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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Shape-Up: Day Three

As Healthy Eating Specialist for Whole Foods Market, in North Wales, PA, I am hosting a Seven-Day Summer Shape-Up, a gentle and easy-to-follow "cleansing" program. Today is the third day of the program.

Day 3: Wednesday, June 25: Eat only fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and/or lightly steamed vegetables or baked sweet potatoes or potatoes. Drink only clean, purified water and/or gently cleansing tea. (Limit fruit to 2-3 servings per day).

Today we meet the challenge of eating only fruits and vegetables for three days.

If, in fact, this diet feels too challenging for you, I suggest adding small amounts of fats, like nuts (1/8 cup per meal) or coconut milk. Remember, too, fresh olives are a fruit.

You might also add additional protein foods to lunch or dinner: 4 oz. of lean protein, like chicken breast or wild cod, or 4-6 oz. tempeh braised in coconut milk and spices, or 1/2 black beans or adzuki beans. 

A Shape-Up participant, Jane, asked, "Can we use small amounts of oil for our salads and steamed vegetables?"

In theory, of course, you can eat whatever you like. This program is designed to gently guide you through seven days of light and healthful eating. If you feel that the design is too rigid--if you find yourself ravenously hungry--please add additional foods to suit your tastes and temperament.

If you do use oil, however, I suggest sticking to small amounts (1-2 teaspoons per meal) of raw extra virgin olive, raw extra virgin avocado oil, or unrefined nut or seed oils like sesame oil. For your vegetables, you might also use apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or wheat free tamari or mirin.

In short, if a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar help you stay the course--well, then, I say, "Do it!"

Another challenge with this sort of diet is boredom.

Most of us typically do not spend much time preparing fruit and vegetable dishes. If you're like me, for example, your tendency might be to treat your vegetables simply. Today, I'll steam my vegetables and toss them with my avocado dipping sauce. That's it.

For inspiration, browse Whole Foods Market's "Healthy Eating" recipes. Avocado and Grapefruit Salad is simple and healthy. Or how about a Carrot Dressing for your vegetables?

My friend, Candy Calderon, a health coach and recipe extraordinaire, offers plenty of inspiration on her Facebook and Instragram pages. Both of her recipes below use small amounts of oil, yet otherwise emphasize the elegant simplicity of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Persimmon & Avocado Caprese Salad

Persimmons stand in for tomatoes and avocados for mozzarella in this Asian take on a classic Italian appetizer.

2 teaspoon unrefined sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoon tamari
2 persimmons, sliced
1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Whisk together sesame oil and tamari in a small bowl. Set aside.

Arrange avocados and persimmons slices in overlapping pattern on serving plates. Drizzle with sesame dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using).

Enjoy!

Candy's Persimmon and Avocado Caprese Salad


Mango Avocado Salad 

If you're looking for more sustenance, and feel that you need extra protein, you might try my Mango, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad. However, Candy's recipe below is both beautiful and sustaining--a perfect lunch salad.


2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

After preparing the mangoes and avocado, simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Enjoy!

Candy's Mango and Avocado Salad: Gorgeous!

Open Emails!

If during the program you have any questions, please take advantage of the "open-email" policy: email me at sethpollins@gmail and I will try to return your email within a few hours. Or please feel free to leave a comment below!