Thursday, June 6, 2013

Eat Clean.... The Beginning

Before I get into the details, I want to throw this out there: I have so many wonderful fitness and health readers here. I could use all the help I can get with this clean eating thing. I wanted to share my start with you and hopefully y'all will correct me if I'm not getting it right. So comment away, okay?

When I first began researching how to eat clean, I was just simply amazed. My weight loss has been stalled for quite a while now and I have discovered that I'm not eating a very balanced diet. I have pretty much cut out all carbs and fat. While that idea works for a while, our bodies are not designed to run without it. I have made the decision to use all of the food groups in a balanced, healthy way.

#eatclean #weightloss #fitmom #budget #recipe #principles

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I went to Aldi to buy the majority of my food. I spent a little over $107.00 at Aldi and around $10.00 at Walmart to get enough food to feed my family for around 2 weeks. 

#eatclean #weightloss #fitmom #budget #recipe

#eatclean #weightloss #fitmom #budget #recipe

#eatclean #weightloss #fitmom #budget #recipe

I think one reason we hold back from eating healthier is that there's an assumption that it costs a lot more money. If you use your freezer properly and prepare your meals in advance, you can save a ton of money! 

My family loves to eat out. I've showed you over the past year how to take control of your eating while dining out, but now I want to show you how to make it work better at home. My husband and I are saving up for something special and we can save a ton of money by eating meals from home. My husband also tends to really overeat and put junk into his body more if we eat out as well. I want to take care of my family better and this is one way I can do that. 



#eatclean #weightloss #fitmom #budget #recipe

Eggs are a great source of protein. If you hardboil them in advance, you can use them on salads, over rice, or for breakfast. I prepared about two and a half dozen for the week since my husband and son love them. 


While my eggs were cooking, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees. I bought frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and tenderloins. After they thawed, I put them in my casserole dishes. I sprinkled Mrs.Dash on them. It adds tons of flavor and variety without adding any sodium. 


As my chicken baked in the oven, I began prepping salads for the week. It helps if you set out all of your containers and keep a garbage can beside you. You can fly through this!  


#eatclean #weightloss #fitmom #budget #recipe

I also premixed a larger salad for us to eat on through the week. 
I tried to use different types of greens and toppings to give us variety. 



For some of our lunch meals, I cooked some couscous. 


And topped it with the baked chicken. This can be paired with the salads and give a very balanced, filling meal. 


After one hour of shopping and two hours a baking/prepping, I have everything ready for my family to eat during the week. I went ahead and cooked up my ground turkey. I plan to use that in my Skinny Stuffed Peppers


Breakfast is so much easier to pull off now. I used whole wheat mini-bagels topped with all natural peanut butter and raisins. My family loved it! 


There's no more running around trying to figure out what to bring for lunch as we head out the door. We just grab our premade containers and run. 


I've thrown two weeks of protein into the fridge and freezer. Everything is pretty much all laid out with plenty of variety. As I go, I will share how I've made my dinners. 

Instead of spending $150.00 per week on groceries, then eating out some nights because we're too exhausted to cook or the food has already spoiled, and putting junk into our bodies....

I have breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners for two weeks, all stored properly....with less than $60.00 per week spent and everything prepared in three hours. 

No more cooking for an hour at home while my son whines at my feet and my husband tries to distract him. No more running out to eat, spending so much money on it, and having no time to do anything else in the evenings. No more feeling sluggish with putting junk into our bodies. 

As I learn along the way, I will share what works for us and what doesn't. I know that I'm going to have to be creative with our meals so my family doesn't get bored with the same stuff day after day. There are so many ways to change things up and I'll show you how! 

60 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy,

    I read 2 books last fall that changed my life: Wheat Belly, and The End of Overeating. Then, in January, I discovered 'primal' (paleo, but with dairy) eating, and went full primal the beginning of February. I have lost over 42 lbs. in 2013, and I'm almost 62! I found that grains had to be cut out entirely for me to lose cravings. Sugar, 99% cut out. I do have 4-5 (breaded) onion rings once or twice a month, but that's it for grains. I don't eat processed foods, so none is sneaking in there. I use Annie's Organic papaya-poppy seed salad dressing on my salads, but overall personally prefer my veggies raw. I've gone to 90% organic produce, and am working on introducing more grass-fed meat into my diet. If you want the perfect/main source re the primal lifestyle, I'd say start here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/welcome-to-marks-daily-apple/#axzz2VRpi8IUu

    Looks like you've made some great strides in cleaning up you and your family's life nutritionally, already! (and I love hard boiled eggs. Six mornings a week I have one with an ounce of cheese and an ounce of nuts for breakfast, and I never get hungry before lunch.)

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    1. Wendy, do you measure your cheese and nuts in the morning? a oz doesn't sound like much.

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    2. Actually, that's what Gwen does. She was the one who wrote that! :) An ounce isn't much, I also eat cheese and nuts in moderation. I don't measure mine very often.

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  2. that's awesome that you're making an effort to eat clean! I second what Gwen says about wheat. Have you checked out the Whole30 or It Starts with Food book? That's a great way to launch into clean eating. I'm amazed at what you spent. I spend way more than that for only two people!

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    Replies
    1. Aldi was amazingly cheaper. I couldn't have done that at any other store.

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    2. Aldis! Thank you for sharing that. I will go there. I spend $150 for 4 of us otherwise. Groceries are getting more expensive and organic all the more so!

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    3. I always forget about Aldi, need to go there!

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  3. Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. That looks AWESOME!!!!! Your doing it exactly right!! You go girl!
    xoxo
    Dani
    www.thatfitnesschic.blogspot.com

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  5. Wow. You are really inspiring me. Can I ask two questions? One - do you have any trouble with your salads kind of wilting if you make them in advance? Two - what all was in that bag? I've really been searching for just this kind of tip but I'm sort of clueless. I'm assuming you work away from home and this is your lunch and snacks to get through the day. That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for!

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    1. I use a salad spinner to get the lettuce completely dry first. It makes a huge difference. I also keep the top part of my fridge super cold. It's right on the verge of freezing and it seems to keep lettuce so much fresher there.

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    2. I use mason jars to prep my salads and they stay super fresh all week!

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    3. Mason jars would be healthier to store food than plastic as well. Thumbs up.

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    4. Mason jars would be more healthy than plastic containers as well. Thumbs on this one.

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  6. Thank you for this post. My family eats put way too much. I go to the store but during the week it's do much easier to eat out. I am going to try your method of right away fixing the food. I look forward to more posts!

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    Replies
    1. It's amazing how easy this is and it saves a ton of money!

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  7. Appreciating the dedication you put into your site and in depth information you provide.
    It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same old rehashed information.
    Excellent read! I've saved your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.



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  8. That is seriously impressive. I also was wondering about stuff staying fresh. Does your lettuce get gross doing it that far in advance? And also, do you freeze some of the hard boiled eggs and chicken? I would be worried they would go bad before two weeks...

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    1. I actually use a salad spinner to make sure the lettuce is completely dry before packing it. I also freeze the eggs and chicken in the containers. That way we can grab what we need as we go. I've actually been doing the lettuce thing for a while now. The top of my fridge is so cold it's almost freezing things and it really preserves my lettuce well.

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    2. Eggs you buy in the store have been sitting around for up to 2 months from the time the chicken laid it. Look it up! I was amazed when I found that out and grossed out. So, I think a week or two longer in your fridge isn't going to make that much of a difference plus you'll know it's bad by the smell when you crack it. If you can buy local eggs you'll notice how amazing they taste and fresh they are. Huge difference and worth the little extra they might cost. I am lucky enough to have a sister with pet chickens. And yes they are their loved pets.

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    3. Hi, I just discovered your blog and am enjoying what I've read so far. I just wanted to add a tip for the pre-made salads. I put mine in a mason jar and stack it starting with the dressing and moving up with the more "durable" items (tomatoes, carrots, protein) with lettuce on top. It's amazing how much you can get in there and something about the glass jar keeps it really fresh.

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    4. Hi, I just discovered your blog and am enjoying what I've read so far. I just wanted to add a tip for the pre-made salads. I put mine in a mason jar and stack it starting with the dressing and moving up with the more "durable" items (tomatoes, carrots, protein) with lettuce on top. It's amazing how much you can get in there and something about the glass jar keeps it really fresh.

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  9. I am so impressed! I hope to have it together like this soon. I'll be using this post next weekend to try to plan a little better. I make my salad EVERY morning!

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    1. I love how this has simplified my life. So worth it!

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  10. Thank you! It's so hard to find healthy meals that are affordable for a family. This is perfect for us!

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    Replies
    1. Food is just so expensive! And eating out is even worse!

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  11. Great post! I'm also changing my families eating habits and trying to buy as much organic whole food as I can. Cutting out processed food saves a ton of money and makes you feel so much better! We've also cut out soda and sweet tea for the whole year and we are cutting down on eating out as well. (To be able to afford the organic.) Here are a couple of posts on my blog in case your interested:

    http://gracefullittlehoneybee.blogspot.com/2013/06/my-whole-foods-journey.html
    http://gracefullittlehoneybee.blogspot.com/2013/01/no-soda-for-one-year.html

    Blessings,
    Missy

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you for sharing that! I'm your newest blog follower!

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  12. I need to prepare our fruits and veggies right away like this. Otherwise, I sometimes unintentionally let produce go bad because at lunchtime I don't want to take the time to cut it all up. If it was already washed and cut, though, I think we would eat more of it. Good ideas! :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm the same way. I've wasted so much food in the past.

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  13. WENDY!! Chica, I'm visiting from SDG and you're a clean eating rockstar!! I try my best in clean eating, but typically err on the "clean-ish" side of things. What inspiration! xoxo

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  14. This post was made of awesome! ;) I absolutely love salads and now I want one, lol! Have you seen the box of Glad containers that Costco sells? I imagine you can get them anywhere but it's really cool. The little mini salad container fits into the lid, which then goes over the salad in the container. My son loves taking it to work that way. Thanks for linking up!

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  15. Looks awesome! Do you have a menu of what you eat? I'd love to see that.

    Allison @ www.allisonskinnyjeans.com

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    1. I second that :-)

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    2. Yes, I posted that here:

      http://www.dailydoseofdelsignore.com/2013/07/eating-clean-with-family-of-5.html#.UdwfsfkskYk

      I will also be sharing the recipes along the way, so keep checking back!

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  16. That's great! How did you prepare your chicken and how did you store it after baking? Thanks

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    1. I bake it or grill it. Then I divide it into dinner portions for my family. I freeze some of it for future meals so that it doesn't spoil.

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  17. I just read your inspiring story & feel GOD has been pointing me in this direction. I feel I'm in the same boat when you began your jouney. I know the hardest step is the first one. Thank You & GOD Bless :) P.S. I just started following on FB :) Valerie T. Valdez

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  18. Thanks for sharing I actually just ventured out on eating clean. I am sort of chronicling it in my blog. http://thefitfoot.blogspt.com

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  19. Do you have a shopping list and menu for the things you bought at the store? I'd love to try this too! Thanks - Sara

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  20. Do you have a shopping list and menu for the things you bought at the store? I'd love to do this...Thanks! Sara

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  21. Hi! I just found your blog and need to find some time to go through it more. You have such great idea! I am also a mom. I have 3 and my oldest is turning 4 in a month... Thanks so all the info on your blog! I recently started a blog please check it out! nowaythatshealthy.blogspot.com

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  22. I really love your blog and all your info! You simplify how to eat clean and prep food. Thanks for all the tips:)

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  23. Hey ! So I was just curious if you had a list of all the items you purchased to prepare all the food ? And what casserole recipes did you use ? I have been trying to eat clean for a while now and want my family to join me but I'm not sure what to make or how to make their lives easier and not have to think too hard about fixing food. If it's not simple they don't want to do it. This would make life so much more simple.

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  24. Hi Wendy, my husband and I just started following your blog. We have two daughters, 4 and 3 years old. I am trying this plan starting next week and I was wondering if you have a grocery list you could post or email me? pres877@aol.com
    Thanks so much!
    Olivia

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  25. I'm so happy I found this blog. Im very excited about starting to eat clean and prepping meals. My only issue is having to eat the same things. Do you have any tips to give me?

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  26. I love your site and I blogged about you today! http://onthegomommyoffive.blogspot.com Thanks for all the information you share :)

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  27. Great tips! I just started clean eating about two weeks ago and I love it! Once you start feeling better taking the small amount of time (and money!) to meal prep and buy nice, healthy alternatives to your regular food seems like a small price to pay!

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  28. Does anyone know how long hard boiled eggs will last in the fridge? I want to start meal prepping so that clean eating is a bit easier, but I am worried about the eggs spoiling. Do you shell them and then put them in the fridge, or only shell when you are ready to eat them?

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  29. I just love this site! So informative! Maybe it will help more people look less like stuffed sausages in their skinny jeans! One can only hope

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  30. Ok. Well I am starting this weekend, you just gave me the info I needed to do it! Thank you!

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  31. Thanks so much for sharing and I look forward to checking out more of your posts. I shop at Aldi all the time. I don't know what I would do without it! But seeing what you have bought has given me just the inspiration I need to pull some simple, healthy meals together.

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  32. I love your posts as budget. Eat clean foods made me spend more money than before but thinking about health so i still try to eat clean and back to my budget for the family of 4....it is amazing of your budget, it inspired me so much to keep track on paying for healthy foods. May be because i had shopped many times a week...

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  33. Do you have a grocery list to correspond with a menu?

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  34. aldi is more exspensive now almost 2016 anything new you have done

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