Sunday, August 17, 2014

Clean Eating Should be Easy!

You know what's harder than clean eating?  Well, a lot of things, because I think clean eating is pretty easy.  Of course, I've been doing it for more than two years, so now it's just part of who I am.  But when I am trying to eat clean and just don't feel like cooking..... that's hard!  I mean, there are a lot of snacks that are just grab and go, like raw veggies, nuts, etc.  But when it comes time to eat a meal, it does make it a little more difficult!

So this week, I have tried to put together a menu of pretty easy and basic recipes, along with a variety of ideas for snacks that you can choose from.  Because one thing harder than eating clean when you don't feel like cooking, is eating clean when you have to go buy a bunch of weird ingredients.  Since I've been doing this a long time, I tend to have things like coconut flour, almond meal, chia seeds, etc. in the cupboard.  But if you don't, hopefully you can mix and match some ideas from this week's meal plan.  I have kept it fairly loose, because that's really how I do it through the week.  Supper is the only thing that is planned in our house, and everything else is pretty much based on that and whatever else is in the fridge or cupboard.

Recipes follow the chart.

Banana/egg pancakes -  These could not be simpler!  Just beat an egg and mash a banana.  Mix together well.  Lightly grease a pan with a little bit of coconut oil and make pancakes!  Serve with real maple syrup, if you like.

Blueberry pancakes - I just love these!  You may need to add a little more milk if they are too thick.

Chia seed breakfast pudding - You need to make this ahead, but then you have it ready when you are running out the door!

Apple mug muffin - You know those quick microwave cakes that are all over Pinterest and Facebook?  Yep, this is one of those!  But clean.  Even Paleo!  There are also oven directions if your prefer not to use the microwave.

Balsamic pot roast - It probably seems like I make a pot roast every week.  I probably do.  I love how easy it is to throw something in the slow cooker.  And then, of course, there are the leftovers for another night or for lunch!

Grilled chicken - I just rub a little olive oil on chicken breasts, sprinkle with some Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and throw those babies on the grill!  Grill some fresh seasonal veggies and you are all set!

Greek salad with chicken - When I make the grilled chicken, I always make extra so we can have a quick salad one evening.  The Greek salads I had in Greece did not include lettuce, but this one does so we can make it a meal.  Toss together chopped Romaine lettuce, tomatoes cut into wedges (or grape tomatoes), peeled and sliced cucumber, thin sliced red onion, and chopped leftover chicken.  Dress with red wine vinegar and olive oil and toss lightly to coat.  Sprinkle on some feta cheese and a little oregano.  Voila!

Hawaiian barbecue chicken sandwiches - I haven't actually tried this yet, but The Gracious Pantry hasn't steered me wrong before!  Let me know how it goes.

Spaghetti squash with marinara - I make a batch of marinara and freeze the leftovers so I can make this quick and easy anytime.  It's really an easy recipe, and filled with yummy goodness.  I brown some lean ground beef for protein, and then add the pre-made sauce to heat through.  Spaghetti squash can be cooked in the oven and then you just pull the strings of squash out to make the noodles.

I get my whole wheat english muffins at Trader Joe's.  If you can't get those, be sure to read the ingredients of the ones at your grocer.  They need to be made with basic ingredients, as close to natural as possible.  Trader's have stone ground whole wheat flour, water, barley malt, yeast, wheat gluten, expeller pressed corn oil, sea salt, vinegar, and cornmeal.  If you can't find one that are pretty clean, opt for Ezekiel bread or something similar.

A note on whey protein.  Read the label.  There are some with so many ingredients, I'm not sure what they really are.  I found Tera's Whey (bourbon vanilla) at Marshall's.  It is made with dairy whey protein concentrate, organic vanilla, sunflower lecithin, organic stevia leaf extract.  I don't use it a lot, partly because I haven't found it again and I only have the one container, but also because most of my meals contain enough protein I don't feel the need to add it.

I really want to make clean eating easy for you.  Let me know if there is a recipe you'd like cleaned up, and I will see what I can do!  Remember, whatever you do, keep it clean!

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