Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Days 18 and 19--Homemade Rice Pilaf and Homemade Waffles

Day 18

Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with cheese and Catalina dressing
Afternoon snack--Cheese Itz
Dinner--Swai fillets with garlic and lime juice, homemade rice pilaf and stir fry veggies...the homemade rice pilaf is replacing the Rice-a-Roni I used to opt for. It's my MIL's recipe and it's one of the best rice dishes...easy to make too!

Bedtime snack--Nature Valley Granola Thin
Workout--25 min elliptical 

Rice Pilaf
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup rice (use brown rice to make all-natural)
1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water (use 1 cup all-natural chix broth to make all-natural)

Saute onion and mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of the butter until soft and tender. Add rice and remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and brown for 10 minutes. Mix rice and chicken broth in oven-safe dish. Cover and bake for 35 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. 

Day 19

Breakfast--green monster smoothie
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with cheese and ranch dressing
Afternoon snack--peanut butter
Dinner--scrambled eggs with cheese, peppers and onions and homemade waffles (plus we doubled the recipe, cooked them all up and froze the extras...better than store-bought! Use wheat flour if you want to go 100% all-natural)

Bedtime snack--Nature Valley Granola Thin
Workout--Insanity Pure Cardio

Homemade Waffles
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoon butter, melted
2 cups milk

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. In separate bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, butter and milk. Whisk egg whites in another bowl until they make peaks (like a merangune). Put egg mixture into dry ingredients, mix well. Fold in whisked egg whites. 
Cook in waffle maker. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Days 16 and 17--Yankee Doodle Roast and Pasta with Kielbasa and Spinach

Day 16

Breakfast--Starbucks Hot Chocolate (cures what ails you and I had a major sinus headache!)
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--Newman's Own Supreme Pizza. I really wanted pizza for lunch, but didn't want to spend a lot. I was at Kroger's picking up a few things and checked out the frozen pizza selection. Let's just say it left a lot to be desired in the all-natural realm! Then I happened across Newman's Own Brand and the ingredient list was pronounceable and recognizable. The pizza itself wasn't that great, but satisfied the pizza craving for the time being.
Afternoon snack--chocolate chip cookie dough
Dinner--Yankee Doodle roast, potatoes and carrots, courtesy of my MIL...this is one of my all-time favorite meals and it's all natural!
Bedtime snack--Some more cookie dough...I have no willpower when it comes to cookie dough :P

Day 17

Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--turkey pastrami and cheese
Afternoon snack--cashews
Dinner--Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard, salad with Catalina dressing
Bedtime snack--Nature Valley Granola Thin
Workout--took another rest sinuses are kicking my butt!

Yankee Doodle Roast
Coat 4 lbs chuck roast with flour, salt and pepper and brown meat in 2 Tablespoons butter in dutch oven.
Cover meat with one sliced onion.
Combine 1 container creamy horseradish with 1 cup water and pour over meat.
Cook covered for 2 hours at 325 degrees F.
Add baby carrots and diced potatoes.
Cook 2 more hours (add water as needed to prevent burning).
You can add flour or cornstarch to the juices to make a gravy. 

Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard
3/4 lb swiss chard (preferably red, from 1 bunch) (I used spinach)
1/2 lb kielbasa, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 lb penne
1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving

  1. Cut out center ribs and stems from chard, then thoroughly wash, along with leaves, in several changes of cold water. Cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and coarsely chop leaves.
  2. Cook kielbasa in oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cook chard ribs and stems with salt in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard leaves, water, and red-pepper flakes and simmer, partially covered, until chard stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in kielbasa.
  3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to chard mixture with cheese and salt to taste and toss until combined well. Thin with some of reserved pasta water if necessary.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 15--Bonefish Grill

Breakfast--I indulged and had cereal for breakfast. I LOVE cereal!! Seriously, I could eat cereal for every meal, every day and for snacks too. We never had sugary cereals in our house growing up, so when I went to college and had Lucky Charms for the first time, I was hooked! :) Alas, most yummy cereals are full of preservatives, empty calories and sugar. However, yesterday at Kroger, Mom's Best Cereal was on sale for $.99 (killer deal!) and they make a version just like Cocoa Pebbles (called Crispy Cocoa Rice), one of my all-time fav cereals. So, that's what I had this morning. It tasted almost exactly like the Cocoa Pebbles I love!! Even though it was all-natural, it was still super high in sugar (13g) so alas, it will be a once-in-awhile treat.
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--leftover Skyline cheese coneys and Pepsi Max
Afternoon snack--nothing
Dinner--Thanks to my awesome bro and sis-in-law, we dined at Bonefish Grill tonight. I had the fish tacos with spring green salad and balsamic vinaigrette. I also had a Rum Punch and one piece of yummy bread with pesto dipping sauce. Delish!
Bedtime snack--Another treat...Orange Leaf :) 'nuff said!
Workout--rest day

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 13 and 14--Awesome stock up grocery trip

Day 13
Nothing new yesterday or today! The DH has been away on business, and so I've been uninspired at dinner time. 

Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with walnuts and Russian dressing
Afternoon snack--Cheese Itz and some chocolate chips (G's been sick, and unfortunately I use food as a comfort :P)
Dinner--Penne pasta with red sauce, carrots and ranch
Bedtime snack--More chocolate chips
Workout--25 min elliptical

Day 14

Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--turkey pastrami (it's almost gone!) and Pepsi Max
Afternoon snack--chocolate chips
Dinner--Skyline chili on hot dogs with mustard and cheese (I told you there were certain things I couldn't give up! Although, I'm not sure how unnatural Skyline is since they don't list any of its ingredients!) and carrots and dip
Bedtime snack--peanut butter
Workout--Insanity Core Cardio

 $$ Saving Green Alert! $$
Kroger is running it's buy 10, get $5 off promotion...I love these because when you combine items with coupons, you can get some major savings! They are also a great time to stock up your pantry. In the picture I've just included the items in the Buy 10 promotion. I didn't get everything all natural, about 50%.

Mom's Best Cereal $.99/box
Ragu $.87 each after promotion and coupon
Hunt's Tomato Paste $.49/each
Wholly Guacamole $.49 each for 3 after promotion and coupons
Rotel all 6 were free after coupons
Peanuts $2.49/each after promotion and coupon

Cheese-Itz $1.99/each after promotion and coupon
Goldfish $.99 each
Tuna $.49/each for 4 after promotion and coupons
Lunch meat $1.99 each after promotion and coupons
Turkey Pepperoni $2.49

The toothbrushes I just threw in because I got all three for free :) They were 10 for $10 and I had three $.50 coupons that doubled. 

Overall, with all my other groceries, I saved $55.30 or 41%. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Days 11 and 12--Bourbon Pork Tenderloin and Palesagna

Day 11

Breakfast--banana and peanut butter
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--leftover chicken from Monday night and Cheese-Itz..another item I may not be able to give up :)
Afternoon snack--peanut butter
Dinner--Bourbon Pork Tenderloin with dill yellow squash, onion and zucchini (recipe below)
Bedtime snack--Nature Valley Granola Thins
Workout--25 min elliptical

Bourbon Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup orange juice (I used the juice from 1 orange)
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T olive oil
1 T chopped garlic

Mix all ingredients and pour over a pork tenderloin in a gallon ziplock bag. Marinate overnight in the fridge. Cook in crockpot on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. 

$$ Money Saving Alert $$

Along with the bourbon pork, I cooked up some dill yellow squash, zucchini and onion. Kroger has precut, packaged veggies in all different varieties, and every other week or so, they always have a bunch marked way down. I stock up and freeze them, then dethaw for dinner. Saving money and eating my veggies!! :)

Day 12

Breakfast--banana and peanut butter
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--turkey pastrami and colby cheese
Afternoon snack--Cheese Itz
Dinner--Paleasagna (a paleo diet version of lasagna) and bread-machine whole wheat bread...the paleasagna was way better than I was expecting! It actually tasted like real lasagna!
Bedtime snack--Nature Valley Granola Thins
Workout--Insanity Cardio Power

from whatrunslori

1 white onion, diced
1 pound of extra lean turkey, or ground sirloin (I used ground round)
1 15oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp Italian spice blend
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound of zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into medallion rounds (I cut them into long slivers)
1/2 cup raw goat cheese, shredded (I used good old-fashioned mozzarella)
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 egg

  1. In a large skillet or sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the diced onions. Sautee on medium-high until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the ground turkey, canned tomato and tomato paste, spices, salt, pepper, and crushed garlic. Continue to cook all ingredients until the turkey is cooked through. Set aside when done.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine raw goat cheese, Greek yogurt, broccoli pieces, and egg. Mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom of a 13 x 9 Pyrex glass baking dish. Place a layer of zucchini and squash rounds evenly across the bottom, making a sort of liner.
  4. Add a layer of turkey-tomato sauce on top of the zucchini. Top that with some of the broccoli and yogurt mixture, as shown above. Continue with this layering process until you have used all of your ingredients.
  5. Top the entire dish with more shredded goat cheese, if desired.
  6. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 10--Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Breakfast--banana and peanut butter
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--the other half of my Rueben sandwich from the other night
Afternoon snack--turkey pastrami (I know, totally weird, but it's so good! As for ingredients, not so natural either :/ But, I had it in the freezer and I refuse to throw good food out!)
Dinner--Garlic and brown sugar chicken with broccoli (recipe below)
Bedtime snack--Nature Valley Granola Thins...satisfies my chocolate/sweets craving
Workout--Insanity Plyometrics

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
  4. Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 9--Kids Yogurt Tubes

Breakfast--homemade bread from yesterday with peanut butter and jelly
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--chicken wings (need to find an all-natural wing sauce)
Afternoon snack--nothing
Dinner--leftover pork and sauerkraut (it made a ton when we made it Christmas Eve) and corn
Bedtime snack--milkshake (okay, another reward for a job well done this week ;)
Workout--1 hour Pilates

My kids love the yogurt that comes in tubes, but like many good things, they are full of preservatives. I happened across these organic ones at Kroger and they were on sale for $1.89, cheaper than what I usually pay for the Kroger brand tube yogurt or Go Gurt.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 8--Eating Clean While Eating Out and Another Bread Recipe

Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--leftover Maggiano's chopped salad from last night Pepsi Max (it just tastes so good!)
Afternoon snack--two spoonfuls of peanut butter with some chocolate chips
Dinner--tonight was our first foray into eating out while eating clean. We went to Conner Station in downtown Noblesville. I'm not exactly sure if everything I ate was all-natural, but it came pretty close. I had a side salad with ranch dressing on the side...the side salad was a delicious combo of field and spring greens with thinly sliced cucumber, red onion and tomato. So far, so good on the all-natural front! For my entree, I had the Rueben sandwich, which was delicious!! The corned-beef was made in-house, so overall it was all-natural. I sampled a few of the chips...also good, but I'm not sure if they were all-natural or not.

Bedtime snack--Reese's Peanut Butter cup and a Seagram's Bahama Mama...both totally unnatural, but my reward for doing so well this week! ;)
Workout--rest day

We also tried a new bread recipe today. It called for half white flour and half whole wheat flour, so it's not completely all-natural, but it came out so much fluffier and lighter than the other whole wheat breads. Here's the recipe:

Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/4 cups water (we used milk instead)
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (1 package) yeast

  1. Add ingredients in the order given to bread machine.
  2. Set on whole wheat setting.

$$ Saving Green Alert! $$

I also ran across an all-natural whole wheat bread at Marsh. It was Koepplinger's and it was $2.69 with Buy 1, Get 1 Free. So, I got 4 loaves for $5.38 or $1.35 a loaf!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eating Clean Day 7--Maggiano's Chopped Salad and Homemade Breadsticks

Breakfast--I had MOPS today so there was an assortment of wonderful breakfast foods. Here's a tip I've run across several times and put into use today--when going to a buffet or meal with lots of choices, take just a bite or two of each dish that appeals to you. That way you get to taste everything, but don't over do it. So, I had two bites of potato casserole, two bites of two different egg casseroles, bite of coffee cake and half of a half of bagel with cream cheese. I was satisfied and full :) 
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--Pepsi Max (I know, totally not nutritious or healthy, but I was still full from breakfast and just really wanted a pop! All about moderation! ;)
Afternoon snack--two spoonfuls of peanut butter with some chocolate chips
Dinner--we had a lovely dinner with our friends, Karie and Kyle. They introduced us to a super delicious pizza from Donatos, the Mariachi Chicken Pizza. Yummo! I also made Maggiano's Chopped Salad (recipe below) and homemade, all-natural whole wheat bread sticks (recipe below).
Bedtime snack--nothing
Workout--P90X Cardio X

Paula's Bread Sticks

1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle; press Start. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). When dough cycle is complete, remove dough to a lightly oiled surface. Divide dough up into 18 pieces. Roll each piece on an oiled board, from center of piece to the outside edges to form bread sticks. Place bread sticks at least 1 inch apart on the prepared pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Copycat Maggiano's Chopped Salad and Dressing
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, in 1/2-inch dice
1 head romaine lettuce, in 1/2-inch dice
2 plum tomatoes, in 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup danish blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup prosciutto, pan fried until crispy and chopped
Italian dressing (recipe follows)


1 avocado, small dice
1 teaspoon prosciutto, pan fried

1 1/2 teaspoons Coleman's dry mustard 

2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or Splenda)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
salt, to taste
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorn, fresh ground
1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano (or 3/4 t. dried oregano)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Combine mustard, sugar, water, garlic, red and white vinegar and salt in food processor. Mix until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the oils, continue to blend. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well mixed. Recipe can be doubled with remaining stored in sealed container in refrigerator for up to a week.
2. Place lettuce in large mixing bowl Add all the ingredients except garnish and mix well. Add dressing and mix well.
3. Serve, topping each portion with garnish.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eating Clean Day 6--Drop Dead Healthy

Breakfast--banana and peanut butter
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with cheese and 1 tablespoon Catalina dressing
Afternoon snack--two handfuls peanuts
Dinner--country ribs with homemade BBQ sauce and garlic green beans
Bedtime snack--Nature Valley bar
Workout--P90X Core Synergistics

I recently finished the book "Drop Dead Healthy" by A.J. Jacobs. In it, he documents his attempts to become the healthiest person in the world. It was interesting to read about all the diets, workouts and health and fitness trends he tried in his efforts. Along with being hilarious, it was helpful to read because he offers some great health habits that actually work. 

The one thing I didn't like was the fact he comes off a little judgmental toward people not being as healthy as they could. That's what I want to avoid with my clean eating...I don't want to come off as I am judging those not choosing this lifestyle, because it's not for everybody.  I don't want people to feel like they have to accommodate me. I know what I can and cannot eat and I'll make those choices when I need to. 

Do you ever feel guilty for not leading a healthier lifestyle?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eating Clean Day 5--Granola Bars

Speaking of all-natural, check out G's "all-natural" spike and mohawk :)

Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--leftover pork carnitas and peppers
Afternoon snack--two spoonfuls peanut butter

Dinner--Pasta with meat sauce 
I found that Barilla's whole wheat pasta is all natural and tastes pretty darn close to regular white pasta. For the sauce I used Prego (all-natural!! Yay!!) and added in some lean ground beef. $$ Both Barilla and Prego go on sale every 3 months or so at Kroger and usually have a coupon during that time too, so I stock up when they are 10 for $10. With coupons, that means I can get Barilla for anything from free to 66 cents a box and Prego about $1 a jar. $$
Bedtime snack--nothing
Workout--P90X Plyometrics

My kiddos LOVE granola bars and cereal bars, but unfortunately, both are chocked full of preservatives. I found some natural ones at Trader's Joes and was pleasantly surprised that they weren't much more expensive than what I usually buy. 

Here's a look at what I usually buy...not a great picture, but the ingredient list shows lots of unpronounceable ingredients. 


Here are the Trader Joe variety...not completely void of preservatives, but better than the others. My next adventure will be to make my own granola bars to completely cut out additives.

$$ Saving Green Alert! $$

Usually, I stock up on the Fiber 1 and other granola bars when they are on sale and I have coupon, which means I can usually get them for about $2 a box. The Trader Joe granola bars were only $2.49 regular price...pretty decent!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eating Clean Day 4--Crockpot Pork Carnitas

Breakfast--two spoonfuls peanut butter
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with shredded cheese, walnuts and 1 T. Caesar dressing
Afternoon snack--banana
Dinner--Crockpot pork carnitas (recipe below) and sauteed red onion and yellow peppers
Bedtime snack--assortment of delicious desserts at MOPS Steering Team meeting (it's all about have to treat yourself sometimes!)
Workout--25 minutes elliptical and ab workout

Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

  • 2.5 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
  • cumin
  • dry adobo seasoning(I don't use this and they still turn out great)
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup all-natural chicken broth
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste) (if you use the whole can, the pork comes out pretty spicy)
  • 2 bay leaves


Season pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo and garlic powder all over.

Pour chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Place pork in crock pot and cover. Cook low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumulated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Eating Clean Day 3--Homemade Wheat Bread

Breakfast--two spoonfuls peanut butter
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with shredded cheese, walnuts and 1 T. Caesar dressing
Afternoon snack--handful almonds
Dinner--Meatloaf (everything natural but the saltine crackers), oven chips (slice up potatoes, add some EVOO and salt and bake for 45 minutes at 425) and corn...the ketchup and saltine crackers in the meatloaf were the only non-natural ingredients.

Bedtime snack--nothing
Workout--P90X Kempo X

I was shocked at how many preservatives store-bought 100% whole wheat bread has! So, we are on a mission to find a really good whole wheat bread recipe. Here's the second one we've tried...we keep finding that the bread comes out really dense. Any suggestions or good recipes you use? I did find all-natural whole wheat bread at Kroger, but it was $3.99 :/ The homemade bread I figured out is about $2 a loaf.

Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 packages Active dry yeast 
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water 
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup honey (we used agave)

1/2 cup wheat bran (we used rolled oats)

1. Place all the wet ingredients in the bottom of the baking pan of your bread machine. Add the flour and wheat bran/rolled oats and then the yeast on top.
2. Follow the directions on your machine for whole wheat bread.
3. Remove from machine when done and allow to cool on a baking rack for at least one hour.
4. Slice and enjoy!

Eating Clean Day 2--First Clean Eating Trip to Kroger

Breakfast--nothing (too busy getting everyone around for church! Need to get better about at least eating something to keep my metabolism up)
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--peanut butter (all-natural) and jelly (homemade and canned...thanks Michelle!!) on homemade whole wheat bread (recipe to come...still trying to find a good whole wheat bread recipe that's not so dense...any suggestions??)
Afternoon snack--Reese's Peanut Butter cups (I know, not very natural but I only have two left from Christmas and I will not waste Reese's!!)
Dinner--two slices of Papa Murphy's Classic Italian pizza; we tried to substitute the garlic cream sauce that usually comes with it for the garlic and olive oil but they messed up the order. The crust, sausage and pepperoni are not all-natural, but when you switch the sauces, everything else is. 
Bedtime snack--nothing
Workout--hour of Pilates

$$ Saving Green Alert! $$

This week was my first trip to Kroger under our new Clean Eating regime. I wasn't sure how I would do, but I ended up saving 35% (I aim to save between 30 and 40 percent each week with couponing, sales, etc.)

Here's a look at what I got:
Barilla Pasta--on sale 10 for $10, used $1 off 3 6 boxes of pasta for $4 or $.66/piece...I bought the whole wheat variety, which is all natural and whole grain goodness.

Pork Tenderloin--on sale for $2.47/lb...great lean protein

Chicken Breasts--on sale for $1.77/lb...another great lean protein at an awesome price...I stocked up for my freezer

Kroger Butter--$2.48...we used to use margarine, but have switched to real butter. The Kroger brand butter is actually cheaper than the margarine I used to buy. 

Kroger block cheese--on sale for $2.99 for the bigger 16 oz block. Kind of interesting, shredded cheese=not natural, same brand in the block cheese=A OK!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Eating Clean Day 1--Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Now that the cleanse is over, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty with this clean eating deal. Each day I'll share what I ate and also share what non-natural foods I swapped out with natural foods, recipes, etc. 

Breakfast--handful of almonds (I was still stuffed from feasting last night on appetizers!)
Mid-morning snack--nothing 
Lunch--salad with leftover Almost Guacamole, crumbled cheddar cheese and Caesar dressing (need to find natural salad dressings!)
Afternoon snack--Brownie...having will power for 10 days straight weakened me and I gave in to the brownies...then I threw the rest away!)
Dinner--Chicken and Sausage Jambayla (Not my picture...I was too hungry and forgot to take a pic :) 
Bedtime snack--peanut butter and some chocolate chips
Workout--rest day

Chicken JambalayaChicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Adapted from
8  ounces skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves 
16  ounce package frozen bell peppers and onions  
8  ounces smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices  
2  cups water  
14.5  ounce diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, undrained
8  ounce package jambalaya rice mix (I substituted 2 cups brown rice with about 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning)

Cut chicken into 1/2-inch strips. Place frozen vegetables in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker and top with chicken strips and turkey sausage. Add water, undrained tomatoes, and seasoning packet from rice (or Cajun seasoning). Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in rice. Cover and cook about 45 minutes more (if using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting), or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Day 10 Cleanse

I made it!!! Final day of the cleanse and it feels really good to have accomplished what I set out to do. Many of the changes I made in the last 10 days will become life-long habits. We had small group tonight and to celebrate I let myself eat pretty much whatever I wanted. Surprisingly, I choose pretty wisely! I avoided the chips and just ate the dip with a spoon and didn't over do it. I made two appetizers and both were all natural. I'm including the recipes below.

Breakfast--Fiber drink (so glad to be done with these!)
Mid-morning snack--almonds
Lunch--salad with walnuts and spray dressing
Afternoon snack--peanut butter
Dinner--small group appetizers
Workout--3-mile run!! Yay!!! It was almost 60 degrees here so I couldn't pass it up!

Here's what I made for appetizers:

Almost Guacamole
2 avocados
1 medium red onion
1 package cherry tomatos
handful cilantro
1 lime

Dice the avocado, onion and cherry tomatoes. Mix 
together with handful of chopped cilantro and juice from 1 lime. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. 

Cheese Queso
Usually you use Velveeta, which is far from natural, but this recipe uses all natural ingredients.

1 can Rotel
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 block cheddar cheese, shredded
1 block colby jack cheese, shredded
1 cup milk

In a saucepan, mix the butter and flour until butter is melted into flour. Whisk in milk until all the flour is dissolved. Slowly add in the shredded cheese a little at a time, only adding more when the other is melted in. Once all the cheese is in and melted, add in the Rotel. Put in crock pot to keep warm. Serve with chips. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Eating Clean Step-by-Step

A article published in 2010 listed 5 steps to clean eating. I found them overall helpful, with a few minor adjustments. 

Step 1
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods over canned or processed products. Clean eating enthusiasts believe that we were meant to survive on fresh fruits and vegetables and that processing them reduces their nutritional value and fiber content and adds salt, fat, sugar and chemicals. Choose fruit instead of fruit juice and if you must pick a processed vegetable, frozen is always better than canned.

Ugh...I hate fruit. I only like two types of fruit, bananas and strawberries. I guess I will have to work on liking more types of fruits. Luckily, I do like all different types of veggies, so that won't be too hard. As for processed veggies, we've already eliminated canned for frozen. Luckily, I can still find great sales on frozen veggies; Kroger runs their frozen veggies 10 for $10 every few weeks. 
Step 2
Balance protein and complex carbohydrates. Incorporate whole grains like brown rice or millet over processed grains. Eat lean meats, and choose organic or grass fed meats when possible as these foods are usually clean of pesticides, hormones and additives. Grill, broil or steam your meats rather than frying.

Check...we already choose a lot of whole grains over processed grains anyway. And thankfully, whole wheat pasta has gotten better lately. Lean meats will be a challenge budget-wise, since they tend to be more expensive. I am going to investigate local butchers to see if they may be cheaper. The only meat I fry is fish, and that is very occasionally, so we're good there too. 

Step 3
Avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks. Follow the tenant of clean eating that aims to remove added sugars from the diet. Choose water or tea for your beverages, or juice your own fruits and vegetables and enjoy them without added sugars or preservatives.

This will be one of the exceptions to the rules...I cannot give up my diet Pepsi and Coke Zero!! :)
Step 4
Trade bad fats for good fats. One of the most important aspects of clean eating is removing saturated fats from the diet. Lower your saturated fat intake by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat and getting your fat calories from foods like nuts and fatty fish.

I never pay attention to fats, good or bad, so it will be interesting to see how I do in this category. 
Step 5
Eat several small meals to keep blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating. Choose snacks like nuts, low-fat or fat free dairy and fruits and vegetables. Note that some people who live a clean eating lifestyle don't eat dairy products while others adapt clean eating to a vegetarian lifestyle.

I've tried eating five or six small meals before and it didn't work for me. I'll probably do more of three regular meals and one afternoon snack. 

Day 9 Cleanse

I'm getting so close I can taste the carbs ;) Tomorrow night we have small group and it's appetizer night...usually that would totally be bad news for my willpower, but I am working on a couple of all natural, not-so-bad-for-you appetizers...tune in tomorrow!

Breakfast--Fiber drink
Mid-morning snack--nothing
Lunch--two eggs
Afternoon snack--two handful almonds (I added in a few chocolate chips...I'm so bad! ;)
Dinner--chicken stir-fry with lots of yummy veggies

Evening snack--two spoonfuls of peanut butter
LOTS of water all day

Workout--25 minutes on the elliptical

On another note, I made the kids mac and cheese today for lunch. Usually, I buy and make the Kroger brand mac and cheese out of the box. Whoa additives and preservatives!!
 Thankfully, Trader's Joes also makes a boxed mac and cheese that's much more natural, with most ingredients I can pronounce. Still several unrecognizable ingredients, but again, better than the other steps :) Bonus, the Trader's Joes was on sale for $.99...not too shabby!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 8 Cleanse

Two more days left! I thought for sure by today I'd be fantasizing about the first things I would eat when I was done with my cleanse. I'm excited to add carbs and some treats back in, but overall, I feel like my tastes have changed and I am not craving those things like I used to.

Breakfast--Fiber drink (blech...only 2 more times!)
Mid-morning snack--nothing
Lunch--green monster smoothie
Afternoon snack--two handful almonds (I added in a few chocolate chips...I'm so bad! ;)
Dinner--sausage (no, not at all natural, but I love sausage and I refuse to throw away or waste food!) with vegetable primavera, mushrooms and onions

Evening snack--two spoonfuls of peanut butter
LOTS of water all day

Workout--Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 7 Cleanse

It's amazing to me how after only 7 days my stomach has already gotten smaller. I am full a lot sooner than I've ever been and all without any carbs or starches! After the cleanse, I was planning on going back to eating carbs and starches, but I think I can cut back a lot on the amount I eat. For example, I think instead of a starch at every dinner, we'll do a starch at every other dinner. The last 7 days have proven I don't NEED them, I just WANT them :)

Mid-morning snack--nothing
Lunch--leftover fajita veggies
Afternoon snack--two handful almonds
Dinner--grilled boneless pork chop with Montgomery Inn sauce, green beans and strawberries
Evening snack--two spoonfuls of peanut butter
Herbal pills before bed and LOTS of water all day

Workout--25 minutes elliptical

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 6 Cleanse

Day 6...officially over half way through the cleanse! Still taking the probiotics in the morning, herbal cleanse pills at night and I've added fish oil pills during lunch.

Breakfast--Green Monster Smoothie...I found out about these bad boys from my friend Bethany and her marathon training blog. There are many different versions; mine is banana, peanut butter, spinach and half-n-half. 
Mid-morning snack--handful of peanuts
Lunch--salad with walnuts and ranch dressing spray Afternoon snack--peanut butter
Dinner--chicken fajitas sans tortillas (is it still a fajita?)--red and yellow peppers, onions, avocado, salsa and a little cheese

Evening snack--two spoonfuls of peanut butter
Herbal pills before bed and LOTS of water all day

Workout--Insanity plyometrics cardio circuit

$$ Homemade Taco Seasoning $$

I've been making my own taco and fajita seasoning. The pre-made packets are convenient and cheap, but chocked full of preservatives and additives. The homemade mix keeps well and does not contain any unrecognizable ingredients, plus I figured out it costs me about $1 to make one batch, which equals about 4 to 5 uses. That's about $.20 a use, compared to about a $1.00 for one packet. Not a huge savings, but every little bit counts. So, I'm not only clean, I'm saving money!
Here's the recipe:

Homemade Taco Seasoning
4 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix well and store in an airtight container. 


Sunday, January 6, 2013

What is "clean" eating?

Great question! And no, it's not scrubbing your food before eating :P

According to the Gracious Pantry, a very helpful clean eating blog I found, there are three methods of eating clean (with her comments on each):

There are many people simply looking to remove the chemicals from their diets and bodies, and therefore  eat clean. Their focus is NOT on losing weight, but on general health. They avoid processed foods of all kinds, yet eat only when the need arises or three times per day.


  1. Eat  Lots Of Plants – Eat food that is straight from nature. (Some people say “as close to the way nature made it as possible”. Eat mostly foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine, and you’ve pretty much got it covered. The idea is to stay away from anything that humans (food corporations) have altered in any way.
  2. Include Meats - Eat meats that are whole and straight from the butcher. Don’t buy pre-packaged meat products because you never know what’s in them. When possible, buy whole meats and grind them yourself. You’d be surprised what’s in ground turkey meat! You can also select a few turkey breasts and ask that the butcher grind them for you. Many butchers are more than willing to accommodate.
  3. Enjoy Grains - Eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down into “glue”. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains.
  4. Read Labels I don’t know how many breads I’ve picked up at the store that say they are whole grain. But when I take a look at the ingredient list, white flour is the second ingredient after whole wheat flour!
  5. Eat Fewer Ingredients. Try not to purchase foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list. And be sure you recognize each and every ingredient. If you find a “mystery ingredient” such as “spices”, contact the company! Ask them what they consider to be spices. If it’s anything other than honest-to-goodness herbs and spices, avoid it! And remember, if you can’t pronounce it, it probably shouldn’t go into your body.
  6. Eat 5-6 small meals per day. This may seem like a lot at first. But remember, you are eating smaller portions. If you really have a hard time with this, prepare your regular three meals and a snack for the day, and divide lunch and dinner in half. You’ve instantly got 6 small meals!
There is also another method of eating 3 regular meals and squeezing in 1 snack for a total of 4 meals. You eat every four hours instead of every 2-3. This concept is from Jillian Michaels and the theory behind it is that if you eat every 2-3 hours, your insulin stays continuously spiked and you end up with a higher chance of diabetes. 

I like the concept in Method 3 of eating three regular meals and one snack. I have attempted the 5-6 small meals before and didn't find it worked well for me. The other points seem pretty more more fruits and veggies, we can still eat meats, choose whole grans, read labels, eat fewer ingredients.