Hey guys! If you stopped by the blog yesterday or earlier tonight, you may have seen my post about my blog and gmail account being hacked. Thankfully, Blogger restored the original settings and removed the offending post (and the ads the hacker set up). All is back to normal. Thanks, Blogger! Now I'll proceed with the post I'd planned before the crazy hacking.
Every year in December, I totally let myself go. I stuff my face with every bit of chocolate, grease, and refined carbs I can get my grubby little hands on. The holidays are a time for indulgence, and I can indulge with the best of them. That's why every January, I go on some sort of cleanse or healthy eating plan to reboot. Last year, I did the ACT cleanse (raw breakfast and lunch, whole foods dinner, no alcohol, coffee, sugar, or gluten). But um, that was a bit crazy, and I failed about 22 days into my 26-day cleanse.
So this year, I'm taking it a little easier with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart plan. It's designed as a healthy diet for new vegans, and though I'm no spring chicken, I could use a whole foods meal plan to get me back on track. The plan has a website and a handy iPhone app with a menu plan for each day — breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and sometimes dessert. All meals are mostly free of refined sugar and processed foods. And the app provides you with easy recipes or cooking suggestions for each meal.
As for coffee and alcohol, well, I'm not quitting coffee. Never, ever again. But I am giving up beer and liquor during this cleanse. I will allow myself a few glasses of red wine each week.
I started the plan on Saturday, January 1st with this warm bowl of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, a hearty breakfast free of added sweeteners:
Lunch was a bowl of Carrot & Roasted Pepper Soup with made-from-scratch roasted peppers:
And a bowl of Couscous Confetti Salad — brown rice couscous, raw veggies, and dried apricots:
For the snack on Saturday, the plan suggests rye or pumpernickel toast (for its low glycemic index) topped with apple butter and banana slices. I didn't have any apple butter, so I opted for banana and coconut butter instead:
Finally, Saturday's dinner was Hoppin' John Salad and Kwik Kale:
Gotta have your black-eyed peas and greens on New Year's Day or you won't have prosperity in the new year. Even though the Kickstart plan may be started at any time, I guess they added the Hoppin' John Salad for those folks who chose to start the plan on January 1st. The Hoppin' John Salad was black-eyed peas, brown rice, raw veggies, and a tasty olive-oil-and-rice-vinegar dressing.
This morning — Sunday — the plan suggested cereal for breakfast, but it recommends a bran or high-fiber cereal for a low GI. I went with this Nature's Path Smart Bran cereal with frozen blueberries and unsweetened soymilk:
The plan recommends a veggie burger for Sunday's lunch, so I chose the least-processed burger I know of — Sunshine Burger's Southwest Patty on rye bread with avocado, tomato, spinach, and mustard. Not pictured is my side of leftover Carrot & Roasted Pepper Soup:
Dinner was Southern Beans & Greens and leftover Couscous Confetti Salad:
The beans & greens recipe was super-simple — canned beans of your choice (I chose kidney beans), fresh kale, garlic, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. And I love how the plan makes use of leftovers since some of the recipes make quite a bit of food. I have been halving most recipes though and still having enough left for several servings.
For my snack, I was allowed Cheezy Popcorn — air-popped kernels topped with nutritional yeast:
Though I'll probably eat most of my snacks between lunch and dinner during the plan, I opted to have my popcorn at around 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Well, that's it for now. Come back tomorrow for more Vegan Kickstart. Oh, and in case you were wondering, my cookbook manuscript is almost done. Just one final edit and it will be off to the publisher. Yea!!