If we aren’t friends on IG @thisaveragemom then you don’t know that last week, Brandon and I did a Clean Eating Week.
Now, maybe you are super into nutrition and this is no big for you, but for us…for me…this was basically unheard of. I had to actually Google what clean eating even meant!!
But maybe you ARE like us, and you kind of just eat whatever’s around. You plan out your menu of course, but it’s not the healthiest stuff. If you’re like us, you eat dinners at home Monday through Thursday, but on Friday, those sort of decent meals are thrown out the window in honor of the weekend! If I’m being honest, we generally eat out more than we eat at home on weekends. It’s quick, we don’t have to plan a thing, the kids will usually eat it as long as we go somewhere with nuggets and ranch, and there’s no clean up.
BUT NOT THIS PAST WEEK.
Last week, I signed up for a clean eating week through my IG pal Christa (there’s a whole blog post about my interview with her HERE) and it was great. It wasn’t just good…it was eye-opening.
So two Sundays ago, I meal prepped for the first time EVER. I spent about two hours in the evening washing, cutting, cooking. I had the menu planned out for Monday through Sunday, not just through Thursday! And then I made what I could ahead of time to make life easier during the week.
Then Monday came, and I was ready. I knew exactly what I would be making for breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days. It made things so. much. easier. As a couple, we probably waste way too much time thinking about what to make or where to go eat, but not last week!
Here’s the shocking thing: in what started out being just about eating clean, I also learned something about myself: I can cook a meal when needed! I seriously never, ever cook, and here I was making dinner nightly. And it tasted good! I was nervous about cooking in general, and using ingredients I wasn’t familiar with, but everything we ate, we liked. It was a pleasant surprise that 1) I am capable of making food and 2) healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring, gross food.
Turns out, the real reason I didn’t think I could cook, let alone cook anything with nutritional value, was that I don’t do well without recipes. I learned I need actual recipes, with simple ingredients, that won’t take hours to prepare. Now that I have a few recipes up my sleeve, I think my next project will be looking up more healthy, easy meals online and trying those.
So, as part of this whole clean week thing, what did we eat? Here’s some basics, but like I said, I had recipes so it wasn’t like eating a plain chicken breast with broccoli night after night.
For breakfast: steel cut oats or eggs with whole grain toast
For lunch: veggie pitas or tuna melts
For dinner: chicken, fish, shrimp, turkey burger, various veggie sides through the week
And I never, ever felt bad about what I ate the WHOLE week. I didn’t snack on my kids’ snacks (like Pirate’s Booty) or eat their desserts (like ice cream or suckers). And since I never put any of that junk in my body, I just felt really good.
The other thing I want to mention is that I tried protein shakes for the first time. So as part of this week, I purchased Shakeology. And it was definitely different, but I’m sure it’s one of those things that as time goes on, you just get used to it and start to like it. It wasn’t impossible to drink by any means, just not super tasty. I let the girls at work try it and they said it pretty much tasted like every other protein shake they’ve ever tried. So it was another first for me during this week!
In full disclosure, there were a few times I struggled this week. It was never at meal time, because my meals left me full and satisfied. It was more between lunch and dinner or after dinner, when it isn’t unusual for for me to take a handful of peanut M&Ms. The other time was if I was getting out snacks for the kids. They asked for Smartfood Popcorn a few times, and I seriously LOVE that stuff. It did take willpower to not eat it, but I just reminded myself that I committed to eating this way for a week and needed to keep that promise!
I am also already pretty decent at drinking water, so it wasn’t a huge deal for me to get my water intake in. I am pretty much never without my water tumbler. Even on the weekends, I take it in the car full of ice so that the ice can melt and keep me hydrated while we’re out and about. Other than 1 cup of coffee each morning, water was the only thing we drank all week.
And if you’re wondering what the plan is for THIS week, well, it’s gonna be another week of eating clean, nutritious meals. But I believe that we might decide to go out to lunch one day this week, since it’s a little hard to go from eating out 3-5 times a week to zero!!!
As far as the weight loss aspect…I lost 3 lbs and Brandon lost 6 in one week. We are both at healthy weights currently, so neither of us started this with a weight loss goal in mind. But it happened anyway when we took away the junk food and the fast food. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in week 2!
If you struggle with figuring out how to eat healthy meals, I hope this post gives you hope that it IS possible. Even if you don’t cook, eat out way too much, and have no clue what quinoa is, you can do it because I just did it! It was a really interesting week and I’m definitely inspired to cook more nutritious meals for Brandon and me. (My kids refuse to eat anything, but that’s a whole other topic…and actually a whole other blog post, which you can find HERE!)
If you eat clean, what are your favorite meals? I need more ideas, stat!!!