Book written by Kim-Julie Hansen
January is the month of new beginnings. It is also the time of year that many of us search for new ways to improve our health, lose weight, change behaviors, etc. As we are bombarded by promotions for exercise programs and diets, imagine what it would be like to adopt enjoyable lifestyle changes instead of adhering to a torturous regimen of overexertion and deprivation. And what if you had access to a month of easy-to-prepare, tasty meal plans complete with shopping lists and weekly advance prep that made eating healthy a snap?
This is what you will find in the pages of Vegan Reset. Author Kim Julie-Hansen offers you the opportunity to try something new by taking a break from meat, dairy and processed foods for one month. A terrific way to experience plant-based nutrition while enjoying satisfying meals, this 28-day plan is ideal for beginners or vegans who are looking for new recipes and ideas.
Many people have misconceptions about the term vegan. The author shares the life events that led her to adopt a vegan lifestyle and explains the benefits to both your health and the planet… all without judgment. In addition to guidelines for stocking your pantry and money-saving grocery shopping tips, she also provides simple steps to practice self-care including journaling and meditation. Before beginning the program, you are instructed to write a letter to yourself, stating what you hope to accomplish, how you hope to feel, and what you wish to improve over the next four weeks. Then seal it and don’t open it until day 29!
Each day includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a simple snack. The average daily calorie count is 2,000; but that is not the focus. Participants are encouraged to eat until satisfied, no measuring or weighing food is required. Quotes from a selection of well-known writers, poets, speakers, and self-help gurus such as Rumi, Deepak Chopra, and Byron Katie supply inspiration and focus.
Here’s a peek at some daily menus:
- Breakfast – Raspberry-Peanut Butter Shake
- Lunch – Purple Cabbage Boats with Peanut Tofu
- Dinner – Loaded Sweet Potatoes
- Breakfast – Jumbo Green Smoothie
- Lunch – Black Bean Tacos
- Dinner – Lemon Kale Salad
- Breakfast – Chocolate Granola
- Lunch – Potato Bake on a Bed of Arugula
- Dinner – Coconut Lentil Soup
This beautifully photographed cookbook is divided into four sections. In the first section, Getting Started, the author shares how she gave up a lifestyle of junk food and cigarettes and adopted veganism. She wrote this book as a guide for people like herself who want to switch to a plant-based lifestyle but don’t know where to start. In addition to sharing her journey with the reader, she provides a concise primer on how to stock your pantry and fridge followed by tips on leading a holistic lifestyle. Pointing out that eating healthy does not ensure feeling better, Hansen observes, “…our lives and our well-being revolve around and depend on so much more than the food we eat.” She discusses movement, proper breathing, restorative sleep, meditation and self-care in a straightforward manner that encourages you to “do your best” and take baby steps as you gradually head down a healthier path.
Part Two contains the practical Weekly Meal Prep and Daily Meal Plans, complete with shopping lists, recipes, and gorgeous photos taken by Hansen. The meals are simple to prepare and include only whole foods, nothing processed. From smoothies to bowls and shakes to salads they are uncomplicated and delicious.
Part Three, Beyond the Reset, delves into maintaining a vegan lifestyle. The author covers the ethics of veganism, benefits to the environment and further explores health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. In addition, she lists suggestions for choosing vegan-friendly clothing, cosmetics and household products.
Part Four, Additional Recipes, is a generous 132 pages of juices, smoothies, “mylkshakes”, nut seeds and butters, dressings, pancakes, puddings, and more. In her typical fashion, Hansen gives guidance and advice along with the recipes.
If you a looking for a realistic plan to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle, Vegan Reset is a perfect way to begin a fresh New Year. At the end of the 28-day plan, read the letter you wrote to yourself on Day One. What did you discover on this journey of self-care? Are you ready to permanently adopt a plant-based lifestyle? Perhaps you are feeling more energetic and lighter. Now that you have discovered simple ways to incorporate whole foods into your daily meals, there’s no telling what your next steps will be. You have the knowledge and the ability to craft your ideal life. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chia Raspberry Pudding
Creamy with a somewhat chewy texture, this treat is packed with healthy chia seeds an excellent source of protein and antioxidants. Topped with fresh raspberries and cashews, this beautiful dessert is certain to delight family and guests.
¾ cup cashew milk
6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted raw cashews, chopped
Mix the cashew milk, chia seeds, cacao, maple syrup, and vanilla in a bowl. Pour into individual serving dishes and chill overnight. Top the chia pudding with raspberries and cashews and enjoy.
- Use frozen raspberries if fresh are not available. Heat them in a small pot for 2-3 minutes beforehand.
- Top with coconut whipped cream and dust with cacao powder.
Smoky Mac “n” Cheese
Packed with veggies, this comforting dairy-free dish is vegan. The liquid smoke imparts a rich flavor to the creamy sauce, perfect for a winter evening’s dinner by the fireplace!
Ingredients for the sauce:
2 medium potatoes
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 3-4 hours or overnight
1 cup water
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 red bell, chopped (reserve 1/2 for garnish)
½ stalk celery, chopped
2 green onions, chopped (reserve one for garnish)
¼ cup cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
¼ cup cashew milk, if needed
One box of small elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
Peel, dice and boil carrot and potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Blend cooked vegetables with remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender. Transfer to a medium saucepot and cook on medium high for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 more minutes. Add cashew milk if needed, one tablespoon at a time, maintaining a creamy consistency.
Combine sauce and cooked pasta. Heat in 325 oven for 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped red bell pepper and green onion.
Substitutions: For a milder dish, use butternut squash or sweet potatoes in place of the carrot and potatoes. Omit the liquid smoke. Use ½ butternut squash or 2 medium sweet potatoes. Peel, dice, and boil until tender. Follow remaining recipe as listed above.