Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Preparing for Week One of the Whole Living Action Plan

Hey everyone!

Week One of our natural cleanse is coming up in just a few days, so the time is NOW to start planning what you are going to eat. There will be no room for "eating on the fly" because, trust me, there are very few eating establishments that fit into the clean eating shoes!

I am hoping that everyone has read the cleanse by now, but if not, here is the link!

Week One allows us to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, lentils, oils and seasonings.

( I would like to point out that coffee is not allowed on the plan, although plain, unsweetened green or black tea is fine. The reason for this, and I don't think they mention it on the website but I remember it from last year's actual magazine, is that you may be addicted to coffee. Well, duh, right? Most people are, and they don't realize how very dependent they are on coffee. Of course, this is an optional choice, but I highly recommend at least trying to switch to tea now. The way I did it last year, was a few days before the cleanse started, I just tried tea instead to see how I liked it and how it affected me. Well, it was easier than I thought and I have switched over to tea completely and the thought of drinking a cup of coffee grosses me out! I never ever in a million years thought I could do it, but I did.)

Here is a link explaining why you should drink organic loose leaf tea, as opposed to say Lipton brand.

To the week at hand! I decided to write down a list of ideas for what I want to eat next week. I want things like sweet potatoes (because they are filling and nutritious), beets and apples (because they are natural cleansers from the inside), and a good hearty lentil soup (lots of protein and filling). I suggest writing down a whole bunch of items you enjoy eating and then base your meals and snacks off of that. As long as you stick with the guidelines, you're golden!

In the morning when I first wake up I have been having lemon water with cayenne pepper. It hydrates you and gets your body moving better than coffee or tea first thing. After I drink that I will have my tea at some point during the morning craziness of getting ready for the day. I have been doing this for maybe three months now, and I absolutely love it!

For breakfast I am going to have a mango smoothie I love this smoothie!! The tahini really adds a good flavor, but if it's not your thing, it's fine to leave out. I am also going to bring a banana, some dried dates, and a pre washed and cut apple for snacks throughout the morning. I am used to a decent amount in the morning, so it's my most difficult time to eat light.

For lunch and dinner, I am going to alternate a few dishes. I am going to roast a batch of vegetables with lentils Then, I want to buy about five sweet potatoes and bake them to have ready for this meal: Swiss chard is new for me, so I am going to give it a try!
This lentil soup needs a little adjusting for this week, so no honey or yogurt at the end. Also, I try very hard not to eat out of cans anymore because of BPA, so for the tomatoes I will use organic strained tomatoes in a glass jar.
I am also going to have a few spinach salads with toppings like pears, apples, walnuts or almonds, carrots, red peppers, roasted beets, etc. For dressing I will make a simple mixture of lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.
 I may also make a mushroom and tomato sauce to have over roasted spaghetti squash if I run out of food to eat.

I wanted to add a note about exercise this first week. While of course it is very important to exercise, the plan advises to do gentle activities this week. Your body is adjusting to a new way of eating and you won't be eating as many carbs to fuel a sweaty cardio workout. I plan to do about 20 minutes of stretching each morning, much like yoga, to get my body moving and awake and of course I will take my dogs for their walks as much as possible.

I like this cleanse because you can eat as much as you want. While it's not about losing weight, you probably will. If you stick to the lessons learned from these three weeks, not only will you feel better in general, but your body image will improve, no matter what your weight is. When you feel good you look good, right??

I have learned that clean eating takes a lot of research and experimenting with new ideas regarding our food. It's worth the time to learn what you are putting into your body. You only get one body!?  There is always an alternative to a canned item or other processed food. Start looking at your ingredients and choose items that are organic as much as you can. Learn how to make a few things from scratch. Clean eating doesn't necessarily mean you will spend more money either. Think of all the money you will save by buying produce that's in season. You will eat less overall because your body will actually absorb the good ingredients you are putting into it and fill you up quicker. Or what about money saved by not having to go to the doctor or buying expensive medicines? I swear to you I haven't even taken an ibuprofen since last February when I started this!

Welcome to Clean Eating folks!  Let's do this!!!