In January of 2018, instead of making the usual resolutions that we’ve given up on by the end of the month, we decided to break it up by dividing some big goals into manageable chunks.
Each month, we invite you to overhaul one aspect of your life to reduce toxins, improve health, and increase your peace of mind. Our promise is that these changes will be easy to implement, helping you avoid resolution overwhelm.
If you’re just joining us, you’ll want to check out:
- January’s mini resolution on upgrading junk foods
- February’s with a medicine cabinet detox
- March’s on improving indoor air quality
- April’s five ways to clean up your cleaning products
- May’s on making your yard non-toxic
- June’s water safety tips
- July’s guide to natural skincare products
- August’s with seven ways to have a healthier pet.
- September’s mattress detox.
It’s October, which means my kids have been back in school for a month and I’ve been figuring out what works and what doesn’t work in terms of all our household systems.
One of the goals I set at the end of the summer was to eat healthier this fall and I knew that this was mostly a matter of getting organized about what I was eating, and when.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably gotten sick of my stories about my Sakara meals. (Sakara is a plant-based, organic meal-delivery service). They are so delicious and obviously very healthful, that I find myself wanting to snap a picture of every one.
I’ve done a bunch of different versions of Sakara: four-week programs, three-day programs, a ten-day DIY program, and, most-recently, a two-week plant-based challenge. (Note that my readers get 15% off Sakara with code REF_MaiaLove15).
Through trial and error with various versions of Sakara and other “diets,” as well as a range of meal kits (like Sun Basket), I think I’ve finally settled on my ideal eating plan.
Sakara Versus the Others
Of course, Sakara isn’t the only organic meal delivery program game in town. I haven’t tried any of these other ones, but if you have, please comment below.
Weekly Easy Cleanse: My Version
Normally, I am not a big “cleanse” person, simply because I don’t have the necessary resolve to, like, drink nothing but lemon water with cayenne for more than maybe half a day, max.
Still, I’ve recently decided to structure my weeks so that they always start with a short, easy cleanse. This means I don’t feel bad about the inevitable weekend indulgences because I’ve spent three days loading myself up with tons of greens, healthy fats, and fiber, and avoiding animal foods, gluten, or alcohol.
Weekly Easy Cleanse: Your Version
Obviously, doing this via Sakara makes it a REALLY easy cleanse because I just have to open up my fridge, but there’s no reason you can’t adopt the same guidelines and simply prepare the meals yourself.
In fact, you don’t even have to do the same easy cleanse I do–perhaps for you, “cleansing” means just giving up red meat for the beginning of the week, or sugar, or starting each day by drinking lemon water instead of a latte.
Or maybe you don’t eliminate anything, but rather focus on adding certain foods IN for the beginning of every week. You could vow to eat green veggies with every meal–spinach in your omelette, a hearty salad for lunch, and a side of broccoli with dinner. The point is to be intentional about a change in your food intake that you know will make you feel better.
Can Alcohol Be Part of an Easy Cleanse?
No matter how you structure your easy cleanse, I encourage you to skip drinking for at least a few days every week. This has brought about the most meaningful change in how I feel and look. That said, I’ve found that I absolutely NEED happy hour pretty much every day during the time I’m preparing dinner for my kids. On my easy cleanse days, my happy hour just doesn’t involve alcohol (more on that later).
What I Eat Monday Through Wednesday: Easy Cleanse
As much as I love Sakara’s delivered breakfasts, I am making my own for the moment because of the cost of having all three meals delivered.
The quick cheat to eating like you’re on Sakara even if you’re not is that you don’t eat any wheat, dairy, meat (including fish), sugar, or processed oils.
1) Easy Cleanse Breakfast
I start my morning with Sakara’s Beauty Water (these will be included with any Sakara plan you order). Next, I make a a smoothie with their Life Source Powder, or I’ll just make mom my’s Miracle Energy Smoothie. I also have a cup of this green tea.
I’ve tried a bunch of Sakara’s smoothie recipes, but my favorite combo is Life Source Powder mixed with this almond milk, half a banana, this almond butter, and a splash each of Olea True and organic vanilla.
2) Mid-Morning Caffeine
A second cup of green tea.
3) Easy Cleanse Lunch
Sakara. (If you’re not buying Sakara, make yourself any lunch that doesn’t contain wheat, sugar, dairy, vegetable oils, or meat, and don’t forget to load up on good fats and protein like avocado, nuts, and beans.)
4) Easy Cleanse Afternoon Snack
Something from Sakara’s Clean Boutique, or homemade popcorn with ghee, black pepper, and nutritional yeast. Sometimes I’ll also have Sakara’s beauty tea in the afternoon (I like it much better than their detox tea.)
Kombucha mocktail–guava kombucha, lots of fresh lime, and seltzer, poured over ice. I drink this while preparing dinner for my kids (here’s what they eat) and listening to a podcast or watching reality TV on my iPad.
6) Easy Cleanse Dinner
Sakara. My husband works late and is also low-key about dinner–he will happily grab pizza or a gyro on his way home if I say there won’t be a proper meal!
I know that for those of you who aren’t working, the arrangement in terms of who does the cooking may be different. (And, again, here’s what my kids eat.)
What I Eat Thursday Through Sunday: Wheat, Cheese, and Booze!
Once Thursday hits, I am ready to relax, because I do most of my heavy lifting work-wise during the beginning of every week—in addition to my easy cleanse.
Here are my “rules” for the days when I’m not doing the easy cleanse outlined above.
I eat as much fish, eggs, and chicken as I want on these days (I don’t crave much of any of these, so this doesn’t typically amount to much).
- I also eat dairy and wheat again, although I TRY to limit the butter, cheese, and white flour–all of which I crave in pretty much infinite quantities!
- Sugar and alcohol are also back on the menu, but I definitely try to limit these. (Here are some healthier dessert ideas.)
Dinner on Thursday-Sunday will be a combo of restaurants, delivery, and Sun Basket easy dinners which we actually eat as a family! (That link will get you $45 off if you want to try Sun Basket).
It’s important to note that even on my non-cleanse days I eat healthfully–lots of salads, whole grain pastas, Olea True drizzled on everything, tons of berries, etc. It’s just that on these days I also might have desserts and wine and cocktails in moderation.
Sun Basket Vs. The Others
There are enough meal-kit delivery services to make your head spin, and I haven’t tried most of them because they aren’t committed to organic ingredients. If you have used any of the following services, please comment with your thoughts!
- Purple Carrot (vegan)
- Hello Fresh
- Blue Apron
- Home Chef
- Jet Fuel Meals
- Paleo Plan
It’s probably important to note that I am not crazy strict with any of this. It’s just not in my nature to be regimented, so some weeks I follow this more closely than others, depending on how I feel and what kind of social plans might crop up.
I’d love to hear your ideal food plan. Please comment below!
P.S. If you want to try Sakara, use code REF_MAIALOVE15 at Sakaralife.com for 15% off.
P.P.S. Here is the link for $45 off at Sun Basket.
What About Fitness?
I am always tweaking my workout plans, but I’ve found that I do best if I schedule out four days a week of classes (for me this is barre, pilates, and sometimes a Soul Cycle). The other three days, I am intentional about getting in a lot of steps, at the very least. Sometimes I’ll even go for a jog if the weather is nice. I also treat myself to a restorative yoga or self-care class at least once a month.