Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clean Eating Meal Plan - Week 2

First things first: I lost 2 lbs from last week - even though I went on vacation over the weekend and ate delicious slutty food at the beach.  GO ME!  This means I have lost a net total of 7 lbs.  Slowly but surely I'm getting there.  As long as the scale is going down and my arms and shoulders continue to look awesome, I'm happy.

So I am about halfway through week 1 of clean eating.  It hasn't actually been too hard.  But, I'm not being a hard-core, crazy person about it.  Like, I'm not drinking raw milk.  Sorry man.  No can do.  So here are my rules:
  1. Eat organic proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  2. Allowable dairy is organic low-fat, no-sugar-added milk and cheeses, and organic pasture butter (in moderation)
  3. Anything "processed" I consume must be comprised of clean ingredients -- For example, soy sauce is clean, yet it's processed.  Hot sauce is clean, yet it's processed.  Vinegar and oils are clean, yet they are processed.  Things like that.
  4. Eliminate "white" everything -- sugar, rice, flour, pasta, etc.
  5. Steer clear of the center aisles of the grocery store (= processed foods!).  If it has a label, the ingredients better be clean.  If I can't pronounce an ingredient, or it does not sound like something that came directly from the farm, it's not going in my cart!
I have effectively eliminated our usual store-bought marinades from our diet.  Instead I found a few "clean" marinade recipes made from olive oil, citrus juice, and fresh herbs and such.

You know, in all my research I kind of found "clean eating" hard to conceptualize.  So I will share with you what I've eaten this week so far, to help you along your way.  I found a lot of good recommendations for products online, so I'll share them with you here.

Breakfasts:  Smoothies and Ezekiel toast; or poached eggs and Ezekiel toast
Lunches:  Salads; or clean tortilla chips and guacamole
Dinners:  Marinated grilled chicken and steamed broccoli or corn on the cob or baked potatoes
Snacks:  Fruit (apples, strawberries, grapes), or whole-grain granola

If you are anything like me, you probably read that and were like "Blech".  Well, I consider myself a food snob, and I've surprisingly been pretty happy with my food choices this week.  My favorite "clean" purchase of the week:  Ezekiel bread.  Particularly, this one:

Ezekiel bread can be found in the freezer section.  Toasted, it's really not that bad at all.  I haven't tried it as a sandwich bread yet.  It seems pretty dense and dry for a sandwich bread (and mayo is not clean WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA), but toasted with some butter, it is actually very good.  I was scared of it at first, because it's frozen.  But I was being cray.  I ate 2 slices of this toasted with a little bit of butter and 2 poached eggs this morning for breakfast and I was full for 6 hours.  I kid you not.

Another delicious product I found this week:  Kind peanut butter granola.  I love this stuff!  Man, I used to turn my nose up at this stuff.  But I really like it.  A handful an hour before my workout and my hunger is kept at bay till dinnertime.

As for the smoothies, I use vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, and a little bit of OJ to loosen it up.  Next week I'll be adding spinach to my smoothies.  In the past I've been worried about my sugar content, but this time around, I'm making only half the smoothie I used to make, and I AM tracking sugar consumption on My Fitness Pal to keep an eye on it.  However, since fruits are a natural source of sugar (fructose), I am NOT counting those sugar grams towards my daily consumption.  The point is to eliminate added sugar (refined sugar) from your diet.  You don't want to steer clear of fruits and veggies because of sugar content; but you do want to keep your fruit consumption in check anyway.  Try not to eat more than your recommended daily allowance of 3-4 servings a day, in which a serving is considered 1 medium whole piece of fruit or 1/2 cup chopped or frozen fruit.

I would like to share my "clean" marinade with you that I found.  The original recipe is called Orange Tarragon Chicken, but I think you can very easily change up the citrus and herb combination and have an easy, tasty, go-to marinade for chicken in no time.

Orange Tarragon Chicken
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
Marinade chicken in all ingredients for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours, covered, in refrigerator.  Grill until cooked through.  Makes 2 servings.  NOTE:  You could easily sub the citrus and herb combinations with: lemon and basil; lime and cilantro; orange and basil; lemon and parsley; etc.

Ok, so what's on my menu for the next week?  This is the first time in my life I have ever planned seven days worth of ALL meals.  I usually only plan for dinner, and only for M-F, because on the weekends we are usually running around and who knows where we'll be at dinnertime.  But this is week 2 of clean eating so here's my go of it:

B:  Eggs & toast
L:  Smoothie
D:  Quesadillas (made with clean tortillas, low-fat cheese, and vegetables)

B:  Eggs & toast
L:  Smoothie
D:  It's my sister's birthday dinner, so we will have to see where we end up, but I'm figuring I'm fairly safe with a salad.

B:  Smoothie & toast
L:  Salad
D:  Herbed chicken & cous cous

B:  Eggs & toast
L:  Pico de gallo & tortilla chips
D:  Pollo asado & brown spanish rice

B:  Smoothie & toast
L:  Leftover Tuesday dinner
D:  Pork chops & corn on the cob

B:  Eggs & toast
L:  Salad
D:  Veggie burgers

B:  Smoothie & toast
L:  Sesame chicken
D:  It's my brother's rehearsal dinner, and we are going to a Mexican restaurant YAY but I am going to try to be very good!

So, for a week, that's not too bad.  Even if I don't eat the cleanest on Sunday and Friday nights, I will still have eaten clean for 90% of the week.

I have a feeling that the thing that will make the most difference in my health is eliminating the "whites" from my diet.  Before my wedding, I eliminated "whites" and soda from my diet and got pretty lean.  But that was over 9 years ago and my body was much different then.

So anyway, there's where I am.  I've been giving some thought to what my October resolution should be.  I'm running out of ideas.  Originally I wrote down "new books?" on my list but I've been reading like a book a week for months now so that's not really a good goal.  Maybe you have some ideas for me.  If so, please share!  I can do anything for a month.  :)

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