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A Fresh Start to Eating Clean in the New Year

Lemons Even though I am no longer officially ‘in’ the food business, the subject of diets and eating clean seem to come up in conversation often. When in my company, friends are often apologetic for their preference for ‘non-clean’ food choices, but I am quick to reassure them that I don’t wear a badge and I am most certainly not interested in policing their intake! However, it was with particularly notable alacrity that I rose to the occasion as Food Advisor when my husband took ill on Christmas night and confessed that perhaps he had eaten too much chocolate that afternoon. And the day before. And the day before that.

So, since Monday he has been on his first variation of a ‘de-tox’, foregoing the pleasures of coffee, KitKat bars, white bread, white sugar, dairy, etc. The caffeine withdrawal headaches have been fierce but other than that, he’s discovering a heightened sense of taste and waking up energized rather than groggy.

Here’s how he’s starting his day:

    • 1 glass of filtered, room-temp water with juice of 1/4-lemon (fresh-squeezed)
    • 1 cup of hot 5-grain cereal (organic), into which he has stirred 1/4-cup of Jay Robb’s YAMMIT!s (dried sweet potatoes)

Recipe box Before going out dancing to ring in the new year, friends are dropping by. We’ll be serving Lentil Soup and Apple Muffins (made with spelt flour). Here are the recipes:

Lentil Soup
Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in lidded soup pot and add: 1-2 garlic cloves, minced; 1 large onion, diced; 2-3 stalks celery, diced; 2 carrots, diced, sliced or shredded. Stir frequently and saute veggies until onions look translucent. Remove veggies and set them aside in a bowl. Into the soup pot add 32-oz. organic, plain chicken broth, 1 cup dry lentils and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and allow lentils to simmer, with lid on pot, for about 20 minutes. Now add the veggies to the lentils, as well as 2 tsp. cumin (or more, if you prefer), 1 tsp. thyme, 2 Tbs. fresh mint, minced, and 1 Bay leaf. Stir. Put the lid on the pot and allow mixture to simmer for 30 minutes or so.
To serve: ladle over a scoop of brown rice and garnish with minced parsley or mint, or a combo of both.

Apple Muffins
Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease the tin.
In a medium-sized bowl mix: 2 eggs; 2 cups apple, peeled, cored and diced; 2/3-cup milk or non-dairy alternative; 1 tsp. vanilla extract; 1/3-cup canola oil or melted coconut oil.
In a large mixing bowl blend: 1-1/2 cup spelt flour; 1/2-cup unsweetened shredded coconut; 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder; 2 tsp. cinnamon; 3/4-cup xylitol (low-glycemic and low-calorie natural sweetener alternative) or Rapundra or turbinado.

Add wet mixture to dry and stir until completely blended. Fill your muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 mins. or until muffins are firm to the touch. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
Bon appetit!