Tag Archives: life change

Clean Eating: Round 2/ Day 14

I did it!  I finished :)  I succeeded in 28 days of clean eating.  I feel fantastic and am super glad that I decided to embark on this journey.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t’ want a large piece of dark chocolate right about now, but I have a pantry full of goodies that will help me create a clean eating dessert.  My goal is to whip something up tomorrow.  Stay tuned for a recipe.

Just because my meal plan is finished, doesn’t mean my clean eating journey is over.  I have learned so much these last 4 weeks I plan on carrying over the recipes, tips and tricks into “real life”.  But first, I am going to combine all of the leftover meal ingredients and create some of my own combos this week.  No wasting around here :)

But before I go raiding my fridge, here is a final look at today’s delicious eats…


3/4 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter topped with 1/4 cup Muesli, 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds and 5 grapes, halved

Snack #1:

1 bottle coconut water

1 cup sliced pineapple

7 walnut halves


Banh-Mi Style Sandwich:  Asian Slaw mixed with 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and juice 1/2 lime.  Top 1 Ezekiel Burger Bun with slaw and 1/2 cucumber thinly sliced and 3 oz cooked ground turkey.

Snack #2:

2 cup mixed sliced strawberries and blueberries

10 raw, unsalted almonds


Chicken and Sweet Potato Toss:  3 oz chicken, cooked, 1 sweet potato, peeled, baked and chopped, 1 cup broccoli, chopped and steamed, 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced, and 1 sprig of thyme sautéed with olive oil.

Highlights:  There is nothing more delicious than a bowl of fresh berries.  Tastes so good it almost seems naughty.  Add a little protein with a handful of nuts and it’s a perfect way to curb your hunger in the afternoon.  Yum!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today.  Went out with a bang!

Thank you to everyone who supported me through this journey.  I appreciate your encouragement.  It always feels good to have people in your corner :)  This will be the last of my clean eating posts.  However, I have had so much fun participating in Jenn’s WIAW, I am going to continue to post my eats on a weekly basis.

Hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 13

Before I got married, my brother and I had the pleasure of living together for a year.  Even though we were both adults at the time, learning how to navigate the world on our own, we never took each other too seriously.  Whether it was taking out the trash or doing the dishes, we turned everything into a game.  One of our favorite games to play was to see who could go the longest without putting on a proper pair of pants.  What I mean by that is, who could wear their pajamas for the most hours in broad daylight.  So on days like today, when I made it until 4pm before I got myself dressed to go to the store, I have a special sense of pride for wearing my jammies past the noon hour.  I am also reminded of the fun times my brother and I use to have :)

So now that you know all about my weekend fashion secrets, why don’t I go ahead and reveal my daily eats…


3/4 cup cooked Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Hot Cereal, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 apple, chopped, and 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Snack #1:

15 grapes

2 oz Swiss cheese


Herb and Tomato Cod: 1 cup tomatoes, chopped, tossed with 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1 clove garlic, crushed, and 1 tsp olive oil placed on top of 4 oz cod and baked.  Served with 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup steamed broccoli.

Snack #2:

1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 banana, sliced, 10 pecans, crushed


Mango-Pepper Stir-Fry: 4 oz sirloin steak, 1 sliced green bell pepper, 1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper, sliced and 1/2 peeled, pitted and sliced mango, sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp peeled and minced ginger and 1 tsp soy sauce.

Highlights:  Dinner was definitely the highlight of the day.  Meat and mangoes make me a happy girl.

Lowlights:  No lowlights today.  Everything was palatable :)

Tomorrow is my last “official” day of clean eating as it is the last day of my structured meal plan.  My fridge and pantry are starting to look a little leaner.  I am looking forward to putting some of my favorite meals on repeat and trying out some new clean eating recipes as well.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s wrap up post.

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 12

Today was great.  I woke up to some snuggles from my little girl, hung out with a bunch of adorable babies at music class, enjoyed an afternoon nap, played in the sand at the park and went for an evening stroll in the neighborhood.   Doesn’t get much better than that.  And peppered throughout my day were some pretty darn good eats.  Check out what was making me drool today…


1/2 cup Muesli, 1 cup milk, 1 cup mixed and sliced strawberries and blueberries

Snack #1:

Sweet Mango Smoothie


Crispy Panko Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Peppers

Snack #2:

1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper, diced, sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil with 1 cup cooked brown rice and 1 tbsp chopped pecans


Bean Chili:  1 can Cuban Style Black Beans (from Trader Joe’s), 2 oz ground turkey (cooked), 1/2 tsp chile powder.  Topped with 3 cherry tomatoes, chopped, 2 tbsp chopped green onions and 1 oz avocado, chopped.

Highlights:  Breakfast was a delight.  There isn’t a better way to start your day then with a bowl full of berries.  And this version of Muesli redeemed my first attempt the other day.  Super delish!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today!  Everything was pleasing to the tummy :)

And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, it’s time to beat the hubby in some board games…

Hope your holiday weekend is filled with love, laughter and fun!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 10 & 11

With only a few more days left on my Clean Eating Journey I have to say, my feelings are bittersweet.  “Bitter” because having a plan is always helpful to guide you in making the right decisions, giving you new ideas and making meal time mindless.  But what will be sweet about closing this chapter is that my kitchen will be clean again :)  With 5 extensive meals a day, my fridge is chock full of food (to the point where things fall out every time I open it).  Also there seems to be an everlasting sink of dishes (no matter how many times I run the dishwasher…full!).  It has also been very time intensive and therefore I spend most of my evenings cooking for the next day until the wee hours of the night.  By now, I am a bit overtired and in need of some rest.  The bed is calling my name.  So before I fall asleep at the keyboard, let’s take a look at my most recent collection of meals…

1.  Breakfast:  1 cup Greek yogurt, 15 grapes, halved, and 1/2 cup Muesli.

2.  Snack #1:  1 apples, sliced with 1 tbsp peanut butter.

3.  Lunch:  1 serving Chimichurri Steak and Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Avocado-Apple Salad and 3 cups lettuce, 1/2 cucumbers, sliced, 3 cherry tomatoes, halved, 2 tsp red wine vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil.

4.  Snack #2:  Banana and bottle of coconut water.

5.  Dinner:  1 serving Crispy Panko Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Peppers (recipe below)

Highlights:  Dinner was definitely the highlight of the day.  The chicken was delicious.  Crunchy and moist and full of flavor (thanks to the Dijon which brought a nice kick).  The potatoes turned out great and I am excited to have learned how to roast them (something I have never tried before…usually too busy mashing).  The peppers brought a nice sweetness to the meal.  I couldn’t help but fill up my fork with each component before launching a big bite into my mouth.  I am a firm believer in creating a sampler platter with each mouthful :)

Lowlights:  Freddie and I both agreed that breakfast kind of ended up tasting like paste.  The Muesli was a bit dry and when mixed with the yogurt turned into something you might want to hang wallpaper with.  But the grapes were pretty good!

1.  Breakfast:  Sweet Mango Smoothie (1/2 frozen mango, peeled, pitted and diced, 1/4 cup cooked oatmeal, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup crushed ice, 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder, 1/2 tsp honey) and 2 large egg whites, scrambled with 1 oz Swiss cheese.

2.  Snack #1:  Avocado-Tomato Toss (1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, 1/2 cucumber, chopped, 1 oz avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped, tossed with 1 tsp olive oil)

3.  Lunch:  3 oz deli turkey, 1 tsp Dijon on 1 whole wheat English muffin served with Asian Slaw (1 cup shredded green cabbage, 1/2 cup shredded celery root, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 2 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 5 Thai basil leaves, chopped)

4.  Snack #2:  1 cup diced pineapple, 1 banana, 14 walnut halves.

5.  Dinner:  Loaded Potato (3 oz ground turkey sautéed with 3 oz tofu seasoned with 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder and sautéed in 1/2 tsp olive oil until turkey cooked through served on 1 sweet potato, baked) and 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli, steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed with olive oil.

Highlights:  Today’s highlight was a tie between breakfast and dinner.  The mango smoothie was super refreshing and delicious.  And I love the idea of a loaded sweet potato.  The turkey/tofu mixture was an unexpected, yet scrumptious topping.

Lowlights:  As much as I had hoped the Asian slaw would be the perfect side dish, it was a bit boring and bland.  But I am not giving up on it.  It has potential.  It is just about finding the right thing to jazz it up a bit.

Crispy Panko Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Peppers


1 lb baby redskin potatoes, scrubbed well

4 whole plus 2 chopped cloves garlic, divided

12 sprigs fresh thyme, divided

1 tbsp olive oil, divided

Sea salt and ground black pepper

4 tsp Dijon mustard

4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs

1 cup sliced yellow onion

1 1/2 red, yellow and/or green bell peppers, sliced


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a roasting pan, toss potatoes, 4 whole cloves garlic, half of thyme, 2 tsp oil, salt and black pepper.  Roast on lower oven rack, stirring halfway, until potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.

2.  About 30 minutes before potatoes are done, spread Dijon on all sides of chicken and season with black pepper.

3.  On a parchment -lined baking sheet, spread panko.  Bake on center oven rack, stirring halfway, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Press all sides of chicken into panko.  Arrange chicken on sheet and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat remaining 1 tsp oil on medium.  Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add remaining thyme and 2 chopped cloves garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add 1/4 cup water, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, strip leaves from thyme in roasting pan and sprinkle over potatoes, discarding stems.  Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl and roughly mash with a potato masher.  Serve chicken with smashed potatoes and bell pepper mixture.

Recipe from Clean Eating

This was Freddie’s favorite meal yet.  It was a great, clean take on comfort food.  Baked, breaded chicken, garlic potatoes…right up his alley!  I am sure he will be requesting this meal a lot :)

As we head into the holiday weekend, I am excited to finish off strong.  There are some super yummy meals lined up that I can’t wait to indulge in.  And if all goes well, I might have to whip up another clean eating dessert.  Because what is a holiday weekend without a little sweetness?

Happy Friday everyone!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 9 & WIAW

Time for a quick poll.  When you have a recipe that calls for an obscure ingredient, how far are you willing to go to get it?  How many stores are you willing to visit?  Or would you rather just find a suitable substitute?  I ask because my lunch today took a bit of work.  Not to cook, but I had to go to a few different stores until I found what I needed (which ended up being an Asian market).  There are times when I am willing to substitute ingredients, but if it is my first time making it, I want to try it the way it was intended.  But then again, that’s the good ole’ OCD in me :)  (By the way, if you are wondering what I was so adamant about finding, it was Thai basil and rice vermicelli noodles.  ps: Totally worth the trip!)

Now back to the important stuff.  The food.  Today was filled with delicious eats.  Not a bad meal in the bunch.  And as far as summer staples are concerned?  Let’s just say I sailed away to a tropical island.  Pineapple, berries, fish.  Sounds pretty summery to me!

Breakfast:Egg & Pepper Sandwich:  1/4 cup each Vidalia onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper and 3 egg whites sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil  on top of 1 whole wheat English muffin.

Snack #1:1/2 cup each Greek yogurt and cottage cheese and chopped pineapple topped with 2 tbsp chopped pecans.

Lunch:Thai Pasta:  4 oz tofu (cubed), 1/2 carrot (peeled and shredded), 1/2 zucchini (shredded) sautéed with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1 tsp soy sauce tossed with 2 cups vermicelli noodles and 2 leaves Thai basil (chopped)

Snack #2:2 oz Swiss cheese

1 1/2 cups mixed sliced strawberries and blueberries tossed with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Dinner:4 oz cod, seasoned with 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning and baked

2 cups chopped green beans sautéed with Vidalia onion and 1 tsp olive oil

1 cup cooked brown rice

Highlights:  Again, everything was pretty darn delicious, but the highlight was definitely the pineapple/yogurt concoction.  It was magical and reminded me of our honeymoon (in Turks and Caicos!)  I am a big fan of Chobani’s Pineapple Greek Yogurt and this was a great way to make your own.  The nuts gave it that extra crunch.  Nummy, num!

Lowlights:  No lowlights for me.  Simply scrumptious :)

As we say goodbye to the final days of summer, I am looking forward to all the goodness fall has to offer (including my 30 birthday!).  I will miss the long summer days and awesome selection of produce but can’t wait to start indulging in some of my favorite cold weather treats (apples and pumpkin galore!).

Hope you all have a wonderful Hump Day!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 8

While in the midst of preparing for today’s post, I realized that I completely forgot to celebrate the end of week one in yesterday’s post.  3 weeks down and 1 to go!  Feeling better every day and starting to get the hang of what clean eating is all about.  As much as I am loving this meal plan, I am looking forward to branching out and trying some other clean eating recipes.  I have come across some pretty cool blogs that will be helpful to spark some creativity in the kitchen as well as some other delicious recipes from Clean Eating Magazine.  But in the meantime, Freddie and I are having fun trying new things and expanding out palates.

Luckily, today was filled with some scrumptious and familiar treats.  Check out what we were munching on…


3/4 cup cooked Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Hot Cereal, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 banana, sliced, and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries

Snack #1:

1 bottle coconut water

14 walnut halves


1 can Eden Foods Caribbean Rice & Beans, topped with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1 tbsp sliced green onions

1/2 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced

After Lunch Treat :)

1 cup milk

1 Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondie

Snack #2:

1 egg, hardboiled

6 carrot sticks


1 serving Chimichurri Steak & Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Avocado-Apple Salad (recipe below)

Highlights:  Although it was a very small part of lunch, the mango was the absolute highlight of my entire day.  I rarely enjoy fresh mango anymore because I tend to only eat the fruit that comes from my box.  No room in my tummy or fridge to buy any more fruit.  But Freddie and I agreed that mango must become a staple in out household.  So sweet and delicious!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today.  Everything was pretty tasty :)

Chimichurri Steak and Sweet Potatoes


1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

3 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

3/4 lb lean flank steak, trimmed of visible fat

3/4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

3 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into matchsticks

1 1/2 cups peeled and thinly sliced celery root (sliced into matchsticks)

1 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

High-heat cooking oil (such as sunflower, safflower, peanut or grape seed oil), as needed


1.  Prepare chimichurri:  In a small non-reactive bowl or blender, combine parsley, lime juice, olive oil and pepper.

2.  In a glass baking dish, add steak.  Rub one-third of chimichurri on all sides of steak.  Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add potatoes, and half of remaining chimichurri.  Toss to coat, cover and set aside.

4.  Stir yogurt into remaining chimichurri.  Gently fold in apple, celery root, tomatoes and avocado.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

5.  Heat a grill on medium-high and brush grate with high-heat oil.  Add steak to center of grill and potatoes to outer edges.  Cook potatoes, turning halfway, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Cook steak, turning halfway, for 10 minutes for medium-rare or 12 to 13 minutes for medium.

6.  Transfer steak to a cutting board, tend with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Thinly slice against the grain and serve with potatoes and avocado-apple mixture.

Recipe from Clean Eating

After a delicious and filling dinner, it’s time to get back in the kitchen.  Lots of prep to get done for tomorrow’s meals.  Super duper excited to enjoy another day of yumminess :)

Hope you all had a wonderful start of the week!

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 6 & 7

It’s funny how one’s perception of the weekend changes over time.  I can remember when I was little, weekends meant sleepovers, watching cartoons and donuts (mmmm….donuts!).  Once I got a little older, weekends were about staying out late, partying and sleeping the day away (oh what I wouldn’t give to sleep the day away…).  Now, my weekends are a success if I get out of bed by 8, stay in my pjs as long as possible and spend lots of time as a family.

So, taking my current standards into consideration, I would say this weekend was a home run!  I was able to get done all of the things I set out to do.  Pedicure?  Check!  Make naughty clean eating dessert?  Check!  Snuggle with my baby (and take a 3 hour nap!)?  Check!  Play a late night game of Scattergories with the hubby?  Check!  Eat delicious, clean food?  Check!  Pretty nice little Saturday if you ask me (although I didn’t have time to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond…)!  And my tummy is happy too…

1.  Breakfast:  1 cup Greek yogurt topped with 2 pluots, pitted and chopped and 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds

2.  Snack #1:  1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1 oz mozzarella, cubed, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

3.  Lunch:  1 serving Five-Spice Pork with Sweet and Sour Broccoli

4.  After Lunch Treat:  1 Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondie

5.  Snack:  Melon Smoothie and 20 Popchips

6.  Dinner:  4 oz chicken, 3 cups arugula sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1 cup cooked quinoa, handful of steamed broccoli

Highlights:  Although it is obvious that the Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondie was the highlight of my life day, since it’s not on the meal plan it’s not in the running for a shout out.  So I will have to go with the deconstructed caprese salad I had for my snack.  I have never thought to make it this way but it was super delish!  Only wish there was a bit more to be enjoyed…

Lowlights:  As much as I like the pepperiness of arugula, I wasn’t a fan of it warm.  The sauté didn’t turn out as yummy as I had hoped.  I think in that future I will stick with cold arugula on salads and sandwiches.

1.  Breakfast:  Banana- Nut Oatmeal (Combine 3/4 cup cooked oats, 1/4 cup cooked teff, 1 banana, sliced, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 10 hazelnuts, chopped)

2.  Snack #1:  1 apple sliced and 2 tbsp almond butter

3.  Lunch:  Ginger Tofu Stir-fry (3 oz tofu, chopped, sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil with 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped, 1/2 zucchini, chopped, 1/2 cup green beans, 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce and 1/4 tsp peeled and minced ginger on top of 1 cup cooked brown rice).

4.  Snack #2:  Vanilla Peach Treat

5.  Dinner:  Hearty Salmon Penne (1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup navy beans, 3 leaves basil, chopped, 3/4 cup cooked whole wheat penne, 3 oz broiled salmon tossed with 1 tsp olive oil)

6.  After Dinner Treat:  1 Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondie with 1 cup milk

Highlights:  Breakfast was divine!  It was just what I needed to get my day started off right :)  I love the combination of the oats and the teff.  Makes for an interesting and delicious texture.  I will most definitely be enjoying this again.

Lowlights:  Not too sure about the salmon pasta.  I like salmon and I like pasta.  But together?  Not a match made in heaven.  Which is why I decided to reward myself with a blondie for dessert :)

After some good rest, pretty pink toes and a clean eating dessert fix, I’m ready to start my week off on the right foot :)  Happy Monday!

ps:  How was your weekend?



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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 5

I think I speak for us all when I say, TGIF!  It seems like the week just flew by, but after being away last weekend for our family reunion, I am definitely looking forward to some downtime this weekend.  Naps, snuggles and a pedicure are all on the agenda.  And of course some more delicious clean eats.  I have decided to try a clean eating dessert recipe this weekend, too.  It is not on the “plan” but it’s still clean, so I figure it’s a good compromise.  I can’t wait to share it with you :)

In the meantime, here is a look at what I was munching on today…


Strawberry Porridge:  1/2 cup cooked teff, heated, 1/2 cup cooked oats, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup sliced strawberries and 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds

Snack #1:

1 pluot

10 raw almonds


Italian Sandwich:  Ezekiel Burger Bun, split, topped with 1 marzano tomato, sliced, 3 leaves of basil and 3 oz mozzarella, broiled in the toaster oven until cheese was melted

1 ear corn, boiled

Snack #2:

1 cup navy beans, 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, heated and tossed with 1 tsp red wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp olive oil


1 serving Five-Spice Pork with Sweet and Sour Broccoli (see recipe below)

Highlights:  The highlight of the day was definitely lunch.  The sandwich reminded me of a Manchego Melt, a favorite lunch item of mine that I indulge in when I go to visit LA.  Next time I am going to throw some artichokes on there to make it more official :)  I can see this quickly becoming a household favorite!

Lowlights:  Not the biggest fan of the musical fruit in snack #2.  I can work with pinto beans and black beans.  But navy beans?  No thanks.  Although, on the bright side, they did leave me full…

Five-Spice Pork with Sweet & Sour Broccoli


1/4 cup sliced raw unsalted almonds, finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

3/4 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed

1/2 cup brown long grain rice, rinsed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

8 oz Romanesco squash, sliced

1 tbsp raw honey

1 tbsp tamari

1 head broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Spread almonds in a cutting board.  Rub Dijon and five-spice powder on all sides of pork.  Press pork unto almonds, coating all sides.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet on medium-high.  Add pork, immediately remove from heat and transfer to oven.  Bake, turning halfway, until an instant thermometer registers at 145 degrees F when inserted in the center of pork, about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a large plate and tend with foil.

3.  Meanwhile, cook rice according to package.

4.  In a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, add garlic, ginger, bell pepper and squash.  Cook, stirring until garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in honey and tamari and bring to a boil.  Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water.  Cover, bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes, adding additional water as needed.  Remove from heat.

5.  Slice pork against the grain into 20 equal slices.  Serve with broccoli mixture and rice.

Recipe slightly adapted from Clean Eating

Dinner was delicious!  I was unsure of the pairing of Dijon mustard with the five-spice but it worked…well :)  The veggies turned out awesome, too.  They had all the taste of sweet and sour without the yucky, gooey, “who knows what is in that?” sauce (nightmares of late night Panda Express runs from college come to mind…).  I think I have just found my new favorite way to make broccoli!  Good thing I usually have an abundance of it in my CSA box :)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  See ya tomorrow…

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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 3 & 4

Food.  We all need it to live.  But what we choose to put in our mouths can either build us up or break us down.  Never before did I fully comprehend the mantra “you are what you eat” until I began this Clean Eating journey.  But with so many temptations out there, it can be hard to follow through with your best intentions.  That is why this meal plan is so helpful for me.  It keeps me on track by offering me a strict framework.  It also allows my body to detox from the yucky foods that I have enjoyed in the past.  And what I am finding is that the longer I go without those foods, the less I crave them and ultimately, the better I feel.  This meal plan has introduced me to cleaner versions of my favorite foods, helping me to make better choices in the future.  And the last few days have been a good example of this.  Check out what I have been stuffing my face with lately…

1.  Breakfast:  Peanut Butter Teff Porridge (Toast 1/2 cup teff on medium-high heat for 1 t0 2 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups water, reduce heat to a low boil and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes.  Combine 1/2 cup cooked teff with 1 banana, smashed, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter and 1 tsp honey)

2.  Snack #1:  1 cup Cream of Tomato Soup, 1 oz mozzarella cheese

3.  Lunch:  Quinoa Confetti (3 oz chicken breast, chopped, 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup steamed corn, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning)

4.  Snack #2:  2 cups cubed cantaloupe topped with 1/2 cup cottage cheese.

5.  Dinner:  Seafood Salad (4 oz bass, seasoned and broiled, over 2 cups each spinach and arugula, 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes, 2 slices red onion, 2 redskin potatoes, chopped and steamed tossed with 2 tsp red wine vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil.

Highlights:  It’s hard to pick one highlight today, since everything was so yummy.  But I am most excited about my new favorite grain.  Teff.  It made for a delicious breakfast and I am looking forward to learning new ways to prepare it!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today!  Everything was great :)

1.  Breakfast:  Melon Smoothie (1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup watermelon, 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder) and 1 hard boiled egg.

2.  Snack #1:  15 Beanitos Black Bean Chips with 1/4 cup hummus.

3.  Lunch:  1 serving Italian Meatball Casserole served atop 3/4 cup cooked whole wheat penne and 1 cup each green beans, diced red bell pepper and diced Vidalia onion sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil.

4.  Snack #2:  Vanilla Nectarine Treat (1/2 Barbara’s Shredded Wheat biscuit, crushed, 1 nectarine, pitted and chopped, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 10 whole almonds, chopped.

5.  Dinner:  Asian Tofu Bowl (4 oz tofu, cubed, 1 zucchini, sliced, 1 carrot, sliced, 1 cup rice and 1 tsp soy sauce)

Highlights:  I am in LOVE with this Melon Smoothie.  I was a little hesitant at first because I am usually not a fan of melon flavored things (although I enjoy eating melon as is).  But this smoothie was A.MAZ.ING!!!  I will be making this over, and over, and over again.  And I’m lucky enough that it appears again on this meal plan.  Yay, me!

Lowlights:  No lowlights today either.  This meal plan ROCKS!

Whether it’s because I’m now considered a seasoned veteran or because I haven’t had to eat any canned salmon this time around, Clean Eating is no longer feeling like a sacrifice for me.  I am completely satisfied after every meal and don’t feel the least bit deprived.  This round is helping me to build the confidence I need to move forward with this new lifestyle and embrace change.  As long as I can come up with some Clean Eating desserts, life will be grand :)



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Clean Eating: Round 2/Day 2 & WIAW

There are only 2 Wednesday’s left in August.  Which means, fall is right around the corner.  So I am going to do my best to soak up all that summer has to offer.  Indulging in fresh fruit and veggies is one of my favorite things about the warm weather.  Lots of summer staples including watermelon, peaches and zucchini found their way to my plate today and I scarfed down every last bit!

Breakfast:3 egg whites, scrambled and sautéed with 1 tsp olive oil with 1 sliced zucchini

1 cup orange juice

Snack #1:1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1 peach, pitted and chopped

Lunch:  Tuna-Bean Salad:  3 oz tuna, 1 stalk celery (diced), 1 1/2 cups navy beans, 1/2 red bell pepper (diced), tossed with 2 tsp red wine vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil on 4 cups chopped Romaine

20 popchips!

Snack #2:3 wedges watermelon

10 hazelnuts

Dinner:1 serving of Italian Meatball Casserole (see recipe below)

2 cups peeled and cubed eggplant, misted with cooking spray and roasted at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes

Highlights:  Dinner was delicious!  The meatballs were juicy and tender.  The arugula tomato mixture made a yummy sauce.  And the roasted eggplant helped to round out the meal.  Freddie and I agreed this will become a household staple.

Lowlights:  I wasn’t a huge fan of the salad.  It had a bit too many beans in it and I felt like it was missing a creaminess (from mayo or Greek yogurt).  But the chips were a good addition and were delicious when dipped in the salad.

Italian Meatball Casserole


1 lb extra-lean ground beef

3 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 cup minced Vidalia onion

2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

1 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Burger Bun, sliced into 16 rounds

1 tsp olive oil

4 cups baby arugula

2 cups chopped tomatoes

3 1/2 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded


1.  Preheat broiler to high.  Arrange 1 oven rack 8 inches from top heat source.

2.  In a large bowl, gently mix beef, two-thirds of garlic, onion and Italian seasoning until just combined.  Season with salt and pepper and form into 20 balls.  Transfer to a large baking dish and broil on top rack, turning halfway, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

3.  In a medium bowl, toss bun with olive oil and remaining third of garlic.  Spread on a baking sheet and broil, turning halfway, until light golden on both sides.  Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees F.

4.  Add arugula and tomatoes to meatballs and toss to combine.  Nestle bun vertically amongst meatballs and sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake in center of oven until cheese is bubbly and light golden, about 15 minutes.

Recipe from Clean Eating

Now it’s time to announce the winner of our Love With Food Giveaway!  Drum roll please…Congratulations to Christa from Christa To The Max!  I will be in touch with you via email with more details on how to redeem your prize.  Thank you to the rest of the participants.  Each one of you is super awesome and I appreciate all of your yummy snacking ideas.  For a limited time, Love With Food is offering $2 off of your first box to ALL of my readers!  So hurry over to their site and use the discount code CHUCKVIP at check out.

Happy Snacking!

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