Two weeks ago I started my five-day clean eating challenge with my running friend Beth.  My goal – to simply clean up my sloppy eating habits I’d slipped back into during the cold winter months.

Our grocery list suggestions had us shopping the perimeter of the grocery store.  We stayed away from processed foods, added sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and made sure we stayed well hydrated with delicious plain water.  It was just what I needed for a spring reset to my less than stellar winter eating habits I’d allowed myself to slip into the last two months.

Bill loved that I made us a hot breakfast each morning.  We had either scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs each morning during the first five days, and I made steel cut oats that we topped with a little milk and strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries.  It was a big change from my usual Fiber One bran cereal topped with fruit that I usually have.

Mid-morning I’d have a snack of a few nuts, fresh fruit, or raw veggies.

A couple of days for lunch I made roll-ups with green leaf lettuce, turkey, and scallions.  Sometimes I added tomatoes, cheese, and bell pepper strips.  Other days I had a banana with freshly ground peanut butter,  yogurt, and raw veggies  (this is a typical lunch for me most days, anyway).

For afternoon snacks, if I hadn’t had Greek yogurt for lunch, I had yogurt and either fruit or veggies.

The first night I made tilapia with blackened redfish seasoning. We liked it so much that I made it again last week.

I’d bought large packages of mixed bell peppers and asparagus at Costco on Monday, so there seems to be an overload of those foods on my plates.  At each meal we also had a spinach and mixed green salad with tomatoes, scallions, mushrooms, and whatever other veggies I had on hand at the time.

In the meal pictured below, I overcooked the chicken.  Seriously, who overcooks food in a slow cooker?  The recipe said to cook for six hours so I set my Crock Pot to 6-hours. I should have set it to 10-hours (lowest setting), and left it for six hours.  The flavor was good, but it was dry. I’ll try the recipe again with the changes I mention, and check it periodically while cooking.

Another night I made a veggie omelet.  Bill and I both love omelets loaded with fresh vegetables.  I normally make us one about every three months. Normally, I use Egg Beaters egg whites, but since I was out, I made these with whole eggs.

On Friday I made Pesto Pistachio Salmon from Costco.  It’s new, and we love it.  The pesto has more than five ingredients on the label, so I cheated a little on this one, but the rest of the meal was spot on.  Over the course of the week, this was about the only time I didn’t make the entire meal from scratch.

After my five days were up, I gave myself a pat on the back for staying true to myself, eating nutritious foods, never feeling hungry, and having the added bonus of shedding a few pounds and feeling great throughout.

During the weekend and week after the challenge I have tried to continue to make good choice with my eating, AND eat things that I enjoy.  I will not go on an eating plan that contains things I don’t like and denies me the opportunity to eat things I love, even if only occasionally.  I’ve mentioned before that my strategy toward life is to eat well most of the time, so I can thoroughly enjoy myself some of the time, and without guilt.

While traveling to Mom’s house I stopped at Panera and had their chicken avocado salad. For fast food, it seems like a good choice.  There’s a Panera that located conveniently right off the interstate about a third of the way to Mom’s house.  I stopped to stretch my legs and catch up on a little blog reading while having lunch.  It was lovely.

When I arrived at Mom’s house, she suggested making a fruit salad for dessert, and I was thrilled.  I gave up sweets for Lent, so this was the perfect post-meal treat.  BTW, I will be serving cannoli for Easter dessert – an Italian family tradition!

Since being at Mom’s house, we’ve had entreé salads twice, shrimp once, hamburgers once, and just last night she made her world famous fried chicken, biscuits, and gravy.  I told her I would have taken a picture, but that my readers might have a heart attack just looking at the picture.  It’s the kind of meal we eat only once or twice a year, yet my grandparents probably ate it every Sunday after church.

When I return home on Tuesday after visiting Mom, I expect to get back on track pretty easily.  Luckily it’s spring, and as I mentioned on Friday, spring is all about eating lighter and having fun in the process.


  • Questions:
  • What is one food that your family always makes when together?
  • What is your most decadent food temptation?
  • Who raced this weekend?