Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge, Part 2

I’m on the final day of this clean eating challenge.

I’ve held myself to it more strictly than I had planned to at the start. I actually did abstain from caffeine, for example. And I feel pretty good right now.

The only variation from the plan was that I had an Athena Wrap from Gansett Wraps instead of eating leftover chili on Thursday. And that’s mostly vegetables with some chicken so it fit the spirit of the challenge.

More disorganized thoughts:

  • The cravings started about a week in, for anything not mostly made of plants. I was hanging out with some friends in a park on Sunday, and one person brought this turkey club sandwich that I eyed with great envy.
  • This has faded somewhat now, but boy I tell you I am going to really enjoy a cheeseburger and some fries tomorrow.
  • I don’t actually miss caffeine that much. I’m actually thinking of continuing to abstain. I tend to live with a constant low-level background hum of anxiety, and this has been been reduced this week. Not sure if I can attribute that to avoiding caffeine, the reduced sugar/wheat in my diet, better nutrition from all the vegetables I’ve been eating, or just a less stressful than usual week.
  • One of the appeals of this meal plan was that I wouldn’t have to decide what to eat for a couple weeks, so I’d have more time. But it backfired. Food prep has taken a lot longer than usual for the duration of the challenge.
  • Some of the plan’s instructions are incomplete or ambiguous. And in some places she gives measurements by “bunch” or “head” when a volume or weight would be more valuable. For example, I’m convinced that the baby bok choy she’s getting is much smaller than the baby bok choy I found in my grocery store. There’s no way that 6 heads worth of that is supposed to fit into a parchment wrapper 12 inches across. I couldn’t get even half of that to fit.
  • She also has you buy more arugula and spinach than you actually use. Most of the other ingredients got used or at least have a long shelf life.
  • I’ve actually dropped a belt size. :-) I’ll have to weigh myself tomorrow.

The Meals (photographed when I remembered to do it):

  • Wednesday Breakfast: Scallion and Feta Omelet: OK, not likely to repeat this one; there are much better things to put into omelets.
  • Wednesday Lunch: Greek Salad with Lentils and Lime Vinaigrette: Better than I expected.
  • Wednesday Snack: Mango Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds: Made it a point to actually eat the snack today. This was really good.
  • Wednesday Dinner: Roasted Chicken Breast with Fennel and Spinach: I had never eaten fennel before. It’s not bad, licorice-y, but who ever wrote this recipe likes it way more than I do. I think it makes a good accent food, but I don’t think I care for it as the center focus of a meal.
  • Wednesday Night Snack: 2 dates each stuffed with an almond: This is a bit sad
  • Thursday Breakfast: Cauliflower Omelet: Half a head of cauliflower is too much to eat in a sitting, even if you really love cauliflower. Had to throw like half of this away.
  • Thursday Lunch: Quinoa-Fennel-Blueberry Salad with Mint and Lime: Again with the excess of fennel.
  • Thursday Snack: Carrots and Hummus: skipped it again
  • Thursday Dinner: Simple Roasted Salmon with Green Beans and Lentils: Salmon is good stuff. And I accidentally bought extra so I might do that again this week
  • Thursday Night Snack: Blueberries and Almonds. Simple and tasty
  • Friday Breakfast: Chia Seed Pudding with Mangos and Pistachios: Nice to have a breakfast that requires no prep time. Mangos have a good flavor.
  • Arugula Salad with Salmon, Green Beans, and Dijon Vinaigrette: She has you mix up the leftover salmon from Thursday into a tuna-salad like consistency, which actually works pretty well. I liked this.
  • Friday Snack: Carrot and Cucumber with Hummus: Skipped again
  • Friday Dinner: Black Bean Chili with Greek Yogurt and Zucchini Ribbons: The paprika infused yogurt (where I’d typically use sour cream) was a neat touch.
  • Friday Night Snack: Pistachios and Blackberries
  • Saturday Breakfast: Asparagus with Poached Eggs: I made fried eggs instead.
  • Saturday Lunch: Kale Salad with Tomato, Black Beans, and Feta: Canned black beans lose much of their appeal if you don’t cook them. Gross.
  • Saturday Snack: Almonds + an orange
  • Saturday Dinner: Turkey-Basil Meatballs with Collard Greens: It’s obvious now, but I had no idea how easy it was to make meatballs. I’d been just buying frozen meatballs before when I’d make spaghetti, will probably not do that any more. Had never eaten collard greens before (despite my Southern upbringing). They’re OK, just another kind of leaf really.
  • Saturday Night Snack: Dark Chocolate. Mmm. :-)
  • Sunday Breakfast: Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie: I keep forgetting how much I like smoothies, especially on warm days.
  • Sunday Lunch: Shakshuka: As made, this just asparagus and eggs with tomato sauce. :-/
  • Sunday Snack: Strawberries in Almond Butter: This is really delicious
  • Sunday Dinner: Roasted Eggplant with Chickpeas, Cauliflower, and Lemon-Parsley Yogurt: I think I either overcooked the eggplant or cut it up too small. I liked the flavor but there were hard bits throughout that made the texture unpleasant. Also, roasted chickpeas are several times better than the raw canned chickpeas she has you put in a previous day’s salad.
  • Sunday Night Snack: I substituted a pear that I had skipped on a previous day for these sad dates + almond things
  • Monday Breakfast: Sweet and Savory Apple Omelet: This was an interesting flavor, but I think I’d prefer to have scrambled eggs + an apple rather than this mixture.
  • Monday Lunch: Raw Collard Wraps with Turkey Meatballs, Avacado, and Dijon: I really liked this. Collard greens make for excellent wrap materials.
  • Monday Snack: Blackberries with Greek Yogurt
  • Monday Dinner: Fried Quinoa with Snap Peas, Mushrooms, and Scrambled Eggs: This was really good, like fried rice but using quinoa instead.
  • Monday Snack: Pear with Almond Butter
  • Tuesday Breakfast: Cauliflower Hash with Fried Eggs: Cauliflower is no substitute for potatoes and don’t let anyone tell you it is
  • Tuesday Lunch: Arugula Salad with Eggplant, Avacado, Feta, and Chickpeas: Serviceable, but not especially memorable
  • Tuesday Snack: Red Pepper with Hummus: Skipped again!
  • Tuesday Dinner: Kale and Shrimp Bowl with Mushrooms and Avocado: I really liked this. I haven’t made mushrooms part of my diet so much, and I don’t know why. They’re delicious.
  • Tuesday Night Snack: Blackberries
  • Wednesday Breakfast: Kale and Banana Smoothie: This was much better than it was last week. Actually freezing the kale and letting the blender run for longer seems to have helped.
  • Wednesday Lunch: No Mayo Tuna Salad in Romaine Cups: Pretty good. I like this using large-leaf things instead of bread idea.
  • Wednesday Snack: Banana Avocado Pudding: I had accidentally eaten all the avocado, having put it all into the kale and shrimp bowl from last night. But a banana smoothie was pretty great.
  • Wednesday Dinner: Snap Pea Salad with Feta, Radish, and Hard-Boiled Egg: I am not a fan of hard boiled eggs. They’re a gross texture. I mean, they’re edible but not something I like to eat.
  • Wednesday Night Snack: Dark Chocolate
  • Thursday Breakfast: Blackberry Yogurt Parfait: Blackberries and nuts, yes please
  • Thursday Lunch: Subbed in that wrap from Gansett Wraps. Which was delicious.
  • Thursday Snack: Ate the peanuts but left the pear; that wrap was pretty big
  • Thursday Dinner: Asian-Style Cod in Parchment with Bok Choy: This was actively gross. Maybe I didn’t cook it quite long enough or something, but this is the one meal I can’t see someone with a different palate liking. Bleh. Cod is not for me.
  • Thursday Night Snack: Had the chocolate without the almond milk again
  • Friday Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Strawberries and Chia Seeds: Very tasty, and again, nice that it was ready by opening the door and eating it. I’ve got a note saved in evernote with different flavor ideas for overnight oats that I think I’ll be experimenting with over the next few days.
  • Friday Lunch: Snap Pea and Radish Salad with Quinoa and Arugula: OK. More filling than I expected
  • Friday Snack: I actually ate the carrots and hummus this time. It’s very tasty. I like hummus.
  • Friday Dinner: Spicy Tamari Shrimp Lettuce Cups: Possibly my favorite meal of the whole experiment. Reasonably quick to make too.
  • Friday Night Snack: Apples and Honey. Mmmm.

One more day to go!

Posted on
June 14, 2014 10:52 am
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