Our calendar has us going through waves of health. New Year’s resolutions, bathing suit body prep for summer, Lent…if that’s your thing. But any expert will tell you that this method of binging or “rewarding” ourselves, followed by a period of denial frames healthy eating as a punishment. Shouldn’t we feel rewarded when we nourish our bodies with healthy food and exercise, not when we eat the junk that makes us feel bad? I realize many do feel that way, but I myself am working on that.
In my continual quest to live a better life, I’m really trying to focus on a diet that’s mostly plant based. And I’m trying to diversify the fruits and veggies I eat. In September I did the Standard Process Purification Program, a 3-week cleanse that allows your body to reset by eating almost nothing but raw fruits and veggies. That means cutting our sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and anything processed. Yes, it’s hard. But once the caffeine withdrawal subsides you get to just feel good and drink smoothies, eat salads (or more creative recipes) and down lots of water. I slept better, felt less congested, and happier. I craved almond and peanut butter and later, cheese. And always, coffee.
So the cleanse showed me that I could live without sugar and grains if I want to, or at the very least, cut back. I don’t think I’d willingly give up yogurt or eggs completely, and certainly not coffee. But none of these things are my problem.
It was tougher to eat out on the cleanse, although with a little planning I could skim the menu and find what worked for me. Roasted vegetables with a side of guacamole were key! Of course, Austin has plenty of restaurants that cater to a healthy lifestyle. I attended a media event at Blenders & Bowls during the cleanse and while consuming a few nuts and some quinoa were technically cheating on my cleanse, it was well worth it.
I’m starting to frame the idea of eating out in a new light. Refueling my body doesn’t always need to take the form of an entire meal. Small, nutrient-dense bites (like the superfood snacks above) would be enough to sustain me through a busy afternoon of running errands and chasing Violet. Made with goji berry, coconut, cashew, and dates, these were rich and decadent.
I make a lot of salads at home and am always looking for salad inspiration. Blenders and Bowls shared their new Kale Caesar Salad and Quinoa Salad with us and both were flavorful and packed with big flavors. The big takeaway for me was that I should be making salads in advance and give my flavors time to marry. I’m always throwing my salads together at the last minute, but am going to make a conscious effort to build a little more time into my meals.
And I’m going to reveal my basic-ness here and share how much I love pumpkin flavored things. Hands down, my favorite favorite pumpkin dish this fall was the Pumpkin Bowl, above. A silky puree of organic pumpkin, acai, banana, vanilla bean and cinnamon was topped with hemp granola, apples, dates, walnuts, strawberries, and local honey. I could eat this every single day for the rest of my life. It was so hearty and left me feeling full and satisfied, but not stuffed.
I started following Instagram accounts that feature bowls. Looking at the vibrant rainbows and endless creative combinations are almost as good as tasting them.
As I make strides on my journey to better health, I’ll make blog updates on my incremental lifestyle changes. Austin is lucky to have places like Blenders & Bowls that not only promote healthy living, but help us do it so well.
If you haven’t tried Blenders & Bowls, give them a shot! And then report back and let me know what you loved.
206 East 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
3736 Bee Caves Rd #8, West Lake Hills, TX 78746