Mondays off rock. That’s right, I’ve got another day off, thanks to the long Midsummer weekend. And that leaves me with time to get creative. So, I’m using my time to create + share a little 21 days of mindful eating challenge.

Here’s the thing: Lina and I are headed to the States in exactly 21 days. Woo hooooooo! And they say 21 days is the perfect amount of time to try something new. So I say, why the hell not? With that, I got buys thinking about what was important and what needed changing in my life right now. I discussed it with Lina for a bit, and we decided that our eating habits could stand a little boost. It’s just that we feel a little sluggish, messy, and are craving a bigger dose of green + veggies before we go crazy in the good ole USA with all it’s cheap + delicious food.

So, we’re going green, getting healthy, and cleansing our bodies over the next three weeks. And I’d like to share my plans with you!

As a life coach, contemplative, and slow living lover, one of the things that I seek to do (and teach) is set intentions for my life – a vision, you could say, for how I want my life to be. Should you prefer to replace the word intention with the word goal, then go right ahead. Whatever feels + sounds best to you is what’s important. In any case, intentions can be long-term or short term. I have an overall intention and vision for my life, but I also have intentions for the next month, and even for just one day at a time.

This 21 day mindful eating challenge is a short-ish term intention to simply clean up my eating. To be a bit more aware of what I put in my mouth, to be a bit more regular in my eating habits, and to create meals that taste and look good. Vegetarian meals made at home that just make me feel better. Inside and out. Healthy body, healthy soul and vice versa, right?

In order to set myself up to succeed, I am only preparing a menu one week at a time. My overall intention is to follow this routine  from today until we leave for vacation in mid-July. My actual intention right now is to follow the routine this week. Assess how it went. And then move forward next week.

Therefore, in the spirit of my former life coaching series on Mondays, I will post my reflections + plans for the upcoming week over the next 3 weeks. As accountability for myself and a opportunity to inspire/share tips with you.

Here’s my plan for this week:

→ Smoothies for breakfast + lunch. This is to help me cleanse my body and get back to a regular routine. I am infamous for skipping breakfast. Not good.

→ A meal plan for 7 dinners. There will also be leftovers, so I have “lunchboxes” to choose, should I want to. But, my intention is to stick with smoothies for the first 2 meals of the day during this week. We’ll see what happens next week. Also, if there is ever an invitation to eat out, then I am allowing myself the chance to do that. Just not every day + constantly. Of course, this also helps out economically. Which leads me to my next part of the plan…

→ No rules. I have no strict rules, as in I can NOT eat this or that. But, I have intentions (yep, that word again). This mostly affects my snacking. I will reach only for nuts or fruit this week. I will be invoking discipline, but also balancing that out with understanding that there are always exceptions. Rules lead to restrictions and restrictions can lead to eating disorders. True story. And that is something that my wife battled for years, so we are very aware of this rule of having no rules. This is what works for us, how we choose to live + eat + plan. It’s really much more about being aware, eating healthy, eating regularly, and making good choices.

→ It’s all about hydration. I’ve been really good about focusing on drinking water in-between my coffee + wine; and as the first thing I do in the morning. But, I could do even better throughout the day. I have no limit or goal, but I am planning to be super aware and always have water around me. And I’m cutting out beer at home. Only a glass of wine every now and then. Until vacation. Wink. Wink.

Tips for easy smoothies

Basic ingredients to have on hand:

Bananas
Frozen berries
Kiwi
Apples
Cocoa powder
Chia
Peanut butter
Greek Yogurt
Almond milk/Coconut milk
Spinach/Kale
Avocados

Suggestions for recipes:

  • Water, 1/2 avocado, frozen blueberries, chia seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, honey 
  • Greek yogurt, frozen berries, spinach leaves, honey
  • Almond milk, spinach, frozen blueberries, banana, ice
  • Almond milk, spinach, banana, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
  • Almond milk, spinach,  banana, 1/2 apple 
  • Almond milk, banana,  frozen blueberries
  • Oats, almond milk, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or other sweetener, to taste, banana. Combine the oats, milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon and sweetener in a resealable bowl. Stir together, cover and refrigerate overnight. Add the banana and oat mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth. If the shake is too thick, add more milk for a thinner consistency; if it’s not sweet enough, add more sweetener.

→ Feel free to make up your own. the important thing is to have an almond milk/greek yogurt base, fruit (or 2 or 3), greens. Extras such as chia and peanut butter are optional.

→ I use frozen berries (and I even freeze in a sliced banana) instead of ice because in Europe we’ve got tiny, tiny freezers. Well, at least I do. Hehe). Of course fresh berries and fruit work well too. Or frozen mango… ooo. I forgot about that. Yum. So many options!

→ There are LOADS of smoothie recipes all over the internet. Just google away. And if you have any ideas, please share!

My 7-day meal plan: Week 1

Who doesn’t love Pinterest? I mean, I simply type in whatever I want and… boom! There it is. A whole page full of pretty images and inspiring words. So, Pinterest is my go-to for recipes. All of the following dishes are pinned to my eats + drinks board on Pinterest.  Check it out right here, if you want. Plus, I’ve linked each of the dishes separately below. Peruse away!

Monday: Garlicky halloumi tacos

Tuesday: Corn + Zucchini pie

Wednesday: Sweet potato chickpea bowl

Thursday: Black bean and quinoa enchilada

Friday: Roasted veggie pitas with avocado dip

Saturday: Smokey BBQ sweet potato chickpea burgers

Sunday: Avocado chickpea salad


So, there’s my plan. Honestly, I am looking forward to cleaning up my eating habits over the next few weeks. However, I’m a bit nervous about possible failure. What if I don’t stick with the plan? Know what I mean? Therefore, I seek to stay in the present moment. It’s important to me to stay in tune with what’s happening right here, right now. That’s all that matters. So, I make my plans + set my intentions, and then I take it one moment at a time.

What do you do when you have a challenge? How do you stay focused and dedicated? And… also, how do you eat mindfully? Any tips or thoughts? Share away!

Have a happy, healthy, mindful week, lovelies. xoxo. liz.