This week’s challenge was two-fold and while I was not exactly looking forward to it before, I’m very glad I did it now that it’s over.
“Wake up every morning and say something positive about yourself. Spend the week eating like Jen!” – from Jen Jura
As mentioned before, Jen is my personal trainer turned friend that I’ve been working with for years. She’s been trying to get me to read this book, The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, for as long as I can remember and take on the lessons and teachings it delivers. I have downloaded the audio book and am listening to it, bit by bit. This chick’s voice is relatively (read as incredibly) annoying so I might just buy the actual book.
This involves eating clean foods, nothing processed and mostly vegetarian. Let’s get one thing straight. I like meat. Like could be a full on carnivore for the rest of my life and be completely content. I am not an herbivore. If I was meant to consume only plants, evolution wouldn’t have given me these delightful teeth intended for chewing. That being said, I accepted the challenge as I had no other option.
The first portion of this challenge was to say something positive about myself at the start of every day. I gotta tell ya, starting your day with daily affirmations or positive thoughts, alongside the expressions of gratitude I’ve carried over from The Secret, make for a fantastic mood in the morning, regardless of when you wake up.
This video circulated around the internet a few years ago and I immediately thought of it when I was beginning this challenge. Now, I was not exactly standing on my bathroom counter singing about all of the wonderful things about myself to my reflection like Jessica does, but you get the gist. Take a look:
I strongly encourage you to give this a try. I am fortunate to have many people in my life that constantly remind me of how “awesome” I am and how much I am capable of, but sometimes fail to see these same things in myself. I needed this especially this week as I was waiting to hear a response to a very exciting job interview. After a few days of the phone not ringing I got a little down and this positive thinking helped me turn things around. Whether it was about how much I like my eyes or my intelligence or my hair or my laugh or my kindness and thoughtfulness or my sense of humor, it tuned me in and made me think about the good things as opposed to the fact that 29 year old Katie does not look the same as 23 year old Katie. C’est la vie…
That being said, I can confidently say that 29 year old Katie is way more awesome than 23 year old Katie.
Ok. Onto the food. So Jen and I went to Whole Foods to get the ingredients needed for the menu that she had put together. I also purchased a Vitamix as most of the items I would be eating can be quickly made in this magical high speed blender!
I had several options to choose from to hold me over for the next 7 days. I thought I’d provide the recipes in case any of you want to try them yourselves!!
- 1 handful power greens
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 whole lemon
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 slice ginger
- 1 and 1/4 cup water
- 1 handful parsley
- ( I added a squeeze of local organic honey, don’t get mad Jen. It fights allergens.)
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 scoop Vega One vegan protein powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp Almond Butter
- 1-2 cups 365 Vanilla Almond Milk
Hemp Seed “Cereal“:
- 1 cup hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp Chia seeds
- 1/4 Goji Berries
- 365 Vanilla Almond Milk to your heart’s content
- 1 head of butterhead bib lettuce
- 1/4 Red Beet
- 1/4 Yellow Beet
- 2 radishes
- 1 avacado
- 1 tomato
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Equipped with all I needed to get me through the next 4 days I went home, Jen and I cleaned my veggies and did some prep work to make assembly of the recipes easier. I started with the green drink the following morning. Now, I wrote the recipe down wrong and accidentally put blueberries in instead of pineapple which made it look like this…
This drink is really not that bad!! I did add the honey though to sweeten it up a tiny bit. I put too much ginger in it so it had a little kick to it that I wasn’t prepared for. Jen eats/drinks this for breakfast every single day.
I chose between either the smoothie or the hemp seeds for lunch each day. I was definitely hesitant to try this, but I was incredibly surprised to find that it is actually really, really delicious!! You get the Hemp seeds and Chia seeds from the grain bins at Whole Foods. You serve yourself and can take as much or as little as you’d like!
I tried the salad for dinner, but found myself starving so I added raw almonds or almond butter in as a snack. Justin’s makes these little almond butter packets that make the perfect snack to carry in your purse.
I have also discovered that my new favorite mid day small meal or snack is an avocado. I cut it in half and eat it with a spoon, like it’s green yogurt.
Now I ate most of these things every day, but I needed a change of pace. Over the weekend I spent time at my best friend Abby’s and didn’t have time to put together a clean meal. I did, however, try to pick a healthier option for dinner than usual. We had Jimmy John’s Unwiches (a sandwich wrapped in iceberg lettuce as opposed to bread) and while I know the deli meat probably isn’t anywhere close to clean, it was better than like pizza or something. I realized that this challenge forced me to really think about the kinds of foods I’m ingesting and what kind of effects they’re really having on my body.
On Sunday, I visited the farmers market for some fresh, handmade pasta. Jen said this is ok to eat so I jumped on the opportunity! They have all different kinds, but I got basil and whole wheat. I paired this with some homemade cilantro lime pesto and cilantro lime shrimp.
http://www.ohiocitypasta.com/retail.htm is the website for the company that makes the pasta!
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch of cilantro, trimmed stems/roots
- 1/2 cup olive oil (more if it’s too thick)
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp lime juice
Combine in Vitamix and blend!
Cilantro Lime Shrimp:
- 1 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
- 1 tomato
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- olive oil
Sautee the garlic in the pan, then add shrimp, when it’s almost pink add crushed red pepper, black pepper and cumin, stir til fully cooked. Add cilantro, lime juice and chopped tomatoes.
I put the pesto on the pasta and the shrimp on top of that! SOOO delicious.
I also acquired a new temporary roommate this weekend! A coworker of my friends Braden and Sofocles just got transferred from Gillette in Boston to P&G in Cincinnati. Her apartment isn’t ready for another month, but her job started this Monday! I had an unoccupied guest room and she had no where to live so Braden put us in touch with one another and she’ll be living with me for a month! Her name is Beryl and she’s super sweet! I wanted to give her a little welcome dinner, my best friend Courtney was in town and I got tired of eating clean alone so I had some of the girls come over for a lovely meal! I also wanted to use my new grill! I put together a completely organic menu.
We had grilled marinated locally raised flank steak, tricolor roasted potatoes, quinoa and heirloom tomato salad and balsamic glazed grilled asparagus. The marinade requires raspberry vinaigrette and I usually use store-bought but this time I made it from scratch. It looked like pink runny sorbet because of the raspberries. This makes me wonder what’s in the stuff I usually buy that has a more clear consistency. I also made the balsamic glaze reduction with local honey and organic balsamic vinegar. Delicious!! Jenna and I have decided this will be a more frequent thing since I love to cook so much!
This made for great leftovers, as well! I started sprint training with Megan’s husband, Drew, last night and the asparagus and a couple of slices of flank steak made for the perfect post-workout dinner.
After it’s all said and done, I fully intend on continuing to eat clean. It’s actually really easy. With a few exceptions, I discovered that I generally prepare clean meals without even knowing it. The smoothie is delicious and kind of reminds me of blueberry pancakes! The green drink is not delicious, but it keeps me full for HOURS.
I lost 6 pounds in 1 week! I’m sure it’s all water weight, but still!! I have so much energy, my body feels better and my skin is softer! I have no plans to become a vegetarian, but I will definitely be limiting the amount of meat I am eating.
Next up on the menu…I’m making my own almond milk!!! I told Jen and she said “Who are you!? What have I created?!”
I’ll let you know how it tastes!!
Interested in trying your own clean-eating challenge? Check out these sites for more tips:
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