Happy New Year Vegheads! You may be expecting me to say, "Let's get the detoxes and cleanses going." Wrong website, my crunchy friends. I do not believe in juice cleanses, detoxes, sustaining yourself on processed protein powders, or consuming fruit and vegetable juices for seven days straight. My philosophy has and will always be will be rooted in EATING real whole foods. I love the positive momentum generated by healthy eating on January 1st, but how do you sustain that enthusiasm past the first month of the year and continue eating and living well into February and beyond? To help you get the year started on a positive and properly nourished note, I will be launching a mostly plant-based, carefully curated meal plan full of REAL food to get you recalibrated for 2017.
Over the next seven days I will be posting menus consisting of clean, simple, mostly vegan dishes with recipes that you can use to get back on track. The focus is to recalibrate and clean-up from all the festivities that took place in December. You have a liver and kidneys that, if working correctly, do the detoxing and cleansing for you. The recipes that will be featured are uncomplicated and contain some repetition as I believe that setting the groundwork for healthy eating habits should be simple. I encourage you to get into the kitchen and start with basic cooking techniques to prove to yourself that eating healthily and cleanly can be just as easy and more economical than ordering seamless or paying $500 for a week of juices and smoothies.
The clean-up plan does not need to be followed to a "T", and I encourage creativity. If you want to stick to a strictly vegan plan, simply swap around the dishes. Don't like some of the ingredients, use ones that your prefer. I am simply laying the groundwork for how and what you should be eating 90 percent of the time. You should favor plant-forward meals, eating with the seasons when feasible, and integrating fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir on the reg.
During clean ups, I focus on consuming hearty soups and stews, tons of dark leafy greens, and vegetables in the cruciferous family. Consuming hot, liquid-based foods forces you to pace yourself during meals. When eating slowly, you begin to pay attention to mindful eating and not overdoing it with portions. The soups included in the clean-up are not just broths - they are plant-based and filled of protein from pulses and seeds with added greens for nutritional mileage.
Now whether you are nursing a hang over, savoring your last few days of vacation, or are super pumped and motived for 2017, I encourage you to not set unrealistic, unattainable goals for the New Year. Be real with yourself. Set small, simple milestones that you can reach and be proud of.
Instead of trying to lose 10 pounds by February 1st, how about setting a goal to work out five times a week? Start instituting meatless Monday? Or bring your lunch to work everyday but Friday? Focus on one component at a time, and slowly and realistically start making changes. Select one goal a week or even one a month and work toward integrating the goal seamlessly into your life until it becomes routine. Once you accomplished one goal, move on to the next.
Join me tomorrow for the framework of my clean-up and day 1!
Want a more in-depth guide to clean eating? Take my course over on mindbodygreen!
Happy New Year!