Week 2 – Clean Eating Meal Plan

Love! My trainer says this! 70% diet (healthier eating) & 30% exercise! Abs are made in the kitchen! #youarewhatyoueat:

 

Week 2 in the books! The meals were pretty good. The lasagna I know is not textbook “clean eating” because of the cheese, but we used fresh, natural mozzarella and dairy-free ricotta. With the half marathon on Sunday, I needed to make sure I was eating enough calories to sustain my run. I think it would have been tasty even without the cheese though, the chicken turned out delicious and the noodles cooked up nicely. The sheet pan steak was also a hit. I love anything with roasted vegetables though so this will probably become a staple in our house. I did not love the Asian chopped salad but Adam really enjoyed it. I think it was a texture thing for me plus the dressing seemed to have a distinct smell that I did not enjoy.

This week has been kind of busy with our schedules but we made it through and we got our clean eating in. I have a race in Myrtle Beach this weekend, the one I am doing with my mom! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! I’m also doing a 5k tonight with a friend and her new baby. We’re going to walk it and push the stroller along the way. I have been MIA this week on the posts but I am taking next Monday off so hopefully I can get back on the wagon. I have so many fun spring/summer post ideas to share!

In other news, I did not do a favorites post for April because most of my favorites were new skincare products that I have been loving, but I am planning to do a skincare post next week. So it would have been really repetitive.

 

week 2

Sirloin Steak & Roasted Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Sirloin Steak
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Asparagus
  • Squash
  • Zucchini

 

Directions:

  1. Marinate steak with balsamic vinegar and steak seasoning. Marinate vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. Place vegetables on sheet pan and bake for one hour.
  4. Set oven to broil and cook steak on sheet pan for about 10 minutes on each side, or according to your prefered steak temperature.
  5. Place vegetable back in the oven to warm up.

 

 

Crock Pot Chicken Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup uncooked whole grain penne
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add chicken, onion, basil and tomatoes to a crock-pot. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Add in heavy cream and penne, turn up to high, and cook 30 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Add remaining ingredients, stir well, and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

 

Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad

Ingredients:

  • shredded cabbage
  • cooked quinoa
  • Shredded carrots
  • cashews
  • sesame seeds
  • green onions
    • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
    • 1 tsp Ginger
    • 1 Tbsp Honey (or any unprocessed sweetener)
    • pinch of Salt and Pepper
    • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
    • 2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Directions:

  1. For the salad:
    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine CABBAGE, cooked QUINOA, CARROTS, CASHEWS, SESAME SEEDS, and GREEN ONIONS (whites); cover and refrigerate until ready to dress with vinaigrette.
  2. For the Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette:
    1. In a mixing bowl or glass, whisk together RICE VINEGAR, GINGER, GARLIC, HONEY, SALT, and PEPPER.
    2. Slowly drizzle in the OLIVE OIL and SESAME OIL, continually whisking until well-blended and creamy.
    3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use; garnish with GREEN ONION (green part).

 

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant oats (as a substitute you can use old fashioned rolled oats pulsed a few times in a food processor)
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1-1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil-melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup grated carrots

Directions:

  1. Whisk together instant oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together egg, vanilla and coconut oil. Add honey and stir to combine.
  3. Stir in dry ingredients mixture, then fold in carrots.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. CHILLING IS MANDATORY!!! The oats need some time to soak some moisture, also prevent cookies from flatten completely.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F, line large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. Using ice cream scoop drop the ball of cookie dough onto baking sheet leaving two inch space apart. If you chill the dough longer and the dough is very thick flatten the cookies slightly before baking.
  7. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Cool the cookies on a baking sheet for 15 minutes ( they need to finish cooking on warm baking sheet) then transfer to a rack.

 

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil*
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning (that I talked about last week)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees fierenheit. Toss the chickpeas, olive oil and salt together on a large sheet-pan and bake until crispy, about 30 minutes, flipping a few times.
  2. Once chickpeas are crispy, remove from the oven and toss with the taco seasoning. There should be enough oil to allow the taco seasoning to stick to the chickpeas, but if most of it cooked off you can add a little more oil to the chickpeas to ensure the seasoning sticks.

 

Bananas

WEEK 1 – CLEAN EATING MEAL PLAN

Cheat meals.....:

As I said last week, I am starting a 6-week clean eating series. I’ll provide recipes, tips and grocery lists. The meals that I list here I prepared for myself this past week so that I could really provide insight, pictures, and ideas for this post. I had made a draft of what meals I was planning to prepare for the next six weeks but if I’m being honest, they may change a little over the course of the series. For example, I just don’t like kale. I can juice it but that’s about it. Probably if it was covered in full-fat ranch or Italian dressing I could manage it, but otherwise I really just don’t love it. Adam does though so he still wants to incorporate it in our meals, but I’ll just keep it out of mine. So what I’m trying to say is that as things like that come up, my plan may sway a bit but I am learning a lot, trying new things and paying so much attention at the ingredients we’re putting in our bodies. Even in just a week I have become so alert at the package labels.

My ultimate goal was to be able to get the grocery list at a regular grocery store and not spend an arm and a leg. I will probably purchase a lot of the produce and some organic items at a store like Trader Joe’s and then the rest of my list can be purchased from my regular grocery store. (I personally find that TJ’s has super cheap produce). You may also want to check out farmer’s markets for some fresh finds.

And I continue to repeat, I am not a “Clean Eating” perfectionist or expert. I still drink coffee, I eat an occasional ice cream dessert before bed after a hard workout. But I am trying my best to control the ingredients I’m eating, trying to eat foods in their natural state (meaning no preservatives!) and portioning and meal prepping.

 

Before we get started on week 1, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Out of the grocery list and recipes below, I was able to make the following for Adam and I for the week:
    • 5 burrito bowls
    • 5 meals of ground turkey and “rice”
    • 4 large and 2 medium sized taco salads
    • 10 portions of overnight oats
    • 10 portions of berries
    • 10 portions of cucumbers and hummus
  • A lot of the spices and miscellaneous condiments that I will list each week will only need to be purchased once for the duration of the series. I always make sure to check my grocery list with my pantry before heading to the store to make sure I don’t purchase something I already have.
  • I do not use a food scale to portion, I have tupperware that I like and portion accordingly. I also keep in mind that Adam and I live active lifestyles and generally consume a 1500-2000 calorie diet (depending on what we’re training for) to manage our weight (meaning not lose or gain).
  • I made my hummus in a Ninja blender, which I love, but it probably would have been “smoother” in a food processor. But, Adam is the easiest man to cook for so he didn’t mind a few chickpea chunks and neither did I.
  • I heated my overnight oats in the morning and Adam enjoyed them cold. I tend to like my food hot so, there it is.
  • I would say overall, the meal prep time for this list was about 3 hours. I did everything except the oats on Sunday afternoon (I prepared our oats each night before bed).

 

week 1

 

Some recipes you may want to keep handy for the next few weeks…

Clean Eating Ranch

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dill
  • ½ tsp dried parsley

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder

Directions:

Combine all ingredients well.

Chicken Burrito bowls with Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Brown Rice
  • 2 Avocado
  • Diced onion
  • Diced tomatoes
  • 2 Cans reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Diced bell pepper
  • Low sodium salsa

Directions:

  1. Cook Rice According to Package Instruction
  2. Chicken:
    1. Place chicken in slow cooker with taco seasoning and 1 jar organic, low sodium salsa
  3. Assemble burrito bowls: Rice, chicken, black beans, diced green bell pepper, diced tomato, diced onion, sliced avocado & low sodium salsa

 

Ground turkey over Mexican Cauliflower “Rice” (skinny taste W30)

Ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • 1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Frozen riced cauliflower (2 packs)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can reduced sodium diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can reduced sodium green chilis, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Brown ground turkey. While cooking, add half green chilis and black beans
  2. Add Olive Oil to skillet and saute diced onions
  3. Add cauliflower, half green chilis, diced tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Add tomato paste to cauliflower and cook into

 
Salsa Chicken Taco Salad (Skinny taste W30) With Clean Ranch

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Low Sodium Salsa
  • Greens
  • Frozen corn
  • 1 Can reduced Sodium black beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Diced cucumbers
  • 2 tbs “clean” ranch

Directions:

  1. Chicken:
    1. Place chicken in slow cooker with taco seasoning and 1 jar organic, low sodium salsa
  2. Saute black beans in a skillet for 5 minutes
  3. Add chicken and black beans to tupperware.
  4. Assemble salad according to your liking and top with chicken and bean mixture and clean eating ranch

 

Overnight Oats : Almond Butter & Banana

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • 1/2 c rolled oats, regular or gluten free
  • 1/2 small to medium banana, sliced
  • 2/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 T chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 tsp pure maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Add oats to jar and top with almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla, maple syrup, almond butter and banana.
  2. Refrigerate overnight, shake and eat hot or cold.

 

Hummus & Cucumber

Ingredients:

  • Cucumbers, sliced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Oregano

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except cucumbers to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Serve alongside sliced cucumbers.

 

 

Fresh Berries

Rinse and wash berries and separate into snack-sized portions.

Reedy River Run 10k – Race Recap

 

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This past Saturday Adam and I ran…our first official 10k race! As crazy as that sounds, we have never run a 10k race before. The Reedy River Run is one of Greenville’s largest races throughout the year and we were excited to be a part of the event. This year was actually the 40th anniversary. We had a work dinner for me on Wednesday night last week and stayed out probably a little too late, so all time goals for the race were thrown out the window then, but we did still want to break an hour if we could. Greenville is hilly and this course was no slouch. Apparently it’s the 10k state championship?? So there were a lot of elite athletes and fast runners. We had originally wanted to run the 5k and aim for a PR but with Diva’s in two weeks I needed more miles, and also they handed out medals to the 10k runners.

We did not make it to the expo because there wasn’t anything that we needed and it was honestly just out of our way to get there before Saturday morning. We had no trouble picking up our shirts and bibs on race day, though. We signed up just two weeks before the race and the shirt sizes were limited at that time. The do send out emails beforehand that if you register by a certain day, you’re guaranteed the correct shirt size. We didn’t sign up by then though haha. Anyways, Adam was still able to get his size and I scooped a ladies large. I’m not sure if because we signed up late we got shafted but they were NOT tech tees, they weren’t even a tri-blend. So my large was able to really shrink down in the wash, which is good because now it fits. But I was really looking forward to the tech tee they described.

The course was decently spectated. There were parts of downtown that had cheer squads but the parts through the park were not well spectated. There were three water stations for our course which was plenty. I’m glad they were there though because it was hot. We snagged a Gatorade cup at each one.

I looked at my watch at mile 4.5 and thought to myself “we can break an hour, but it will be close”. And then we strolled in at 57:26 officially. (Our previous unofficial 10k PR was 58:29, so we really kicked it’s ass!) I was so proud of our time. It had been a loonngggg week (due to the mid-week outing) and I would not say that I was totally prepared for that strong of a run. However, in true fashion, my watch clocked in at 6.19 so Garmin didn’t accept it as a PR. Smh.

The route ended on Main St. and all runners were given their medals and shuffled down to the park for the post-race party. Yes, DOWN to the park. A lot of stairs down meant we had to climb them to get back. There were plenty of stations with water, Gatorade and coffee set up and Jersey Mikes was there handing out free sandwiches, of course Adam devoured his.

I’ve got an 11 miler planned for this Saturday but at a slow, steady pace and then Diva’s is next Sunday. Then, Adam and I are closing out race season with the Mountains to Main half on the 20th. He wants to PR, but we’ll see about that.


 

CLEAN EATING SERIES + LIFE UPDATE + CHIT CHAT

TGIF, y’all!! Boy it’s been a long week. Two short weeks in a row always means that first full week will be a bear. Adam and I have a race tomorrow that we’re hoping to PR, but it’s a tough coarse. Very hilly. Then, mom and I have our half marathon in two weeks. It’s crazy how this year is flying by.

 

I’ve been filling in my calendar for the next few months and oh.em.gee. It’s about to get crazy around here. That being said, summer vacation is in six weeks and that means that Adam and I are going to be working on perfecting our beach bodies. I certainly consider myself to be pretty good at eating healthy, meal prep and exercising daily but I still think there are a few things I need to change. And I really want to be on the right foot going into a busy summer.

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So, I have decided to do a six week clean eating series. I will be posting weekly meal plans on Friday’s so that we have the weekend to grocery and meal prep in order to start off Monday on the right foot. I will be talking about two lunch/dinner meal recipes, 1 salad meal recipe, 2 snack recipes, and 1 breakfast recipe. I’m a relatively picky eater and I do not love complicated recipes during the week. So this meal plan has a variety of flavor that is not totally time consuming, can be prepped ahead of time and will feed your family.

I do not claim to be a nutritionist or a clean eating expert, but I did a lot of research. And even if these recipes aren’t 100% by the book “Clean eating”, then they are at least 99% there and are aimed for the normal working man or woman. These are meals that I can mostly prep ahead of time, as well. Like I said, the next six weeks are going to be super busy for Adam and I so being able to prep for grab-n-go clean, healthy food is very important.

  • Portion control: Meal prepping ahead of time definitely keeps me on track for portion control. I have my meals pre-divided into individual containers so there is no overeating. I should be full after the meal based on the fuel that I am consuming.
  • Control the ingredients: One of my main goals is learning how to control ingredients better. Making sure I am not consuming processed foods. They say that if you can’t read the ingredient on the label, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
  • Drink water: This is something that I do not have a problem with. I usually drink at least 100 oz of water a day, so I’m set in this department. But it’s certainly a step towards clean eating and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Breakfast Every Day: We have actually gotten better at this and we always eat breakfast when we work out in the morning. It’s a good kick-start to the day.
  • 5-6 small meal a day: This keeps you from overeating and your metabolism rolling.

Below is my overall 6-week plan. Hopefully sharing this will keep me accountable for each weeks’ meals. As you can see, at least from Adam and my week-to-week food, we are not changing a whole lot. Just controlling the quality of our ingredients. However, I am also human, and a normal woman and I know that I will not be a clean eating machine 24/7. But if I’m doing the right thing 90-95% of my week, I am happy. I usually provide myself a grace period (within reason) between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. That way, if Adam and I want to go out to dinner or for ice cream, we can and we can enjoy it.

There are so many diets/lifestyle changes/etc. whatever you want to call them out there that are so complicated. And if I’m being honest…intimidating. However I think “eating clean” is something that is completely manageable and do-able. But again, this is just my personal opinion. One of the best things about clean eating is that it’s not a diet, it is truly just a lifestyle change.    

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I am also trying to get into a routine for working out. Right now we work out 5-6 days a week, which is great, but what I really mean by routine is working out at night versus in the morning. I love when I work out in the morning. I feel great the rest of the day and I don’t have to think about it all day long. However, working out everyyy morning is not realistic for me. I wish it was. It is the difference of almost 2 hours of sleep in the morning, sleep that I sometimes need. So what I proposed to Adam was doing one week of all mornings, and one week of all afternoons. The problem with mixing it up is when we work out after work, we get home later and into bed later and then it’s harder to get up the next day for a morning workout. I think it will be helpful to know “okay this week I get to sleep in for 5 days, and then this week I get to come straight home from work every day”. It will be a good balance.  However…I am also debating joining the Y. They have an affordable referral program that Adam and I could do. I just want to get more variety of workouts in to my schedule. I know I said that earlier this year but so far, it hasn’t happened. AND they have a no joining fee until the end of the month, which is a great deal. Ugh decisions, decisions!

We’ll also be getting back to the dreaded ab roller that we started using last year. We have gotten out of the habit but as y’all know, bikini season = ab season. I’ll have 30 and 45 day results posts coming your way!

 

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I hope everyone has a great weekend and I hope that I am super productive, because I need to be! I think it will be warm so maybe we can spend some time at the pool too. I am in desperate need of vitamin D!


 

April Ipsy Bag

Okayy so this post did not automatically upload yesterday afternoon like it was supposed to and I went to bed at 7pm and didn’t notice. Oops! I’ll also have my Friday blog posted at normal time this afternoon. This month’s bag was SO GOOD! I am happy with everything. I did not love the makeup bag itself, but the goodies were great! I really think that reviewing each month’s bag helps Ipsy to send me stuff that I love and that’s right for me.

Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow Shimmer Shadow & Highlighter –  : I am liking this highlight. It gives a nice shine but is not glittery or too overbearing, yet it’s buildable. Last month I mentioned that some sample sizes were really just too small…well this little guy is perfect for my highlight brush and perfect to throw in a makeup bag for the crazy amount of travel we have coming up!

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel : I was sceptical about this. The packaging said use on your face and body so I went full speed and applied it just like I would a moisturizer. I was actually surprised when it did not make me oily. It absorbed into the skin quickly and left me feeling moisturized, smooth and refreshed. This product is relatively affordable (well, I’d say medium priced), but possibly a must for the summer months. Between beach trips and weekends at the pool and lake, my skin can always use extra moisture and aloe. I’ll probably try this as a primer as well.

Ciaté London Mini Bamboo Bronzer – Star Island or Palm Island : I really like this bronzer. It’s pigmented and applies smoothly, but it’s not an overbearing shade. It’s perfect for a spring glow and blended out for an all over bronzed look with my normal kabuki brush. This product also has oil-controlling ingredients so it keeps me matte all day.

Hey Honey Bésame Mucho Lip Balm : Umm, I am living for this. I will definitely repurchase this in the future. It makes my lips so soft and smells like shea butter. There’s no bad taste and no sticky residue after applying. It is honestly one of the best lip balms I’ve ever had. Fingers crossed that I do NOT lose it! Random story: Our honeymoon was the first time Adam and I had gone out of the country together and we went to Punta Cana. Adam got into this whole routine of speaking spanish and he started singing a song that he made up randomly one day and the song went “Bésame mucho, baby. Bésame mucho, love.” Anyways, when I saw the name of this balm I had to tell Adam right away and he immediately broke out into the song.

Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush – 660 : When I first looked at this brush it reminded me of the Sigma F86 that is good for applying concealer under the eyes and around the nose. The Sigma brush is a little more dense than this one, though. If it doesn’t work out for liquid concealer under the eyes, it can definitely be useful for contouring, highlighting or setting my under eye.