Monday, June 20, 2011

Clean Eating Challenge: Step 5 -- Lunches and Dinners

I almost forgot to post this.  With Father's Day and the fact that my week/weekend kind went haywire on me, I just about spaced it.  But no worries!  I know you're thanking your lucky stars about now because whatever would you do without your next Clean Eating Challenge post? 

Ok, so I'm sure you'd all get along just fine.  Just let me pretend that I'm needed.  ;)

This week we're going to clean up the remainder of your meals.  THIS IS A NO CHEATING WEEK!  Let me repeat... there is to be NO CHEATING this week.  Got it?  Good!

Here's the part where I contradict myself...
If you're one of those 'crazy Mormons' like myself, and have a crazy, hair-brained idea such as food storage (or maybe you're not a Mormon but still have a crazy notion to have such a storage), you may have not-so-clean items in your storage that you're not willing to part with.  I hear ya!  That was money well spent to feed your family and I'm not telling you to get rid of it.  Some clean foodies (that's what we're calling them for the moment) will tell you to rid your home of all unclean foods.  

Ummm, sorry but I'm too cheap to throw it away and I am NOT willing to GIVE it all away either.  So, in our food storage, I had dirty items such as cream of ... (fill in the blank) soups, tomato soup, ketchup, bbq sauce, ranch dressing, taco seasoning packets, WHITE rice, WHITE pasta, etc.  That's a lot of food to get rid of.  Not that all canned foods are dirty, they're not.  Canned beans (watch for sugars though), tomato paste/sauce, fruit in its own juices, etc. are all great canned items.

So what are you supposed to do?  Well, at our house, I try to make all of our meals clean; breakfast, lunch and snacks.  Dinner is clean too, MOST nights.  In order to still use up what's down in our food storage, I try to make completely clean dinners five nights a week.  The other two nights, we make an old 'dirty' favorite with items from our food storage.  Just remember not to overindulge.  Eat just 'til satisfied, not full.  

Now here's the part that may scare you.  It scared me at first too because, how in the world would I make dinner without canned, boxed, or bottled dirtiness?  Are you ready for it?  Here it is:  ONCE IT'S GONE, IT'S GONE!  DON'T BUY IT AGAIN!  It is possible to make clean versions of those same foods.  Surprised?  I was. 

And guess what, it's not that hard.  I've had so much fun making homemade ranch dressing and homemade taco seasoning.  We don't even miss the MSG.  That stuff is in a lot of processed foods.  It's not good for you, stay away from it.  

Oh, but as I was saying, the ranch and taco seasoning are BETTER than the packaged stuff.  Hard to believe, eh?  I didn't think it was possible but it's true.  Maybe we just enjoy the flavors because we're excited to not be eating crap anymore.  At any rate, it's good stuff.  Both of those recipes come from The Diet Rebel's Cookbook.  I'm beginning to think that it's my very favorite of the three that I got for Mother's Day.  

Tell you what, I'll even give you one of the recipes.  Just vote in the poll telling which recipe you'd like and the one with the most votes will be posted in the next couple of days. 

Simple enough, right?  Clean food is yummy and there's a lot to choose from.  Everything from fruits/vegetables, lean cuts of meat, eggs, whole grains, to dairy products and more.

If you know of a recipe that your family loves, just tweaking a few of the ingredients could make it a clean meal.  Or you could ask my best friend Google for some insight.  Just type in something like "clean eating recipes" or even "healthy recipes".... something to that effect. 

A couple of sites I've been to are:
The Gracious Pantry
Clean Eating Mama

There are soooo many more though.  Just do some research.  You'll find your favorites. 

Next week, we'll talk about how and when to eat crap.  But remember, this week is a NO CHEATING week (except a dinner or two... only a little dirtiness, please! i.e. a can of cream soup)

Keep it clean, people!

In case you missed it:  (I'm too lazy to put all the links here right now -- I know, lame -- but if you go to my Labels on the sidebar and click 'Clean Eating Challenge'... all the past weeks challenges are there.)


LeShel said...

Last week was so tough and I cheated SO many times. It makes this week even more difficult. So far I pulled mostly through yesterday and today is going okay. I'm about to fall off the wagon. Not all together but little pieces of me. I have cleaned up my diet HUGE so that's plus. I just don't know if I can completely sanitize this baby.
Going to try this week to do better. Thanks for keeping up the posts.

Brooke said...

Oh LeShel, don't fall off the wagon! Cheating is allowed, I promise, just not this week. You can do it! You can make it through one week with no cheats.

But I agree, changing your diet at all is a HUGE plus. We are literally poisoning ourselves with all the processed foods and refined sugars we eat. You'll feel so much better if you eat well.

LeShel said...

I know what you say is true! I totally agree. I feel like an alcoholic. I know it's all bad for me it just tastes so good. Going to keep trying!