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A Food Lover’s New Year’s Plan

Sometimes I am swayed by the power of just slight suggestions. I know I should think of these things myself, or be less apt to act on a whim. But as I read my January cooking magazines and the new cookbooks I got for Christmas, all I could see was my need to end the holiday eating indulgence with a conscious return to all things whole and pure.

As I’m apt to do, I sat down and made a few notes about my menu for the next week, and maybe a week after. No sugar (white or brown), no white flour, no meat and no dairy. The only exceptions are kefir, a little honey and some chocolate. Then I got to work making a plan for my next 21 meals. I took my lead from Bon Appétit, whose blogger Sara Dickerman compiled a two-week food lover’s cleanse. Some of the meal planning was too ambitious, and some required more ingredients than I care to buy. So I simplified it and added a few recipes of my own. In recipes that call for butter, I plan to use olive oil only.

I haven’t cooked anything yet, but I wanted to share my planning with you in case you want to follow along or choose a few meals to make during the week. I plan to post a few of the finished meals as well as my thoughts on the best breakfast smoothie. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.

January 2 (Day 1)

Breakfast: Vanilla date breakfast smoothie
Lunch
: Avocado tartine on rye crackers and vegetable crudités (endive, broccoli, carrots) with basic citrus shallot vinaigrette (make extra for the rest of the week)
Snack
: Fresh fruit
Dinner: Black-eyed pea curry and brown rice; green salad

January 3 (Day 2)

Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana and almond milk
Lunch:
Leftover curry; spinach salad with apples and sunflower seeds
Snack:
Gorp – Take equal parts whole, unpeeled almonds, dry-roasted peanuts, dried cranberries and chopped pitted dates. Add a handful of dark chocolate chips if you like.
Dinner:
Quinoa pasta with tomatoes and spinach (omit the cheese)

January 4 (Day 3)

Breakfast: Kale and kiwi smoothie (kale, kiwi, fresh orange juice, banana, 2 dates)
Lunch:
Leftover pasta
Snack:
Edamame hummus with vegetable crudités
Dinner:
Ultimate winter couscous; green salad

January 5 (Day 4)

Breakfast: Warm and nutty cinnamon quinoa
Lunch:
Leftover couscous; salad
Snack:
Apple with cashew butter
Dinner:
Beet and fennel soup with kefir; raw kale salad

January 6 (Day 5)

Breakfast: Leftover quinoa; sliced apple
Lunch:
Leftover soup; salad
Snack:
Sesame carrots – toss sliced carrots with toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme and sea salt
Dinner:
Double-stuffed sweet potatoes; pan-roasted apples, endive and grapes

January 7 (Day 6)

Breakfast: Almond banana smoothie and pear slices
Lunch:
Leftover sweet potatoes, apples, endive and grapes
Snack:
Gorp
Dinner:
Out to dinner!

January 8 (Day 7)

Brunch: Wheat and dried fruit porridge
Snack:
Fresh fruit and rye crackers with cashew butter
Dinner:
Curried lentil soup; green salad

Dessert options:

Roasted pears
Dark chocolate
Red (rooibos) or green tea

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