Day one kicks off with a refreshing ginger mango spinach smoothie, followed by a snack of sweet potato wedges. Lunch is a protein filled lentil soup with a massaged kale salad with chickpeas and buckwheat groats for dinner.
*Note on food timing. It is important to avoid going more than two or three hours during the day without a meal or a snack. Your body needs fuel to sustain energy. I also believe that your digestion and stomach need time to rest and that you should allow 11 to 12 hours of an overnight fast to take place most nights. This may seem like a lot but, if you stop eating at 8pm and eat breakfast at 7am or 8am, you did it! Close the kitchen and stop eating at least two hours before bed. This also allows you to avoid going to bed with a full stomach. Reclining with a full stomach is not great for digestion. Here is an ideal eating schedule:
6:30 am wake up
7:30pm last chance snack/sweet treat
My smoothie rules are simple: always include greens, protein, and a fat. These guidelines help to ensure that the smoothie is filling and satiating thanks to the fat and fiber and not completely full of fruit.
Ginger Mango Smoothie
1 cup frozen mango
1 frozen banana
1 cup baby spinach or baby kale (or more if you wish)
1- inch knob of ginger, peeled and quartered
2 cups unsweetened nut milk ( I like MALK)
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth.
Baked Sweet Potato Wedges with Tahini Lemon Dipping Sauce
2 servings (feel free to double)
1 large sweet potato cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive, coconut, or avocado oil
Tahini Lemon Sauce
2 tablespoons salt-free tahini
3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees . Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss together the potato wedges, spices, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread out evenly on sheet tray and bake until crispy and tender about 25 minutes, flipping half way through.
While the potatoes bake, make the tahini lemon sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust lemon or salt, if needed. Serve along side potatoes and enjoy. For a snack sized portion have 4 to 5 wedges with a tablespoon tahini sauce.
Lentil soup is a stalwart staple on my clean ups throughout the years. Lentils are a symbol of good luck for the New Year and always make me feel grounded and deeply nourished. Whenever my body is in need of something warm, clean, and hearty, lentil soup is my go-to.
Lentils are a fantastic economical plant-based protein. These small but mighty legumes are simple to cook and are loaded with numerous nutritional benefits. High in dietary fiber, lentils assist with digestion, satiety, and cardiovascular health. Lentils are also a good source of vegetarian iron, an essential mineral needed for oxygen transportation in the blood and for proper metabolism. Pairing an iron containing food with vitamin C (which is found in spinach and lemon) helps with optimizing iron absorption.
Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled and roll cut (cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
6 cups vegetable stock
1 dried bay leaf
2 cup fresh spinach
Cilantro and lemon juice to finish
Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cumin, turmeric, and Aleppo pepper, and toast spices in the oil for 30 seconds. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the lentils, stock, and bay leaf, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and leave covered for 25 to 30 minutes. Soup will thicken and lentils will be very tender.
Remove bay leaf and add the spinach and let wilt.
Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro and a squirt of lemon.
Store in an airtight container and enjoy leftovers for lunch on day 3.
Nut Seed Crackers with Avocado
super seedy crackers
makes 2 baking sheets
1/2 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup golden flax seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons dulse, roughly chopped or dulse flakes (Dulse is a sea vegetable loaded with minerals. Make sure that you purchase organic or sustainably harvested product.)
2 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (Psyllium seed husk is soluable fiber that is derived from the seed of a leafy green weed.)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary (or dried)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (everything but the maple syrup, oil, and water). Stir well. In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and water, and add to dry ingredients. Stir until well incorporated. Let dough sit for 10 minutes, allowing the ingredients to bind together. Stir every few minutes.
Cut four pieces of parchment paper to the size of your sheet tray. Split the dough in two. Gather one half of the dough into a ball and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine or oil), firmly roll out the mixture into a thin sheet, approximately 1/8" thick. If any dough rolls out from under the paper, simply add it back to the flattened mixture and continue to roll until thin. Remove the top piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let sit for 10 more minutes.
If you have two baking sheets, cook both batches at once. If you only have one, cook one batch at a time. Slide the bottom half of the parchment paper with the dough mixture onto a baking sheet (make sure to remove the top parchment paper). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheets from the oven. Grasp the parchment paper and crackers together and carefully flip the whole mixture so the former top of the cracker is flush with the sheet tray. Peel the parchment paper off, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until dry, crispy, and golden. If some pieces are not crisp, break them off and bake some more. Repeat with the second batch.
Let crackers cool, break apart, and store in an airtight container for up to a month.
*If you want to avoid eating raw foods, simply give the kale a quick sauté and toss with dressing and rest of the ingredients.
Massaged Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Buckwheat
1 15-oz can sodium-free chickpeas
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 cup buckwheat groats
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 heads kale, leaves removed and thinly sliced
1 head radicchio, leaves separated and chopped
2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
1/4 cup castelvetrano olives, pitted
1 avocado, chopped
Preheat oven to 375. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Spread chickpeas out on sheet tray and roast for 20 minutes or until crispy, tossing halfway through.
While the chickpeas cook, combine 1 cup buckwheat groats with 2 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, dijon mustard, and white balsamic vinegar. Add the sliced kale leaves to the dressing along with a pinch of salt. Using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale for about a minute, breaking down the leaves. Add the radicchio and continue to mix well. Fold in the cucumber, olives, avocado, and chickpeas.
Store in an airtight container and enjoy leftovers for lunch on day 2.