Clean Eating: My Sister Guest Blogs!

As I mentioned previously, my sister Carrie has been eating clean and I wanted to share her experience as well. She was kind enough to write about a fun time they had and how they were still able to eat clean!
I’m pretty excited to be able to guest blog.
When Allie asked me and my husband, Ryan, to try eating clean for a month with her, we had no hesitations to try. We eat healthy and there is always room for improvement. It has not been too difficult. There are a few foods that we have really missed. One is pizza and the other is a good hoagie.
We were invited to a Phillies game the other night and usually we would have gone to our favorite deli, Lenny’s, to get a chicken culet sandwich or a Cajun turkey. Since that was out, I decided to make my own. I used grilled thin sliced chicken, sautéed broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, and sharp provolone. All of these items were on a whole wheat roll and it was perfectly delicious!


We didn’t even miss the chicken not being fried. I’d say it was a homerun! We had an awesome time at the Phillies game and they won.


Thanks again for taking the time to guest post… and more importantly, join us on this journey!

Clean Eating Challenge: Days 17-25

It is hard to believe that almost a week has passed since I’ve written about our clean eating challenge!  While we are still doing well, it has been a lot of work keeping up with photographing everything I eat.  Jay suggested I do some highlights and I thought that was a great idea!
After all, how many bowls of the same cereal can you stand looking at?
So come on, let’s take a look at the “best of” clean eating.
Corn tortillas with cheddar cheese, an egg, bacon, peppers and onions, topped with cilantro.
Grilled chicken over cous cous fried rice.  I sautéed some onions, carrots, garlic and ginger, then added it to the cous cous and served it over spinach.
A sweet potato.  Simple but tasty.
Corn tortillas with cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, and tomatoes.
Quinoa, grilled chicken, mushrooms, scallions and goat cheese.
Pineapple & mango smoothie.
Carrot, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger juice.
I am also going to be putting up a post from my sister, so be on the lookout for that.  Only one more week of our challenge!

Clean Eating: Day 13, 14, 15, 16

Day 13:

On Friday I started off with a big bowl of oatmeal!  It has been quite some time since I have had oatmeal and I definitely missed it.
The oats I bought are organic quick oats so all you have to do is add hot water.  It reminded me of oatmeal I used to eat when I was little.  Minus all of the extra ingredients.  I did add a banana, a splash of milk, brown sugar, and some flax seeds.
Because I was off I decided to do a little cooking.  Not only did I make some grilled artichokes, but also homemade hummus!
I do intend to write about both of these recipes so stay posted!
For lunch I snacked on some of the artichokes as well as the hummus with some pretzel crisps that I found at Trader Joe’s.
Later I headed to my Carrie and Ryan’s for dinner.
I brought the artichokes with some fresh veggies, the hummus and some pistachios to snack on before dinner.
We enjoyed homemade pizza and a delicious salad.
And for dessert we had a red white and blue dessert!


Funny that it was flag day!

Day 14:

On Saturday morning Carrie and I headed out for a run called Run or Dye.
But before I started off with some cereal and coffee.


We did a little shopping the night before so I bought some fancy drinking containers.  A new coffee mug and water cup!


The top photo is from last years Color Run and the bottom is from Run or Dye.
When I got back from the run I was pretty hungry so I made a quick snack.
Some hummus, goat cheese, and pretzel crisps.
For lunch I made a big smoothie!


First, I juiced 2 apples, celery, carrots, and half a lemon.  Then I added frozen pineapple and mango, spinach and ginger.
An epic (and not very photogenic) smoothie was born!
I was really in the mood for something Asian inspired so I looked up a few stir fry recipes and came up with this tasty creation.



I sautéed peppers, a mixed veggie bag that had broccoli, carrots and cabbage, green onions, and garlic.  I found a marinade recipe online that I soaked sliced beef in.  In the meantime, I cooked some buckwheat noodles.  Once all the veggies were cooked, I added the beef until cooked, topped the stir fry mix on the noodles and added some fresh cilantro.  Yum!  It was really good and hit the spot.

Day 15:

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad and all Dads!  We went to my parents house to celebrate.  I slept in and did not have breakfast prior to heading over.  I know, not a good thing to do, but I promise it is not a habit.
At my parents we snacked on cheese and crackers, asiago artichoke dip, homemade bruschetta, and chips and dip.



My Mom then brought out lobster and steak!  I had some lobster and it was delicious.  Because I had to leave for work, I didn’t get to enjoy the entire feast but what I did have was quite tasty!


Day 16:

Today I took the time to make another epic smoothie for breakfast.  I included all of the same ingredients and added a banana.



For work I packed some blackberries, mangos, and pistachio nuts to snack on.



I also packed some of the stir fry, though the photo is not as pretty as the first one.


It is hard to believe that we are already half way through our clean eating challenge!  Thank you for reading and I hope I have been able to give you some ideas of how you can make better choices!

Clean Eating: Day 10,11,12

I apologize for writing these posts in clusters, but it seems easier this way!  Some nights I get home from worked and just want to relax


Day 10:

I started off with the Ezekiel cereal, organic skim milk, and fresh blueberries.  I’m just loving this cereal and think I will continue to eat it.  It has such great texture and density, and then combined with the cool milk and squishy, sweet berries… yum!  Perfect morning combo.


Of course there was coffee on the side!
For lunch I munched on triscuits, some goat cheese, and a peach.



I packed several things for dinner!  Jay made pizza dough again so I made a pizza, as well as a cesar salad.



    I very rarely make caesar salads at home, but I really feel like I will start from now on.  I chopped up some romaine lettuce, added grilled chicken, homemade dressing and fresh parmesan cheese.
    To make the chicken I used a chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper, and finally some Essence of Emeril seasoning.  I cooked the chicken on the George Forman grill for about 7-8 minutes, let it cool, then added it to the salad.  I was actually disappointed when the grocery store didn’t have thin chicken cutlets (weird right?!) but the chicken came out perfect for the salad.
    For the salad dressing I followed the following recipe:
    • 1 garlic clove
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1 pasteurized egg yolk
    • 4 anchovies
    • splash of water
        Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Then, slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. 
        There is also another lower fat recipe:
        • 1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt
        • 1 garlic clove
        • juice of 1 lemon
        • 1 TBS parmesan cheese
        • 1 TBS water
        • 1 TBS olive oil
        • 4 anchovies
          Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
          I tried both recipes and I prefer the first one.  The second one is tasty, but definitely not the real thing.  I also used anchovy paste instead of actual anchovies, and it came out great.  Thank you Rachael Ray for that tip.  Where it said to use 4 anchovies, I used 2 tsp.


          Day 11:

          I hate to be dull, but I had the cereal again.



          I was headed to work so  I was packing everything that I ate for the day.  For snacks I brought a sliced cucumber, a plum, and a peach.


          For the rest of my meals I packed the remainder of my pizza and chicken caesar salad.


          When I got home I did have some ice cream.  Turkey Hill has a natural line, though I found most of the other flavors aside from chocolate and vanilla contained unnatural ingredients.  In the plain old chocolate and vanilla the ingredients are: cream, nonfat milk, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and vanilla bean.  It sure is tasty!

          Day 12:

          Today was a day off!


          This morning I had an egg with fajita mix and a slice of bacon.  I also tried something new in my coffee… unsweetened cocoa powder!  It really added some extra flavor and I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy any kind of chocolate coffee beverage.
          For lunch I had another caesar salad.  I did add some avocado and tomato this time.


          For dinner we had organic burgers on tortillas that I bought at Trader Joe’s.  I was really excited to see that the only ingredients in the tortillas was corn, lime and water!


          We topped the burgers with cheddar cheese and then I added lettuce, tomato, avocado and onion to mine.  I also had some organic ketchup that I also bought at Trader Joe’s .  And most importantly, Jay made wedge… yum!
          For dessert I had a small bowl of ice cream with organic milk.  I later met up with my friend Nichole for drinks.


          We visited the Ranstead Room, a fun, intimate, cozy place for drinks!  I had 2 drinks and then we shared a cheese plate and some popcorn.  While it was not clean eating, it was my indulgence for the week, we had a lot of fun and it was great to catch up! 
          Good night!

          Clean Eating: Day 6, 7, 8, 9

          Day 6

          On Friday I had a slice of banana bread with natural strawberry jelly and a little organic butter.


          Before heading to work I went to the gym, then snagged a small piece of pizza from the night before. 


          Then, on the way to work I bought a green smoothie from Whole Foods.  I picked: spinach, kale, avocado, pineapple, apple, ginger, and water.


          I made Skinny Taste’s pumpkin crockpot chili the night before.



          I topped it with a little greek yogurt and some fresh parsley.  Mine actually came out a little thicker than the recipe called for because I used 30 oz. of pumpkin instead of 15 oz. Whoops!  Even though I goofed, it was still delicious.

          Day 7

          For breakfast on Saturday I had a homemade whole wheat tortilla with mozzarella cheese, and an egg with fajita mix.


          I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I have also been having my coffee with sugar in the raw instead of the creamed honey.  I found that I like how it sweetens it more evenly, instead of just on the bottom.
          For lunch I had the last slice of the pizza and a salad.  In the salad was mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, chickpeas, beets, and goat cheese with homemade vinaigrette.




          Jay made a delicious treat… potato chips!  They were crispy, crunchy, and salty. 


          I had to pack my dinner because I was headed to work, so excuse the less than glam presentation.


          I had marinated a piece of frozen salmon in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and Essence of Emeril seasoning.  Then I threw it on the George Forman grill until it was nice and flakey.  On the side, I packed some bulgar, and then later I paired it with broccoli and mushrooms at work. 

          Day 8

          One thing we’ve noticed about clean eating is that you go through a lot more dishes! While we normally cook a good amount, we have been cookin’ up a storm lately.


          Aside from Jay making tasty potato chips, he made French toast on Sunday morning.


          The French toast was made from homemade whole wheat French toast, and topped with real maple syrup and blueberries.
          After breakfast I was off to a baby sprinkle for my friend Rian!  There was so much delicious food there so I let myself have a treat and indulge.


          I tried different kinds of quiche, chicken salad on a croissant, potato casserole and a chicken sausage and pineapple skewer.


          For dessert I had some fruit salad, a yogurt parfait, and some birthday cake dip!
          After the sprinkle I went to work and was feeling pretty full, which is why there are no other photos from the day!

          Day 9

          This morning I tried Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Whole Grain Cereal with some fresh blueberries and organic milk.


          I’d highly recommend this cereal to anyone looking for a healthy whole grain cereal.  It is crispy, flavorful and filling.
          Headed to work again, I packed all of my snacks and meals.


          For lunch I had pumpkin chili topped with greek yogurt and Triscuits.  Yes, Triscuits are clean eating!  Their only ingredients are whole grain wheat, oil and salt.
          As snacks, I packed a plum, mango, torta, and individually wrapped fresh mozzarella.
          While shopping the other day I found the tortas, whose ingredients are: wheat flour, olive oil, sea salt, sugar, yeast, thyme, and rosemary.   They are similar to a tortilla but are really thin and crunchy!  Perfect with some fresh mozzarella.


          For dinner I packed a pepper stuffed with bulgar, tomato sauce, and goat cheese.  I also made more of the fajita veggies, so I packed some of those as a side dish, topped with fresh avocado.073


          See you soon with some tasty eats!

          Clean Eating: Day 5

          Today I woke up and was really excited because I had whole wheat tortillas that I made!  That meant there was only one choice for breakfast… eggs!
          I scrambled one organic egg and added some of the fajita mix, which included peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spices.  On the side I had a piece of bacon, coffee and some berries.  I bought the bacon at Trader Joe’s and while I originally wasn’t really planning on eating bacon during the challenge, I was happy with the following ingredients : Pork, sea salt, raw sugar, celery powder, and spices.
          While berries are in season they are my absolute favorite fruit.  I just hate how fast they go bad! 
          I was off again today and decided to take some time and clean out the refrigerator.  Aside from there being some tempting foods still lingering, every shelf was in need a good scrub. 
          In between my cleaning frenzy I made a tasty lunch.  My Grandma Mary always made this delicious shrimp salad so I made a version of it.  I am going to post the recipe at some point.
          I put the salad over some mixed greens and heated up some bulgar on the side.  It was really satisfying and bursting with flavor!
          Later in the afternoon I went for a run along Kelly Drive.  While I’ve been working out at the gym, it was the first time I’ve ran along the river since the marathon!  That was hard to believe.  But I ran 6 miles and felt great, aside from forgetting to bring water.  I wanted to get home so bad on the way home so I started sprinting up the hill every other street.  A guy stopped his car just to tell me “good job", which made me laugh but feel good.  Anyone who has walked the dreaded hills in Manayunk would understand.
          Jay was waiting for me to arrive home because we were making pizza.  I made the dough the other night and I think I should have left the dough out instead of putting it in the refrigerator.  Either that or the water I used was too hot and killed the yeast.  The pizza had great flavor but the dough was more dense than we’ve ever experienced.  It was also the first time we used wheat flour and made pizza, which could have been the issue.
          I still enjoyed my margarita style pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil.
          Off to go relax!  Have a great evening!

          Clean Eating: Day 3 & 4

          Day 3:

          New challenges arose yesterday when I had to get up early for work.  I was trying to think of what I normally might bring with me and decided I probably would have taken corn tortillas with an egg and maybe some salsa or bacon.  But because I had yet to make any tortillas that was out of the question.  So yogurt with berries it was!
          Not going to lie I was not really digging it.  Sure, it is a perfectly delicious breakfast but because I failed to plan I was stuck with the only “safe” option at the time.
          My coffee on the other hand was quite delicious!
          I packed a few snacks because I knew I’d get hungry in between meals.
          Last of the grape leaves and pineapple!
          003For lunch I packed another turkey stuffed pepper.  I had a lot of filling left over so I scooped it on top and added some goat cheese.  Later at work I topped my concoction with a ton of fresh mushrooms.
          I was at work really late and was starving.  While I knew I had to stop at the grocery store I was really dreading it.  Tired and hungry, but I shopped and cooked wheat tortillas and fajitas!
          I topped the tortillas with cheddar cheese, the fajita mixture and fresh cilantro.  I also made homemade guacamole using Trader Joe’s guacamole kit.  If you’ve never heard of their guacamole kit, it includes 2 avocados, a small white onion, a few garlic cloves, a lime and 2 tomatoes.  The directions are on the package and it is really easy to make. It was the first time I bought and used one of the kits and loved it!!! 

          Day 4:

          Aside from making wheat tortillas and fajitas last night, I also made banana bread.  I was very thankful to have something other than yogurt for breakfast!
          My cousin was graduating today so I quickly ate and headed out!  It was a gorgeous day and I’m very proud of her.  Congrats Margaux!
          Afterwards we went out to lunch at Iron Hill Brewery. 
          I tried my best to order food that would be clean and as natural as possible.  To start I had mushroom soup and the ingredients were mushrooms, cream, and sherry.  I avoided the bread because I wasn’t sure exactly what ingredients were in it.
          For my meal I had this delicious lobster salad.  It was mixed greens, corn, jicama, avocado and lobster on top.  Again, there was bread included that I did not eat.
          I also had an unsweetened iced tea and coffee. 
          Everything was going great until it was time for dessert!  Everyone ordered a brownie sundae to share.  At first I was just planning on not eating any but dang, it was a big gooey, warm, brownie with peanut butter, chocolate and ice cream.  Whenever I’ve done Weight Watchers I never deprived myself of desserts so it was hard for me to feel like I wasn’t a part of the celebration and I really wanted something sweet.  I do not feel deprived while eating clean because while it has been a learning experience, the more I research and cook, the easier it is.  I realize that this was not a clean choice by any means but I want to be real with you all.  And I also want to be clear that just because I did indulge, I am going to keep eating clean.  I feel like it just goes to show that it is a challenge because there are so many every day temptations even if you are eating healthy and being conscious of your decisions.
          Later I wasn’t very hungry because lunch was rather filling, so I had one fajita and was quite satisfied.
          If you’re interested in some reading and clean eating information I’d highly recommend checking out 100 Days of Real Food.  Lisa has tons of recipes and ideas if you’re considering a clean eating lifestyle.