Goodbye Christmas Cookies, Hello Leafy Greens!

“More Quinoa! Less bacon! Hydration feels so good! I love you, almonds! Die potato chips!” These were my declarations yesterday afternoon.  My dedication to cleaner eating was at an all time high and I was ready to make some changes about the food that I put in my body. Out with the old and in with the new!  With a convincing confidence and somewhat of a plan (mistake #1),  today started off in the right direction.

A little breakfast filled with protein from eggs and some carbohydrates from a whole wheat bread round was a good choice… except I ate 2. 2 breakfast sandwiches. No one needs 2.  Fail.  I shrugged it off, told myself that I’d make a better choice about portions the next meal and I did….except then I didn’t and I ate the rest of the COSTCO made chicken salad that was full of salt and mayonnaise. There should’ve been enough left to share with someone else, but not after I was done with it. Fail.  Although I did have it over a bed of romaine lettuce instead of a bagel. Winning!  Okay, I gave myself a little mental pat on the back.  It could’ve been worse.  Dinner consisted of my very small plate of Johnsonville sausage (mistake #4 or 5 today – I lost count) and spaghetti, and two servings of salad. I had planned to substitute spaghetti squash for my spaghetti (win), but the two that I had started to rot and we found out after we cooked them.  Fail.  And then I just got downright HANGRY by 10 pm.  Now mind you, a 2nd resolution that I had made was to start going to bed earlier so I can be a better person…and because there’s no need to be awake past 10pm. Well, baby wakes up and this is what I do:

photo (4)

That’s right – what you see above is heaven on a pretzel rod.  Caramel, chocolate chips, salt, peanut butter chips, and milk had all my taste buds rejoicing, how glorious it was!  I convinced myself that this treat was the “inside hug” that I desperately needed to make it through the rest of the day.  It was hidden in the back of a cabinet, but I found it and it was so not organic, so not clean…it was the opposite of clean eating, it was dirty eating at it’s finest. Do I regret it? A little bit.  Is tomorrow a new day that offers a fresh start? Yep.  And it actually looks like I need to tackle the bigger issue of portion control. Wish me luck. 

I don’t ever write about nutrition and eating healthy because I love to eat “bad” food. I love to eat food that makes you say, “Oh….oh wow…wow that’s…that’s really. REALLY good.”  You know, the things made with lots of butter that are absolutely irresistible.  It’s not that healthy food can’t elicit that kind of response, it most certainly can and it does. For example, take this recipe for a turkey bacon, bok choy with shaved parmesan salad that I just found on cleaneatingmag.com.  That sounds like a salad I would thoroughly enjoy, but I also know myself.  I know that the perfectly crispy french fries with malt vinegar sprinkled on top just makes all things right in the world. So I would probably eat that “clean” salad and THEN eat the dirty fries.  Please don’t get me wrong, my days are not filled with donuts, soft pretzels, or giant mounds of Mac ‘n Cheese.  My family eats lots of healthy things and we like to make all kinds of tasty dishes like baked chicken with cous cous and sweet potatoes, but there is a large part of me (a very large part) that loves to run because it lessens the guilt when I have that second slice of pizza….and a few wings…and a garlic knot. Eek.

Okay, so I have my work cut out for me.  Starting with getting better prepared. I’m going to break down this very big task of “eating clean” and into smaller bites (pun intended). This weekend I will start with getting prepared: clean out the cabinets and reduce temptations, and find a few recipes that are kid friendly and quick to prepare.  It’ll be easier to make this lifestyle change one small step at a time… and so the journey begins!

If you’ve got any great recipes to share, please do so in the comments section!  Here’s one for a delicious almond spread that I just learned 2 days ago from one of my best friends. You can eat it plain or on crackers or on pita bread or over lettuce:

Food items needed:

  • 2 cups of almonds (soaked in water overnight to get rid of the enzyme inhibitor coating)
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves of garlic (or more if you want additional garlic flavor)
  • Fresh dill (to taste)

Directions: After discarding the almond water, put them all in a food processor. Squeeze one lemon over the almonds (beware of seeds) and add the 4 cloves of garlic.  Add a thin blanket of dill to cover the top of the almonds. Blend… taste… add more ingredients to your liking.  This spread has a very Mediterranean flavor to it which is delicious and apparently keeps you full and satisfied!  I’ll definitely have this tomorrow!

http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/what-is-clean-eating/

http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/10_ways_to_eat_clean

 

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