Clean Eating Challenge: Day One Comments

Clean Eating Challenge: Day One Comments May 21, 2014

In a nutshell: it’s okay.

Produce packed fridge!BuzzFeed organizes this diet (they say challenge, but that’s just doublespeak, in my opinion) around the idea that you have a lot of free time on the weekend, and less during the week. So there’s more in the way of cooking and prep work over the weekend. If you do the regular nine-to-five gig, starting the diet on a Sunday is probably your best bet. And yes, the shopping did take all day.  But since Sophia hasn’t found a job yet, and I have a wickedly flexible schedule, we decided to just wing it. So even though it was a Tuesday, we did the Sunday menus. Whoa…

I was so tired by the end of the day that I didn’t have time to write a real post, but hey, to paraphrase Scarlett O’Hara, today is another day. And today’s recipes can be found here.

Sophia and I just finished our breakfast, a muesli-style overnight oatmeal which I enjoyed, but which was only half eaten because I simply cannot eat that much of any one food at a sitting. So…maybe a snack for later? (It was, about midmorning.)

As for yesterday’s menu…well…it was interesting.

Kale Banana SmoothieThe breakfast smoothie of kale and banana was unexpectedly delicious. Frankly, I was dubious. I find the current trendy fascination with kale to be the organic food equivalent of the patent medicine craze. Kale seems like it can be used in virtually any way and eating a lot of it is touted with the potential to cure almost any problem. Only the inability to purchase breast milk is stopping some people from going completely over the foodie cliff.

Still, for all its delicious green smoothie-ness, I was unable to finish it. I just can’t. I don’t know why. It was only a large glass, but I had almost a quarter of it left. Fortunately, my daughter was delighted to polish it off.

Clearly, I need to get married.The only thing left was to wash the dishes. Therein lies part of the difficulty of this plan for us, or at least for me. Because of my recent problem with ants, I’ve been washing the dishes as I cook, and immediately after a meal. I’m not even using the dishwasher, because I’m not excited about running it when it’s less than full. Given that I don’t have a lot of dishes, this means that I have to clean everything up before I can even start the next meal. And given that I hate to wash dishes, this paragraph reveals a lot about how much I tend to eat out and how I use far too much in the way of convenience food. Yes, I have eaten mandarin oranges directly from the can. With my fingers.

We walked around downtown Fort Wayne for the rest of the morning, and hit the noon Mass at the Cathedral. Then, we ambled back to the house to make lunch. Starving.

Asparagus and arugula saladLunch was…interesting. (I’ll probably be saying that a lot. But it works.) It was good. I love asparagus. But I’ll admit. I love it with butter and Hollandaise sauce. Neither of which are part of this plan. And whoa, can you say arugula? I don’t think I ever have. Out loud, anyway. There was a half a bunch of arugula, half a bunch of asparagus, and an entire tomato in this salad. Dressed with nothing more than the juice of an entire lemon and sprinkled with a miserly amount of feta cheese and chopped fresh parsley.  All of this was topped with two eggs fried in olive oil. (Because bacon grease is a bad thing. Who knew?) This was just one salad. But we needed one FOR. EACH. OF. US.

This was a hard meal. It was good tasting, but it was enough salad for four people, and Sophia detests tomatoes. (I could have brought this to a carry-in dinner or picnic and it would have been plenty for many servings. And people would’ve asked for the recipe.) It seemed to be a whole lot of lemon juice, and I was concerned about the acid content. My stomach has been a bit fluttery lately, and this wasn’t the kind of thing I usually go for. Sophia ate about half, and so did I. Both of us delightedly ate the eggs. My goodness. Eggs fried in olive oil are delectable. All of this was augmented by kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. We each had about half the salad, and I’m a little ashamed to admit that we threw the rest away. Only a little ashamed, though. It couldn’t be saved for another meal. Sophia insists that my problem is that I’m just not hungry enough. There may be some truth to that.

After lunch, we cleaned the kitchen and, you got it, washed the dishes. Again.

For a cheating dessert, we each had three dates. We both love dates, and they are, at some point, a part of this plan, so it’s okay. They were not on the roster for today, but too bad. So good. And no dishwashing.

SnackThe afternoon snack was carrot sticks and hummus. Four carrots each. Sophia had three. I had two. Seriously, it would take me hours and hours, and then another hour, to eat that many carrot sticks, with or without hummus. I love hummus, too.

And then it was time for dinner. You’ll never get hungry on this challenge, for real. There is a ton of food. And what’s more, we haven’t had nearly enough kale yet today, amiright?

Dinner on the porch.The dinner wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was actually good. I was pleasantly surprised. The meal plan has you shred the chicken and mix the steamed kale and quinoa with it as a sort of bowl-o-clean-eating, but I find mixing everything together like that does not promote my finishing anything. (Sophia agrees with me on this. She mentioned it just this morning.) So we just ate it on plates. Like normal. I guess I can only stand so much trendy in one day.

Sophia pretty much made short work of this meal, and I had, again, about half. This time I put it in the fridge. (Then, this morning, I cut up the chicken and mixed it all together and ate it cold. This was fantastic!)

To wrap it up, I like the food. I do. It’s tasty and obviously healthy. But I’m really missing bread, and it’s only the second day. I also miss cookies. I love sweets and dates are just barely covering my cravings. So… eating more dates.

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