Hi! I decided that after a good 3 1/2 months off from blogging I might start back up again. A lot has happened in those last 3 1/2 months so I will try to catch you up on some of it and maybe you’ll understand why it’s been so long since I have blogged. . .
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… oh wait, no, that’s Star Wars.
Ok, sorry. I couldn’t help myself. Let’s start with the most important things first. Brad has a completely new job in a completely new city. We now live in Nashville, TN. Yep. We are Volunteers now instead of Hoosiers. Let’s be honest though, I never called myself a Hoosier b/c Hoosiers are people that go to Indiana University and I most certainly DID NOT GO TO IU. I would say I was an Indiana-an. I loved living in Indiana. We were certain it was the greatest city for us and that it was a great fit. However, things happen and plans change and we landed in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Nashville. We sold our house in record timing (well, we agreed on an offer within a week of putting it on the market anyway), packed up everything we own and moved it 4 1/2 hours south to Tennessee. Half of our house is in storage and the other half is shoved somewhere in this apartment.
We have learned though that Nashville is actually a SUPER cool city and believe it or not, Nashville is a totally foodie city. Never would have thought it. There are a million things to do here and a million places to eat. It’s turned out to be a pretty great move, minus that fact that all of our family lives in Indy still. It’s ok though, phones and FaceTime are miracle workers!
So I figured, while I’m unemployed and don’t have much to do expect for look for jobs during the day, I might as well start blogging again. This way I’ll at least feel like I talk to someone other than the dogs and Brad. Let me go through the recent happenings that I have documented with my iPhone. Photos are always nice.
Cash had his 1 year birthday and Etta had her 4 year anniversary with us. So naturally I made them a doggie cake and wrote on it with peanut butter. We also took them to a park and they cuddled in Etta’s bed.
I made fresh margaritas.
Cash decided he wanted to chew on one of my old tshirts and was carrying it around like Linus with his blanket. But then he shredded it to pieces so we had to throw it away. (it’s a blurry photo but you get the idea!)
We’ve eaten some of the best food ever. All I ever want to eat is BBQ so that’s been a change. We did find the best pizza place we have ever eaten. It’s also the coolest place we have ever eaten at too.
And today I made chocolate/chocolate chip cookies.
There’s definitely more that we have done but that’s all stuff I have actual photos for.
So my plans for this blog now is to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on in our lives in Nashville. With not working, I have been doing a LOT of baking to keep myself occupied so I do plan on posting recipes still, but my hope is that I will start writing more and sometimes it might have absolutely nothing to do with food. We’ll see what happens.
This weekend should be interesting. It’s our first weekend back in Indy since we both moved. But we won’t be there long. We’re doing Tough Mudder on Saturday in a suburb of Chicago. And we’ll be busy doing last minute stuff at the house so it will be ready for the closing.
Anyway, that’s that. I’m sorry it’s been so long. It’s been a quick, stressful and crazy past few months!
Oh- by the way. Some of these photos are from my Instagram. Feel free to check that out. I am a little addicted and love posting on there!
Ok ok ok… I’m sorry I’ve been a little M.I.A. lately. I’ve been a little preoccupied with the usual stuff… Basically with life in general. I can’t really remember what has happened in the last 10 days, but I’m sure there have been things… I hope there have been things anyway. How lame would that be if I didn’t accomplish anything in the last 10 days??
Meh… it’s January so therefore it’s ok to not really accomplish much. I’ve been working a lot, we’ve been trying to maintain a consistent workout schedule, we’ve been busy with friends and family, I have found a new obsession with Pinterest (I am so behind on what’s cool these days) and I’ve been very consumed by this whole “try to continue to eat ‘cleanly’ and not go out to eat hardly ever” thing. There have been days that it’s been a challenge, but we have majorly cut back our eating out and it definitely shows in our bank account. It’s amazing how much money you can save just from something so simple!
Oh… I know what I’ve been doing for the last few days… (I just remembered this) I’ve been addictively (did I make that word up?) watching Sons of Anarchy and this just in… Breaking Bad. Good god… the things I have been missing in my life! Well, I’ve always been a Sons of Anarchy fan but I started watching it at like the end of the second season so I decided to start from the beginning. Brad and I only just started watching Breaking Bad on like Friday night (it’s now Tuesday) and we’ve watched the whole first season. Which, hold on! The first season is only 7 episodes so don’t get your undies in a bunch! However, I am literally so obsessed and uncontrollably addicted that it’s all I think about. A television show. It’s pathetic. I know. You don’t have to tell me. And I can’t wait to watch more tonight.
Ok… now that you are all fully aware of my television addictions and strange desires to watch shows about cooking meth and cancer and motorcycles and guns and high school science teachers and violence and …
Oh god. I’m doing it again. AH!
Ok. Moving on.
Let’s see. We made these little burrito bowls like the day after we decided to stop doing CLEAN. It definitely fits in the CLEAN program and it’s also SUPER easy so I have a feeling we will be making this many more times. Oh! It’s also pretty cheap too! All you need is rice, 2 cans of beans and two avocados, a lime and cilantro! I mean, I didn’t keep track of how much it cost, but I’m sure it’s under $15 and fed us for two lunches! You do also need some seasoning, but I would hope everyone has garlic powder and cumin on hand. We always have a bag of brown rice in the pantry too, so for us, it was even cheaper!
This would also be a perfect meal to use leftover rice for. I know that whenever we make rice, for maybe stir fry or something like that, we always have a buttload leftover (wait, did I just write “buttload”? Why yes, yes I did) and we usually end up throwing at least some of it away. This is the perfect answer to that never ending problem! Even if you have a little bit leftover, say like a cup’s worth, you can still pop open a can of beans and pour it on top and dollop some guac on there too and you’ll have a great lunch! If you wanted to get really crazy, you could even wrap all of it up in a tortilla, but then it wouldn’t be considered a CLEAN recipe. Whatever you choose, I think you’ll really enjoy this dish!
1 cup uncooked brown rice (this should make 3 cups of cooked rice)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinse
Chili Powder (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of cilantro, roughly copped
Cook the brown rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, make your guacamole. Mash the two avocados in a bowl. Poor in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix together. When the rice is done cooking, poor some in a bowl and top with beans. Sprinkle the garlic powder, cumin and chili powder over top, along with salt if desired. Then plop a couple spoons of guacamole on top and go to town!
This baby sea turtle has nothing to do with this post. I just like it and it’s cute and it’s from our honeymoon so I just decided to put it in. I also thought I needed a photo somewhere in this post. Ok… that is all.
We have officially stopped doing CLEAN. Sort of.
Some may say that we quit, some may say we gave up, some may ask “what was the point?” and some may wonder how we could have gotten anything out of it already. I get it, that’s fine. But actually, we didn’t quit. We didn’t give up. There was a point. And believe it or not… we did get something out of it.
After one full week of a pre-cleanse and 4 full days of the actual cleanse, Brad and I decided to end it. Partially because we were hungry, partially because we had cravings but mostly because we got what we wanted out of it.
I’ll have you know I am 5’2″ tall. I am almost 26 and depending on the day I was topping out at 130 pounds. (Yes, I totally just confessed my weight on the internet and I am totally ok with it) I have a small frame but yet was somehow able to pack on a lot of weight over the last few months. 130 pounds for a girl my age and my height isn’t really “ideal”. I looked it up on like 5 different websites. 130 is at the high end of what I should be, on the verge, of well… “you’re getting close to not being an ideal weight so get your shit together”. We set out to do this whole CLEAN thing to get healthy and an added bonus would be to lose weight.
Which we did. We lost a lot of weight. I lost almost 8 pounds (I weighed myself when we began this and I was 128.6 and I’m now at 121). For someone my size, 8 pounds is a lot in one and a half weeks. We were dropping weight in a mostly healthy-ish way because we cut everything you could possibly think of as unhealthy out of our diet. We were living on mostly fruits and veggies and a little bit of protein everyday. We felt hungry… which we understood was part of the whole thing. But we wanted to start training for Tough Mudder and when you train for Tough Mudder, you shouldn’t be slacking on what you eat. And that was our biggest problem.
Training for Tough Mudder requires a lot of running. And a lot of weight training. And I was finding myself so completely exhausted and worn out only a couple minutes in to our workouts that I was secretly worrying. I felt weak when I was working out. Nothing about me felt strong. Like lifting a 10 pound weight was doing to do more damage than good! While I felt pretty good throughout the day, minus the cravings and dislike of some of the food we were eating, I didn’t feel good while I was doing what was really important… working out.
And so we made the call. No more. We needed to start eating “real food”.
And by “real food” I mean carbs and protein… and tomatoes and peppers and a lot of the things that we felt were important for us to eat with such a rigorous workout routine. We needed more protein in one day and not the kind of protein you get from the nasty protein shakes we bought (ugh… don’t ever buy vegan protein shakes, you’ll regret it). We needed to be allowed to eat a solid meal for dinner every once and awhile… I will say that some of the meals were very filling. And it’s not like we were depriving ourselves of food or starving ourselves or anything like that. But the book acknowledges that if you are an athlete training for something, you should almost double your food, juice and smoothie intake or hold off and wait to do CLEAN when you aren’t training.
We also stopped because we truly got what we wanted out of it. It was an awakening. We saw how badly we had been eating and what we had been doing to ourselves by not eating as well as we thought. We most certainly do not plan to go back to our old ways. We want to continue having juices and smoothies for breakfast and we really want to work on cutting a lot of dairy out of our diet. We want to eat a lot more meals that are from the CLEAN diet but we want to also be able to eat a damn tomato! And a jalapeno! Ain’t nothin’ wrong with jalapenos!
All kidding aside… I learned a lot. And we both really felt the effects almost immediately. Some meals we would eat before all of this felt like they just sat in our stomachs for days. Whereas with CLEAN you felt light and you felt like the food wasn’t trapped in your body while your body tried to figure out what to do with it. I did (do) feel more awake. I found myself not craving coffee in the morning for the caffeine. And let me say… I used to HATE coffee until I started having to get up at 3 in the morning. Then I started to love coffee. But I didn’t want it. I still took naps when I got home some days, but I didn’t take naps because I felt like I was going to die if I didn’t. I took naps because it just felt right to take them. I just felt good all around. And it was nice. But I just knew that it wasn’t working out as well as I hoped.
So you know what we did? We went out to eat on Thursday night. We went to a Mexican restaurant and ate chips and salsa and queso and we shared a margarita and we ate steak tacos and taco salads. And get this… the next morning we got up at 7 (well, Brad woke me up at 7) and did a full Tough Mudder workout and ran 4 miles in the 20 degree frozen weather and honestly… never felt better. See!? Proof!! There’s no way we could have done that while we were doing CLEAN. Just… no way.
And there you have it. That is why we stopped doing CLEAN.
But like I said, we don’t plan to go back to our old ways. I LOVE drinking homemade juices in the morning for breakfast. It’s my favorite part of CLEAN. I want to continue to do that. We want to continue to have 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. And we want to try to use a lot of the CLEAN recipes for lunches and dinner. Oh and I really want to make sure that I eat healthy snacks like apples, carrots and sugar snap peas. We are also going to limit ourselves to eating out only like once every 10 days. That includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. So we better make it worth it!
See!? We learned a lot and we are really determined to change our ways and keep them that way. I still have some CLEAN recipes to share that I promise I will actually get to. I just wanted to make sure to write this post (even though I’m writing it later than I wanted to) and explain why we stopped.
Ok… I’m done now. I have to go start dinner. byebye!
Week 1 is officially over… We have made our way into Week 2. That means two liquid meals a day, one solid meal a day and snacks (thank god for snacks). We started this morning with a juice that consisted of fennel bulbs, apples and lemon. Not too bad if you are a fan of fennel! We ate leftover stir fry that we ate for lunch yesterday (first meal I forgot to take a photo of… Of course) and we are getting ready to make a smoothie for dinner! We’ll see how we feel in a few days now that we are in full on cleanse mode… eek!
So along wit the cleanse comes other things… like supplements. We are taking digestive enzymes and also garlic in a pill form. Sorry, but you couldn’t pay Garth eat a whole, raw garlic clove. Ew.
Also a part of the cleanse is drinking tablespoons of olive oil at night. This is to help “lubricate your digestive system”. To me… it just sounds like a bad idea. Well, Brad’s digestive system wasn’t running as smoothly as he had thought during the pre-cleanse week so he decided he would start the olive oil drinking early. And we made sure to video it. We might even video me doing it tonight, but I feel like my reaction will make people not want to do this, rather than our hopes of encouraging people to do it. We’ll see what happens…
Either way, here’s the video we took of Brad drinking two tablespoons of olive oil. Lord help us both…
Welp, today is day 4! We are chuggin along! It’s been going well, fast actually. I’m surprised this week has gone so quickly. We’ve made a couple pretty good meals that I thought I would share with everyone! All of these recipes are coming straight from the Clean Program website. There’s tons of resources on their website, including a meal planner that we have been using! There’s a Pre-Cleanse planner and a full on 3 week Cleanse planner. We expect to use most of that planner for the next 3 weeks. So all of the recipes that we have used so far have been from that meal planner.
If I’m going to be honest… for the most part, these recipes are time consuming to make. We’ve been making breakfast the night before while dinner is cooking. It’s a lot to do all at once, but it works well with our schedules. We’ve actually had quite a bit of leftovers and I’ll be sure to note that in each recipe!
1 cup almond flour or meal
1 cup almond or rice milk
pinch of sea salt
splash of vanilla (optional)
½ cup almond butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
coconut oil (you only need like 1 tablespoon)
cashew or almond butter + fresh or frozen berries
Mix batter until well combined and almond flour is smooth. On high heat, bring a frying pan or griddle
to a very warm temperature, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and let it melt, spreading on the pan to avoid sticking.
Lower heat to medium and with a measuring cup pour pancakes onto the pan/griddle and wait until they begin to
bubble on top and then flip. Serve warm with almond or cashew butter and fresh berries.
Miso Glazed Salmon:
2 wild salmon fillets
3 tablespoons gluten-free miso
2 teaspoons coconut nectar
In a small bowl mix the miso, coconut nectar and enough olive oil to make it into a thick liquid. Cover
the fillets and broil or pan fry until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.
Butternut Squash Fries:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground pepper
flavor variations: cinnamon: add 1 tsp of ground cinnamon along with the salt, oil and pepper and toss.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease. In a
large bowl, add all of the ingredients and toss to combine. Lay squash slices on the baking sheet in an individual
layer. (If the pieces are touching, it will take longer to bake) Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and
beginning to crisp on the edges, turning pieces over halfway through
This one is actually two recipes. We ate the side dish (Cranberry Mango Millet Salad) on Monday for lunch and had so much leftover that we ate it with some Black Bean Burgers on Tuesday. The salad makes enough to eat for 2-3 meals. And it’s pretty good!
Cranberry Mango Millet Salad
1 cup millet
½ cup quinoa
3 cup water
1 mango, cubed
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
¼ cup yellow onions, diced
Lemon poppy seed dressing:
¼ cup lemon juice
1½ tablespoons coconut nectar (or a few dashes of stevia to taste)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
¼ teaspoons herbamare seasoning
Place millet and quinoa in a strainer and rinse in cold water for a couple of seconds. Place rinsed
grains in a medium sized saucepan and combine with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce
heat to simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until water has absorbed. Remove from heat and allow
to sit with the lid on for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool. Meanwhile, combine remaining salad
ingredients in a large bowl. Add lukewarm or chilled grains. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, mix together lemon
poppy seed dressing ingredients before pouring over the salad. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
We were able to make 6 burgers out of this. They were smaller but we ate 4 for lunch and then saved the other 2 for lunch the next day. We also topped them with avocado and extra lime juice. I highly recommend this as they are a little bit dry and the avocado and lime add some good moisture. And it’s super tasty!
cup black beans
cup quinoa cooked
1 teaspoon cumin
lime juice from 1/3 lime
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 yellow onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
In a medium mixing bowl, mash the black beans with a fork. Mix with the quinoa and then add the
other ingredients. This will make 2-4 patties depending on how big you like them. Heat the oil in a skillet over
13edium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the patties until they are nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and
fry the other side
Wilted Spinach and Spiced Chicken
This recipe only serves ONE, so you have to plan accordingly. We actually liked this so much we are going to eat it again on Saturday. We doubled the mango when we first ate this, but when we make it on Sunday, I think we are going to just use one mango. In case you were wondering.
1 4-5 ounce chicken breast (we did one chicken breast per person)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 tablespoons sliced red onions
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven 350°F. Place the chicken breast in a baking dish, coat with olive oil, sea salt, paprika,
cumin and coriander. Bake for 12 minutes or until fully cooked (check with a fork). Remove from the oven and let
it cool on a cutting board, once the chicken is slightly cooled, cut into thin pieces. Meanwhile, heat a large saute
pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and gently cook the onions for 2-3 minutes, stirring
continuously. Add the mango and cook until warmed through. Add in the sliced chicken breast, gently toss then
add in the spinach and lemon juice. Cover the pan and allow the spinach to steam. Sprinkle in a touch of sea salt
and serve immediately
Shepherd’s Pie With Lamb
This has fed us for one dinner and sort of 2 lunches. We ate small amounts at like 11 and then at about 2 today. It’s crazy good! I’ve never had lamb before and never really wanted to, but it’s the only red meat we can eat. I’m trying to be adventurous and stick to this plan, so I ate it. And it wasn’t bad! I even ate the mushrooms in it too! My only suggestion would be to use much less garlic for the mashed cauliflower top. It doesn’t really get the chance to cook so it’s very overpowering.
1 medium head of cauliflower
1-2 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
¼ cup unsweetened, plain almond, rice or coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
optional, but tasty: chives or other fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop cauliflower into florets. Steam until tender. Put in blender or food
processor with garlic, coconut oil. Puree until smooth. Slowly add milk until proper consistency – smooth, but still
thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
1 pound ground lamb
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces baby bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced (we used baby bellas)
1 large carrot chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon coconut flour or almond flour
¾ cup chicken, vegetable or mushroom stock
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
dash of balsamic vinegar
Heat oil on medium in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots, garlic,
mushrooms and celery. Saute until they start to soften. Add lamb and saute for 5-10 minutes or until the meat
starts to brown. Stir in the coconut or almond flour. Add broth and herbs and reduce the heat to low and simmer,
stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until liquid reduces and sauce starts to thicken. Stir in tamari and
balsamic vinegar at the end. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put meat and vegetable mixture in a casserole dish.
Spread the mashed cauliflower over the top. Bake for 35 minutes.
This recipe comes for the actual CLEAN book. It was our first time making juice and the first time using our new juicer. It was really good, however, it was pretty tart because there’s a lot of lemon. I would suggest using at the most half a lemon, if that. It says in the book that you can put all the ingredients in a blender and then just strain all the fruit chunks. We opted for the more expensive route… buying a juicer. It’s really cool and quick. It’s a little pain to clean up, but it’s worth it. I am very excited to use it more! This recipe serves1.
2 green apples
1/2″ piece of ginger
1 cup of spinach leaves
1 lemon, peeled
Just put it all through a juicer and drink!
Sooo… again… all these recipes except for the juice came from the website. It’s definitely worth checking out. Even if you don’t want to do the full pre-cleanse/cleanse you can at least make some of these recipes! I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted with our progress!
We made a video last night and I decided to go to bed before I was able to put it up here. Things are going pretty well actually! And believe it or not, we have lost weight. I can’t really believe it! Later today or tomorrow I will post recipes for the meals we have liked the best!
Ok… so here’s the deal. Brad and I are going on a little adventure. We have decided that with all the heavy eating we have done since Thanksgiving and all of the not working out we have done since… well… June… We needed something to kick our butts into shape. As you know, we are doing another Tough Mudder in May… but we have lacked quite a bit of motivation and this could be the key! Anyway… I’ll be posting recipes online and I’ll post our videos here as well so that everyone can stay updated. I hope you enjoy watching our videos and by gollies wish us luck because this is going to be a loooong 4 weeks!
Oh and here’s a link to the CLEAN website!
And a link to the book we bought!