2 Jan 2013
When many people think about healthful eating – especially in the first few weeks of January – words like “cleanses” and “detoxes” are liberally thrown around like magic solutions that will banish all our ills in just a few weeks (or days).
Even if these (often pricey) short-term regimented programs make us feel more energetic or alleviate bothersome symptoms, what happens at the end? Usually, people return to their old eating habits, and resume a cycle of not feeling their best.
This is why focusing on a plant-based, whole-foods way of eating is a more effective way to work towards health. Rather than subsisting on nothing but liquids or making super strict rules (No fruit! No combining fats and starches!) for just two weeks, you will get into the habit of eating minimally processed, delicious meals.
You will also reap tremendous nutritional benefits. All of these meals offer plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals and unique healthful compounds found only in plant foods known as “phytonutrients” (there are hundreds, and they help in various ways – from lowering heart disease risk to strengthening the immune system).
My hope is that this eating plan will also introduce you to some new foods, like cacao nibs, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, as well as creative ways to prepare food (check out the 5-minute blended creamy mushroom soup; you won’t believe how easy it is!).
Above all, this week of clean eating will show you that eating minimally processed plant based foods is far from boring. In fact, I suspect you’ll soon become a fan – and make it your standard way of eating.
Click on the plate above to download the Vegetarian Menu and Shopping List.
About Andy Bellatti
Andy Bellatti, MS, RD is a Las Vegas-based nutritionist with a plant-centric and whole-foods focus. His work has been published in Grist, The Huffington Post, Today’s Dietitian, Food Safety News, and Civil Eats, among others. He is as passionate about healthful eating as he is about food politics, deceptive Big Food marketing, and issues of sustainability, animal welfare, and social justice in our food system. He is the creator of the Small Bites blog (which, though now closed, spans five years and 2,000 posts). You can also follow Andy on Twitter and Facebook.