Sunday, August 23, 2009

Clean Eating: Apparently, I'm just in it to TORTURE my kids

Okay, we've officially lost it. We've jumped on the Clean Eating bandwagon. We've been trying to eat this way for years, but finally got serious about it. Basically, we try to eat as fresh as possible, or as non-processed as possible. Clean Eating also advocates 5-6 smaller meals every few hours through the day rather than the traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I prepare everything for our coolers the night before so all we have to do the next day is grab it and go.

Our kids suffer from a mayonnaise addiction and we've been trying to introduce them to alternatives like hummus, strips of cucumber peels (really) - although not the skin, or a dab of cream cheese. I think it's going pretty well except for one child who wants to stage a sit-in over the no mayo, no junk food, no sugar cereal thing.

You can start into clean eating slowly by removing some of the empty calorie foods from your diet and adding in more vegetables and fruits, grains and beans. Start eating brown rice instead of white (basmati tastes amazing and smells like popcorn when it's cooking). Swap out white bread (remember: The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead) for whole grain breads. Dump the soda habit, you don't need all that salt. If you need a little caffeine drink some Green Tea HP. My goal over the rest of the year is to drop my body fat by 5%. I'll keep you posted.

Supplies I recommend:
Yogurt Maker very easy to get one off eBay and so easy to use (I use pint jars with lids for easy storage instead of the included glass cups). I get my yogurt cultures from the New England Cheesemaking Company. Let me know if you're interested in a yogurt tutorial, you won't believe how easy it is to make.
Pressure Cooker if you're going to cook meat, veggies, rice, or beans this will change your life
Foreman Grill makes grilling anything a snap (be sure to get one with removable plates)
Blender - one that can stand up to abuse
Cooler - this is for taking fresh food to work (or for when you've got a busy day)
Lock-its - can be found for $20 at Walmart
Grapefruit spoon - great for eating grapefruit and hulling strawberries
Coffee grinder - for grinding flax seed (I like this model because you can remove the grinding chamber and store it in the fridge)
Crock-Pot - I love throwing ingredients in in the morning and having dinner cook all day without me having to think about it.

Cooking Fresh - recipes
Quick and Fresh Magazine - recipes
Clean Eating Magazine - tips/recipes
The Eat-Clean Diet explains the concept and science behind this way of eating (includes shopping lists)
Lazy Organizer - tips and blog links
The Anti-oxidant Miracle - nerdy read, but well worth your time as it explains the science behind eating fresh
The New Rules of Lifting for Women - not a clean-eating book, per se, (although it incorporates it), but a no-nonsense approach to building a better female body. It was tricky for me to wrap my brain around the workouts, but I can feel the difference already.
Nourishing Meals - recipes (includes gluten-free, vegan)

Tulsi Tea - promises better ability to handle stress and has a naturally sweet taste (I buy original, non-caffeinated)
I take a few other supplements, but have only decided to do so after researching them.
You should read up on and discuss any supplements with your doctor before taking them.

What options do my kids have for lunches?
*Whole-grain breads, wraps for sandwiches
* Natural almond butter, homemade jams
* Kretchmar Naturals turkey
*assorted fruits and vegetables
* roasted nuts
*string cheese
*home-made yogurt with fruit
*pita chips with hummus
*oatmeal cranberry cookies
*hard-boiled egg
*Vitamin Water
* 100% juice (rarely)
*Good, old fashioned water


La Yen said...

Can I make my own, fresh mayo? Or what about replacing Mayo for Miracle Whip? Because I could do that...

Kristina P. said...

Great tips!

And I can't boil an egg to save my life.

Blaine Watkins said...

"Mr." O here... I cook most of the hard boiled eggs for our family. I found a really simple full-proof way to make perfect hard boiled eggs every time. Here's the tip:

1. Put eggs in pot of cold water (need 1 inch of water above top of eggs) with NO lid.
2. Set burner to high (max) and bring pot to boil. As soon as pot is at full boil...
3. Take pot off burner and put lid on the pot set timer for 12 minutes.

Also, to keep eggs from cracking add a pinch of salt to the pot of water at the beginning, and when the 12 minutes are over add cold water to the hot water to slowly bring the eggs back to their cool state. The tricky part it #2 you have to keep a close watch on the pot when it is getting close to the boiling point, so you can remove it. Going over the 12 minutes is very forgiving I've gone 5 minutes over and the eggs were still good.

Very easy, give it a try!

Elizabeth-W said...

School starts in a week and I'm trying to come up with clever lunches for everyone. It stresses me out-that whole trying to please all the people all the time thing....

Shawn said...

I like wraps---and most of your lists, but have yet to get used to hummus----don't like the texture....

Heffalump said...

I have to admit that I like mayo too, although I mostly use it in Tuna and Egg Salad, and if I have it on a Sandwich it's just a little bit.
So with this clean eating can you still have treats besides Oatmeal Cranberry cookies? D's cousin is a chef and she makes homemade graham crackers and wheat thins using her own grains that she grinds herself. Someday I will get my guts up and try one of her recipes.

Mrs. Organic said...

I think treats are allowable as long as they are in moderation and without processed ingredients.

Some ideas are organic, sugar-free pb with apple slices, applesauce, fresh fruit. Gradually your taste buds do change to recognize the natural sweetness and flavors of food. (ANd I'll be honest here, I thought that was a bunch of hooey until it happened to mine).

rookie cookie said...

Not only are you eating smart, but you are eating cost-effective. It costs shockingly less to make everything from scratch.

And yes, make your own. Mayo is isn't hard and it EZ.

Emma J said...

Perfect timing. I'm going to do this, too. You are inspiring me - but strips of cucumber peel? How do you do that?

Mrs. Organic said...

You use the veggie peeler to take of the skin, discard those bits and then keep peeling (stop when you get to the seeds). Those strips of cucumber are the perfect touch of moisture for a sandwich/wrap.

andrea said...

I love hummus. The rest of my family thinks I'm trying to kill them with it.

I should try a few of things out on my family. Maybe sneak a few in here and there to avoid all out rebellion! I don't think, wait, I know that I could not completely switch over to a diet like that. I think my husband would divorce me! But a little change is better than none, right?! I am not seeing diet Dr. Pepper anywhere on your list.....oh wait, I'll just classify it as my supplement. ;)

I DO want to get going on the homemade yogurt though. It makes me sick to buy the tubs o' yogurt at the store....really, it's just a tub o some yogurt and lots o' sugar....I wish my mom still had her old yogurt maker....

Mrs. Organic said...

andrea - it's Mr. O who started us off on this path, and it's me that's trying to keep it going.

Sadly, no Dr. P. I kinds miss that guy.

Up in Bubbles said...

Dang you are seriously not kidding about the clean thing. I also like the tutorial on boiling eggs. I am never quite sure how to do it. Well I hope to experience some of this good food when I come, and to see all your ideas. I can't wait. You guys are awesome I hope you keep it up so I know it is actually possible to do this.
ps- tell Cali to look at my blog I did it for her to see, although it is not done.

Mrs. Organic said...

Kel - she'll be excited to see it. It turned out beautifully!

b. said...

Mr. O rocks!
I have sucked at boiled eggs forever!