January 18th – 24th
Welcome to the 2nd week of your 28-Day Refresh. This week we are adding gluten-free grains back to our diets. Since we are still avoiding gluten for the remainder of the 28-Day Refresh, that means no wheat, barley or rye. A few of our favorite gluten-free whole grains include quinoa, amaranth, millet, and rice (which comes in more varieties than we can count).
As you start to incorporate grains back into your meals, take notice of how they make you feel. Are you finding some much needed satisfaction that was missing from Week 1’s meals, or do you find yourself feeling heavy, tired, or even bloated after meals? There’s no requirement to have them with every meal…in fact, we wouldn’t recommend it. Continue to focus on fresh, whole foods — fruits and vegetables, satisfying proteins (meat, fish, etc), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts).
Tips for the week
Find a way to keep motivated. At this point, everyone is feeling the initial enthusiasm wear off. (Yep, even us.) So find a way to keep yourself going. Perhaps turning back to the personal goal you set for yourself, or thinking about why you started to begin with.
Cravings. For me, it’s chocolate, and I’m recognizing that it’s more of a habit than a craving. Chocolate is definitely habit forming. Week 2 you should see a reduction in cravings, but if you are still struggling, try to find the thing that will help you keep your cravings at bay. Maybe it’s cup after cup of herbal tea, lighting a scented candle to stimulate a different sense, or having a handful of berries as your “sweet treat.”
There is no, I repeat NO, one size fits all diet. We even tend to frown on the words “clean eating.” In a way that phrase suggests there are foods that are all good, and foods that are all bad, which is totally NOT TRUE. This article is a bit lengthy, but a quote to remember is: “Any food that has calories can technically be bad for you — if consumed in excess. This includes chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and even vegetables. The reason many people consider these ‘clean foods’ is because they tend to be harder to overeat than things like cookies or ice cream.” True story.
Recipes and Meal Planning
How did you do with meal planning last week? We’ve got another round of tips for week 2, so read on for recipes and ideas. For each of these ideas mentioned below we have provided a link to a simple recipe. You can also check out our Pinterest Board for more inspiration
- Overnight oats are an easy way to start your day right, without ANY work in the morning! The night before, soak 1/2 cup of oats in 1/2 cup of almond milk (or your favorite non dairy milk). In the morning, add in fruit, nuts, nut butters, or a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and VOILA! Here’s a link to a few variations you can try (be careful not go overboard on those chocolate variations).
- Muesli is like granola’s raw brother – without the hassle of baking and no added oil or sweetener. Mix up some oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to make muesli. Add some almond milk and you have a delightfully easy breakfast. Read more about muesli and get some recipe ideas here.
- Grain Salads. Last week we showed you a simple salad strategy. This week, kick up the heartiness factor with a grain-salad formula. Prep a big batch of grains this weekend, then check out our recent blog post for some ideas on how to use these and put together some satisfying gluten-free grain salads.
- Rice Bowls. Feeling like something warm for lunch. Pick up some pre-cooked brown rice in the freezer section, or make a big batch of your own. For lunch, put with leftover veggies from dinner and your favorite protein on top. Then heat it up and viola…a delicious and easy lunch. Check out our Pinterest Boards for some ideas.
- Dinner: For our customers who received meal kits this week, we’ve already handled a few nights for you! In addition to that, and for everyone else, we are sharing 4 complete dinner recipes. Click HERE to download and/or print all 4 recipes and a complete shopping list.
- We promised guacamole and we weren’t kidding. It’s a quick, easy and healthy snack, and if you aren’t dipping something fried in it, there’s no need to feel guilty (on second thought, please don’t feel guilty about anything you eat.) Our favorite dippers are slices of raw zucchini. Can’t imagine guacamole without chips? Pick up some gluten-free crackers. (We like the Mary’s Gone Crackers brand.) Back to the guac…Make a batch and store it in the fridge. Pressing plastic wrap down onto the top surface will help prevent it from turning brown. Here’s a simple and easy recipe.
- Granola bars. Handheld, portable, and packed with all sorts of good things…except when they’re full of preservatives and sugar. Read your labels on these guys and find ones that contain all ingredients you recognize, and no refined sugars! Or, make your own with this simple no-bake recipe. If you can’t find the time to make your own, try Lara Bars. Available at most grocery stores, they are made with real food ingredients you can trust.
As always, we’re here to help where we can, so let us know if you have any questions. And have fun with this! This is meant to be a way to explore your body and diet, not to make you hate meal time. Happy Prepping!
Leave a comment or question below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.