Day one of Sunset's Fresh Food Challenge starts tomorrow! Curious to learn more? Check out Amy's intro, or read on to get the plan for the week.
Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Stocking Up

Day one of Sunset‘s Fresh Food Challenge starts tomorrow! Curious to learn more? Check out Amy’s intro, or read on to get the plan for the week.

1) The most important thing to do before starting a cleanse is stock up. I went to the grocery store today and loaded up on the basics (see the end of the post for a suggested meal plan and a grocery list). I also went to my local farmers’ market in San Francisco and bought more of my usual foods, like almonds, lemons, and lots and lots of fruits and veggies. I’ve learned from previous cleanse weeks that it’s really important to fill your house with healthy foods. Then, when you’re hungry and looking for something to eat, you’ll have lots of options.

2) The second step is to plan ahead. This is not the week to walk in the door famished and open the fridge wondering what I can shove in my face. That’s what leads to a handful of potato chips and a bag of  M&Ms for dinner. To eat in a healthful way for a week, I have to be very thoughtful about every meal.

I would definitely eat differently if I didn’t work at Sunset, where I’m literally required to cook and eat for a living (it’s rougher than it sounds, trust me). Some mornings, my day starts with enchiladas and caramel sundaes, and then ends with Caesar kale salads and green chile cheeseburgers. If I wasn’t required to eat these things all day long, I’d likely be vegan and gluten-little (which is the name I gave to eating gluten occasionally). Due to this occupational hazard, choosing my own diet isn’t possible. So I use this week to clean up, refresh, and restart my system.

I invite you to join me in making this gift to yourself. If a week seems impossible, just try a day. Who knows? You might find it so easy that you wake up and decide to try a second day. Maybe.

Below, you’ll find a set of core recipes, plus printable PDFs of a suggested meal plan (including snacks), and a grocery list. If something doesn’t appeal to you, check out Sunset‘s Fast and Fresh meal ideas for tasty replacements.

Fresh Food Challenge Menu

Fresh Food Challenge Grocery List


Roasted beet salad (add pistachios, avocados; no cheese)

Red quinoa bowl with Swiss chard and poached egg (double recipe)

Cabbage and fennel soup with toasted garlic chips

Asian slaw (half recipe)

Roasted delicata squash

Spiced red lentils with caramelized onions and spinach (sub brown rice)

Pineapple and banana smoothie

Farfalle with artichokes, peppers, and almonds (sub in brown rice pasta)

TOMORROW: Day one of the challenge – stay tuned for Amy’s first entry.

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