Downloadable Dinner Meal Plan
With the kids back in school this past week, I finally feel that the start to 2019 is underway. As much as I love the downtime of holiday break, I am equally excited when life gets back into a routine.
On every level, I love starting the month of January with a clean slate. I have already highlighted what that means for my home but now it is time to center the cleansing on my body.
The Clean Plate
I knew I wanted to do some sort of cleanse post holiday. When I learned that Gwyneth Paltrow planned to release a new cookbook, “The Clean Plate” (available here), at the beginning of January, I knew it would inspire me to take action. Well it just arrived this past week and I love it! It is filled with simple, nutrient rich recipes designed to help you reset and rebalance. Thumbing though the pages, I realize once again that beautiful food is good food.
While I knew that the recipes in the book would provide motivation to return to clean eating, I was also pleasantly surprised with another aspect of this book. Although on many levels I cannot relate to Gwyneth Paltrow, there is one area that I can and that is her age. Knowing her body and skin align with where I am in the aging process draws me into her recommendations. In addition to the clean eating recipes, the book contains interviews with Gwyneth’s team (must be nice!) of nutrition experts and doctors. Each expert addresses a specific health need/concern that we as women might be faced or concerned with.
From there, specific eating plans are offered:
- Fat Flush (with Dr. Taz Bhatia)
- Heavy Metal Detox (with Dr. James Novak)
- Adrenal Support (with Dr. Alejandro Junger)
- Candida Reset (with Dr. Amy Myers)
- Heart Health (with Dr. Steven Gundry)
- Veg-Friendly Ayurveda (with Dr. Aruna Viswanathan)
In the forward to the interview with Dr. Bhatia, Gwyneth highlights the fact when you reach a certain age or after having kids, you can feel betrayed by your body. This was a “bingo” for me. She could not have said it better. Metabolism, hormones and how we gain and lose weight looks so much different then it used to. Where I stored fat in my 20s and 30s looks nothing like where I store it now (hello belly fat!) And although I feel betrayed, I really just means that I need to reprogram my eating habits. I know what foods to avoid or limit but it is so easy to fall back into old habits when the holiday season is here.
The Fat Flush cleanse centers on eating and avoiding those foods that help control (belly) flat. Therefore, that is the cleanse I am honing in on this week. But this cleanse is not meant to be a diet or dramatic weight loss plan. The aim instead is to program my eating back to what helps control the areas I find problematic at this age.
Dairy, gluten, refined sugar. The big bad wolves of belly fat. Lean protein, greens, avocados, olive oil and seeds are the heroes of cleaner eating. Building a meal plan off these parameters really is easy as long as you are organized and prepared with an action plan.
So I don’t feel overwhelmed with a huge grocery list and endless meal preparation, I do like some continuity to my meals. I like my breakfast and lunches to look consistent and then have variation in dinner each night. In the mornings I like to do an egg scramble with lots of veggies and in the afternoon a protein bowl (see tips for putting together one at the end of post here). I am not a smoothie person but if you are, this book dedicates a whole chapter to drinks.
For dinner prep, I need to think about not only maintaining my cleanse but also feeding my family. The dinner meal plans I put together below allow you to do both!
Finally, having snack options are a huge must. I crave crunch! These seed crackers do the trick and are a perfect base for avocado toast or dipping into hummus. However, do not forget to add the flaky sea salt!
Seed Cracker Recipe
- 1/2 cup flaxseeds
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 tablespoons hulled pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- Flaky sea salt
Preheat Oven to 320 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the flaky salt.
Let sit for 15 minutes to firm up.
Lay a large sheet of parchment paper on your work surface and use a spatula to scrape the seed mixture onto the paper. Top with another piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll the mixture into an 8X11, 1/4-inch-thick layer.
Transfer to a baking sheet and carefully peel off the top layer of parchment (go slowly as a few seeds may stick to it). Sprinkle with flaky salt and bake for 45 minutes.
Let cool, then break the cracker into large pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Downloadable Dinner Meal Plan
For dinner inspiration and ideas, click the link below for downloadable meal plans. Now that I know how to do them, I hope to make this a continued feature on the blog!
And don’t forget I love these to help with meal planning as well!
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