You may recall one of my recent posts when I shared my enthusiasm for the Team Beachbody 10-Day Challenges, which are run monthly online by my friend Mary Kay. A large component of the 10-Day Challenge is a focus on wholesome, healthy eating. It’s not a deprivation diet at all! In fact, the goal is to power your body with “clean” foods (i.e., not processed) for optimal health.
After just 10 days of consistently fueling myself properly (and cutting back on the Oreos and the other sweet treats that I otherwise would have mindlessly snacked on), I not only lost about 6 pounds, but more importantly I almost eliminated the migraine headaches that had been plaguing me daily.
So, what exactly does a “clean eating” meal plan look like? I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn’t have to make any drastic changes to our diet at all. In fact, many of the suggested recipes in the 10-Day Challenge Meal Plan were almost identical to some of the recipes that I have already shared on this blog. I should emphasize, too, that you are not wedded to any one “meal plan.” These are simply ideas to get you started! You can eat all of the foods that you love (enjoy pizza with your family!), and go out to restaurants. The goal is to make the best choices as often as possible, and to eat all of your meals and snacks mindfully. The rest will fall into place!
Here are some of the foods that I have been eating (before, during, and after the Challenge). I always have 3 meals per day, plus at least 2-3 snacks (depending on my hunger). I also follow lunch and dinner with small sweet treats that I love, such as my favorite chocolates: Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel Ghirardelli Squares. Again, the goal is not deprivation. It’s a lifestyle that should be sustainable over the long haul! Without further ado, here is my list of 30 Clean Eating Recipes:
1. Greek yogurt + Whole Grain Cereal (such as Grape Nuts, Cheerios, All Bran, or Kashi) + Berries (fresh or defrosted frozen) + chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts
3. Two slices of Ezekiel bread (or other whole wheat bread), toasted + Peanut Butter + Sliced Banana; serve with Greek yogurt for additional protein and dairy
4. Freezer-Friendly Egg White, Veggie, and Cheese Burritos; serve with fresh fruit
5. Whole grain waffles topped with Greek yogurt, berries, and nuts
6. Breakfast sandwich made with whole wheat English muffin + egg whites + reduced-fat cheese + turkey sausage or turkey bacon; serve with fresh fruit
7. Apple Crisp Yogurt Parfait (made with Grape Nuts, granola, or other similar cereal)
1. Quinoa, Chicken, and White Bean Salad; serve with fresh fruit on the side
2. Turkey sandwich made with 2 slices of Ezekiel bread (or other whole wheat bread), using mayo or mustard, reduced-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, banana peppers, and any other veggies that you can pile on top.
3. Corn and Black Bean Salad combined with roasted or grilled chicken and stuffed in a whole grain wrap; served with fresh fruit on the side
4. Crab-Stuffed Avocadoes; serve with spring rolls on the side
5. Cold Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad (prepare using whole wheat pasta) – this is also a great dinner option. My kids love it!
6. Pita Pizza: top a whole wheat pita with pesto, shredded Italian cheese, and grilled (or roasted) chicken strips. Bake in toaster oven or regular oven for a few minutes -- until cheese melts and is golden brown on top.
1. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup; to make it more filling, serve over brown rice instead of crushed tortilla chips
2. Chicken quesadillas made with whole grain tortillas (go light on the cheese and heavy on the chicken!); serve with Corn and Black Bean Salad
3. Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta; serve over pasta or brown rice (this dinner was actually included in Mary Kay’s 10-Day Challenge packet of recipes); serve with a salad on the side
4. Mediterranean Salmon in Foil Packets: so good, and so easy. My boys love this one, too! Serve with whole grain dinner rolls, pasta and red sauce, rice, or any other whole grain that you enjoy. A salad or other veggies on the side round out the meal!
5. Grilled Salmon with Yogurt Dill Sauce: see serving suggestions similar to #4 above.
6. Healthier Taco Salad
7. Kid-Approved Fried Rice with Veggies (I would add chicken, shrimp, or some other protein for added satiety); serve with spring rolls on the side
2. Pumpkin Protein Cookies (see the recipe below, which I adapted from the 10-Day Challenge meal plan)
3. Microwaveable Air-Popped Popcorn (season to taste with olive oil, salt, pepper, or other spices)
4. Bruschetta (best if you can find a whole grain baguette!)
5. Corn and Black Bean Salad served with whole grain pita chips
7. Bars: nothing beats the convenience of a bar that you can throw in your bag! Lara bars and Luna bars are some that I like.
8. Smoothies made with Shakeology and milk or almond milk, fruit, and nut butters
9. A handful of almonds + string cheese or other cheese stick
10. And don’t forget fresh fruits and veggies! They’re favorites in our house – especially served with yogurt, spread with peanut butter, or dipped in hummus.
PLUS: HYDRATE! If you don’t love plain water, try flavored seltzer waters (with no added sweeteners) or Fruit-Infused Water.
And remember, if you want that extra motivation or more information about working with Mary Kay in one of her monthly Challenges, you can find her on Facebook HERE, and learn more about my experience HERE.
Send her a friend request, message her, or you can contact her via her profile on Beachbody’s website HERE. She would love to hear from you, and please be sure to tell her that I sent you. She will take extra-good care of you and you will not regret it!
And finally, the recipe for the Pumpkin Protein Cookies. Note: these are not very sweet, as the only added sweetness is the mashed banana. As a result, you can add some honey or other sweetener of choice, to taste, if you want it to be more like a dessert rather than a snack or breakfast item!
Pumpkin Protein Cookies
- 1 banana mashed
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons almond milk or water or regular cow's milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup oats
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- sliced almonds optional
- walnuts optional
- dark chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment. Set aside.
- Mix together banana, pumpkin, almond milk, egg, chia seeds, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together oats, protein powder, salt, and spices.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Stir in any additional ingredients such as chocolate chips and nuts.
- Use a tablespoon to drop batter onto prepared cooking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
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