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Coconut Almond Joy Bites (and Cleanse Day 1)

Posted Jul 30 2012 7:41pm
I hesitate to post that I'm doing some type of "cleanse", simply because my past attempts at juicing or going raw for a specified period of time have pretty much failed.  I always reach the point where I'm so cranky and about to jump out of my skin that I cave and devour some carb-filled treats to satisfy my ravenous hunger. Then it's all over! ;-) Maybe if I publicly declare what I'm doing, I'll stick with it?  We shall see!

I came across a post for Cleanse America on Facebook and thought I'd take a look and see what it was all about.  Here are the guidelines from their website: "For 10 days you will be eating a 100% raw foods diet (Level 1) and/or following a liquid diet (Level 2) of juices, smoothies, tonics, teas and soups."   Ten days is not that long, right?  Well, here's the deal. I'm dong my own version of a cleanse because, to be honest, I lead a pretty active lifestyle and I need whole grains in my life.   I'm not even happy about calling it a cleanse, but rather, getting back to healthier eating.  Oh yeah, and I only plan on doing it for 5 days.  We'll see where I'm at when the weekend comes!

I went away for a mini-vacation this past weekend and my eating was nothing short of indulgent!  All things are good in moderation, but the days weeks leading up to my getaway were pretty bad as well. I have a big sweet tooth and I've been out of control in satisfying it as of late.  There have been many days and nights of chips, chocolate & ice-cream (veg of course!).  It's all good, but it's been too much and I honestly believe my health has been suffering (yeah, and my waistline too!). I'm tired a lot more these days and my stomach has been, let's just say, "messed up". I haven't been drinking enough water either, and that always messes with my system.  I'd like to take the next 5 days (or however many I last - HA!) to detox from all the treats and get back to fruits, veggies and lots of water!  Let food be thy medicine, right!?
As a side note, I got to eat at a great vegan cafe while I was away this weekend.  The food is delicious!!  If you are ever in Asbury Park, NJ, you must try the Twisted Tree Cafe !!
So yes, even though I author a healthy eating blog and advocate a healthy lifestyle,  I don't always eat as healthy as I should. I do make sure that what I eat is additive-free, but even still, I need to learn how to enjoy my treats in moderation! Since this is a recipe blog, I'll do my best to share some recipes while I chronicle this journey.  
Here is what I ate today:
7am: 1 medium Banana.  I then went out for my morning walk with my dog for 45 minutes.
9am: 16oz of Fresh Juicer Juice (3 kale leaves, 1 orange, 1 apple, 1 large carrot)
12:30pm: Huge salad w/romaine lettuce, carrots, celery, cucumber, avocado slices topped with 1/4 cup trail mix and balsamic dressing.
4:30pm: 1 medium Banana
6pm: Veggie stir fry w/brown rice (broccoli, green pepper, onion, corn), topped with sunflower seeds
7:30pm: 2 Coconut Almond Joy Bites (recipe to follow.... I took one for the team since I had to test the recipe before sharing! ;-) )
*I also drank 60oz of water (I would have liked to have had more, but this is a giant step up for me than what I've been consuming lately)  
I didn't sign up for the cleanse over at Cleanse America (it's $25), so I don't have access to their recipes. I'm kind of just eating whatever at this point, and I'll adjust things as needed. I'm not sure how this menu might look to someone, or if you might be thinking "gee, that's not a lot of food for the day."  I'm learning as I go and listening to my body.  I'm not counting calories or worrying about portions.  I'm just trying to get back to healthier eating.  I didn't feel starved or deprived today at all and I will eat more if my body is telling me to. 
I'm not in any way promoting a cleanse or suggesting you should eat this way.  I don't plan on living on just fruits & veggies for the long term.  I happen to love fruits & veggies, so they will always have a place in my diet.  But I will be getting back to eating the recipes I share after this is over (or maybe even during since I think they're pretty darn healthy!) ;-)

Now, as promised, the recipe!

Coconut Almond Joy Bites (yields about 20 bites) Ingredients 2 cups fresh dates, pits removed 1 cup almonds 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.

Place dates and almonds in food processor/blender and blend until a sticky dough forms.  

Add coconut and pulse to combine

Place dough mixture into medium bowl and knead with hands to fully combine all ingredients and get a good, sticky dough.

Press mixture into baking dish and evenly distribute

Refrigerate for one hour.  Remove from fridge and cut into bite sized pieces.

If you like these, you might like my Peanut Butter & "Jelly" Energy Bars , and my Vanilla Almond Date Balls .

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