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Clean Eating

J and I have been talking a ton lately about eating better.  It's not even that we ate badly to begin with, but we wanted to tailor what we consume a bit more than usual.  Here's what our diet usually consists of:

Breakfast: A piece of fruit or hard boiled egg with my favorite, coffee with cream and sugar
Lunch: A salad and chicken breast 
Dinner: Here's where we'd really mess up.  At the beginning of the week it was usually a protein and a couple of veggies with a glass of wine.  Towards the end of the week, though, if we didn't have something easy to prepare, it was usually left overs or take out.

We don't keep pasta or bread in the house even though we both love it.  Before J, pasta was my ultimate go-to meal as a single girl.  We LOVE cheese.  Love.  And, although we don't keep a ton of it on hand, it sure is a weakness of ours.

Now that we're more settled and in a time of year that doesn't involve a ton of celebration like December, we made the decision to do a 10 day clean eating experiment of sorts.  I've looked at what feels like a million websites on diet.  Not DIETS.  I'm not so much into that, really.  I have never done weight watchers or Jenny Craig or anything.  Our goal here was to learn how to eat better. What I've found is that everyone has seems to have their own opinion about what works and what's healthy.  Some say Paleo, some say vegan, others vegetarian, some say everything in moderation (I SUCK at that one).... After talking to J about it, we decided to do a take on the Paleo lifestyle with the added exclusion of dairy products like cream and sugar.  The only way that we knew we could really do it is to go "balls to the wall" at the beginning. 

I want to stress that we are NOT 100% Paleo, nor are we experts.  We wanted to try it and see how we felt after a short (or long depending on when you ask me) period of time.  This is my take on what we've tried and what resources I've used to figure out what the hell we were going to eat.  

My biggest fear was boredom.  I'm not the kinda girl that can eat the same thing over and over and over again.  I was afraid that just eating a protein and veggie for every meal would kill me.  And, after day 1 of almost starving to death, I realized that healthy snacks were a MUST in order for me to not get hangry (hungry + angry) which is not a good combo in my world.

So I hit the internets and found some great resources (see below).  There is a wealth of information on clean eating with tips on how to budget, recipes and so much more.  J purchased the Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings and Toppings cookbook by Mark Sisson & Jennifer Meier awhile ago.  I had never really looked at it until the other day and have since made several different recipes from it.  Here's what I LOVE about this book:  many of the ingredients it calls for are already in my pantry and the recipes are super simple.  

So, between that little book and the internet resources I found, I planned a menu, made a grocery list and we hit our local farmer's market.  Let me tell you, if you have a farmer's market near by, utilize it!!  I can get all of my spices and many of the organic fruits and veggies I need at a fraction of the cost.  And it's like a freaking playground for food nerds.  They have stuff I've never even heard of, y'all!  

Again, I'm no pro at this, but I've found some things that have really surprised me:

1.  I'm actually gaining confidence from cooking different recipes and branching out.
2. Coconut milk is actually awesome to cook with.  It makes things creamy in the absence of dairy and takes on so many different flavors.  I really thought it would make everything taste like, well, you know.
3. I have food ADD.  If it has more than say, 6 ingredients, it's game over.  I need simple recipes that are delicious and don't take all freaking day.
4.  I don't miss creamer in my coffee half as much as I miss muffins.  The funny thing?  We rarely ate muffins before this, but for some reason I would kill for a muffin or donut or bear claw.....

I'm not sure what we're going to do after the 10 days are up, really.  I'd like to say that we'll do everything in moderation after....letting go of cream in the coffee and only eating dairy and wheat occasionally.  I don't know how well we'll do that, but one can always hope!  I do know that I'm going to be armed with better, healthier recipes.  I'm going to be proud of us for sticking to it and not going out to grab a baconator (which I REALLY wanted the other night, BTW).  If nothing else, I'm a bit more educated about what it is to eat "cleaner."  

We're on day 4, y'all, and have done well.  I really hope the worst of the cravings is over, but if the aren't, I know that I've got some pretty yummy snacks on hand to help curb them!

Please check out the following blogs and websites that have really helped me.  They're inspiring and straight forward and I find myself so incredibly excited every time I visit them!

100 Days of Real Food is awesome!  She has recipes, meal plans and even grocery lists to help those of us who really have no clue.
Damy Health I found on accident, really.  I wanted a recipe for home made lara bars and she did not disappoint!  So yummy.  
Mark's Daily Apple has been my savior!  I just have his sauce book and literally would be drowning in boring dinners without it.  
Mommypotamus I'm no mommy, but the ideas for quick and easy snacks and endless recipes make even this big kid drool!


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