Here is the moment we have all been waiting for….the menu. Well, this is just a suggested menu but it should give you a place to start. When you have extra time on the weekend, plan your week of meals and snacks. This can be a challenge if you are feeding a family so plan wisely and try to chose dinners that your whole family will like. A recipe for failure is trying to be a short order cook. As you are learning to love veggies, your family will be too, just thin of the favor you are doing them! You can use pepperclip.com to chose your meals and generate a shopping list. However, you may not want to buy the whole week of food on the weekend because produce does not look pretty after 5 days in the fridge. You need to plan on grocery shopping twice a week.
Below are lists of breakfasts, lunches and dinners along with some of my helpful hints.
- Start every day with 8 ounces of hot water with ½ lemon squeezed into it. This will cleanse your liver and help get your colon moving.
- Remember breakfast is juice or smoothies. This may be a hard adjustment at first and if you are used to a big breakfast or a big latte you might need a mid morning snack for the first couple of days. If you are breast feeding you will need the calories of a snack most likely but listen to your body.
- Buy your produce for smoothies /juice on the weekend and make up 7 juices/smoothies. You can store your juice in 32 oz WIDE MOUTH mason jars with 1 ” space at the top (the small mouth will crack when you freeze them) and freeze your breakfast for the week. Each morning when you wake up throw your frozen jar into hot water and let it thaw while you get ready. You do not want to leave your juice in the fridge for a day or two to thaw because the longer it takes to thaw, the more nutrients are lost. Your juices and smoothies should ideally not contain anything but produce and water.
- Do not over think your smoothies or juices. Buy stuff that you like to eat like lettuce, apples, bananas, celery, etc. You don’t need a recipe but you should stick to 3 veggies to 1 fruit. If you have a vitamix you can pretty much blend anything. If you are using a regular blender for smoothies avoid kale, carrots, beets and other really hard produce. Cucumbers, tomatoes, berries, peaches, bananas, lettuces, chard, dandelion greens and other greens are great to blend. I like to squeeze a lemon or lime into my juice or smoothie as well. If you need your drink to be sweeter then you can use a little stevia.
- If you are juicing but are new to juice avoid beets and carrots for the first 4-5 days as they are very detoxifying and should not be used until your body is already cleansing itself.
- If you have a slow digestive track, add fresh ginger or a little jalapeño to your juice to add some heat to your belly
- If you are gagging over smoothies then a good transitional smoothie for the first day or two is a cup of unsweetened nut milk, some cocoa powder, a banana and a few handfuls of spinach or chard. This is like a milkshake. It is great for kids too.
Think Salad. Lunch should be easy and light. The best way to avoid your afternoon lull is to eat a light lunch. I used to think that salads were only a meal if they had meat on them or if I ate a loaf of bread with my greens. Trust me that you can be totally satiated with a salad even if it has no nuts, seeds, beans, meat or cheese on it. A great addition to all salads is avocado if you are worried about fat or being full. Yesterday I saw salad shakers on a great mom blog called Peas and Thank You. She filled mason jars with salad layers. There was dressing and garbanzo beans in the bottom with layers of veggies on top. This is a great way to take a salad to work without the dressing wilting your greens and then just shake it up when you are ready to eat it. Be creative and make your lunch the talk of the office…you are way too cool for microwaved crap. OK, here are my favorite lunches:
- Big green salad (see pepperclip for ideas)
- Mediterranean Quinoa salad with raw veggies, garlic, onion and a little olive oil (careful with the raw garlic if you have afternoon meetings….you might stink)
- Mini rice bowl (this is the big fat rice bowl cut in half)
- Wrap up your favorite veggies in seaweed (nori wrap) and dip in tamari or wrap up your veggies i a rice tortilla
Remember in week two we are going raw so if you can conquer breakfast and lunch, the only change you will make in week two is raw dinner…you can do this….YAY!
Dinner in week 1~
I eat very light throughout the day so when it comes to dinner I eat as much as I want to because it seems to be the time of day that I am most hungry. This is not about counting calories; this is about feeling your body and knowing when it is satiated. Here are some dinners that should satisfy you and make you feel great. Please eat at least 3 hour before bed so when you sleep you are actually resting and your body does not have to work hard to digest dinner. Also try to eat a salad with each dinner meal and make your salad 1/2 of your meal.
Family favorite dinners at my pad:
- Veggie Stir fry
- Pumpkin Marinara on quinoa pasta with a veggie side dish and salad
- Broccoli and spinach pesto pasta
- Steamed Greens with spicy peanut curry (light on the spice when feeding kiddos) on brown rice
- Black bean and sweet potato chili
- Vegan enchiladas
- Cruciferous stir fry on brown rice
Alrighty…snacks. Try to eat enough at your meals to not need snacks but as you transition, here are some good ones:
- Hummus with carrot sticks and rice crackers
- Raw granola bars (these are awesome…don’t go overboard, they are dense)
- More juice
- Veggie sticks dipped in salsa or yumm sauce
- Raw almonds and dates
I don’t know about you, but my downfall is after dinner. I just want to eat sweets and drink wine. So, here is a tip. As soon as you are finished eating, brush your teeth. Try not to drink a lot of water with meals but remember that you need about 90-100 ounces a day so after dinner drink water and make yourself some herbal tea with lemon. I find that I have a really hard time unwinding after a long day and sometimes I eat just because I need something to do. If you relate to this than address it. Your eating habits, attachments, etc. are the reason that we want to journal throughout this process. If you use food as a reward or punishment then now is the time to start thinking about how you are going to change your reward system. I did a fun cleanse last January led by Tiffany Cruickshank and she actually had us buy ourselves flowers at one point. That is a great way to brighten up your day without relying on food for your lift. If you are not a flower person, buy yourself some new music on itunes to rock out to, or chill out to. Also, taking baths is a great way to relax. Add a few drops of essential oil, light a candle, and breath or read. This is the only time I actually lock the bathroom door just so I feel like I can really get some peace and no one will try to interrupt me with lost legos or household chore questions.
Next blog we will talk about supplements and additional things that you can do to support your cleanse. We are getting to the end of the instructional part of this adventure so start asking questions if you need more guidance.