Welcome to the Body-Mind-Soul Restore program! This menu was designed to clear away the “clutter” that can build up in any of these three areas, and allow you to start fresh with improved energy, clarity, and focus. You can enjoy these recipes over a minimum of three days, and go for as long as your body feels comfortable. For most, removing dairy, animal proteins, grains and legumes, while increasing fruits and veggies will be a big shift. But go slow and honour your body, mind, and soul’s needs – they always come first!
The best way to approach this menu is by setting a realistic goal for number of days you’d like to go for, then choose the recipes that excite you the most. Prepare some of them ahead of time (at least for one day), so that everything is ready for when you need to eat. There is nothing worse than being hungry and not having anything on hand! I set myself up for success by keeping the Cinnamon Raisin Bars and the Tahini Sauce in the fridge for the Apple Porridge, or other moments when I need a satisfying snack (it’s also delicious on other fruit!). I also make a big batch of the Butternut Squash Garlic Dip for dipping veggies when I don’t feel like turning on the stove. The Restoration Broth and Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew keep well for up to five days, so I like to have those made ahead of time – even freeze a few portions – since it’s easy to heat up one meal’s worth when the mood strikes.
The remaining recipes can be eaten at any time (try the French Lentil Salad for breakfast!), in the quantity that makes you feel satiated. Don’t be afraid to increase your portion sizes, since most of these foods are not as calorie-dense as the ones you’ve likely swapped out, and your body will take time to get used to that. It’s essential to really tune in and obey your hunger signals. This is not a diet, and the goal is not to lose weight. Instead, we’re focusing on fresh, whole foods, full of nutrients and fibre, that will help support your entire being.
It’s important to be in relatively good health – however that looks for you – before embarking on this journey. For people who menstruate, I suggest starting at mid-cycle, around your follicular or ovulation time. It’s also important to start removing some of the foods and ingredients that aren’t on the list, a few days before beginning. If you’re used to drinking caffeinated beverages (like coffee, black and green tea, soda, “energy” drinks etc.), and eating simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, weaning yourself off of these things gradually is a lot easier than stopping altogether. Make a plan for how you’re going to do this. Maybe it’s drinking one less caffeinated beverage a day until you’re at zero, then beginning the restoration program. I also suggest increasing your vegetable intake in the prep phase, since this will prime your digestive system for the surge of fiber coming its way!
BMS Restore Success Tips
- Drink plenty of water, filtered if possible. Aim for 2 litres / quarts a day. You can also enjoy herbal teas, but they don’t count as water, FYI.
- If you have a slow juicer (masticating or twin-gear) you can juice up to 72 hours ahead of time, storing the juice in the fridge. If you have a centrifugal juicer, you’ll want to consume the juice fresh, within 3-4 hours of making it.
- Remove temptation foods from the fridge and pantry. If you don’t have it around, you’re less likely to eat it!
- Get a family member of friend involved! Changing your habits is easier when you have support.
- Go easy on the exercise. Instead of pushing yourself through intense workouts during the time you’re “restoring” allow yourself to rest more. Take a walk, or do some gentle stretches. Check out Mikkala’s movement practices here on Grow!
- Get outside. Spend time in nature during this period, to breathe the fresh air, look at something beautiful, tune into your senses, and enjoy.
- Prioritize sleep. Because your system will be overhauling a lot, getting a minimum of 7 hours a night (8-9 is even better!) is essential to the success of the program.
If you want to take this practice a step further, add a daily journaling session. Every morning or evening (or both!), write down how you’re feeling in your Body, Mind, and Soul. You can write down long, reflective paragraphs, or just descriptive words. It’s up to you. This is a simple way to tune into yourself (which is why you’re doing this in the first place!), and see if there is anything you notice: patterns in thoughts or behaviour, physical sensations, feelings, dreams, or desires. Enjoy the process.
It’s really important to be mindful of the way you come out of the BMS Restore program. Although it may be tempting to “reward” yourself with a trip to the drive thru, remember that your body is in a very sensitive place, and other foods need to be reintroduced slowly. I recommend starting with one thing at a time (whole grains at breakfast, an egg at lunch, or beans at dinner), and really taking the time after eating to notice how you feel. Many people gain insight into food sensitivities that they didn’t even know they had, when reintroducing them back into their diet. Keep a journal to write down any symptoms you experience post-meal, such as gas, bloating, headache, brain fog, sleepiness, or hyperactivity. Continue to keep your favourite BMS Restore recipes in your diet for a few days afterwards to ease the transition, supplementing with the foods you wish to eat moving forward.
I hope you take pride in the fact that, by choosing to participate in this program, you are actively nourishing yourself on a very deep level. Acknowledge the loving care you are giving to yourself; a gift from you, to you, for you. Enjoy the positive aspects that arise from this experience, and see the challenges as opportunities for growth, learning, and healing. You can take part in this as many times as you like (once a month, once a season, once a year), and use it as a tool to regain balance whenever you need it, letting your body, mind, and soul be your guide.
The BMS Restore Recipes
The BMS Restore Shopping List
Fruits & Veggies
- 1 pear
- 1 apple
- ½ pineapple
- 1 orange
- 2 lemons
- ½ avocado
- 1 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries
- 1 cucumber
- 1 head romaine
- handful of fresh mint leaves 15-ish
- Medium hand of ginger
- 1.5 lb onions
- 2 head garlic
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 head celery
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 large sweet potato
- 200 g / 7 oz. spinach
- 1 large bunch parsley
- small bunch cilantro
- handful raisins
- pumpkin seeds or almonds
- 1 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1.5 cups dried red lentils
- olive oil or coconut oil
Spices & Seasonings
- sea salt
- black pepper
- curry powder