Clean Eating

Organic/Reduce Chemicals/Simple Foods
No Whites/Healthy Grains/Healthy Fats/H20

In 2013 I decided it was time to live simple, get healthy, find my new passion and enjoy life. During this process I discovered clean eating. Actually, I already begun to clean eat without realizing it. I changed the way I looked at food after I was not feeling good. I was tired and my stomach was constantly feeling “yucky.” The first step I cut out Diet Coke. I was drinking up to six cans each day, and when this revelation hit me I stopped immediately. But my problems did not stop there. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with gallstones and a fatty liver. I had my gall bladder removed and started researching the topic "fatty liver."

Millions of Americans have this, and do not even know it. 

As we get older our bodies tire and do not work as efficiently as they did in our twenties. Our organs are overworked, and one in particular is the liver. The liver gets to a point where it cannot keep up with all the chemicals and processed food we put into our bodies each day. The liver starts to find other ways to process these man-made chemicals. The primary way our bodies deal with these foreign materials are to attach them to fat cells and put them in our gut.

As I got older I noticed it was harder and harder to keep the fat off my belly. My jeans became more difficult to button, and the number on the scale was gradually increasing each year. My liver, my body cleansing organ, was one culprit. Another culprit was my changing hormones. For women over 40, trying to shed the belly fat – or to just keep it at bay – is more difficult because of changing hormones. On top of that, menopause causes a decrease in estrogen. To increase estrogen production our bodies begin to store fat in our bellies instead of the usual places, like our butts, hips and thighs. 

Additional stresses, like family, money, college tuition, etc., can increase the stress hormone cortisol, which triggers our bodies to store even more fat around our middles. So I started to eat more organic, less out of the can, less processed food, and less fast food. This lifestyle change, my version of clean eating with simple living – less stress, more sleep and increased exercise -- is helping me to enjoy the rest of my life!  

Goals to Clean Eating
Organic – Buy organic foods as much as possible. It is more expensive, but my family is worth the investment. 

Get Rid of Chemicals - Stay away from pre-packaged food like frozen dinners, canned foods and processed foods.

No More Whites – No sugars, white flour, white rice or white pasta.

Eat Healthy Grains - Wild rice, barley, quinoa. Stick to non-starch, low-carb veggies - mushrooms, okra, celery, zucchini, spinach, kale (GREEN!) I use starchy vegetables such as squash, corn, green peas, potatoes and carrots rarely in our meals & try to limit the amount of beans eaten.

Simple – Keep the food simple with a lot of fresh herbs and spices. I do not use a lot of sauces or extras, and I stick to foods with only five to six ingredients.

More Healthy Fats – I cook with real butter, whole eggs, raw nuts, avocado, & coconut oil.

Treat Yourself – However, define when and how often you will splurge.

Nightly Fast – No food for 12 hours each night – from 8pm - 8am

More & Less - More fish, less salt, less calories after 5pm, less red meat. bake & broil meat  

Steps to Clean Eating

Define what clean eating means to you. Clean out your fridge and pantry - I took all my food out of the cupboards, pantry & fridge. I kept only what was on my list of Clean Eating foods. Then decided to change the way I organize my food. This helps me from falling back into the old rut of eating. However, I did have to keep some of the foods I won't eat because my kids would starve and are very resistant to change (but I’m working on that!)

Throw out anything that says "fat free" - except Greek yogurt.

Research and plan your weekly menu.

Grocery shop & prep – My live simple plan calls for shopping once a week. I also stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables. It is said frozen is more likely fresher than fresh fruits and vegetables because they are frozen in their freshest state. Make sure you read the labels because sometimes frozen produce will have added sugar.

Use Organic Foods – I use organic as much as possible in all my meals.

Simple easy meals - Use the crock pot more. It is quick and easy and saves you time during a stressful part of your day.

Fruits & Veggies

Pineapple – Loaded with vitamins & minerals, anti-inflammatory properties, helps eyes; manganese helps strengthen bones and connective tissue.
Red Delicious Apples – Apple peels have potent anti-oxidant properties. Some studies say these apples are one of the top healthiest apples.
Berry Smoothie - Most all berries are great antioxidants.
Berry Smoothie with Mango – Mangos clear the skin, are great for eyes, maintains alkali reserve of the body, and lowers cholesterol.
Grapes – Some say grapes help migraines & indigestion, enhance the health of the brain, help to eliminate acid from our systems which reduces stress on our kidneys, and helps lower cholesterol.
Raisins – Aid in digestion, enhance mouth and bone health, stimulates sexuality, protects eyes, and have been found to lower fevers.
Kale - This veggie is plump full of many rich nutrients & vitamins, no fats, and low in calories, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxes.  I will chop up kale for soups and make kale chips as a snack.
Broccoli – The benefits  are too numerous to mention. 
Brussels sprouts – Lower cholesterol, aid in digestion, cancer fighter, detoxifier, fights inflammation.
Red bell peppers - Great source of antioxidants, help night vision and increase metabolism.
Onions – Help reduce cardiovascular disease, lower blood sugar levels, antioxidant, and powerful anti-inflammatory.
Cauliflower - Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, protects against cardiovascular disease, and digestive support.
Mushrooms – Eating all varieties, such as portabella & crimmini, increase your vitamin D, boost your immune system, low in calories, and help metabolize fat and protein, and good for your bladder.
Zucchini – High in manganese, helps lower blood pressure & cholesterol, and anti-inflammatory.

Healthy Grains

Wild Rice – Gluten free, contains more protein than brown rice, rich in antioxidants, high fiber, good source of essential minerals, and low calories.
Quinoa - A complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, twice as much fiber as other grains, high in lysine, magnesium, B2, and manganese.
Barley - Lowers glucose levels & glycemic index, improves lipids, and lowers cholesterol & visceral fat (fat around our organs).
Black Beans - Recent research shows the black bean as one of the healthiest bean. They support our digestive tract particularly the colon.

How to Boost your Metabolism 
A woman's metabolism slows by about 5 percent with each passing decade. Hormones play a role, but mostly it's because as you get older, you typically become less active. As a result, you lose muscle mass, a major consumer of all those calories you scarf down. You can outsmart the aging process with a few tips.
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Sipping coffee/tea -- Caffeine -- first thing in the morning
  • Drink eight 12 oz glasses of cold water
  • Eat protein at every meal
  • Drink Greet Tea
  • Eat more chili peppers
  • More dark leafy greens - spinach, broccoli
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Calcium-rich afternoon snack -- eight ounces of milk or six ounces of low-fat yogurt. Calcium helps your body metabolize fat more efficiently by increasing the rate at which it gets rid of fat as waste
  • Eat Organic - researchers in Canada found that dieters with the most organochlorides (chemicals found in pesticides) stored in their fat cells were the most susceptible to disruptions in mitochondrial activity and thyroid function. In other words -- Their metabolism stalled.
  • Slow down strength training -- when lowering the weight count to three and lower it slowly.
  • Mix up the intensity when running or biking -- short bursts of sprints.
Blog Posts

Simple - Clean Eating Recipes 

Garbanzo Bean Flour Pizza Crust

2/3 cup garbanzo flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup water
¼ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried oregano

Combine ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with organic olive oil. Pour crust batter onto the pan then quickly use the back of the spoon to spread out to cover the entire pan. You want the crust as thin as possible. When the bottom is brown flip the crust and cook the other side about 2 – 3 minutes each side. Once both sides are cooked remove from heat. Then top the crust with desired pizza topping while still in the pan. Place the pan under the broiler for 3 – 5 minutes until cheese is melted and toppings are tender. Let cool for 2 minutes, slice and enjoy! 
Jeep Momma’s favorite toppings: Pizza sauce, fresh mushrooms, baby spinach, fresh mozzarella, red peppers, onions, pepperoni

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

1 medium onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 ½ cup frozen Okra, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Combine onion, okra, celery, garlic, wild rice, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper in crock pot. Top with chicken breast halves. Add the chicken broth. Cook on low heat for 6 to 6 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting about 3 1/2 hours. Carefully remove chicken and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir. Remove the bay leaves. Add the parsley and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

White Chicken Chili
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
4 cups Organic Chicken broth
2 15 oz. cans Great Northern Beans, drained & rinsed
2 can white cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans
Puree one can of each bean for a thicker chili
1  4 oz can green chiles, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup diced sweet onion
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with liquid
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon white pepper
sea salt to taste

Put all ingredients into crock pot. Cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours. 1 hour before cooking is done pull out the chicken and shred with a fork. Put back in and stir the chili.

Chicken Barley Okra Stew

32 oz low-sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp basil
1/2 tbsp cilantro
2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (uncooked)
1/2 cup uncooked black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
1/2 cup barley
1 medium sweet Vidalia onion
1 ½ cups celery chopped
1 ½ cups okra chopped (sometimes I put the okra in 2 hours before cooking ends.)

Fill a crock pot with broth, 1 cup water, garlic, herbs and pepper. Add chicken, peas and barley, then layer onion, celery and okra overtop. Liquid should just cover vegetables. Do not stir. Cook on low for at least 4 to 6 hours. Remove bay leaves and stir before serving.
***Note:  You can replace the Okra with carrots 

Jeep Momma's Meatloaf Minis

1 lb hamburger or ground turkey
1 small sweet onion, minced

15 baby spinach leaves, minced

2 white button mushrooms, minced

1 egg
½ slice Ezekiel bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup organic ketchup
Topping: ¼ cup organic ketchup & ½ tsp organic maple syrup

Mix all ingredients together and place in a loaf pan or make mini-meatloaves in a cupcake pan. Cook at 360 degrees for 35 minutes.

Guilt Free Pizza

1 head Cauliflower
¼ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese 
¼ cups grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

¼ tsp Kosher salt

¼ tsp dried Basil

¼ tsp dried Oregano
½ tsp Garlic Powder
a couple dashes of Pepper
1 whole beaten egg

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 450 degrees.  You can use a baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Place a large piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a cutting board and lightly coat with olive oil.Wash and thoroughly dry the cauliflower. Cut off the florets, pulse in a food processor for 30 seconds until the cauliflower looks like a powdery snow. (Or you can use a blender but it's a little more work.)  You should end up with about 2 cups of cauliflower.  Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover.  Cook for 4 minutes. Allow the cauliflower to cool. Once it's cool place it in a tea towel, wrap it up and squeeze as much water out as possible. This will help the crust from being too crumbly. Place the squeezed cauliflower in a bowl and add the other ingredients except the egg.  Mix well. Then add the beaten egg to the mixture. Mix with your hands and then form the dough into a crust on the oiled paper.  Pat it thoroughly -- not too thick or too thin.  

Slide the crust onto the hot pizza stone and bake for 10 to 13 minutes -- until it starts to turn a golden brown.  Remove from oven and add your favorite toppings. Return to the top rack of the oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted.  Let the pizza cool for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

Grilled Pineapple Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 sweet Vidalia onion
1 package whole button mushrooms

½ cup Agave
6 oz pineapple juice
¼ cup organic soy sauce
¼ cup organic teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 finely chopped scallion

Place all ingredients in an airtight container. Shake well to combine, makes 2 cups.  Use 1 cup to marinade chicken & 1 cup to marinade vegetables.  Cut up vegetables into large pieces. Marinade for at least 2 hours.  Grill.

Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops

Organic cooking spray for the grates

1/4 cup honey

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 6-ounce boneless pork chops, each about 3/4-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8-10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil. Lightly brush the pork chops with olive oil, season with salt & pepper to taste.
In a small bowl whisk together the honey, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and rosemary.  Lightly brush half to glaze to both sides of the pork chops.  Reserve the remaining half for after the chops are cooked.

Place the chops on the grill.  Close the lid and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Turn the chops.  Continue cooking for 6 to 8 more minutes for medium.  Remove the chops from the heat, brush with more glaze, and set aside to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooked Pulled Beef or Chicken Tacos

2 lbs flank steak or boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

Spice Rub-

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all spices; rub generously over the flank steak. Place the steak or chicken in the crock pot. Cover the meat with the chopped onions, bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Cook 8 hours on low.  Remove from crock pot and shred with fork.  You can continue cooking for another hour or serve as is.  Then spoon on corn tortillas add your favorite taco toppings -- Mine are shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream, fresh salsa and cilantro.

Beef and Barley Soup 

1 ½ lbs boneless beef stew meat Cut into bite-sized chunks
½ cup barley
3 large celery stalks, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 package mushrooms, chopped
1 cup okra, chopped
¼ tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1tsp oregano
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
64 oz. beef broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients (in order – do not stir) in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Black-eyed Pea Salsa 

1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed & drained
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 chopped (seeds removed) jalapeno
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

Slow Cooked Beef & Tomatoes

2 pounds beef stew meat, (cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

1 can of diced tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil

Simmer all ingredients on low for 6 to 7 hours in a crock pot.  Serve with wild rice and your favorite green vegetable.

No Noodle Spaghetti Noodle

2 small zucchini
½ red pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Julienne (thin long strips) the zucchini and red peppers. Sauté the ingredients for about 15 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Serve with you favorite spaghetti sauce.
Zucchini noodles
Jeep Momma’s Meat Mixture or your favorite meat sauce
Jeep Momma’s Cheese Mixture or your favorite cheese mixture
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a 9 X 9 baking dish layer the veggie noodles, meat mixture, cheese mixture and top with mozzarella cheese.  See photos on the below on the left for layered steps.

Veggie Lasagna Noodles 
2 large zucchini
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Slice the zucchini lengthways into thin strips. Place on baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake about 15 minutes or until tender.  Let cool before layering lasagna.

Jeep Momma’s Lasagna Meat Mix
1 lb hamburger (or ground turkey)
1 small onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ chopped red pepper
1 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce **
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown the hamburger. Add onion, red pepper and mushrooms and cook until vegetables are tender.  Add tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Simmer on low for about 30 to 45 minutes.  Mince the spinach leaves and add to the mixture just before layering the lasagna.

**Read the labels! Some organic sauces have more sugar added than others.

Jeep Momma’s Lasagna Cheese Mixture
1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated Romano cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 beaten egg
Salt, pepper & basil to taste

Mix all ingredients well.

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