backlash on the turkey-lentil salad (she complains about things cooked al dente, and the lentils were al dente. I’m anti-mushy and she’s not, so al dente is actually a bit of a compromise position for me, but she mentions it every time. Except this one) and instead, I got compliments. “Lentils are enough like peas that you’ll get no complaints about them from me,” she said. “Did you put artichokes in that?” I said that I hadn’t, though I had taken a jar of artichokes out and held it in my hand I was thinking about it so hard, so I was surprised that she had the connection there. I said I thought it was the roasted zucchini, soaking up the dressing I made that threw her off. She scoffed and said she knows the difference between zucchini and artichokes, but it’s the broccoli, the zucchini, or the onions— there are no artichoke hearts in there. She also said “it tasted like you put pimento in there, and that’s such a treat for me!” She has, until recently, picked red pepper out of anything I’ve served her, so that she was excited about it was cool for me. Again, I think that the roasted veggies soaked up the dressing nicely with that salad. I told her she could even heat it up— I know she doesn’t like cold salads in the summer as much as I do.

We had an Asian-inspired meal last night— salmon and broccoli over millet/brown rice ramen noodles cooked in a little miso and tossed with grilled, chopped bok choi (I wash it, cut it in half, drizzle it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill it on low heat until it’s tender, then discard the green part because it chars.) I was waiting for backlash there, too. She likes soy sauce, and it’s on the no-no list, so I sauteed the salmon and broccoli in extra virgin triple-refined coconut oil, with ginger, garlic, a little five spice, miso, and a good splash of rice vinegar. I probably added crushed red pepper because a little kick is always helpful, with her. It was something less than a broth bowl but it wasn’t just noodles, either. Kind of a hybrid. I like ginger better than she does, and I’m not even totally sold on five-spice (anise is not my flavor), but without soy sauce or hoisin, I was looking to build on the flavors. For what it’s worth, the flavors were actually really good. I didn’t think of adding some crisp-tender, somewhat thin-sliced carrots to the salmon and broccoli until we were sitting down, and next time, I plan to include them. A little sweetness wasn’t missed, but I think it would have been just the thing to round it out. Good color addition, too.

She ate every bite. And said that she was pretty sure, before she started, that she was going to bail the first day (it’s cute because she thought I’d keep going without her. Um, no.) We talked about what we’re seeing (and some of it is too excretory to discuss with, you know, the Internet), and she said it’s been easier than she thought. She isn’t feeling deprived or having cravings. The food’s been good and the products are better than she thought.

I did skip the fiber in my shake this morning. I’m less full than I’ve been, post shake, but I’m three hours in and don’t feel hungry. (Hungrier than I have, but not hungry enough to eat early.) And I did feel a little uncomfortably full after the shake most days— I drink it fast (usually over the course of my commute, so about 15-20 minutes) because my experience is that it doesn’t improve over time, so I usually feel a little stuffed by the end. I didn’t feel stuffed, at the end today, but I still feel like “no, I’m good” when I ask myself if I need a midmorning snack. I put peanut butter in our shakes today, which has been the way I’ve made liquid diets work for me in the past (usually related to dental work.) But I only put in about a tablespoon per, and I usually put in more like double that, so it’s good to know it’s there if I need it.

I’m a little nervous that we’re congratulating ourselves too soon, and that we’ll hit a hurdle we find it harder to get over, but honestly, so far, so good. I asked her specifically if she had digestive complaints, since we’ve been on it (an awful lot of vegetables, some of them raw!) She said that she thought she would, that’s why she thought she wouldn’t last, but didn’t mention any. We compared notes, and agreed that, even if we were skeptical about the cleansing properties, we’re seeing some things that make us wonder. And Mom seems a little less lethargic and is complaining a little less about aches and pains and things. She might just be trying to stay positive, but even that is a thing, for me.

Tonight’s dinner is turkey chili over cauliflower rice. I browned ground turkey (more than a pound), a large diced onion and a few cloves of garlic and threw in a can of diced and a can of whole tomatoes (which I crushed as I added them, as Mom taught me), as well as a can of chili beans, pinto beans, low sodium black beans, and low-sodium red kidney beans. I seasoned the meat/onion/garlic with a drizzle of lime juice, garlic and onion powder (they were out on the counter, so why not), cumin, chili powder, a little cayenne, more crushed red peppers, and I did another generous pass of all the spices plus a little salt, black pepper, and dried cilantro after I added the canned stuff. I tasted it this morning (though toothpaste messes with my tastebuds in the morning) and it seemed about right. I’ve sprinkled my dinner portion with nutritional yeast, but have not mentioned it to Mom. I’ll eat before she does, and if it’s awesome, I’ll suggest it. If it’s nasty, I won’t suggest it.



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