Winter Cleanse 2014: Week One

Winter Cleanse 2014 - 14 Healthy, Seasonal, and Delicious Recipes from Katie at the Kitchen Door

Welcome to the 2014 winter cleanse! This is the third year that I’ll be creating, following, and sharing a two-week plan for healthy, seasonal, “clean” eating here on the blog. The first year, I was inspired in part by the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse and in part by my parents’ experience following the eating plan in the book Clean. I started out ambitious: no gluten, no dairy, no alcohol, no coffee. Mostly salad. All those changes at once sustained for two weeks proved to be a little bit too much for me, and I quickly gave in to dairy and gluten cravings.  I also learned that preparing 3 healthy meals and a healthy snack for 14 days in a row is a lot of work, and requires making a game plan ahead of time. Armed with this knowledge, I tackled last year’s cleanse a little differently, and had better results sticking with it. I’ve built in even more flexibility for myself this year, and there’s more on those adjustments below, but first, why do I call this non-scientific, not that diet-y, healthy meal plan a “cleanse”?

Every year, I write that I hesitate to call this two-week healthy eating plan a “cleanse.” And it really does make me a little bit uncomfortable. Especially at this time of year, the media is so full of cleanses and health tips and detoxes and diets that I find it super overwhelming. I read things like “I’m a really indulgent eater – I start every day with a green smoothie and an egg white omelette, and I eat an entire bowl of sorghum with my poached salmon and mustard greens at dinner. The 17 day juice cleanse that I do every other month really helps me press the reset button.” and I want to scream a little bit. Who eats like that?? Are you real people?? What do you you do when you want, say, an entire pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk? Just have a single dried fig and feel satisfied? I feel like these people must be lying, and are secretly eating an entire pizza every day at lunch. Am I the only person out there who has, oh, say, infinity less self control than these people? This introduction/loosely-disguised-rant is just to warn you that my “cleanse” is not based on re-balancing your acidity levels or drinking only fresh juices or raw foods for two weeks. It’s much, much less hard core than that. Really, it’s just a collection of common-sense healthy recipes – more veggies, less fat, whole grains, but still with the occasional sprinkling of cheese or piece of bacon. I like eating. I like flavor. And I like feeling good. But I don’t like denying myself. So that’s what these recipes aim to give you – a flavorful, satisfying, sustainable approach to healthy eating. Hopefully, you’ll find healthy recipes that might even make it into your all-year dinner rotation.

I’m approaching the cleanse a little bit differently this year. Instead of forcing myself to adhere to a strict schedule, I’m outlining the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks that are on the menu for the week, and then I pick and choose from these options based on what I feel like. This helps me look forward to each meal – instead of dreading going home to a salad on a 20° day, I can decide at lunchtime that I’m going to make a hot pot of soup and anticipate it for the rest of the day. It also allows me to be flexible with the excess of leftovers I find myself with when doing all this cooking – if my fridge is full, new recipes get put on hold and leftovers (pre-approved on the week’s menu) get put to good use. I do find it helpful to outline dinner, lunch, and an afternoon snack the night before, so that I have a plan of action for packing my bag in the morning. I’ve still included a daily plan in the document below for those of you who prefer a schedule, but you should feel free to mix it up. Also included in that little document is a shopping list, and some tips for how to plan ahead for the extra time in the kitchen.

So, without further ado, here’s the goods: in the body of this post, the 5 breakfasts, 7 lunches/dinners, and 4 snacks on week one of the cleanse menu, and in the attached word document, your shopping list, daily meal plan, and prep tips. Get cooking, friends!

Winter Cleanse 2014: Week One – Grocery List, Meal Plan, and Prep Tips

Breakfast/Brunch Recipes

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Breakfast Recipes - Shakshuka {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Shakshuka

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Breakfast Recipes - Sweet Green Smoothie {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Green Smoothie

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Breakfast Recipes - Baked Blackberry Oatmeal {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Baked Blackberry Oatmeal

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Breakfast Recipes - Raspberry-Maple Breakfast Quinoa {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Raspberry Maple Breakfast Quinoa

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Breakfast Recipes - Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

Lunch/Dinner Recipes

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Roasted Beet and Spinach Salad {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Roasted Beet and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds, and Pomegranate

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Sesame Chicken Bowl {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Sesame Chicken Bowl

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Mushroom and Olive Veggie Burgers {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Mushroom and Olive Veggie Burgers (served with 1/2 roasted sweet potato)

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Salad {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Bacon Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Soup {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Soup

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Dinner Recipes - Soba Noodles with Kale and Slivered Brussels Sprouts {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Soba Noodles with Kale and Slivered Brussels Sprouts

Snack Recipes

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Snack Recipes - Gluten Free Corn Feta-and-Olive Muffins {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Gluten-Free Corn Muffin with Feta and Olive

“Snack Bag” – 1/4 c. nuts, 2 TBS chocolate chips, 1/4 c. dried cherries

Avocado Tartine – 1/2 an avocado mashed on one piece whole wheat toast

Winter Cleanse 2014: Healthy Snack Recipes - Apple Quinoa Cake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Apple Quinoa Cake

One disclaimer: I am not a dietitian, nutritionist, doctor, or medical professional of any sort.  I simply wanted to share my personal menu and goals for healthy eating, so please realize that I have tapered this plan to what I feel my own nutritional needs are, and carefully consider your own health needs/consult your doctor before following any diet, cleanse, or detox plan!