quinoa with lemon and herbs

Sorry I’ve been MIA this past week. Things have been pretty hectic lately but the main reason for my lack of posts is that I’ve been on this crazy 11 day diet / cleanse. Now, I know there are a lot of opinions out there about dieting and cleansing, especially diets that only last 11 days, but the truth is I’ve wanted to lose weight for a while now and it just hasn’t been happening. I’ve lacked the motivation to do it on my own. Plus, the scale can be frustrating. It takes days, sometimes even a week for any evidence of a diet to show up on the scale, at least for me. That always discourages me and I quickly resort to my old eating habits. So, when a friend at work lost 22 pounds in 30 days, I was quick to listen in on how she did it. She told me she used a program called Isagenix. After listening to her explain the Isagenix system, I thought the 30 day program sounded a bit grueling for me but when she mentioned there was a 9 day program (it’s really 11 days), I decided to try it.

I don’t believe in quick fixes for weight loss, but I do believe in jump starting weight loss, which is what I’m hoping this program will do for me. I needed some motivation and I think Isagenix has helped me get that back. I also am a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding, coming up at the end of this month, and wanted to lose the weight fast for that as well.

Today is my last day of the diet, and as of this morning I was down 7 lbs, which is pretty good for 10 days. The diet consisted of shake days and cleanse days. On the shake days, you drink two shakes in place of two meals and then you are allowed to have one 400-600 calorie meal, either for lunch or for dinner. There are a bunch of food restrictions as well (no caffeine, nothing processed, no dairy, etc.). It’s basically a high protein, high fiber, low calorie diet that incorporates cleansing. The cleanse days are tough. You don’t eat, except for the approved Isagenix brand chocolates, and you drink LIKE CRAZY.

It hasn’t been easy but it’s certainly been helpful. It’s been a challenge to try to come up with healthy recipes for under 600 calories but it’s also been fun. I made this quinoa dish as a last minute addition to go along side swai vera cruz and roasted broccoli earlier this week. It was a pretty good meal and didn’t taste too much like diet food. I mean, quinoa is no couscous, which most of you know is one of my favorite side dishes to make, but it was pretty good and as far as nutrition goes, it’s one of the best foods around.

Quinoa with lemon and herbs

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of organic, tri-colored quinoa
2 cups of organic, low sodium chicken broth
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons of cilantro, minced
The juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep cooking pan (like a saucepan) over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic. Stir for 1 minute.
2. Add the quinoa and chicken stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook according to package directions until all the liquid is absorbed. It should take about 15 minutes.
3. Once the liquid is absorbed, turn off the heat and stir in the scallions, cilantro and lemon juice. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.



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