I have a confession

I have a confession – I am totally “over” the Cleaner Life Challenge (or CLC, as I’ve been lovingly referring to it lately :) ). Although the reasons for doing the challenge made a lot of sense when I originally decided to do it, I’m tired of meticulously looking through labels to find a CLC compliant item. I realized that I eat a lot of chocolate/chocolate related stuff, but I already knew that. That was partially the reason for doing the challenge. But I also realized that I try to eat clean most of the time anyway, so despite being fun at the beginning, now the challenge is a huge chore. Today, for example, I planned on making some sandwiches for dinner (see below) but I couldn’t use the Ezekiel sprouted grain bread we have in the freezer because it has soy lechitin. So I had to go to Whole Foods to buy some CLC compliant bread. Guess what? Every single loaf of bread (except for 1 which I finally found at the end after a loooong search) has either sugar, some not whole wheat flour or soy in some form. Yup, even organic sprouted grain breads. Does that mean that every single bread (except for the 1 I picked up) is unhealthy or “unclean?” I think the answer is no. Now my sugar addiction is a whole other story, but that’s a whole different post. And you’ve kind of heard a lot about it already so I’ll spare you :D

With that said, I AM sticking to the challenge as planned until July 15th (right after the cake is gone!). It continues to be a learning experience and I appreciate that part of the challenge. I just wish I could continue learning while eating chocolate ;) Anyways, onto…

TODAY’S EATS

I was short on time this morning and wanted something warm and sweet. I reached into the freezer for a Food for Life sprouted grain english muffin (which I planned on having with some melty Barney Butter) but then I saw 3 boxes of Holey Donuts in the freezer. Mmm, yum! :) I went this morning with the jumbo blueberry cinnamon bun. I’ll refer to it as heaven going forward :) Made my fingers nice and sticky, but tasted oh so good with a huge mug of coffee.

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[388 calories, incl. coffee]

Sun-maid, I think I love you :lol:

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[130 calories]

Leftover summer squash gratin:

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[389 calories]

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[160 calories]

nectarine

[60 calories]

Dinner was the above referenced sandwich. We had some ham in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I made a croque monsier by following Kath’s recipe.

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[389 calories]

The sandwich was pretty good. A little too much egg, so it got slightly soggy. It was also NOTHING like the Croque Madame from Shiller’s. That’s pretty much the best thing ever. Not healthy though, so you know, I’m not about to pour a bag of shredded cheese over my fried sandwich to replicate that beau. :)

And then there was MORE WEDDING CAKE! I honestly don’t even feel guilty over it. I feel like I should be, but I don’t. I promise this is the last time you’re seeing it though. The boys we are hosting at our house tonight did not finish it, so I’m bringing the rest to work tomorrow. Say good bye to the best wedding cake ever. Oh I’m going to miss you, cake, but my hips won’t ;)

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Total calories consumed today: 1711 (includes unpictured sweet cherries and AK MAK crackers) + CAKE

How was your Wednesday? I’m in a fantastic mood despite work being crazy. I “blame” some exercise endorphins for this… gotta love ‘em! :mrgreen:

Chocolate withdrawals

I’m having major chocolate withdrawals. I knew I loved chocolate. I knew how much I depended on chocolate. That’s why I decided to do the CLC. No white sugar in general eliminates 99% of chocolate and baked good treats, both of which also happen to be my diet downfalls. I try so hard to exercise and eat healthy, and then these 2 bad boys ruin it all. Oh chocolate, I love you and I hate you.

I can’t decide how I feel about the challenge. As expected, it’s teaching me a lot. It’s also prevented me from randomly shoving sweets into my mouth during a busy time at work. Very good. I really like that part of the challenge, but sometimes this girl just needs some good old fashioned chocolate. Just a little piece… pretty please? The lesson here is that a chocolate free life is just not for me, but I did discover that medjool dates and turkish dried apricots taste like candy :) Oh yeah, and then there is this beauty (my new favorite nighttime treat)… 1/2 Food for Life english muffin with cacao bliss:

1/2 FFL english muffin with cacao bliss

Chocolatey coconuty goodness. Oh yes, life is good again :D I’m currently enjoying it with yogi green tea :)

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[129 calories]

How else have I been keeping my sweet tooth at bay? With some roasted beets and raisins! Yep, you heard me right! ;)

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Kelly, does this look familiar? ;) I asked you guys in this post what to do with some root veggies I got at the farmers market the other day, and you gave me so many yummy ideas. The common thread was to roast them, and then have them with some goat cheese. Oh yeah, I think you really can’t beat that combo! Kelly recommended trying a recipe she just recently sampled: swiss chard with beets, goat cheese and raisins. I followed the link to the recipe from her blog, and after browsing through it realized I even had all the ingredients on hand! Awesome! Adam was NOT excited for this one, but I had high hopes that I could turn his beet hating ways around with this one. It just sounded amazing, and we had plan B for him – a frozen burrito. Yup, that’s how we roll (it’s organic at least! haha). Take a peak inside :mrgreen:

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I used the leaves from the beets instead of swiss chard, omitted the onions and only used 1T of EVOO (although the rest of the proportions were kind of random too – 1/3 of the raisins, 1/2 of the beet leaves, 1/3-1/2 of the beets… I couldn’t remember how much they weighed and I mistakenly threw away the piece of paper where I wrote it down). I also added some sliced ham to make it a little more man-friendly. Adam hasn’t been too happy with my meals this week. I’ve been pushing his envelope a little too far with my vegetarian creations :lol: Long story short, he LOVED IT!!!!!!! I of course loved it, but that was no surprise, but my husband loving a dish centered around beets and beet greens and goat cheese (something he just recently started liking) is pretty amazing. He made me so happy. I love beets. Hope that means they can become a more frequent ingredient in our kitchen. I’m making beet chips next! :D

OTHER EATS

Oikos, 1/2 mango, pb puffins, turkish dried apricots (seriously these taste like candy!!!) + raw almonds. I love you yogurt (not as much as chocolate but I can’t live without you either!)… what’s up with me talking to my food today? :D

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[356 calories]

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+ 2 unpictured AK MAK crackers = 107 calories (I didn’t eat the whole apple… it was a little soft for my liking)

Leftover ww pasta with pistachio basil pesto + cauliflower, laughing cow cheese (awesome addition! – made everything super creamy) + pistachios:

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[394 calories]

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[220 calories - ended up eating the whole thing... it's just too yummy :) ]

Today was a really great food day! They’re not always this good, but today was noteworthy. I like note-worthy food days! :D Total calories eaten: 1546

I also took an abs class, then a spin class and finished off by solid 5 minutes of jump rope. A great workout! ~550 calories burnt. I haven’t sweat like this in forever! I think it made everything better. I feel cleansed :D

I’m off to relax with the new issue of Self magazine I picked up yesterday. I hope Jillian can inspire me to be a better me :)

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Bloggers rule + I have a new food love

How was everyone’s Monday? I find it that it’s always hard to get going in the morning, but by the end of the day I’m very well adjusted and ready to face the week :mrgreen: I’ve been eating lots of delicious (undocumented) foods over the past few days, so today I wanted to do another multiple day recap. Let’s start with some highlights, shall we?

1. Zesty’s chicken asparagus pesto quesadilla made for a great easy lunch :)

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2. Lara sent me this recipe for wheat germ whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes after reading my post on Clinton St. Baking Co pancakes. These made for a healthy CLC-approved Saturday morning breakfast. Fresh raspberries from the farmers market (picked just the day before!) + yogurt and maple syrup made for amazing topping :D

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These are great as a snack with my new love (see below) ;)

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3. When I saw Lauren’s veggie stromboli, I couldn’t wait to make it! Some farmer’s market broccoli wanted to be the star of the show, so I used lots of it + some chicken in this recipe. I also used TJ’s ww pizza dough (it had some soybean oil but I still bought it), added some spinach to the broccoli when steaming it, and used 0.75 cups of organic part skim mozzarella. This was such a fun alternative to pizza, although I’ve decided that after the challenge I’m going to start buying white pizza dough – it just tastes more like the real thing :)

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My top 3 foods (and many others below) were all inspired by bloggers. Bloggers rule! My food would be so much more boring without you :D

4. I had some beautiful basil from the farmers market smelling up my apartment, so on Saturday afternoon when Adam was out, I decided to combine it with a few other random things in my fridge: ww couscous, fresh tomato (also from the farmers market… I told you I went to town on my last trip! :lol: ), black olives, pine nuts, hummus + goat cheese. I warmed up the couscous and then just threw the rest of the ingredients into the bowl, and finished it off with a few ribbons of the fresh basil. The result was a mediteranian inspired creamy and delicious dish! I’d definitely recommend recreating this :D

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5. And that’s my new food love – Artisana Cacao Bliss! OMG – SO good! It tastes like coconut infused chocolate and I just can’t get enough of this stuff! It goes great on ww english muffins, pancakes (see above), ww tortillas, and straight out of the jar :oops: Speaking of straight out of the jar, looking at the picture below makes me realize I’ve had a little too much of it lately (the picture was taken late last week and my jar does not look like this today), but it’s SO GOOD!!

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An all natural (sugar free) ingredients list:

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So these are my top 5! Now let’s get to the rest of the eatsIMG_5233

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Happy Tuesday :)

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