Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reset Week (A Week of Healthy Eating)

I mentioned in my 101 things in 1,001 days post about doing what I call a Reset Week. This is a habit that I started last year. As someone who likes to eat...a lot...and now eats a wide variety of things that I didn't before, I've decided that I need to give my body a break once in a while. I have done juice fasts before, which are fine. After the last one I finished, it was hard to incorporate solid food again, even when I added things back slowly.

Then I got an idea. Why don't I just cut out some of the foods that I'd like to cut back on for a week (more like five to six days) instead of cutting out solid food altogether? I would begin to think again about how I am eating and remind myself of how to eat healthier. In a way, I would be resetting my eating patterns.

During a Reset Week, beginning on a Sunday or Monday, I refrain from the following until I have a nice, triumphant dinner on Friday night:

No Meat
No Dairy
No Sweets/Dessert (including sugar sweeteners. I try to use agave nectar)
No Alcohol
No Caffeine
and probably something else I'm forgetting as I write this

Essentially, I become a non-drinking vegan for about a week. I also try to eat more fruits and veggies than I normally do already. To be quite honest, it's not as hard as I thought it would be. The easiest for me is refraining from caffeine since I rarely drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, including soda. No meat is fine since I was a pescetarian (a fish eating vegetarian) for years and used to it, and I'm not big into dairy (except for cheese...I LURVE cheese).

Surprisingly, the sweets have gotten to be the hardest for me. These days I tend to like a little something small and sweet after dinner. During these weeks, I'll drink Vanilla Almond milk as my sweet fix. It's sweetened with cane juice, but I guess it could be worse.

I know many of you are thinking "What's left to eat?" Well, here's a sampling of the things I eat during a Reset Week:

-Vanilla Soy Probiotic Yogurt with apple, berries or some other seasonal fruit, sprinkled with ground flax seeds or flax meal

-Steel Cut Oatmeal with drizzle of agave nectar and banana, apples or berries mixed in

I usually use McCanns Quick & Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal because steel cut oats tend to take longer to cook. These take way less time than normal to make.

-Fruit smoothie with almond milk and flax meal

-Most nuts (especially walnuts, and almonds are my favorite) are fine. I avoid salted ones though.
-Rice cakes (I like the Lundberg whole grain ones with little to no salt)
-Fruit (I find apples are filling and a great source of fiber)
-Lots of herbal decaf tea (unsweetened or a little agave nectar)
-Lots and lots of water (I like adding big hunks of fresh lemon)

Lunch is usually a salad or leftovers from the night before. Here's one of my favorite salads from this summer:

I like to use spinach for my greens, so I've already got one good veggie. This salad also has beets, artichoke hearts, yellow peppers and carrots. For a protein kick, I would add chickpeas, sunflower seeds or maybe some tofu. Go light on the dressing, or just use a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.


I usually try stay away from some of the more processed vegetarian "meats" and patties in favor of things like beans, quinoa, seitan, and tofu (I've been trying not to depend on soy very much for protein). Here are few dishes that I will probably be eating this week.

-Santa Fe Quinoa Salad with steamed veggies or sauteed kale

Here's some of the Santa Fe Quinoa Salad I made during last summer's Reset Week

In the summer, I love Spicy Quinoa, Tomato & Avocado Salad.

-Seitan Stir Fry with Sesame Ginger Sauce

I love seitan. Have you ever had mock meats at various vegetarian restaurants? Well, seitan/wheat gluten are the basis of many of those "meats." Those who are allergic to gluten might want to avoid seitan, but you know more about gluten allergies than me. Like tofu, seitan takes on the flavors of what it's cooked with.

Seitan right out of the bag. Not necessarily pretty, I know

For this dish, I don't make my own stir fry sauce (Sigh..I know I should). I just try not to get too heavy handed. In the pic below, I did. Oops!

Seitan with bok choy (Chinese cabbage), carrots and peppers and Whole Foods sesame ginger sauce

So that's my Reset Week in a nutshell. I know that I indulged a lot this past holiday season, so it's nice to start the year off with a renewed look at how to eat healthfully. I'll be doing this at least three more times this year. If I try any new recipes, I'll be sure to share.

Are you looking to eat healthier this year? What steps are you taking to do so? Do you have any healthy recipes that you'd like to share?


April D. Thompson said...

Great idea! I tend to do this periodically after binging on lots of rich and/or unhealthy food (usually after a trip). Like you, I struggle the most with desserts. Everything else is no biggie until I get bored with salads, veggies, fruits and green smoothies. Will have to give seitan and try to spice it up a little bit! Thanks for sharing!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

My husband and I are trying to eat more vegetarian. This week, we tried quinoa with stir fried veggies and we were fans! We want to start cooking with quinoa more. Maybe we'll check out seitan next.

Kristin ~ Bien Living Design said...

I think I'll make this quinoa salad tonight!


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