I’ve been ordering lunch from a restaurant on 6th Street called Caravan of Dreams at least once a week since it was first recommended to me in November, but it was only last month when Kate turned me on to their Superfood Smoothies that I understood why it so haughtily called itself a caravan of dreams. That incredibly filling, 8 oz. cup-sized coalescence of health products seemed way too good to be good for you, which is obviously just a misconception about phytonutrients that has probably been perpetuated by General Mills. Or something.
Due to the unilateral success of the Tequila Diet (I know we didn’t really talk about this but I essentially craved only guacamole and, fine, jack cheese all day!), I thought I might consider implementing another self-fabricated diet and this time, I wanted to call it Smooth Move. When I learned this title was already occupied — and by a laxative tea brand, no less — I rectified my diet’s moniker to more plainly call it The Five Day Smoothie Diet.
The goal: to feel healthier after a week of overindulging. (Sixteen Handles in the morning, Sixteen Handles in the evening, Sixteen Handles at supper time. When Sixteen Handles is three blocks from your office you can eat it more frequently than the damn pizza bagels this jingle was originally written for.)
On said diet, I would commit to drinking a superfood smoothie every night before 7PM as a dinner substitute. I would eat regularly during the day, which for me typically meant a large-sized bowl of fruit for breakfast and some version of a quinoa platter, lentil soup or kale salad for lunch. I’m also nuts about nuts so figure raw cashews entering and emerging from any (all) of my orifices at any given time.
Spend a moment thinking of this visually, too.
I should add that these smoothies clock in at an impressive 1600 calories each chiefly due to the density of seeds present in said smoothies. The options are limited though not restrictive; at Caravan of Dreams, you’re offered three choices:
– Superfood 1 Smoothie contains cacao, goji, almonds, aloe, strawberry and maca. (This one is slightly less caloric.)
– Superfood 2 Smoothie (a particular favorite) melds sesame, hemp, chia, flax, spirulina and berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries — no strawberries).
– Superfood 3 Smoothie includes almond, maca, goji, aloe, chia and dates.
I culled the 7PM cutoff from an old adage imparted by Oprah for ladies seeking slender waist lines. I never quite understood why recommending someone stop eating at 7PM made sense, but my own common logic has led me to believe that the human metabolism is most active until three hours before a person is to fall asleep. I tried implementing this sanction independent of the Smoothie Diet and learned this: my night’s sleep was better (purportedly because my body was focusing on precisely what it was doing) and my mornings were more energetic. Three out of five mornings, in fact, I didn’t want coffee.
I anticipated treating this diet like a diary, but by Wednesday night I realized there was nothing to report other than how wonderful I felt each morning — save for the fact that socializing in New York is nearly impossible if you vow to eat dinner before 7PM. I should also address the inevitable question of, “But didn’t you get hungry?” Frankly, no. These smoothies are packed with filling nutrients and berries, both of which are highly caloric but not in the same way that say, an empty-calorie-packed Snickers bar is.
On Thursday night, I met two friends for a drink. I wasn’t consuming alcohol this week so the plan was to drink hot water with lemon, but I caved and ordered a glass of white wine, then shared — sorry, personally consumed — two scoops of hazelnut mousse. When I woke up on Friday morning, my fingers were swollen, my head was aching, my stomach was churning and my eyes effectively refused to open. I hightailed it over to my neighborhood coffee shop and chugged a latte.
By Friday night, I’d concluded the Smoothie Diet and though I didn’t weigh myself (in my non-Lutherian dream, diets are not measured in depreciating numbers, they’re measured in appreciating self-worth, esteem, value and all that platitudinal jazz), I felt more or less solid.
Ironic pun intended.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Address it right below and I will get back to you before the proverbial beep can beep.
Photographed by Charlotte Fassler