The 2013 Whole Living Detox – Week 1 Update

Week one of the three-week Whole Living Detox is behind us...no sugar, no coffee, no gluten, no processed foods, no dairy and no meat. Week one is the hardest and still, I have to say I'm feeling pretty great! Sleeping better than I have in years, waking up without an alarm every day at 6:30am...seriously, and I'm a big sleeper. I never wake up early on my own no matter how early I go to bed so this is a hugely noticeable difference and a pretty unexpected benefit. I will admit, however, that the first few days of  Week 1 weren't all easy. My energy levels were pretty low, I had more headaches than usual and the stomach was pretty turbulent for most of the week, but all of those early cleanse side effects have almost fully disappeared by now. And to top it all off, I've lost 4-5 pounds this week!  To be clear, I am not doing this to lose weight nor was I expecting to lose weight since this detox isn't calorie restricted at all and I'm working out less due to low energy, but it was certainly a nice surprise.

So, on to the important stuff...how has the food been? Honestly, completely delicious...not a dud recipe in the bunch. The one thing that was tough was having only smoothies for breakfast...left me pretty starving by lunchtime but I think that ends this week. But before we head off to Week 2 here's a run-down of some of our favorites from Week 1:
Weekly Menu: February 24 – March 2, 2013
Sunday: Baked Salmon with Coconut Broth
Monday: Black Bean-Brown Rice Patties
Tuesday: Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa
Wednesday: Leftovers: Broccoli Soup (from last week)
Thursday: Leftovers: French Lentil Salad (from last week)
Friday: Lemon-Herb Sardine Salad
Saturday: Sesame Kale Salad
Week two of our Whole Living Detox has arrived, and we're following the meal plan (breakfast, lunch and dinner) almost exactly as directed except for the two recipes below. I'm skipping the Baked Sweet Potato with Greens recipe (one breakfast and one lunch).  It sounds perfectly good, but I'm not really into it for breakfast and we have some leftovers from last week that we want to use up for lunch this week. I'm also skipping the Broccoli and Chickpea Salad (two dinners) and substituting them with two leftovers we froze from last week. This recipe is the first one from the plan that sounds a bit underwhelming to me and we ate a ton of broccoli last week. Other than that we're sticking to the week 2 menus and looking forward to trying out all of these new, healthy recipes.

If you haven't joined us on this journey yet it's not too late...but definitely start with Week 1 since each week builds on the previous one in this cleanse program. We had four SavoryGirl friends and followers decide to join us this week (yippee!) so they will be starting with week 1 while we move on to week 2....the more the merrier and make sure to share how it's going!

To make it even easier for you to take the leap and follow along I've attached the full (breakfast lunch & dinner using all of the recipes from the plan itself  - not my adjusted one above) week 2 shopping list below. There are two versions...the Consolidated Shopping List is ready to use if you have two people doing the Detox and plan to follow exactly as it is outlined from Whole Living. The Ingredient Level List is still for two people, but it has every single item from every recipe listed individually...so you can see where things are doubled and simply delete those duplicates for specific recipes if there is only one of you participating or you want to pick and choose certain recipes.    
Toasted Coconut Trail Mix

So I'm only a few days into the 2013 Whole Living 3-week Detox and while I have been thrilled with all of the recipes so far, this one snack recipe is so easy and yummy I wanted to share.  I may never buy trail mix again! Since it is part of the cleanse it has no processed sugar and no gluten...just four simple ingredients.  Take less than 15 minutes to make, but make sure to make a double batch...it goes fast!

Original recipe can be found here, but I've also copied it below:

½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
½ cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted*
½ cup chopped unsalted almonds, toasted*

Mix all four ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

If you have a hard time finding unsweetened coconut or unsweetened apricots check your local health food store or Whole Foods.

*To toast the coconut and chopped almonds simply spread them out on a foil-lined pan and pop in the oven at 350 degrees for roughly 5 minutes.  Keep an eye on them...once the coconut starts to brown around the edges it's done but can start to burn quickly.

Weekly Menu: February 17-23, 2013
Sunday: Creamy Broccoli Soup
Monday: Cauliflower “Rice” Stir Fry
Tuesday: Leftovers: Creamy Broccoli Soup
Wednesday: Roasted Portobellos with Kale
Thursday: Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew
Friday: Leftovers: Roasted Portobellos with Kale
Saturday: French Lentil Salad
Ok...I'm going a little crazy for the next three weeks.  SavoryGirl is officially doing a 3-week detox! I'm not necessarily doing it to lose weight or anything, but more just to get back to clean, healthy food.  The holidays, time back East (lots of cannoli!), busy work life...you all know the drill.  Sometimes you just feel like you've gotten a bit off course and need to commit to something to get back on track.

This idea came to me from my mom who found this amazing cleanse meal plan in her Whole Living magazine. It all about removing processed foods, meat, dairy, gluten, refined sugar, alcohol and coffee (tea is allowed) from your diet while still eating delicious foods.  Seriously...everything on this menu plan sounds great and like something I would love to make even if I wasn't on the cleanse. I will admit though...it's going to take a bit more effort than usual.  Especially since I have to make homemade breakfasts and lunches on this plan as well as dinner.  None of my stand-by Activia yogurt breakfasts or canned soup lunches. The good news is that all of the recipes do look pretty quick and easy and they incorporate lots of leftovers into the plan which you all know I love.

For the full cleanse details and menu plan (including breakfast and lunch recipes since I'm only including dinner here) go to the 2013 Whole Living Action Plan. If you would like the full Week 1 shopping list feel free to email me at Suzanne@savorygirl.com and I'll send it over so you don't have to create it yourself.

Oh, and yes...for those of you who are curious, Christian is doing it for lunch and dinner too (but not breakfast and he refuses to give up coffee!). I hope you decide to join too...I think it's going to be delicious and rewarding.
Weekly Menu: February 10-16, 2013
Sunday: Emeril’s 5-Bean Chili with Cornbread
Monday: Grilled Fish Tacos
Tuesday: Leftovers: Chili
Wednesday: Red Wine & Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Winter Vegetables and Wild Rice
Thursday: Huevos Rancheros
Friday: Leftovers: Red Wine & Rosemary Chicken Pasta
Saturday: Eat Out
This is a week of easy favorites...starting with my newly discovered go-to chili recipe. It's easy, perfectly spiced and delicious. Monday we'll lighten things up with easy fish tacos served alongside some spicy black beans. Wednesday is a dish that I haven't made in years, but I remember really liking it when I originally made it.  It makes for a perfect quick weeknight meal as long as you marinate the chicken the night before. We'll shred up the leftover chicken and turn it into a pasta dish for Friday by stirring in some diced canned tomatoes and some mascarpone cheese to make a sauce.  Easy and quick!

Of course, you all know I love breakfast for dinner...and Huevos Rancheros is one of my all-time favorite dishes.  We'll use the leftover spicy black beans from Monday as the base on top of tortillas, fry up some eggs, top with a bit of cheese and hot sauce and you have a perfect, simple dinner.
Roasting Red Peppers at Home

Roasted red peppers are one of those ingredients that immediately elevate a dish to gourmet. So sweet, so smoky and so amazingly delicious. The problem is, however, that we like to eat them quite often and the store bought roasted red peppers are quite expensive and usually soaking in oil. So a few years ago we tried our hand at making them at home and haven't turned back since. If you have a gas stove they're incredibly easy to make, much healthier, less expensive, and...bonus...make your house smell incredible.

So let's get started! Place a clean red pepper directly on the flame of a gas stove set to medium-high. Using heat-proof tongs, turn pepper as each side begins to burn and blister until entire pepper is blackened and crisp. Usually about 1-2 minutes per side or about 5-7 minutes in total.  Sometimes you need to use the tongs and hold the pepper over the flame at an angle to get in the crooks if it's a bit more more misshapen.

Once the majority of the pepper is blackened, take the blackened red pepper off the flame and immediately place into  a tightly covered dish (plastic wrap will do if the dish doesn't have a proper lid) or you can simply place the pepper back into your plastic produce bag and tie it closed. This latter option is good for less clean up if you're just doing one pepper.
Weekly Menu: February 3-9, 2013
Sunday: Superbowl DIY Pizza Party!
Monday: Sauteéd White Fish with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Tuesday: Leftovers: Fish Tacos with Spicy Brussels Sprouts
Wednesday:    Pork Phanang Curry (see below) and Brown Rice
Thursday: Spinach & Mushroom Omelets with Honey Toast
Friday: Leftovers: Pork Phanang Curry
Saturday: Eat Out
Let's be honest...we're not very excited about the Superbowl this year since our Pats aren't in it, but the Superbowl only comes once a year so we have to have at least a little bit of a foodie celebration. So what are we doing this year? We're making homemade and personally customizable pizzas. Now if my team was in it, I probably wouldn't do something that takes me away from the TV for this long, but as long as you prepare all of the toppings and make the dough in advance everyone should really be able to make their pizzas and get them out of the oven during half-time with no issue. Full details are in the post linked in the menu above. Remember to get creative with the toppings you offer...and seriously, hand crushed canned San Marzano tomatoes make the best sauce ever!

We'll then start the week off with one of our simple, healthy staples. Sauteéd white fish and roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Season the fish well with your spices of choice and just make sure your sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts are cut into similar sizes, seasoned well with olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted in a hot oven for about 25 minutes. Easy breezy.

The pork phanang curry sounds fancy, but honestly we've had a little jar of phanang curry paste in our cupboard forever so we're just going to use that mixed with some coconut milk for the sauce. Thrown in some sauteéd pork strips, some eggplant, yellow peppers and whatever else is looking good at your farmers market that weekend and you have yourself an easy and delicious weeknight meal. We'll finish off the week with omelets and our old college favorite of wheat toast slathered in butter and honey.  Happy cooking everyone!