Today I'm going to be sharing week 1 of a 4 week eating plan for myself. I wanted to try and focus mainly on eating mostly clean and healthy without any processed foods and stick to whole natural foods. Every one's opinion on "clean eating" differs. Clean eating to me means no processed foods. Foods that are in their original state. Natural foods. Foods that don't have any additives and foods that have fewer than 5 ingredients in their ingredient list. But I'm going to be honest. Some days I do use wheat or whole grain bread, wraps, and I even eat dairy (such as cottage cheese and greek yogurt.) I don't want to cut things out of my life completely because lets be honest, what is a world without cheese?! How can you not ever eat a sandwich again? And I'm sorry, but I will never eat a burger that has no bun. Lettuce, to me, is a burger TOPPING. I don't want it to replace my bun. Does that mean I'm less dedicated than someone that would make those sacrifices? No, it doesn't. It just means that it's my personal preference. It means I am trying my best to be healthy and I feel like I make enough sacrifices that I don't need to cut everything out of my diet completely. With making the change, for example, that I no longer will eat white bread and instead I will eat whole grain or whole wheat or high fiber flax bread, I think that small changes like that make a huge difference. While wheat or whole grain isn't as healthy as choosing NO bread, it's my way of eating what I want but making a healthier choice than I used to. I don't feel deprived that I "can't" eat something.
When you feel deprived is usually when most people throw in the towel. They feel as if they can't eat what they want so they'd rather not do it. At least that's how I used to feel. But I can eat whatever I want, in moderation. You'll notice two out of the seven days I went out to dinner. I have kids. I have a husband who likes to go out. I can't always be home and follow a strict meal plan. And frankly, I don't want to live my life confined to my home because I can't eat certain foods. That's not the way I want to live. I allow myself takeout sometimes. Maybe not Mcdonalds or Burger King, but I do like to eat Chinese take-out or Subway at times. I mean, who the heck doesn't?! Small changes to those certain foods make all the difference though.
Believe me. I know that eating a certain way or staying on track with a strict eating plan takes hard work and dedication. We all have our slip ups. We all fail at times. We all come to a point where we eat so well during the day and then BOOM, after dinner we're looking in the cabinet and stuffing our face with crackers or chips. Oh lord. Please tell me you do this too and it's not just me. Okay fine, then lie to me and say I'm not alone!
Lets be honest. We were intended to eat from this world. We are supposed to eat from the foods life itself produces for us. Anything from a bush, plant, or tree is the way we were intended to eat. And I would have no problem eating that way. If I was, lets say, Eve! In the biblical days, I would have gladly eaten that way. Because that's the way we were made to eat. No one knew of anything else. But in the days where there are Goldfish crackers, kettle cooked potato chips, and brownie sundaes…who's really still eating from plants and bushes? Anyone? Anyone? Let me see some hands...
I wanted to start this one month "challenge", I guess you could call it, because I wanted to not only prove something to myself but I wanted to show others that you can lose weight and be healthy without a giant budget. The foods I have been eating are normal foods. By normal foods I mean there was no expensive organic foods. (Which is probably the way to go, but grocery shopping for a family of 5, I like to stretch my money where I can). There wasn't any meal replacement shakes, no pills, and certainly I was not eating a salad at every meal like most people think "dieters" do. These were real meals that I cooked for myself and most of the time for my family. (I usually cook a little different for them at times). Some of these meals are higher in protein, low in fat, maybe some might be higher in sugar. It all depends on that specific meal. I try my best to not be a slave to numbers. For me, I find it almost impossible to have the right balance of fat, carbs, protein, sugar, fiber, and everything else we think we have to keep track of on a daily basis. Your day is not going to be perfect. You will have days that you are super hungry. You'll have days where you don't really feel like eating at all. I just try to eat as healthy as possible without driving myself completely insane. Oh, and the food has to be delicious or I am NOT eating it! I know, I'm like a bratty kid aren't I?
I'm going to be breaking down each day to show everyone exactly what I ate. I thought it would maybe offer a little inspiration or give someone ideas on what you CAN eat when trying to change your body. The food you fuel your body with doesn't have to be boring or bland. It can be completely delicious without breaking the bank. And you can have plenty of variety without being confined to salads and plain baked chicken.
So, lets jump into it. Some meals I have links that direct to a recipe of mine. Some have pictures, and others don't. (I didn't feel the need to take pictures of a bag of pistachios or an apple. I'd say that's pretty self explanatory right?) Also, I've listed my snacks together but they are eaten whenever I feel hungry between meals. I try to eat 5-6 times a day. I allow myself one "cheat" meal or dessert per week. For me, it throws my body off track a little and it also helps me keep my sanity and gives me some variety with what I eat. Also, it helps me keep a little wiggle room for things such as birthday celebrations, holidays, or family outings. I drink only water with every meal and every few hours. I drink no coffee (gasp!), no tea, no fruit juices, and no soda. I never eat pork and it's extremely rare that I eat red meat. Unfortunately, I don't do any type of seafood. Not only do I not like the taste but the idea of what it is doesn't sit well with me. I know, I'm a strange, strange person! I try my best to drink 8 glasses of water but sometimes I only drink 4. Some days I might drink 10. And other days I might drink a measly 2 glasses. That's something that needs to be worked on. But I just try my best everyday. That's all we can do, right?
You'll probably notice below too, that not everyday is the same. Some days are higher in calories. Some days are higher in carbs, fat, or lower in protein. Some day are lower in calories because I was either too busy and on the go or I just wasn't that hungry to eat very much. I don't follow strict numbers. I just try and always stay above 1200 calories so my body doesn't think it's starving and I like to have a protein intake of at least 50g of protein. I do notice from keeping track of my food, that I think I eat a larger amount of fat than I probably should be eating. But my fat does come from healthy fats (such as avocados, natural peanut butter, olive oil, and cashews). My sugar content could be better as well, but my sugar comes from natural sugar such as fruits and even vegetables! Who knew nature produced such sweet food?? When I workout I do try and eat at least 1800-2100 calories a day and around 100g of protein to feed my muscles after intense workouts. But this week I didn't workout. Not once! ( I know, tsk, tsk! ) But I want to see the affect of exercise and diet for a two week period and compare the results. And I want to see if it's really true that "Abs are made in the kitchen".
Sunday, July 13
Breakfast:-Tomato, Poached Egg, & Avocado on Whole Grain Toast with Hot Sauce
Raw Veggies on a Sundried Tomato Basil Wrap.
lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, olives, tomato, broccoli slaw, cucumber, shredded pepper jack cheese, and a tsp. of olive oil and vinegar.
-2 Steamed Artichokes
-Baked Potato with 1 Tbsp. Lite Sour Cream & 1 Tbsp. Fresh Salsa ( You can find the Salsa recipe HERE )
-1/4 Cup pistachios
-1 Cup slices strawberries
Macros for the day: 1,452 Calories / 51g Fat / 64g Protein / 151 Carbs
Monday, July 14
- Chobani Coconut Yogurt with Dark Chocolate & Coconut
- 2 Steamed Artichokes
-Hard Boiled Egg, Turkey Bacon, and Tomato on High Fiber Toast with 1 Tbsp. Light Mayo
-1 Cup Grapes
1/4 Cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese on Wrap with 1 Tbsp. Lite Sour Cream / 1 Tbsp. Salsa
Macros for the day: 1,276 Calories / 46g Fat / 159 Carbs / 57g Protein
Tuesday, July 15
Strawberry/Chocolate/Banana Smoothie ( You can find the recipe HERE )
Veggie Stuffed Baked Potato with Cheese
1 Russet Potato with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, yellow peppers, & onions.. sauteed with cooking spray.
Top with 1/8 Cup shredded cheddar cheese / 2 Tbsp. Lite Sour Cream.
-Buffalo Turkey Burger with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw ( You can find the recipe HERE )
-Carrot Fries ( slice carrots, toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and salt, bake 400 degrees until crispy )
-1/2 Cup Sliced Cucumbers
-1/2 Cup Sliced Yellow Bell Peppers
-3 Hard boiled Egg Whites
Macros for the day: 1.415 Calories / 47g Fat / 147 Carbs / 105g Protein
Wednesday, July 16
-Cottage Cheese Eggs
-Sliced Bell Peppers
1 Large Egg + 2 Egg Whites Scrambled with 1/8 Cup 1% Cottage Cheese. Topped with ketchup.
4oz chicken breast (sautéed and seasoned with Mrs. Dash Chipotle), olives, lettuce, avocado, tomato, lite sour cream, and salsa on a sundried tomato basil wrap.
-Homemade Sushi Topped With Homemade Yum Yum Sauce ( You can find the recipe HERE )
-No Bake Protein Squares ( I will be posting this recipe soon!)
Macros for the day: 1,491 Calories / 49g Fat / 127 Carbs / 70g Protein
Thursday, July 17
-Almond Joy Protein Shake ( You can find the recipe HERE )
-Salad with Skinny Blue Cheese Dressing ( You can find the recipe for blue cheese HERE )
-4 oz Chicken Breast Sauteed with Mushrooms and Onions
-1 Cup Sliced Apples with 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
-1 Small Baked Potato with 1/2 Tbsp. Butter
-1 Small piece Carvel Ice Cream Cake ( it was my Mom's birthday )
-Honey Roasted Chickpeas ( You can find the recipe HERE )
Macros for the day: 1,336 Calories / 49g Fat / 128 Carbs / 87g Protein
Friday, July 18
-No Bake Protein Square
-Baked Buffalo Chicken Wrap with Ranch Dipping Sauce
Ingredients used: 4 oz cooked chicken breast (sautéed in hot sauce), 1/2 cup broccoli slaw, 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, drizzle of extra hot sauce. Roll in a wrap then bake or grill until crispy. Serve with lite ranch.
-Sauteed Broccoli (Chinese Takeout )
-1/2 Cup Rice
-1/4 cup cashews
Macros for the day: 1,601 Calories / 47g Fat / 126 Carbs / 61g Protein
Saturday, July 19
-Oatmeal with Sliced Bananas
-Buffalo Turkey Meatballs ( You can find there recipe HERE )
-Sliced Celery & Carrots
-Sliced Celery & Carrots
-Italian Sandwich ( Out to dinner with my family )
-1 Mozzarella Stick
-1 Cup Grapes
Macros for the day: 1,368 Calories / 46g Fat / 102 Carbs / 75g Protein
Sunday, July 20
-1 Wheat Bagel w/ 1 Tbsp. almond butter
-Garden Salad with Lite French Dressing
-1 Cup Steamed Broccoli
-4 oz Chicken Breast Roasted with Peppers & Onions
-2 Hard boiled Egg Whites
-1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese
-1 Cup. Boiled Brussel Sprouts
-1/2 Cup grapes
-Chocolate Protein Shake
Macros for the day: 1,296 Calories / 21g Fat / 177 Carbs / 87g Protein
Weight Lost: 2.2lbs
End of the Week Results:
Weight Lost: 2.2lbs
Inches Lost: 1
Now as you can see, the results weren't fantastic. I certainly wasn't dancing around my house at these results. But this was with no exercise at all. This was strictly eating healthier and drinking as much water as I could handle. And also, weight is a factor. I don't weigh that much to begin with, so my weight loss and progress might be a lot slower than some people.
I'm curious to see how the next few weeks will turn out. I'm wondering if I'm going to hit a plateau or if exercise will dramatically increase my weight loss and overall inches lost.
Keep checking back where I will be posting my next week's eating plan and results.