I’ll be the first to admit to not being overly attuned to my body.

I have friends who get the shakes when they accidentally drink a cup of green tea instead of their usual white tea. I’d have to drink a gallon of green tea to feel the subtle difference in caffeine levels. I’m not always good at picking up on what my body is trying to tell me.

This time of year, though, even I can hear my body screaming for help. After a month of indulging in far too much holiday cheer, I feel like I am just barely going to be able to drag myself over the New Year’s Day finish line.

Like most of you, Jan. 2 will find me ringing in big dietary changes — not just for me, but for my entire family. Oh, no, I won’t be detoxing alone. Everyone else is going to be coming along for the ride, too.

Out go the cookies, the candies and the cakes. I’ll be like the Grinch, but instead of stealing Christmas, I’ll be clearing out the refrigerator and pantry of all things that even resemble a simple carb. Sorry, Cindy Lou Who, but I’ll need you to let go of that last peanut butter blossom.

I know, it sounds harsh, but I also know I need to strike while the iron is hot and my will to eat clean is strong. If I don’t see it, I’m a lot less likely to eat it. And if I restock with healthier choices, my entire family will benefit.

With my newfound willpower, I’ve decided my first dinner of the new year will be Salmon With Quinoa and Spinach Salad. I like this dish, not just because it’s healthy (quinoa, spinach and salmon, pretty much a superfood trifecta), but also because it’s quick, easy and most of all, delicious.

As much as I want to eat healthier, I know it won’t last long if I’m not eating food I enjoy, and this meal fits the bill perfectly. Salmon is briefly marinated in lemon juice and a touch of olive oil, then pan-seared to perfection and served alongside slightly warm quinoa and baby spinach dressed lightly in a balsamic vinaigrette. The result is a simple but sophisticated meal that I know my family — and my body — will enjoy.


Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at meredith@meredithdeeds.com. Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.