Eating Clean and Living Green

A little behind, but we’re still on track!
February 7, 2012, 4:26 pm
Filed under: clean eating, weekly meal log

I had every intention of posting on Saturday or Sunday, but I was a little preoccupied with some special festivities…

Birthday girl

Very Hungry Caterpillar cake

Digging in!

So our littlest girl turned 1 on Saturday, and we had a wonderful time. For party food, we followed right along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and had fruit, salami and swiss cheese, and veggie chips. Pretty much whole foods, right? However, I wasn’t confident in my whole-foods cake baking and icing making abilities as I’d never tried anything but a box cake, so I fell back onto that crutch for this party. Abigail (who will be 3 in August) better watch out, though. I know I’ll have some sort of whole-foods dessert for her!

Speaking of Abigail, I wanted to take a moment to comment on something. I keep getting asked, “How do you get her to eat vegetables at lunch?” or “How do you get her to eat the dinners you make?” It’s pretty simple, actually. There’s no other option. Ever. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s working.

I start her lunch with raw, diced veggies and nothing else. She gets nothing else until those are gone. This can be a battle, but it’s one I’m willing to fight daily. Yes, she’s sat there for 20 minutes looking at them before, but hey, that’s 20 minutes I have to get other stuff done. YES! Once she finishes the veggies, she gets whatever else we’re having for lunch.

As far as dinners go, I portion out her dinner, put it in front of her, explain what everything is, and leave it at that. Yes, there have been nights where dinner (for her) lasts over an hour and she maybe takes 2 bites. I’m sure she’s gone to bed a little hungrier than usual some nights, but that’s ok. I believe in consistency. And honestly, we always eat a substantial, filling breakfast, so she might just eat a bigger one the next day.

So that’s how I “get her” to eat things.

Breakfast: Green smoothies (fresh spinach and arugula, frozen strawberries, fresh banana, plain Greek yogurt, water, chia seeds). A note: Walmart was out of prepackaged organic spinach, so I had to buy the organic arugula/spinach blend, and holy moly, we could definitely taste the greens in this smoothie. Back to solo-spinach next time!
We had more clean-out-the-pantry stir-fry on Sunday night, but Monday/Tuesday we had Pasta with Pureed Red Beans and Shiitakes p.214*

Naptime cooking prep. I lay out everything non-refrigerated I'll need for a recipe and all the pots/pans too so I'm ready to go once the time comes. I also prep (dice, mince, etc) as much as possible while they're sleeping.

Whole wheat rotini with kidney bean puree and Shiitake. I called them "mushroom chicken" since the texture was similar, and that seemed to please Abigail.

Breakfast: Grains and mushrooms, lightly scrambled p.286* (so, I accidentally used all of our mushrooms in our weekend stir-fry, so this ended up being just rolled oats with eggs and scallions. We completely followed Bittman’s recipe minus the mushrooms, and let me tell you, it was delicious.
Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Chipotle p.118* (took a while to prep as you have to dice up the sweet potatoes and take corn off of cobs, then boil said cobs…and I doubled the recipe, so that meant double the prep time). Completely worth it though for a fantastic, flavorful chowder!

Eggs, rolled oats, and scallions. Odd combination, but absolutely delicious!

My awesome husband chopped up a ton of sweet potatoes and stripped corn off of 12 cobs to save me some time!

Creamy base for the chowder

Doubled recipe made enough for nearly 6 dinners for all four of us.

Mm! It was really spicy, so I'll tone down the Chipotle next time

Abigail about to dive into chowder

Madilyn didn't want to wait for sweet potato and corn goodness

Breakfast: Whole-wheat pancakes from our homemade baking mix with 100% maple syrup
Dinner: More of the Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Chipotle p.118*

Lunches, snacks, and desserts
Lunches were a hodge podge like we normally do starting off with diced raw veggies (carrots and edamame and bell peppers), followed by sauteed zucchini and squash, fruit, and homemade whole-wheat goldfish.

Snack this past week was brown bag popcorn p.38* with no seasonings.

Dessert was Earth Fare strawberry ice cream.

Changes we can see and feel so far:
1. So the Super Bowl happened on Sunday, and despite our best intentions (we made homemade potato chips and salsa that I’ll blog about later and intended to avoid eating any other food at the party), we forgot to eat beforehand and ended up starving once we arrived. I had some pizza and chips and delicious baked treats…and paid for it yesterday and today. When will I learn!?
2. This isn’t really a change, but we signed up for a CSA through the Fresh Quarter that will start in late April/early May. So for $20 a week for 20 weeks, we’ll get a big box of organic, local produce. Yum! Can’t wait to sample the local fare.

Upcoming eating clean, living green goals:
1. Try a new vegetable/fruit every week for a while
2. Once our dish detergent and laundry detergent run out, make our own (I’ve seen a few good recipes for both)—they’re both almost all gone, and I’ve got plans to make laundry detergent with a pal soon. We’re splitting a 10-gallon recipe, and the 5 gallons I get out of it should last 9-12 months (for around $10). Can’t wait to share details!
3. Use more reusable containers—especially glass ones.
4. Make our own yogurt—I have a recipe that I’m excited about and plan to try this coming weekend.

Interesting articles I came across this week:
1. Pink slime and other weird food additives (another list of reasons to eat whole, local foods)
2. Real Food Tips: 10 Common Misconceptions

*recipes taken from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.”


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Love that you are into all of this. I am going to start having to pick your brain a little at the groups! About 2 weeks ago I started eating like this and cutting out meats. Notice a huge difference in energy and am really enjoying! Great to finally meet someone with the same aspirations!

Comment by Megan Giroux

I look forward to some recipe swapping and hearing tips and tricks you’ve picked up so far. It’s really exciting to see the physical changes, but the emotional ones as well. I’m a much more stable person now than I was a month ago!

Comment by Sally Ann

I like your strategy to get the littles to eat their veggies! While worth it, the prep that goes into eating healthier is something I think that is often underestimated. Way to be organized – something I shall aspire to tho the thought of giving up napping while my daughter does is making me a bit reluctant;)

Comment by Sherry

There is definitely a lot of effort to make such a dietary switch go smoothly, but once you get in a routine, it’s pretty simple.

I envy your ability to nap! I’ve never really been able to. My brain just keeps going and going, so I consider their nap time my productive time!

Comment by Sally Ann

Sally Ann, love that you are doing this! We, too, have gotten into the whole foods shindig a few months ago. Been doing lots of research and always collecting tips, recipes, and ideas for keeping it all within budget! I am very interested in more information on how you are keeping things to $75/weekly. I am having a hard time with keeping the cost reasonable! And I am inspired by your organizational prowess (Type B over here is trying to learn – haha). I’m going to read some of the books you’ve listed. Two other great ones I loved are “Anti-Cancer” and “Eat to Live.” The best part is watching Jonah loving to eat all these healthy foods — loves his soups and beans especially! Well, I look forward to following your adventure. Thanks for all the information! And your girls are adorable!


Comment by Lisa Voloch

So excited to have friends in this journey! I think part of the reason I’m able to stay around $75 is our geographic location. We definitely spent more on groceries in Pittsburgh, but then again, we bought a ton of snacking stuff that we don’t buy now.

Thanks for the book suggestions, too!

Comment by Sally Ann

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