ffwD: Lemon-steamed Spinach


Nothing out of the ordinary with this week’s assignment: just steamed baby spinach with olive oil and grated lemon zest, seasoned with salt and pepper. I left out the salt and pepper because I ate this for dinner during my “fruits and vegetables only” week of my 3-week cleanse. (Sidenote: During the cleanse, I was ingesting natural Himalayan crystal salt in water four times a day.) Oh, and I didn’t have a steamer basket, so I just stuck the baby spinach in the microwave with a bit of water for 1 minute. Tasty!

Speaking of the cleanse, I’ve completed it, and I will say that it was worth the 21-day effort. Many bloggers have asked what cleanse I did, and it was the Ultimate Beachbody Reset. It’s broken down into three weeks. The first included limited healthy proteins (chicken/salmon/unsweetened low-fat yogurt), healthy grains, beans, fruits and veggies. The second week cut out all meat and dairy, and the third week eliminated all beans and grains. This meant that every meal in the third week consisted only of fruits or veggies. Additionally, thirty minutes before each meal, a different combination of vitamins and supplements were taken with plenty of water, with week two incorporating a mild colon cleanse (think lemon-flavored Metamucil).

Pros: I kicked my Diet Coke/caffeine habit; I slept more soundly; I woke up feeling refreshed (after the first five days of caffeine withdrawal); I felt more alert and productive at work and home; I curbed my craving for sweets; I feel lighter and my stomach appears flatter; my clothes feel looser; I saved a lot of money by not buying soda and processed foods; and I seem to be more satisfied by the smell of my food more than the taste. I don’t know how I feel about that last one really.

Cons: I had the WORST caffeine withdrawal ever (think: waking up, going about the day, and going to sleep with severe migraines) for the first five days; I was craving protein throughout the cleanse because I had already started a vegan smoothie regime before the cleanse started and thus had no healthy proteins that first week; my dining out was extremely limited (read: non-existent) because the cleanse really encourages home-prepared food, so I had to reschedule a lot of dinner plans; and I go to the bathroom so much that I feel like there’s something wrong with my kidneys. However, overall, the cleanse is definitely worth it in the end.

This lemon-steamed spinach was made as a part of French Fridays with Dorie, a group of bloggers who are cooking their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.


50 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Inger Wilkerson
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:16:42

    The spinach looks lovely. What a nice dish to be able to eat even during a cleanse!

  2. Karen
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:21:18

    I admire you dedication to your program…especially being that you are a food blogger. It had to be hard to see foods that you others prepared knowing that you wouldn’t be having any of them.

  3. Inger Wilkerson
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:25:24

    I should add congrats on breaking the Diet Coke habit!

  4. Adriana @ GreatFood360°
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:25:24

    Pretty! I like your flash steaming method and your candid description of the pros and cons of the cleanse.

  5. apuginthekitchen
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:33:00

    Congratulations on your determination and success with the cleanse, I admire you! The spinach is delicious, I also steam in the microwave, it works really well!

  6. thatskinnychickcanbake
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:51:32

    I think I would have lasted about 12 hours on your cleanse, but I admire your determination and willpower. Though getting rid of my carb cravings would be nice. Congratulations! And Happy Easter!
    PS. glad the spinach worked into your diet!

  7. MarkD60
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:51:53

    Now this, you ate, right?
    You should never quit coffee cold turkey. You go a week and skip every other day, then go a week and skip two days and have coffee on the third, then on the third week, try quitting. But if you get headaches, go back to the previous weeks schedule for another week.

  8. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:59:24

    I can´t congratulate you enough for all your cleanses. I don´t know if I´d last a week. Well done! Have a great weekend!

  9. TraficDiva
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:09:15

    I must chime in and agree with my fellow followers of YC blog, and say: WAY TO GO!!!! =) I’ve noticed that most have stated they would have only lasted a day or two if they’d try this cleasne. HA. I couldn’t last any of it. I’m waaaay too undiscipled for what you went thu…but this is why I enjoy watching “Survivor” and not actually playing…lol! But seriouly, kuddos to you my friend!!! Simply amazing!! Took me forever to kick the soda habit…GOOD FOR YOU! Have an awesome Good Friday and HAPPY EASTER!!!

  10. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:13:58

    Congrats on making it through! This spinach was delicious, cleanse or not!

  11. Cher
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:23:34

    Congratulations on making it through. Wow – way to go!
    At least a couple of Dorie dishes were cleanse approved…
    Have a great weekend.

  12. SandraM
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:38:52

    Your spinach does look tasty. And kudos again on your cleanse. I really don’t know if I could do that. Takes a whole lot of determination and strength. Thanks for sharing it though….I will be looking it up.

  13. jora
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 09:53:39

    Wow, I’m so impressed that you made it through that cleanse! It really sounds like a hard one. Glad you enjoyed the spinach, it really was good.

  14. Promenade Claire
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 12:27:34

    the cleanse sounds interesting, I have a friend who does an annual cleanse and she says it does her the world of good – reading your pros and cons makes a lot of sense. I guess if you want to do something badly enough you will do it. Well done for kicking, the soda habit!

  15. Sara
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 12:42:15

    Count me in as another one of your admirers for getting through that cleanse! Nice work! And also nice work with this beautiful spinach side dish. I love the look of all that dark green with yellow flecks – so pretty!

  16. Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 14:08:44

    Congrats making it through that cleanse! Are you going to continue eating super clean now that it’s over? I feel like I could make it through week 1 but the second two weeks sound a lot more difficult. Great spinach recipe. I’ve never thought to add lemon to sweeten it up. Good idea!

  17. Dana @ Simply Romanesco
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 14:09:48

    WOW! Congratulations, my dear! You are so brave and determined 🙂 And this spinach dish looks delicious; so simple and good 🙂

  18. nana
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 17:46:13

    Your determination is amazing and I give you a lot of credit for completing this
    project. I can not function without my caffeine in the morning. Your spinach
    looks so tasty and perfect. Happy Easter.

  19. Geraldine Saucier
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 17:57:59

    Congratulations on completing your cleanse. Your spinach looks delicious. Happy Easter.

  20. My Kitchen Stories
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 20:37:35

    Where to now?. You are feeling better, cleaner and look hot……what do you do after the cleanse. I have to say Id like to give one a try ( not 21 days though)

  21. elleseesyou
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 20:50:00

    i love spinach! i’d love to try it this way.

  22. Three Well Beings
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 00:59:59

    Spinach and lemon zest with olive oil is such a clean combination. Nothing added to compromise the nutritional value. 🙂 Congratulations on maintaining your cleanse. That’s a big accomplishment. I have kicked caffeine a couple of times in my life and remember that horrible caffeine headache. Now that you’re off the cleanse, I still hope you can continue to do well! 🙂

  23. dedy oktavianus pardede
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 06:31:48

    never had stemed spinach before or even steaming veggies with zest…
    tempting to try!
    sounds healty and tasty!

  24. Simply Life (@SimplyLifeBlog)
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 07:44:45

    it’s amazing how much flavor a little lemon can add! great idea!

  25. The Sketched Chef
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 07:45:48

    The steamed spinach looks lovely and healthy.
    I never had spinsch like this, but it looks interesenting.

  26. Food,Photography & France
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 08:43:59

    I think you’ll find that smell has more to do with the subtle tastes of food than the tongue. That sounds like a big step forward. Simple spinach, like this one, is such a good dish. I would need the salt with it, however:)

  27. Norma Chang
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 08:51:30

    I too offer congratulations. Now that you have completed the cleanse do you need to follow any specific diets?

  28. Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 11:21:04

    I love baby spinach this way!

    Congratulations on completing your cleanse. It sounds interesting, I might look into it. The caffeine withdrawal doesn’t sound like fun though:)

  29. betsy
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 20:00:35

    Glad to hear that you made it through, and was able to enjoy at least one Dorie recipe along the way…

  30. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen)
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 22:29:12

    Congratulations on that huge feat-the cleanse and kicking caffeine. I actually too have just finished my withdrawal from my huge coffee habit. I had to do this for other health reasons and whoa I know all about those intense Migraine headaches. I have successfully kicked my caffeine habit and enjoy only drink herbal teas. I never thought it could be possible.

  31. rebeccasubbiah
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 22:35:34

    Love the simplicity of this I need to add lemon to my spinach 😉

  32. Melolimparfaite
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 00:04:14

    I love this kind of dish

  33. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 08:24:42

    We wilt spinach all the time, but never this way. Looks delicious.

  34. alwaysaddmorebutter
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 08:43:28

    Congrats on finishing the cleanse – I was going to start one but a bunch of friends said that cutting out proteins for so long was really bad for me and then I got discouraged. Are you back to eating everything again or are you still vegan now? Just curious…

  35. Beth
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 10:37:55

    I’m glad your cleanse went well. Sounds hard but well worth it.

  36. Lola
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 16:51:51

    Congratulations on making it through your cleanse! Its always a good feeling when we accomplish a goal, isn’t it? Loved this spinach!

  37. Sara
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 18:11:04

    Great job on the cleanse! This spinach looks fantastic…simple and flavorful! 🙂

  38. Jenn and Seth
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 19:40:45

    i have some gorgeous spinach that i picked up from the farmer’s market – this is the perfect way to use it!

  39. Sammie
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 23:08:36

    Delicious! I bet popeye would go nuts over this! Haha

  40. Cakelaw
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 02:23:45

    Congrats on finishing your cleanse! This spinach was a good meal to have during your cleanse – delish. Hope you had a Happy Easter.

  41. rsmacaalay
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 02:41:42

    The lemon would make this vegetable so palatable.

  42. kitchen flavours
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 07:52:06

    Congratulations for completing your cleanse diet! You have such willpower!
    The spinach looks delicious! Looks good with the lemon!

  43. Amelia
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 09:12:35

    HI, good to have a detox on regular basic, congratulation for completing the course. Guess you feel much better and feel lighter now. This steamed spinach with lemon look very appetizing.

    Have a wonderful week ahead.

  44. Audrey Allure
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 09:39:16

    Never thought about combining lemon with spinach – sounds like a good combo!

  45. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 12:14:39

    I am very sorry about your migraines, but I can see it was worth an effort. I’d like to do sth like it as well, but in Europe it’s still snowing. I think I should wait for spring.

  46. Daniela
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 15:22:07

    Congrats on completing your detox, not easy when you are writing a foodblog and preparing all the time such tempting récipes:)
    Great idea to “steam” spinach in the microwave, it’s so much faster!

  47. Katerina
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 05:16:32

    I always admire perseverance to a goal. Congratulations! The baby spinach is lovely!

  48. Chef Randall
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 15:48:48

    This looks good Yummy Chunklet. Glad to see you are still making Julias recipes..viva Julia. 🙂

    Hope you will visit: http://www.savorthefood.com/home .

    Keep cooking!! 🙂

    Chef Randall

  49. Meenakshi
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 00:49:12

    Wow! Congratulations on sticking to and completing the diet! I wish I had the same will power…alas those chocolate cravings kick in! I locw wilted/steamed spincach…and this is so easy too! My husband and I have been trying to eat healthier the past one month- so only oatmeal for breakfast, and dinner we’ve been keeping light and avoiding rice and chapatti and sticking to only salad and soup.

  50. Gloria - My Pretty Paris
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 06:24:35

    I just love spinach salads! Thanks for the article!

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