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  • Writer's pictureTara Wilson

Healthy Swaps: December

Ready to do a full month of eating clean by using our monthly Healthy Swaps? Let's do it together!

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Navigating this blog post:

This is primarily how my boyfriend & I eat six days out of the week, however, every January we both like to eat this way for the entire month. For us, that means no cheat days on the weekends. We completely cut out alcohol, gluten, cow's milk dairy (with the exception of grass-fed butter/ghee and goat's milk dairy), refined white sugar/added sugar, and most processed foods. It's a nice little health reset to start off the year, especially after indulging over the holidays!

Here's a helpful cheat sheet for the swaps I wrote about this year to use for our clean & dry January:

I know when I first began to cut out certain foods from my diet, I was always focused on and craving what I couldn't eat - so to help, here is a way to focus on all the delicious food you can have during our January of clean eating! I've listed my favorite breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts to help give you an idea on where to start.

By planning out my meals and looking forward to what I could eat, it made eating clean so much easier, and now I love the way we eat and cook at home. So if you're wanting to make some healthy changes to your diet for the new year but don't know where to start, I invite you to join me and challenge yourself by eating clean for one month - just take it one day at a time, then a week at a time, and before you know it, your month of clean eating will have flown by and maybe you'll want to make it a lifestyle!

The Why

Why eat this way? If you've been keeping up with this year's healthy swaps, then you already know! By cutting out or limiting foods that cause inflammation and disruptions in your body, the positive side effects can be amazing and sometimes life-changing: better skin, sleep, digestion, weight loss, gut health...the list goes on. You can also prevent some illnesses from developing in the future by changing your diet now. If you really want to eat clean, you could try doing the Whole30 diet for one month! I find that to be a lot more difficult to follow than this, but it's definitely a great challenge if you're really wanting to go completely clean for January.

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite (and easy) meals to make at home!

1. Breakfast/Coffee

2. Lunch

  • Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps: wild/sustainably-caught, low-mercury tuna salad (avocado mayo, unrefined mineral sea salt, organic garlic powder, organic sweet relish, organic celery) on organic butter lettuce cups or organic romaine hearts, topped with your favorite add-ons, like red onion, avocado or whole-grain mustard

  • Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps: organic grilled chicken on organic lettuce (butter lettuce cups, leafy green or romaine hearts) topped with organic tomato, avocado, red onion, and honey mustard

  • Healthier "Tuna" Onigiri Bowls: organic jasmine rice with sardine & mayo mixture (wild-caught de-boned sardines with avocado mayo, garlic powder & sea salt - tastes just like tuna salad but with way more health benefits!), fried egg, drizzle of non-GMO sriracha. Serve with Furikake sprinkled on top or sheets of organic nori on the side

  • Organic Bone Broth: Kettle & Fire has some great tasting, great quality bone broths from either free-range chickens or grass-fed cows, and come in a variety of flavors. Just be sure to get a non-dairy one.

  • Soup & Crackers: non-dairy, organic tomato soup with goat cheddar and gluten-free crackers

  • Protein Snack Plate: two hard-boiled eggs (cage-free/pasture-raised, organic) with Everything Bagel seasoning, meat & cheese slices (uncured, nitrite/nitrate-free meat and either goat's/sheep's milk cheese or cheese from grass-fed cows) with a handful of almonds or pistachios

  • Chicken Caesar Salad: organic free-range chicken on a bed of organic lettuce with organic cucumber slices, avocado, goat cheese crumbles and a non-dairy Caesar dressing (this linked dressing is my favorite, definitely better when it's refrigerated first so it can thicken)

  • Deviled Eggs: hard-boiled eggs (cage-free/pasture-raised, organic) with avocado mayo, organic yellow or dijon mustard, unrefined mineral sea salt, organic ground pepper and paprika (organic or non-GMO)

  • Veggie Sticks & Hummus with Fruit: organic veggies & fruits with organic hummus (preferably sprouted)

  • Celery Sticks with creamy Goat Cheese: organic celery stalks topped with creamy goat cheese, sprinkled with non-GMO or organic Everything Bagel Seasoning

3. Dinner

  • Beef & Sweet Potatoes: grass-fed ground beef cooked on stovetop and seasoned with unrefined mineral sea salt, organic garlic & onion powder, oven-roasted sweet potatoes with avocado oil, salt, organic parsley, with Brussels sprouts sautéed with grass-fed ghee, salt and organic maple syrup

  • Salmon with Rice & Broccoli: lemon-garlic roasted wild-caught salmon with organic jasmine rice and steamed broccoli seasoned with sea salt & pepper

  • Garlic Honey Dijon Chicken: organic jasmine rice with garlic honey dijon chicken (I use this recipe) and roasted organic greens

  • Spaghetti Squash with Bolognese: grass-fed ground beef cooked and tossed into your favorite organic red sauce over baked spaghetti squash, sprinkled with pecorino cheese (like parmesan reggiano cheese, but made with sheep's milk)

  • Lettuce-Wrapped Burgers: organic grass-fed bison, beef, or organic turkey burgers over organic lettuce, topped with your favorite add-ons, like organic tomato, avocado, red onion, ketchup & mustard, with potato salad (organic potatoes, avocado mayo, organic yellow and/or dijon mustard, organic white wine vinegar, organic sweet relish, organic celery, red onions, dill)

  • BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potatoes: free-range organic chicken marinated in your favorite organic BBQ sauce, then grilled, with organic Brussels sprouts or broccoli sautéed in grass-fed butter or ghee with salt & garlic, and roasted organic sweet potatoes on the side

  • Korean Beef Bowls: organic jasmine rice, topped with grass-fed beef or bison simmered in marinade (1/4 cup coconut aminos, 3 tablespoons of organic maple syrup, fresh organic garlic & ginger, splash of organic sesame oil, sea salt for taste), with roasted organic Brussels sprouts or broccoli on the side

  • Chicken Soup with Tortilla Chips: organic free-range chicken & chicken broth with grass-fed butter/ghee, organic garlic, onion, celery & carrot, with organic corn tortilla chips on the side (try to avoid chips fried in harmful oils - most tortilla chips are fried in canola/sunflower/safflower oils. However, these grain-free ones aren't and taste pretty good, they're just a little pricey).

  • Hamburger Soup: organic grass-fed beef & beef broth, organic potatoes/celery/diced tomato/garlic with tomato paste, gluten-free Worcestershire, Italian seasoning & unrefined sea salt (this is the recipe I use)

  • Pasta Bolognese: organic grass-fed beef with your favorite organic red sauce, over gluten-free chickpea pasta, topped with pecorino cheese

  • Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad: free-range organic grilled chicken with organic veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, avocado), free-range hard-boiled eggs, goat cheese crumbles, and nitrite/nitrate-free uncured bacon crumbles, topped with an organic non-dairy Ranch (the linked dressing is my favorite, you can find it in the refrigerated section). I also like doing a simple grilled chicken salad with extra virgin olive oil & fresh-squeezed lemon with salt as a dressing over arugula.

  • Sesame Chicken & Rice: organic free-range sesame chicken (I use this recipe with coconut aminos) with organic jasmine rice and your favorite organic greens sautéed in grass-fed butter/ghee

  • Turkey Meatballs: organic ground turkey meatballs (I like this recipe without the breadcrumbs, or you could use gluten-free crumbs), with roasted organic sweet potatoes and veggies on the side

  • Steak Dinner: grass-fed beef or bison steak with nitrite/nitrate-free bacon-wrapped organic asparagus, and organic mushrooms simmered in balsamic, organic maple syrup and garlic, and warm honey mustard potatoes

  • Dijon & Balsamic Chicken: organic free-range chicken grilled (I use this dijon/balsamic marinade recipe, but I add a little avocado oil) with roasted sweet potato fries and organic Brussels sprouts sautéed in grass-fed butter/ghee, balsamic & organic maple syrup

  • Thanksgiving Chicken Bowls: organic rotisserie chicken with organic non-dairy mashed potatoes, organic green beans, organic corn, organic gluten-free turkey gravy, and gluten-free organic crispy onions (I use this recipe)

  • Chili with Tortilla Chips: grass-fed beef or bison with organic chili seasoning, organic tomato sauce (or diced tomato, for a chunkier chili) and your favorite add-ins, like diced red onion, shredded cheddar goat cheese, etc. Serve with gluten-free organic tortilla chips

  • Greek Chicken Kebabs & Rice: cubed chicken (organic, pasture-raised) marinated in red wine vinaigrette (organic red wine vinegar, organic maple syrup, organic avocado or olive oil, organic dijon mustard & organic crushed garlic) on skewers with cubed organic zucchini & red onion, served with greek rice (organic jasmine rice stir fried with garlic, shallots, lemon juice, parsley & dill) and Greek salad (organic arugula, organic tomatoes, red onions, organic cucumber, tossed in red wine vinaigrette)

4. Dessert

  • Organic dark chocolate: (I am always a sucker for salted caramel! Just watch out for any dairy, excess added sugar & toxic oils added to chocolate. For more info on oils, click here)

  • Fruit: fresh fruit, fruit salads, or fruit drizzled with organic, unfiltered, raw honey

  • Sweet Loren's Ready-to-Bake Cookie Dough: I love the Chocolate Chunk cookies and the Fudgy Brownie cookies the best (these are a little bit of a cheat because of the sugar, but definitely a great alternative to pastries and other desserts if you're craving something sweet)

  • Non-Dairy, Gluten-Free Ice Cream: (again, watch out for harmful oils and excess added sugar); if eating a cow's milk dairy ice cream, look for grass-fed or pasture-raised on the label

I hope you'll join me for Clean & Dry January, and here's to a healthy & happy New Year!


Why I Started "Healthy Swaps" for 2022

I've always found when wanting to make a major health or lifestyle change, it's easier to take it in little steps than to try and make a massive change on the spot. Mastering little steps has always been more successful in making the change a lasting habit for me, as opposed to a temporary phase. I've had friends ask me about my diet & eating habits, and as soon as I tell them, they come back with different variations of "Oh that's too hard," "That's so much work," and "I could never do that!"

Believe me, when I started down this path to a healthier lifestyle, I felt the same way! When I have food or beauty/household products that I love, I never want to give them up. However, slowly but surely, I made little changes here & there and now, it's a lifestyle I'm happy to embrace. Sure, it's still very hard some days to make the healthier choice, even with the research I'm learning on why [insert food/product] is bad for you, but it's definitely not as hard as it used to be and I'm still striving to improve every day.

So this year I decided to create the Healthy Swaps series! Every month, I will post a new blog post with a simple swap to make, and with these small changes made every month, we can be living a healthier lifestyle by the end of the year!

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