Saturday, July 28, 2012

Clean as Can Be

....for a beginner.
I thought I would do a post on what I am eating as I am finding/learning my way through this new-to-me way of 'clean eating'. I'm sure there are some set rules out there, but I'm not really one to follow the rules to a 'T'. My stoutly stature should be proof enough for that! From what I have read online in the past few weeks, eating clean means eating things that are in their basic form with little or no processing or modification. I am just doing the best I can with keeping sugar and processed food out of my mouth.
I have been doing fairly well all week since the office kitchen cookie incident. Uh, incidentS- there were 3 cookies involved. I have been finding that as long as I have a few go-to simple meals, then I am not really tempted to grab just anything. 
One example from the other evening: Got #2 Son's football physical appointment done, stopped in Dunham's to get #1 Son's shoes for football, and then couldn't get them to leave that sports store! They were browsing absolutely EVERY STINKIN isle and messing around and it was getting late. It was on the verge of storming for the 4th or 5th time that day and we were 30 minutes from home. I did NOT feel like cooking dinner when I did finally make it home, so I drove through KFC for a bucket and some sides. Was it extra-crispy? Yup. Did I eat it? Absolutely. But I only ate one piece of chicken with a small pile of potatoes and gravy. Did I learn something from that meal? Yes. 
So here is how I am going to deal with days/nights like that. I always have a bin of lettuce in my fridge. I buy the 'good stuff' for me and the iceberg for the rest of the house. That is the only kind they will eat. I usually have some cooked chicken ready to go also, but sometimes it is all I can do to choke down another chicken salad. So I am making sure to have tuna available to make the salad I talked about in my last post.

My mayo! This stuff rocks! I was so proud of myself for making it (after 2 sort of expensive fails) that I tried to get everyone here to love it. Turns out, they are more fans of Miracle Whip (yuk), so they were not impressed. The little amount I did get made seems to be disappearing faster than I expected (which proves that SOMEONE other than me actually DID like it a little) , so I will be making more tomorrow. My absolute favorite quick meal to make right now!

 So here is where I am going to explain about the cheese. Like I said, I do not know the 'rules' about eating clean. I'm pretty sure that cheese is typically not on the list of clean foods. I know dairy is not, and I can forgo the milk and ice cream. I can not and will not totally erase cheese from my diet. I do not eat nearly as much of it as I used to, and can go days without having any. I just can't face total cheese extinction at this time. (There will be no chocolate extinction at this time either :)
Breakfast this morning was 3 eggs, some peppers and onions, a little bit of cheese, and leftover quiona.

 This picture does not do it justice. I need much practice with my food photography skills! This was just the wrong setting on Instagram. It was a very delicious dish! 
Dinner tonight was equally as good! I made grill pouches with tilapia (my husband's favorite fish) and swai (MY favorite affordable fish). Seriously, no more Van de Kamps for this chick.
Simple seasoned with a squirt of fresh lemon, a sprinkle of pepper and garlic powder, and a drizzle of olive oil is absolutely perfect! I made some oven roasted cauliflower and added a side of garden squash. I also had a side salad which was probably not needed. I was stuffed! 
I buy both of these kinds of fish at Aldi in the frozen section. They come out to be about $1-$1.25 per fillet. I am sure they are not nearly as 'clean' as eating fresh caught fish (which we have had a few times lately), but I do have to feed myself AND my family. I also have to make things that my family is willing to try. They absolutely love this fish made this way, and usually I make other pouches with potato cubes and diced peppers and onions for on the grill to go with this fish. I am trying to stay away from potatoes as much as possible, so I passed those up for the cauliflower tonight. Thank goodness, I was very strict on my kids trying and eating many types of vegetables from the time they were toddlers, so I really don't have to make meals around picky eaters. I am NOT a short order cook. They have been told more than once, 'If you don't like what I made, you are more than welcome to make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.' Period. Very rarely has that ever been acted upon.
So that is basically it. I am just trying to keep it simple with chicken, turkey, and fish, and making sure my vegetable intake is about 3 times more than the protein on my plate. I have been indulging in a few clean treats such as zucchini brownies, sweet potato brownies, and some protein balls/bites, but I guess it is not enough to hurt me too much-yet. As of Friday morning, I was down another 2 lbs from Wednesday- a total of 4.4 lbs since Monday. At some point I know I will have to back off of those treats, especially later in the evenings or they will literally come back to bite me in the butt. For now though, they are keeping my sugar cravings at bay while my body (and my mind) adjust to this new way of eating. 
One day and one meal at a time.

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