Thursday, January 9, 2014

Simple Clean Eating

Well, I'm on the right track with my New Year's Resolution.  I really don't have an end goal to accomplish, but more of a change of life.  Most people have a hard time with change -- but change is good.  Change re-energizes me. Change also opens up new opportunities in life. 

My resolution is to Simplify My Life -- Enjoy Life.  And now I am adding Simple Clean Eating to my list.

Clean eating means different things to different people. There is a ton of information on the internet to pour through -- it was very overwhelming. So, I decided to live by my motto -- Live Simple.  I just needed to sit down and define what clean eating means to me.  
Clean Eating the Jeep Momma Way 

  • Get rid of the chemicals by reducing the amount of processed foods.
  • No more whites - sugar, white flour, white rice
  • Eat Healthy grains - wild rice, kasha, barley, quinoa, Ezekiel bread (Trader Joes) 
  • More healthy fats -- real butter, whole eggs, raw nuts, avocado, coconut oil
  • Treat yourself - but define when and how often
  • Stick to foods with only 5 to 6 ingredients
  • Organic fruits and vegies
  • Stick to non-starch, low-carb vegies -- mushrooms, okra, celery, zuchinni, spinach, kale (GREEN!)

 Steps to Start the Jeep Momma Clean Eating Plan

  • Define what clean eating means to you
  • Clean out your fridge and pantry - I took all my food out of the cupboards and pantry.  I only kept what was on my list of Clean Eating foods. Then I decided to change the way I organized my food. This helps me from going back to the old rut of eating.  However, I did have to keep some of the foods I won't eat because my kids would starve -- they are very resistant to change.  

  • Throw out anything that says Fat Free (except Greek yogurt) - BAD for you!
  • Research and plan your menu
  • Grocery shop & prep - I will be doing this once a week to stick by my live simple plan. I will also stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables.  I've heard these are more likely fresher than fresh fruits and vegetables because they are frozen in their freshest state. This will save trips to the store.  Make sure you read the labels.  Sometimes frozen produce will have added sugar. 
  • Simple Easy Meals - use my crock pot more
Here are some of the simple meals I made last week:

Chicken Stew
Serves: 8
32 oz low-sodium chicken broth 
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp basil
1/2 tbsp cilantro
1/4 tbsp dill
2 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (uncooked)
1/2 cup uncooked black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
1/2 cup barley
1 medium sweet onion, cubed
1 package of whole mushrooms, washed
10 oz celery (3 large), chopped
--Fill a slow cooker with broth, 8 oz water, garlic, herbs and pepper. Add chicken, peas and barley, then layer onion, celery and mushrooms over-top. Liquid should just cover vegetables. Do not stir.
--Allow to simmer at least 4 to 6 hours. Remove bay leaves and stir before serving.

Pork Loin (slow cooked in the crock pot with garlic, salt & pepper), Mashed potatoes & gravy (my cheat for the week), and broccoli  

Basil Chicken & tomatoes - chicken breast in the slow cooker with basil, garlic, salt & pepper, red wine, can of chopped tomatoes, red pepper, onions, mushrooms, brown rice, broccoli & brussel sprouts

Slow cooked Beef & tomatoes - beef stew meat in the slow cooker with a can of tomatoes, basil, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper, red wine, onions, with mashed potatoes (I didn't eat but my kids did), broccoli & brussell sprouts.

I was really into broccoli and brussel sprouts this week.  You can switch it up with green beans, zucchini or whatever vegie you like -- but stay away from the starchy vegies.

For breakfast I usually some fruit then 20 minutes later eat Greek Yogurt with a tbsp of flax seed, cinnamon, chia seeds and granola. 

Lunch is tuna salad on a pita, salad with lots of vegies, or scrambled eggs with vegies.
A few other eating tips I found on the internet in my clean eating search. 
--Foods good that help your skin - tuna (oily fish), chia seeds, almonds, sunflower seed
--Metabolic enhancing foods - grass feed steak, sweet potato, pork chops, berries, bacon, coconut oil, butter, avocado

Clean eating has rejuvenated my desire to cook again.  I was really in a rut and tired of cooking. I'm excited to be trying new recipes and hopefully someday my kids will join in eating healthier.  I'm not going to be so strict where I limit my options.  I love food too much.  Life is too short to deny my taste buds.  As long as it's every once in a while. 

 Jeep -- It's not Just an Adventure! It's a Good Life.

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