As most of you know, this past weekend was US Memorial Day weekend where we honored our men and women who bravely serve (or have served) this beautiful country. Most of America either had a 3 day weekend (or 4 days or more), had barbeques/picnics/cookouts planned, or took the boats out to the lake!!! It was a bit slow this morning in my household after 4 days of abundant family time, exercise, swimming, potty training, good food, date night, movies, etc! One thing I did look forward to was my clean foods packed for the day as I return back to the office (pic below):
Meal 2 - Oikos nonfat plain greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, dash of ground cinnamon and fresh strawberries
Meal 3 - 1/2 steamed sweet potato, 1 cup steamed brocolli, 1 tilapia filet seasoned with sea salt and lemon pepper and 1.5 tbsp of fresh mango salsa (from Whole Foods)
Meal 4 - celery sticks with 1.5 tbsp of hummus (I normally do 2 tbsp but I ran out) and 2 hard-boiled eggs sans yolk
I (and my two boys) strive to practice clean-eating during the week and save my "treat meals" mainly on the weekends. To learn more about clean-eating, Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet is a very good source to begin. When I was ready to change my lifestyle, I swear I read this book in less than a week; I was that ready! Brief summary, clean-eating is the habit and lifestyle of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats. It consists of eating 5-6 small meals a day to keep the metabolism revving (eat more, lose more), staying away from junk foods such as white bread, trans fat, refind sugar, sodas etc.
My clean-eating routine includes never skipping breakfast, cooking healthy meals for me and my two boys, packing healthy meals (such as above) to avoid fast food runs, drinking lots of H20, limiting alcohol intake and eating 5-6 small meals a day with one or two "treat" meals on the weekend. I am not able to make it in the gym everyday like I used to (and I am fine with that) which makes it even more important to eat as clean as possible during the week (or 80% of the time) so I do not gain unwanted weight. I am also only 5'1 so not much height there! For me, it is not even to look like a fitness model because I definitely have to dedicate more time in the gym to achieve that look (or my competition picture - see blog header), but knowing internally that I am "gifting" my body with healthy foods is a benefit that can last a lifetime. Plus, I like living life feeling good about myself and having the energy needed to balance my career, marriage and raising my little 3-year old. The little bonus though is if I decide that I want that look again, I know how to get there. Right now though with the demands of my work and family schedule, I have learned to compromise with my goals, my body and my priorities. Funny, I am a happier Mrs. Chilly when my life is balanced (and I have a little more body fat than competition mode). That is what's most important; a happy you.
Okay, I won't lie to you, it does take time and effort to eat clean, but the benefits are endless. If you don't want to eat well, then just don't expect to fit in that summer halter top or the dreaded shorts. If it was that easy, then America wouldn't have an obesity problem. Sounds harsh, but I can totally relate from experience because I have been there! One tip I do want to share especially if you have a full schedule like me is to try to cook your meals on Sundays (or whatever days work for you). Oh and invest in good tupperwares! With the way I pack my foods in the office, I am never hungry knowing I can eat every 2.5-3 hours. And the next day I feel instantly energized knowing I ate clean the day before (you feel it the moment you wake up promise!). One thing I tried this week was to cook half of our meals on Monday evening (holiday) and the rest this evening (Tuesday). I just told hubby that his ground turkey with quinoa won't start until Wednesday vs Monday. There's many ways to prep your meals; just find the best way (and routine) that works with you and your family. Our steamed sweet potatoes and brocolli are my hubby's duties so that helps me out a ton.
Normally, grill night is Monday evening for us where hubby grills his and my son's butterfly porkchops and our marinated chicken breasts (dash of garlic salt and paprika) for the week. Due to the holiday weekend, hubby grilled this evening and also grilled a piece of my almond crusted salmon fillet for me to top my spring mix salad with (pic below):
spring mix salad (I purchased my tub from Costco at $3.99/tub)
small handful of pine nuts (also from Costco)
small handful of cranberries
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp feta cheese (I buy in bulk at Costco for $6.99/container - it lasts awhile)
4-5 oz salmon filet (I brushed the salmon with egg whites and sprinkled crushed almonds on top, then grilled)
1 tbsp of light vinagrette dressing
dash of sea salt and pepper
It was delicious! Thanks to my hubby, the master griller =) .... Tonight, I made a batch also of lean ground bison for my lettuce wraps for the week. I found I had baby bokchoy in my fridge (also from Costco), one of my favorite asian vegetables and perfect for clean stir-frys, that I decided to toss some in in my ground bison:
I wish you all a fabulous and "clean" week! Tomorrow's breakfast consists of 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of cold water, 1 scoop of natural chocolate whey protein (I like Whole Foods Whey Factor as it does not contain artificial sweetener), 1/2 banana, 1 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and ice cubes. I have a "generic'' magic bullet blender that I love and makes my shakes in just a few minutes. If you have a recipe to share, please send them my way or post on my facebook fanpage!