Have a salad, it's called "butter" lettuce!

They call it "butter lettuce" cause its buttery, right?

It’s the cycle of life, I suppose, we tend to put on weight in winter, and lose it easily in summer. Unfortunately, we also have the cycle of the holidays, which gives us all sorts of opportunities to eat rich food and skip exercising for most of the month of December. It’s January 4 today, and I think it’s the official end of the party.

Time to step on that scale and see what happened this year. I’ll wait.

I’m assuming that the groaning sounds I heard coming from the bathroom were your reaction to the numbers on that innocent little scale. Or if not, and you are exactly as big as when you entered the season, Bravo!

Either way, it may be a good time to cleanse a bit, eat a bit more for sustenance and less for pleasure. If you keep eating the way you were at the New Years party, things are not going to go well for your fave pair of jeans.

Now, I am not usually a fan of diets. Short term changes make short term changes. Long term shifts and new habits make for a new you. We are all the sum of our habits: Me plus calories minus exercise equals me. Period. Still, it can be a good thing to kick start your good habits with a clean and lean plan. The vegan plan.

This one is so simple, you really can remember it. Servings are half a cup, or with grains, a slice of bread.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, or PCRM, recommends the following:

Eat 8 servings of Whole Grains a day

Eat 3 servings of Legumes per day

Eat at least 4 servings of vegetables per day, at least one dark green

Eat 3 servings of fruit per day.

Eat as low in fat as you can, no oil added, and allow yourself one 100 calorie sweet if you must.

That adds up to about 1500 calories, a lot of volume to fill you up, and plenty of protein. Add exercise to this and you should see results. It’s not meant to be forever, so once you drop a few pounds and feel better, add a few of the higher fat healthy foods back, like nuts and avocadoes.

I’m way into eating great food, but even I need a spartan food day now and then-just to stop the overstimulation and remember what plain food tastes like. Big salads, piles of veggies and whole grains and beans are soul food. Eat like a gatherer and feel better.

I hope your jeans like you better in February!