It’s been a week since I finished that clean eating challenge. Oddly enough, I didn’t go straight for a cheeseburger like I thought I would. I was feeling pretty good, and I wanted that to continue. So my diet this week has been a little “cleaner” than it was before the challenge.
I stayed off the caffeine for another week, although I did have some diet soda this weekend. I want something more interesting than just water sometimes. I’ve been drinking a lot of seltzer, but that’s harder to find out and about. Keeping that to a minimum though.
I had a bunch of leftover spinach and arugula, so I ended up eating a lot of salads this week–spinach with chunks of carrot, diced ham, and cheddar, or arugula with feta and asparagus and leftover salmon.
It’s summer time, so breakfast was mostly variations of “overnight oats.” Side note: This is a really handy and simple recipe: 1/4 cup of rolled oats (not instant, not steel cut), 1/4 cup almond milk (you can use stuff that comes out of a cow if you prefer), 1/4 greek yogurt, 1.5tbsp chia seeds, and 1/4 cup something else. I tried it with blackberries, mandarin oranges + a bit of orange marmalade, and apple sauce + cinnamon. Mix it all up, store in the fridge overnight. It’s ready to eat in the morning. Very versatile.
On the less clean end of the spectrum, I also had chicken tacos (for 2 meals), which only had onions and red peppers as far as vegetables go. And I did have some pizza on Friday for lunch. I have no regrets. The Hurricane pizza from Casa Pizza is delicious, and I held myself to a reasonable amount.
I guess I don’t have a clear definition of what people mean by “clean” eating. Do they mean avoiding highly processed foods? Or avoiding red meats and carbohydrates? It’s a vague word. I’m kind of going by the old Michael Pollan rule of thumb about eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
I’m more interested in exploring healthier options rather than focusing on what’s no longer “allowed.” For example, I’ve gone back to this Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health cookbook. Tonight I made a salad of red leaf lettuce (given to me by my neighbor today from his garden!), feta cheese, chopped almonds, and this avocado citrus dressing. It’s a creamy dressing, about the same consistency as ranch dressing. It’s reminiscent of guacamole but thinner and milder. It’s very good, and it’s about 15 calories per tablespoon (compare with 73 calories per tablespoon in ranch dressing).
I also made some sweet potato, apple, and chipotle soup to go with the salad. I’d made this before, and it’s still tasty. I, naturally, just followed the recipe so now I have an absurd amount of soup. I’m freezing half of it for later.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this cookbook that I’m looking forward to trying. I’ll let you folks know if I find anything really tasty.