I’m doing a September Reset!
Last year, I did a whole30. It was interesting, to say the least, but not for me. I love a good bowl of lentil soup, and really, there’s nothing wrong with lentils. Or a grilled tofu salad. I can’t do without ’em. So, as advised by Melissa Hartig in Food Freedom Forever, I’m just doing a reset.
I’ve been on holiday and ate decently well (lots of fish and, ehm, lots of European bread which.. well, I just can’t resist!). It was totally worth it. But a lot has changed, both diet and life-wise, for me this summer.
I went to see an acupunturist. She said I should avoid salads and caffeine, and try more soups and stir-fried vegetables. Noted. I’m also consuming less waste. So however good and paleo-compliant the super fancy smoked salmon from ocado may be, I’m more inclined to see my local fishmonger for a less wasteful, less packaged and greener option (i.e. smoked mackerel, e-ve-ry time) – my diet has shrinked in variety, as a result. So stocking up on paleo ‘essentials’ like single wrapped snacks and packets of almond butter is a big no-no for me. Lastly, I’m doing a lot more yoga. My Ashtanga practice has sky-rocketed in the past few months and my diet has shifted towards a kinder approach to my body. I’m not quite vegetarian (I might get there, one day!), but I feel more balanced. I’m not constantly debating between being a macro-counting-egg-white-eating queen and being a raw-vegan-smoothie-drinking monkey. I’m just me, eating whatever I like and whatever makes me feel good.
But I like a good reset. For health reasons? Maybe. More so for my mental state. I like a challenge. I’m definitely one to slip into the pasta-for-dinner rut, and I want out! I want to experiment with more grains and pulses, more nuts and spices, more vegetables and condiments. So that’s my goal. Just to broaden my scope.
Here are my ground rules for my #SeptemberReset:
- No reliance on pre-made, packaged foods. For example; toasted seaweed snacks, packaged crisps, single-serve jerky… Bring snacks and be prepared! Roasted nuts, hummus or homemade crackers for example. This counts for deli meats, prepared salads and other items too. I can’t deal with the amount of waste and, in some foods, unecessary ingredients.
- Shop the bulk bins where possible. Especially nuts and oats, flour and lentils – even if it costs me the extra bike ride to my bulk bin shop. This will definitely save me money and lots of unnecessary waste in the long run.
- No caffeine. This is so going to be hard, but I’m honouring my acupuncturist’s suggestion and following her advice for a calmer state of mind. This also includes green tea and my beloved 100% dark chocolate.
- Limited range of raw vegetables. I’ve already noticed that the soup alternative to a salad is much easier on my digestive system, so this is an important part of my reset. Make soups to bring to work for lunch (lentil, chickpea, spinach…) and have grilled vegetables for dinner, for example.
- More fermented (and if possible, homemade) foods. I love sauerkraut, kefir, fermented vegetables, miso and sourdough. And I would love to make more.
- No dairy that isn’t fermented. I know I don’t digest milk – it upsets my stomach, yet I can’t help ordering lattes every so often. I know the coffeeshops that serve oat and almond milk, so I have no excuse! Yoghurt, and cheese in smaller amounts, are fine.
- Make at least 2 meals of Indian, Thai or Chinese origin every week. They’re by far my favourite cuisines, and by far the most gut-friendly. And I don’t mean fried rice and poppadoms – more like dahls, steamed dumplings and herby, spiced curries. This also means more cookbook reading! Yay!
- No alcohol. This one is quite obvious. I don’t even drink, but when I do, I don’t feel good. So best avoid it.
- Fewer gluten grains (1-2 x week), especially pasta and doughey foods. I don’t have a problem with gluten at all. I love sourdough and a good quiche. But I also love quinoa, millet, buckwheat and all the other fun grains I don’t eat enough of. So to encourage myself to eat more of them, I’ll reduce the amount of boring gluten grains I eat!
- Document it. I want to take more photos and get excited about food again. I want to load my instagram feed with delicious and beautiful recipes whilst the sunlight is still generous in the evenings, before we succumb to the darkness of the Autumn!
Wish me luck! And don’t forget to keep up with me on instagram – I love making friends with you there!