Healthy and Sane

The Cleaner Life challenge continues – day 2

June 17th, 2009 · 14 Comments · chicken, Cleaner Life, comfort foods, Cooking Light, polenta, sandwich, yogurt

The Cleaner Life challenge continues. It was really nice to see such positive feedback from you guys on this challenge. I’ve been trying to clean up my diet for about a year now, and have successfully gotten rid of my diet coke addiction and kicked splenda to the curb but I still had a very high consumption of sugar. I realized I was eating chocolate A LOT and although it’s been only 2 days, I’m realizing I don’t need it as often as I thought. I’m discovering nature’s candy does the trick for satisfying my sweet tooth – dried cherries, raisins, dates and dried apricots are replacing my usual chocolate toppings. We’ll see whether I get the shakes in a few days but so far so good 😉

Yesterday was a great 2nd day of the challenge. I wasn’t going to blog about it since I blogged about our NYC trip last night, but it was such a good day, I just had to share (NYC recaps will continue over the next few days).  I feel like I’m eating so much fresher. Despite a busy day at work I was able to eat wholesome foods. Yay! 😀 I’m keeping this short and letting the pictures talk for themselves (if they don’t talk loudly enough, scroll over for descriptions :) )

chobs, blueberries, almonds, dried cherries, pb granola

yogurt closeup

[308, incl. coffee]

giant pear

[125 calories]


[46 calories]

Grilled chicken, 1/4 avocado + laughing cow on a Food for Life english muffin

[400 calories]

This guy is confusing so I’ll explain. I made one of my favorite sides the other day with dinner – mashed plantains from this recipe for jerk chicken with plaintains in Cooking Light (the jerk chicken in the recipe is nothing to write home about but the plaintains are delicious. I cut the butter in the recipe by 1/2). With the leftovers, I made little patties, rolled them in some whole wheat bread crumbs and pan fried them. They were kind of mushy, but still delicious… and made for a great snack in the very late afternoon.

plantain cutlet

[173 calories]

Dinner requires a tiny bit of an explanation as well. Ever since I saw Kelly use langoustines as a lobster substitute, I knew I had to find me some of these jewels at TJ’s and put them to good use. Last night after a long work day, I did just that and as I was passing by a frozen package of polenta Provencale (balls) with spinach and peas in a creamy spicy sauce, I remembered I had it in my freezer at home. This is where the idea for a quick and satisfying dinner came. I added some fresh broccoli to the pan, together with the polenta mix, while defrosting some langostino tails under cold water in the sink. After a few minutes they were ready to be added to the rest of the mix, and voila – dinner was ready in less than 10 minutes.

polenta balls + langostino tails and broccoli

Mmm, lobster (almost :) )

langostino closeup

[342 calories]

chocolate macaroon

[106 calories?]

Total calories consumed during the day: ~1499


I knew it was going to be another long night at work, so I made sure to squeeze in a workout during lunch. I was craving running (I think I’m back to prefering the treadmill over outside running but maybe that will change with nicer weather). I started with a 0.20 mile walk at 4.7 mph, stretched, and then ran 5 miles at 6.9-7.0 mph, breaking it up by 0.25 mile intervals and changing inclines (0-2.0). After a 0.2 mile cooldown walk, I completed the 60 minutes with 11 minutes on the elliptical. I burnt about 570 calories, I think, and was ready to get back to work and crank out that project of mine 😀

Great day! Let’s hope today is just as good :mrgreen: Happy Humpday!

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Jenny

    that is one crazy looking pear!

    Congrats on all your amazing work .. keep it up girl =)!

  • #2 - Melissa

    Question: What do you do with the rest of the avocado when you eat a 1/4 or 1/2? I love love love avocado but of course eating the whole thing is enough calories for a meal, and if I save part of it for later, it turns brown. So do you have a way to store it w/out it turning, or do you just ignore the brown b/c it probably does nothing to the taste, or what? I did just find an avocado keeper on but thought you might have a suggestion that does not require more of my kitchen drawer space :) Thanks! I am a new reader and am really enjoying your blog! (I’m not new to reading, I’m just new to your blog….just in case that didn’t sound right!)

  • #3 - Elina

    Thanks, Jenny! 😀

    Haha, Melissa, that last sentence was hilarious 😆 Glad you like the blog! 😀 I always keep the pit in the avocado and that helps with some browning, although the tiny bit of browning on top does not bother me much. If it bothers you, squeezing some lemon juice over the avocado should preserve it’s bright green color. :)

  • #4 - sister inna

    plantain patty? that’s my kind of yummy 😀

  • #5 - Johanna B

    Elina, I talked on my blog today about kicking my diet coke habit. Glad to see I’m not the only one. I’m not all the way there yet but I’m down to 2 a day. I was drinking between 8-10.

  • #6 - Nabeela

    Hi Elina! LOVE your treadmill workout. I would love to try it too, but my trainer keeps dissuading me from running….sigh :(

  • #7 - Elina

    Johanna (I was going to comment on your blog but my work computer does not like your server) – Great job on cutting back. I think I used to drink like a case a day in college. I thought it was a brilliant way of losing weight. Yeah, I was definitely young and stupid 😉

    Nabeela, if you love running, you should talk to your trainer about how to incorporate running into your workout routines. Perhaps walking breaks or something like that will help (I don’t know your situation obviously so I don’t know why you’d be discouraged to run). Running is infamous for being bad for your knees but I think as long as you strengthen those muscles and are a smart runner, it’s very doable – and is a great workout, no doubt! 😀

  • #8 - ttfn300

    ooh, i am not really a fan of lobster, but i was wondering about those langosteens… don’t even know what they are 😉

  • #9 - K

    Would you recommend that polenta provencale from TJs? I’ve heard about it but wanted to know if it should be added to my never ending TJs shopping list? 😉 Thanks!!

  • #10 - Elina

    K, I really liked the sauce – it was nice and creamy. Not spicy though as the label suggests but that can easily be modified. I liked the polenta balls too, although when I was eating them I forgot what they were and thought they were gnocchi and thought that I’ve had better gnocci before. But once I remember that I was eating polenta (I know I’m such a weirdo!) I thought they were great. My only complaint is that the meal is kind of high in fat – 20 grams for 1/2 package (which is what I had). The taste is definitely all there though and you can’t beat the convenience of a warm comforting meal from freezer to the table in less than 10 minutes! 😀

  • #11 - Anne K.

    I love your plantains snack and your dinner! They look so good. Great workout, too!

  • #12 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Holy crap–dinner looks/sounds soooo good. Whenever I see langoustines on a menu I just assumed it meant lobster! Who knew?!
    Everything looks so nice and clean :)

  • #13 - Alison

    I love TJ’s polenta frozen dish. One of my favorites. I really like their asparagus risotto too.
    I also like that sandwich you had.

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