Recipes, Working Mom Tips
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A Food Lover’s “Cleanse”

I’ve never been a fan of leftovers for lunch. So when I started getting serious about healthy eating and fitness I spent the first few months eating salads from various restaurants nearby the campus where I work. After a few months at $10 a day, I was bored and broke. Then my friend, who us a total foodie (even moreso than me) and incredibly fit, posted about her annual excitement for the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse. I was shocked that she would do a “cleanse” which made me curious. The premise behind the cleanse isn’t typical. It’s essentially a whole food healthy eating plan that you follow in January to get back into ┬áthe routine of cooking whole foods as opposed to eating out and eating heavy foods as we tend to do over the holiday season.

I was skeptical about eating salads in the winter (what salad ingredients are in season in the winter?) and also about bringing salads to work from home (mushy, slimy?). Once I got into it, though, I really enjoyed it. The lunch recipes were all seasonal ingredients, homemade dressing, and used leftovers (roasted vegetables or proteins) from prior nights’ dinners. The cleanse was brilliant and made me a believer in not only transportable make ahead salads but also of seasonal salads — yes, even in the winter!

Some of the highlights for me were:

These salads made me think outside of my typical field greens and romaine base. I explored kale, fennel, arugula, and Napa cabbage. I enjoyed seasonal fruits with my salads (tangerines, grapefruit, apples) and exciting starches (coconut rice! Potatoes!) and the proteins were so varied I never felt bored of my daily salad (edamame, tofu, chicken, pork, quinoa).
As we enter holiday season I’ve been thinking about these recipes and am ready to try them out again now that we’re heading out of berry and melon season and into citrus and kale season. ┬áBon Appetit!


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