Sunday, June 26, 2011

Clean Food Challenge - Days 5 and 6

Well, I survived!  I spent the entire weekend with my in-laws and three dozen New York City bagels and I didn't eat a single bite.  They smelled and looked delicious, but I stayed strong and reminded myself that I can eat them another time.  I froze most of the bagels that were left and am planning to enjoy one at a later date (preferably with some cream cheese and some lox).  Not only did I refrain from eating the bagels, but also the other junk food that was all over the house during their visit.  It was surprisingly easy.  I didn't really want most of it, and felt great eating my clean foods throughout the weekend.  We grilled on Saturday night, so I was able to prepare a lot of good foods to eat with everyone else.  On Sunday, they wanted to take everyone out for breakfast, which I was worried about.  I knew that even if I ordered eggs and potatoes, they would most likely be fried in butter and would not be very healthy and clean.  However, in a rare twist of fate, my son woke up with a horrible ear infection in the middle of the night and needed to go to the doctor first thing in the morning.  I took him while everyone else went to breakfast.  I'm certainly not happy about the ear infection, but I guess if he has to have one anyway, I might as well be happy about the fact that I got a free pass from breakfast.

So, since I'm covering two days with this post, I'm just going to give an overview of the food I ate.  Breakfast was the same both days:  oats with almond milk and blueberries, and a splash of maple syrup.  Lunches were salads with lots of great veggies and chickpeas and the delicious tahini balsamic dressing.  I'm seriously obsessed with this stuff!  Dinner on Day 5 was grilled shrimp (I was originally going to avoid meat, but decided to eat this while it was cooking), salad, and grilled potatoes.  Dinner on Day 6 was a portabella mushroom stuffed with a combination of millet, kalmata olives, sun dried tomatoes and that fabulous dressing (I told you I was obsessed).  It was a spur of the moment creation, but it tasted pretty good.  In the future, I would make it with a softer grain like quinoa.

I have had a lot of snacks over the past two days, including ricecakes with almond butter, some tortilla chips with guacamole (I'm still on the fence about these because they are technically processed even though they are all-natural, organic and only have four ingredients - I don't know that I will include them in any future challenges), apples with almond butter, veggies dipped in hummus, raisins, medjool dates, and fruit.  I also made a snack that is pretty common in our house - Goodie Earth Balls.  This recipe is a combination of a few different recipes, and it is a great snack for kids:

Goodie Earth Balls

1 C Peanut Butter (natural works best for this recipe)
1/4 C ground flax (I normally use toasted wheat germ, but substituted flax this time to make it CFC friendly)
1/8 C honey
1/8 C carob powder (or more or less to taste)
Raisins (the amount is flexible)
Unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a soft, workable "dough."  Roll into small balls and roll in the shredded coconut.  Keep balls in the refrigerator.

Quite honestly, I don't really use measurements for this recipe any more.  Each time I make it, I just throw everything together until it looks and tastes the way I want it.  So, play around with the recipe until it works for you.  You can also make a number of changes and additions.  I sometimes make it with cocoa powder instead of carob powder.  These are a favorite with kids and make a great snack for outings.  If you have peanut allergies, you could always use almond butter. 

I'm getting ready for my last day of the challenge and I'm thinking I might not be completely ready to stop.  I'm really enjoying eating this way, and I think I might continue through Friday.  Or, I might just keep eating most of the foods I have been eating and let myself eat other foods as the desire or situation presents itself.  I really just want to be more mindful about what I am eating.  That is what this week has taught me.  So, maybe the next step isn't just gorging myself on all of the taboo foods that I couldn't eat during the challenge, nor is it continuing to follow rigid rules.  Maybe it is just letting myself find a new way of eating that is more mindful and whole.


  1. I can't believe you survived having bagels in your house! Good work, Willow.. sounds like you truly embraced the goodness of the food and had a great experience!

  2. It was tough to stay away from the bagels, but I was able to do it somehow. The challenge was great, but I definitely had to talk myself down a few times. Yesterday, all I wanted to do was bake some brownies with chocolate chips and eat the entire pan.

    Thanks again for the motivation to start the challenge (and the blog).