5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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Quick! Make this while the watermelon lasts!

The last few days I’ve noticed that the wind is picking up and each time the wind blows, leaves are raining down on the street. It may be September 4, but it is still summer and we’re enjoying the last days of its bounty.

With this bounty, my daughter invented an incredible dessert!

Frozen Watermelon Cupcakes!

Avital's frozen watermelon cupcakes 1

This works for a large crowd of kids begging for popsicles. Yes, you have to plan ahead to freeze them first, but making the “cupcakes” only takes a minute. You can feel good about doing this before the next playdate at your house. That way you can skip the corn syrup and food coloring!


Watermelon Chunks from 1/2 a personal watermelon or 1/4 of a large watermelon [Make sure it is seedless!]

1/4 cup water

1 Tb agave nectar

Avital's Frozen Watermelon Cupcakes 3


Use an immersion or regular blender to liquify the watermelon in the water. Strain the mixture.

Pour into silicone baking cups and freeze.

It will be easiest if you first place the cups on a cookie sheet.

Avital's Frozen watermelon cupcakes 2

10 Lessons Learned from Days 1-5 of 15 Day Reboot!

10 Lessons Learned, Days 1-5 of 15 Day Reboot with Joe

plus pictures!

(See Cleanse 101 and Day 1 Report posts if you haven’t already)

1. I do like to chew food and when I chew a gigantic salad, I cannot put on a measly 1 Tablespoon of salad dressing!

Reboot Green Salad

2. When I’m not eating any grains and barely any protein, I need at least 1/2 an avocado a day to stay satiated.

3. Even the first 5 days, which do incorporate some chewable food, were enough to feel “rebooted.” My husband said it best. “When a bowl of cheerios seems like an indiscretion, where before it would have been a box of cookies, you know you’ve rebooted.”

Island Green Smoothie

4. I lost 4 pounds in the first 5 days, but I needed a break. After 5 days I was hitting a wall. Rather than go into the full on liquid-only stage for days 6-15, we took a little break for Shabbat. Our Friday night dinner was pretty darn healthy, but it felt like a feast, after the week on the Reboot. We had lentil soup, salad and the Reboot recipe of acorn squash with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Wow. 3 items in 1 meal? Such pigs! Lol…

Acorn Squash with Mushrooms and Onions

5. I like to enjoy my food. There is a difference between getting high on sugar and flour, and simply enjoying your food because it tastes good. Some of the juice recipes were incredibly bitter. I had to doctor them to make them even remotely palatable. To give Reboot credit, some of the recipes would probably have tasted better as juices. However, I’m vitamixing them. See Cleanse 101 post for more info.

carrot Apple Ginger

6. I liked having my meals ready made and planned for me. Then, when I was busy (especially as this week was Mommy Camp!), I had a smart choice waiting for me in the fridge.

Sauteed Greens with Garlic

7. This does not work traveling unless you’re able to hit a local juice bar, and sometimes there isn’t one.

8. When in doubt, eat a green vegetable! I am so focused on vegetables right now, having protein in the form of beans, nuts or tofu seems extravagant. I have started to do that though because I do need protein and don’t have a need to go 15 days without it.

Celery Pear Cucumber

9. Instead of doing the extreme 15 days first, it’s going to work better for me to simply incorporate the smoothies/juices for breakfast and lunch each day and then eat a real dinner: a salad, cooked vegetable and some form of vegan protein. For instance, I added black beans to the acorn squash reboot recipe and it was amazing. I can also eat lentil soup or have tofu and sauteed or steamed greens, for just a few examples. I’m hoping I can continue to lose weight with this modified plan.

Berry Apple Cinnamon Bake

10. I have a lot of menu planning and grocery shopping to do! The 15 day Reboot plan has a number of juices that are options for the liquid days 6-15, that weren’t in the first 5 days. I’m keeping an open mind and plan to try most of them this week. The Reboot website also has lots of recipes for actual meals where one chews food! I don’t normally advocate focusing on calories. However, since I know I’ll be eating all good food, and I’m busting through a weight-loss plateau, I think I will use the Reboot website to help me create menus that are 1200 calories per day.

Someone asked me if I felt very different on the cleanse, since I do already eat so well. I do. It’s similar to when I went from vegetarian to vegan. I just feel cleaner inside. I definitely have more energy and a clearer head. I’m not leaping off of tall buildings in a single bound, but I feel good. I feel like I’ve just been throwing every nutrient possible at my body and that’s always a good thing.

I’ve been drinking the smoothies and soups, etc. from the plan this weekend but not following it exactly. I’m eager to see how this week goes if I follow it exactly during the day and then eat a ridiculously healthy and clean dinner. Simply skipping grains and sugar will add up quickly in my weight loss efforts. I am all for moderation. I’m just trying to accomplish a specific weight loss goal right now (you know, lose all the baby weight before my son turns 3!). I think even though I am cutting out food groups, like grains, a diet of fruits, vegetables, tofu and beans is about the healthiest way a person could lose weight.

I look forward to hearing from you. What are your juice fast/cleanse experiences? What do you think the healthiest way to lose weight is?

 Acorn Squash Flower Bouquet

Day 1: 15 Day Reboot using Vitamix

Day 1 Report!

Today was Day 1 of my 15 Day Reboot, 1 of several plans on As I wrote in my Cleanse 101 post, I’ve decided to do the Reboot using my Vitamix and not a juicer. According to the Reboot FAQ’s this is just fine. Read more of the Cleanse 101 post to see the difference between blending and juicing.

I spent about 2 hours last night preparing food for today. What I realized today though was that yesterday we went out for dinner. Today I made dinner for the kids and their friends, then had to clean up and put together my cleanse dinner. The cleanse dinner didn’t take that much work, but I am not up to now cooking everything for tomorrow. So I will just have to get up early and do it then. Looking forward to the increased energy from the cleanse because I am exhausted! Not from the food (or lack thereof!), but because it is Mommy Camp: Week 1 of 2 (post-camp, pre-school).

Here is the menu for Day 1 (all of the recipes are available on the 15 Day Reboot plan pdf).

Breakfast: Berry-Apple-Cinnamon Bake

Berry Apple Cinnamon Bake

Morning and Afternoon Snacks: Carrot Apple Ginger Juice

carrot Apple Ginger

Lunch: Green Salad and Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries

Reboot Green Salad

Dinner: Kale and Avocado Salad with Vinaigrette and Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries

You can see from the repeats that the plan doesn’t expect you to make 15 different dishes every day, but it is a challenge to cook everything and also feed the kids. I know I saw a blog somewhere with pointers about this, but I didn’t have a chance to read it. I also made my kids some of the carrots and sweet potatoes, but they didn’t go for it. They do usually eat them, but you know how it is. Every day they like (and dislike) something different!

Bottom line: I don’t think I was any hungrier than usual. However, as usual it was very hard for me to eat, period, running around with the kids. I had part 1 of my lunch at 1pm, part 2 at 3pm and my afternoon snack at 5pm! The big difference today was that I was completely prepared with what I was going to eat next and I stuck to that instead of grabbing what I could here and there. Most of what I eat intentionally is very healthy. It’s the grazing that I know adds up to tons of unintentional calories that aren’t adding many nutrients to my diet. Being on the cleanse is helping me be very intentional about NOT grazing. It’s not always easy to remember though! I have to keep reminding myself.

Day 1 verdict: I can totally do this!

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