Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

If you've been coming to my blog and enjoying what you are reading about Clean Eating - thank you and I hope this coming year brings you increased health and happiness. Clean Eating has been a revelation for me - like a lightbulb going off after so many years in the darkness. My wish for my blog in the coming year is to continue to educate and to learn more about Clean Eating, and to continue to watch my readership grow.

Take a moment this evening and ask yourself where you'd like to be along the Clean Eating path this time next year. Are you ready to be thinner and healthier than you have in years? You know eating healthier is MUCH preferred over dieting. Dieting is the pits. Change your whole nutritional outlook. Starting now.

Happy New Year - here's to 2011!

Is it Wrong to Love My George Foreman Grill So Much?? Greek Style Chicken Kebabs

I just adore my George foreman grill ( hereafter abbreviated to GF ) - the thing cooks chicken in a jif, with little mess and no fuss. I've put all kinds of meats, fish, and vegetables on it. Convenience foods? Bad. Convenience methods of cooking? Good - very good!

Greek Style Chicken Kebabs 

2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
8 (8-inch) bamboo skewers

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and onion and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Preheat the grill to high.

Thread the chicken and onion onto the skewers, reserving the marinade in the bowl. Grill the skewers (in batches, if necessary, depending upon the size of your grill) for 2 minutes and then brush with the reserved marinade; discard any remaining marinade. Grill for about 2 minutes more, until the chicken has taken on grill marks and is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eating Clean Principles

There are a few hard and fast truths to eating clean:

Avoid all over-processed and refined foods (especially sugar, white rice, and white flour)
Avoid saturated and trans fat, instead consuming healthy fats
Avoid soda and other sugary juices and drinks
Avoid high-calorie, zero nutrient foods (i.e., junk food)

-Remove the processed, man-made foods from your diet and replace them with foods that naturally occur in Nature.
-If it grew on a bush, tree, or vine - or walked the Earth, eat it in its most natural state.
-Look for food as "un messed with" as possible.
-Switch items like regular dairy products for those labeled organic - they are free of hormones and potential filler ingredients ( like as in cheese, with starch fillers )
-Switch your ground beef and meats for free range meats, if possible. Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and seafoods are excellent.
-Switch sugars - don't replace regular sugar in your diet with an artificial sweetener; it is a man made chemical. Look for natural sweeteners like stevia, agave nectar, honey, molasses, and cane sugar juice.
-Drink water. Drink a lot of water. And then drink some more. Every day. Always.
-Learn to make your own - learn a simple but pleasing simple recipe for salad dressing ( olive oil, flavored vinegar, herbs ) - and learn to make a simple homemade tomato sauce.
-When you do buy things in cans and jars ( like beans ), rinse thoroughly to remove excess salt. Lean towards items in glass jars rather than cans, if possible.
- If you eat bread, look for whole grain breads, and eat in moderation.
- If looking towards a "processed product"  ( like a condiment, sauce, etc ) look for those that have the fewest ingredients with nothing you can't pronounce

Video : How to Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa ( pronounced keen - wah ) is a strong pantry staple of the Clean Eater, and preparing it takes a little know - how, like learning to cook rice correctly.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

5 Tips to Buying Organic Produce

The Organic Trade Association's newsletter, Organic: It’s Worth It, offers these five tips to help you pick the best organic produce in the store, from Harold Ostenson, organic program manager at Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee, Washington.

Number 9

Look at the PLU (Price Look Up) sticker; if it’s organic, it will start with a 9, followed by four digits. (Genetically modified, or GMO ) fruit PLU codes start with 8 followed by four digits; non-GMO, conventionally grown fruit PLUs have only four digits.)


“Early in the fruit season, look for fruit in the larger sizes; later in the season, lean more toward mid-sized fruit, which will normally result in firmer, crunchier eating experience,” says Ostenson.


“If you plan to eat your fruit soon, look at the calyx or bottom end of the fruit for full color,” he says, which usually indicates full ripeness. The calyx usually looks like a star shaped leaf, like at the bottom of an apple.

Firmness and appearance

Organic apples and pears should be firm to the touch with little to no blemishes on their skin. However, “’blush’ and ‘freckles’ on the exterior of some varieties is very common and certainly not a reason to throw the produce away.”


Once you’ve bought your organic fruit, take care to store it properly at home, says Ostenson. “Apples should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator (crisper drawer) and away from strong-smelling foods. The same is true for pears, unless they are too firm. To ripen pears, place them at room temperature. Check for ripeness daily by gently pressing the neck of the pear. Once it gives slightly to pressure, it is ripe and ready to enjoy.”

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can't Live Without It for Clean Eating: Pampered Chef Microwave Veg Cooker

One of my must haves in the kitchen that I turn to almost every night for meal prep is my Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker. This thing is awesome for heating up frozen vegetables. I mean, spot on perfect. This bowl cooks the vegetables perfectly with steam, and will make your life so much easier in regards to CE.

Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker $10.50

or a smaller one, with a handle Small Micro-Cooker $8.00

Finally - something worthwhile  to order when hassled by a neighbor / friend / co-worker who is selling Pampered Chef!

Clean Eating Chicken Posole Soup

Posole is a Mexican soup made with hominy and various meats - usually chicken or pork. I find the flavors clean and bright, and the variety of ingredients are more interesting than anything you can get from a Progresso can.

You'll probably use all the breast meat from one standard chicken for this soup. Look for canned tomatillos in the Mexican foods section of your supermarket. Their use is unavoidable, so mind the salt in the rest of the recipe.


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 3/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (8-ounce) package prechopped onion and celery mix ( or 2 stalks celery, chopped, 1 large onion, chopped )
  • 4  canned tomatillos, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2  (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium organic / natural chicken broth
  • 1  (15-ounce) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 2  cups  chopped skinless, boneless cooked chicken breast
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  ripe peeled avocado, diced
  • 4  radishes, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)


1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through onion and celery mix); sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomatillos; cook 1 minute. Add broth and hominy; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until heated. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Divide evenly among 4 bowls. Top with avocado and radish. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tosca Reno on Clean Eating and Liver Health in January issue of First for Women

I found this very interesting interview with Tosca Reno in the January issue of First for Women - one of those chick magazines they sell in the checkout line at the grocery store. I usually ignore them, but there was a headline about Clean Eating and that was it; I had to buy it. Turns out it was worthwhile.

     "Researchers have found that a high fat, high sugar diet triggers a sharp increase in liver enzymes ( a key indicator of liver damage ) and triglyceride deposits ( fats that hinder liver function ) in just one week. The reason for the damage: Sugar and fat metabolism occur in the liver, so increased consumption of these foods forces the organ to work overtime - and it wears down quickly explains Tosca Reno, author of Your Best Body Now. Once liver health is compromised, it becomes near impossible to prevent weight gain.

     The good news: you can reverse liver damage to ward off weight gain and shed excess pounds with a diet rich in healing whole foods, promised Reno. When you eliminate highly processed foods like white sugar and flour, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats, you dramatically lighten the load on the liver, which helps optimize its ability to metabolize fats. For best results, stick to lean proteins, plant based fats, nuts, legumes, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.To further aid the liver, Reno suggests bulking up meals with detoxifying foods and spices like broccoli, garlic, onions, rosemary, and coconut oil. These foods contain powerful anti-viral compounds that flush toxins and safeguard the liver from harmful compounds."

Spinach Lentil Confetti Salad


1/2 c olive oil vinaigrette
2 tbs fresh chopped chives
1 tsp concentrated tomato paste
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 c low sodium lentils , cooked ( or 15 oz can, rinsed and drained )
1/2 c cucumbers, chopped
1/2 c chopped red peppers
1/2 c sliced radish
1 bag baby spinach blend greens

Mix first 6 ingredients together, then toss last 4 ingedients together in a bowl and serve the lentil mixture over the veggie mixture.

I'd add leftover chopped chicken for some protein, too

Sunday, December 26, 2010

$2 / 2 Athenos Feta, Hummus, Baked Pita Chips, or Greek Yogurt

$2 / 2 Athenos Feta, Hummus, Baked Pita Chips, or Greek Yogurt

Great coupon - just make sure you check the ingredient list and it is short and to the point! Coupon is rolling ; which means it will expire 30 days from the date it is printed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my readers! I look forward to more time discovering Clean Eating with you, but for now...I'm gonna hang out with my family.

My Christmas gift to you is this lovely fruit basket:

Stay Clean tonight and tomorrow - and I'll be back on Sunday. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sea Salt vs Regular Table Salt

     Salt is essential for the survival of all living creatures. It is needed to regulate the water content in our body, as well as many other essential functions of our bodies. Doctors often recommend that we decrease our salt consumption. This is only partly true. Indeed table salt, which is refined, is extremely unhealthy and toxic. Sea salt, on the other hand, is actually beneficial to our health. What our body really needs is natural pure sea salt; taking the wrong type of salt is damaging to our health.
     Common table salt used in most processed foods and is what we find sitting on the tables in restaurants. It is primarily kiln-dried sodium chloride with anti-caking agents added. This drying process removes 82 of the 84 essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. The final product is unnatural and hard on the body. Sodium chloride has been linked to high blood pressure, heart trouble, kidney disease and eczema, among other health problems.
     Sea salt is the form of salt that occurs in nature and it naturally contains 84 minerals essential to our health. Among the live minerals and trace elements found in sea salt are iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. Sea salt has many health benefits including relieving sinus congestion, regulation of blood pressure (opposite from table salt), helping to promote more restful sleep, balancing water in the body and to help reduce water retention, dissolving kidney stones, balancing blood sugar, relieving and preventing muscle cramps, and helping to keep your body more alkaline.
     To find a good quality sea salt look in your local grocery store.

There are many different kinds to choose from, look for a sea salt that has a natural grey color, or in the case of Himalayan sea salt look for a nice pink color. The natural color is a testimony to the mineral content. Throw away your common table salt and run to your local health food store to pick up some sea salt; it is both healthy and delicious.

Book Review: The Best of Clean Eating Magazine Cookbook

I bought myself a Christmas present: The Best of Clean Eating Magazine Cookbook. It's wonderful - bright, clear photography, simple recipes, and really excellent looking Clean food. I will be posting recipes as I try and find them over the course of the next few weeks, so stay tuned. If you want to cook along, buy it from Amazon here: : The Best of Clean Eating Magazine Cookbook.

The recipes here are clear and concise - as I was reading it, there didn't seem to be an odd technique, or anything I couldn't do. I like that there are just as many carnivore -centric recipes as there are vegetarian ones. ( I believe Clean Eating should be a balance of veggies and meats ) and nearly every recipe is accompanied by a photograph.  I think whether you are a beginning Clean Eater, or a life long devotee, you will find recipes you like in this book.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Salmon - A Staple of Clean Eating

Salmon is a workhorse staple in a Clean Eating diet. Excellent source of protein, lean, and easily manipulated into a variety of tastes and textures for a variety of uses. I recommend buying a slab of salmon each week, and portioning leftovers to take to work for nutritious lunches ( cold over salad , warm with leftover veggies) and quick dinners when time is at a premium.

Salmon intimidates some, but it couldn't be simpler to prepare. 

Take the slab of salmon and lightly rub your fingers across it to feel if there are any remaining pin bones ( small, thin bones ). If there are, remove them with a tweezer; they aren't good to eat. Place the salmon skin side down in a shallow pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray or olive oil ( It cleans up easier ) or lined with foil. Season the salmon as you'd like : squeezes of lime or lemon juice, balsamic vinegars, spices, marinades ( homemade, please! ) or just plain salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the flesh flakes easily with a fork. This generally takes 7-10 minutes per inch of fish. I use a small, countertop convection oven.

You can also grill it on a George Foreman grill if you have a small apartment or no cooking facilities. I'd just keep the grill lid open; otherwise you'll smoosh the fish and it will be flat and unappetizing. Just ( carefully ) flip it after about 3 minutes and keep carefully flipping it until the flesh flakes with a few prods of the fork. 

It should look something like this:

Monday, December 20, 2010

.75 / 1 Lundberg Rice ( Brown, Jasmine ) Organic

.75 / 1 bag Lundberg Rice

Here's a great coupon for $.75 off 1 bag of Lundberg organic rice. Pair with a sale, and you've got 2 lbs of inexpensive rice!

Grilled Vegetable Medley with Giada

This nice video stars my husband's secret pretend girlfriend, Giada de Laurentis. He's just loopy for her. Her easy indoor prep for grilled vegetables is so nice and Clean, I thought I would share. It's nice to know my child will be raised by a good cook after I'm gone. :-P

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas

I discovered this recipe in a magazine ( I've completely forgotten which one; I tore it out of the magazine! ) and I made them last night. They are delicious...and I'm not a huge chickpea fan! I sprinkled mine with a little turbinado sugar. If you do add sugar, turn the heat down to 325 or so, and bake a bit longer than 45 minutes.

2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 - 15 1/2 oz cans chick peas, rinse, drained, and thoroughly patted dry.

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread onto baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 45-50 minutes or until browned and crunchy. Stir or shake the baking sheet often to help the drying process.

Note: For maximum crunchiness, use paper towels to dry the chickpeas well before baking!

Clean Eating Substitutes from All You Magazine

I was browsing through this chick mag I get in the mail ( it is a Walmart publication ) and I get it because it has a lot of coupons in it. Imagine my surprise when I came upon an article in the January 2011 publication called "Eat Real Food and Lose Weight" :-) Nowhere in the article do they discuss the term "Clean Eating" - but it is modeled directly after CE! It is all about removing processed foods from your diet, drinking more water, and making wholesome swaps with your food. I take issue with them saying potato chips are a healthy alternative to pretzels or cheesy poofs - that isn't a healthy swap. I'd sub in there homemade chickpea snackers ( I'll be posting this recipe later; I made them last night ) or nuts or raisins. There are 2 other "subs" I've noted that aren't the best - but I left them in anyway.

They have a nice little chart showing real vs not real foods All You Processed Foods vs Real Foods

Not Real
Strawberry toaster pastry Whole-grain toast with 100 percent strawberry jam
Artificially sweetened berry flavored yogurt Plain yogurt with fresh berries
Cold cereals (with enriched flour, artificial coloring and high-fructose corn syrup) Oatmeal with honey
Processed luncheon meat, hot dogs Sliced chicken/turkey breast, steak, tuna
Pancake syrup 100 percent maple syrup
Diet shakes Smoothies made of low-fat milk and chopped fruit
Diet snack/protein bars Nuts and dried fruit
Chocolate-flavored packaged cakes and cookies Dark chocolate ( CE Eve Says No! )
Whipped topping Whipped cream
Fat-free salad dressing Olive oil and vinegar
Boxed flavored rice mixes Brown rice with fresh herbs
Enriched wheat breads, rolls, English muffins Whole-wheat breads, rolls, English muffins
Pretzels or cheese-flavored puffs (with white flour) Potato chips or whole-corn tortilla chips ( CE Eve says No! )
Fruit snacks/rolls Sliced fruit
Soda pop (regular or diet) Club soda with 100 percent fruit juice
Artificially sweetened powder to flavor water Lemon, lime or orange slices to flavor water
Flavored coffee creamers 2 percent milk
Peanut butter (with hydrogenated oils) Natural peanut butter
Processed cheese dip Salsa
Stick margarine Whipped butter ( CE Eve Says "Small Amounts" )  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eating Processed Meat Raises Heart Disease Risk 42%, Diabetes by 19%

In a new study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found that eating a daily serving of processed meat, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, or processed deli meats, was associated with a 42% higher risk of heart disease and a 19% higher risk of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, the researchers did not find any higher risk of heart disease or diabetes among individuals eating unprocessed red meat, such as from beef, pork, or lamb.

 The processed meats contain four times the sodium and 50% more nitrates than their ( naturally occurring ) unprocessed counterparts. "This suggests that added salt and preservatives - rather than naturally occurring fats - may account for the risks."

Harvard School of Public Health : Heart Disease and Processed Meats

Back away from that bologna sandwich and nobody gets hurt! :-)

Sage Words on Starting Clean Eating

"The most important change you make in being successful is the change that takes place between your ears."

      I found these words online while doing Clean Eating research ( thanks Squidoo - see link at right ) and I think they are important enough to deserve a post of their own - 90% of choosing a Clean Eating path is overcoming the mental challenges to eating healthier. It's mostly a habit thing. You body is much happier eating healthy, wholesome food and your body as a machine works better than if you eat processed, fat laden, junk. As the computer programmers say - GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. For some, the transition to the CE lifestyle is easier than for others. Myself, I transitioned into it - doing a modified CE before I had even heard the term "Clean Eating." Over the course of 2 months as I ate healthier and healthier and saw the weight falling away, I was becoming mentally prepared to pare away some lingering dirty foods:  sodas and chips. It was an evolving awareness of my body's needs that encouraged me to make the break from Unclean habits.
     I find mantras, or little sayings I can repeat to myself when confronted with unclean ( but still desirable ) food to be my mental help. The other night, I had to make a large tray of brownies for my husband's office Christmas party. As I mixed the bowl, and stared at the chocolate batter, I remembered how the "old me" would nick spoonfuls of batter and lick the bowl clean. As I cut the brownies and put them aside to cool, I remembered the old me who would enjoy the "first taste" before anyone else, and eat a few more than I'd confess to. It was by saying to myself these two phrases : "These don't belong to me; this isn't my food, it is for the office party"  and "These brownies aren't Clean and will not make me healthy" that I was able to not eat the batter, not eat the brownies, not eat the leftover crumbs.

My mental willpower was rewarded the next morning: I had lost another 1/2 lb. 

I often find myself saying "This will not get me where I want to be" when confronted with a food I want mentally but know is bad for me.
Find your own mantra.  
Discover what mental phrase will work for you to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tilapia Citrus Couscous "Salad"

I was searching for some CE ways to fix fish, and came upon this recipe. Apparently it was featured in the June issue of Clean Eating magazine.


1 cup dry whole grain couscous
Olive Oil cooking spray
1/2 lb tilapia fillets skin and bones removed
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, ends trimmed and finely diced
I medium yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
zest and juice 1 lime
zest and juice 1/2 lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp evoo
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
sea salt and fresh gr pepper to taste


 Cook couscous as directed and set aside to keep warm.

Heat a large skillet or cast iron skillet over high heat for one minute. Spritz with cooking spray and reduce heat to medium-high heat. Place tilapia in skillet and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove tilapia and let cool for 5 minutes before flaking with a fork.

In a large bowl, combine couscous, tilapia, carrots, celery, onion and bell pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, Dijon mustard, oil, garlic and parsley. Season with salt and black pepper. Pour dressing over tilapia-couscous mixture and stir until well combined. Garnish with additional parsley, if desire. Serve immediately  or chill for up to one day.

Tosca Reno Discusses Clean Eating

Here's a video I found on Youtube with Tosca Reno discussing CE. If you are new to Clean Eating, Tosca Reno has become something of a "spokeswoman" for Clean Eating - a success story and an inspiration for hundreds of thousands. She's married to Robert Kennedy, the publisher of Oxygen magazine, and together they are a powerhouse couple tirelessly promoting the health benefits of CE and fitness in general.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Product Review: Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins

Is "hella-delicious" a word?

     Run, don't walk, to your nearest store that will carry "not your run of the mill crackers and cookies" and look for Blue Diamond brand Almond ( they also come in hazelnut and pecan ) Nut-Thins. These little thin crackers look a tad like a small Communion wafer that got mashed up with a Frito. Crunchy, a little nutty tasting - delicious. A serving is an impressive 16 crackers for 130 calories, 115 mg sodium. Ingredient list is short, too: rice flour, almonds, potato starch, salt, expeller pressed safflower oil, natural almond flavor, and natural butter flavor. ( They also seem to be available in a ranch flavor and cheddar cheese - but I can't imagine those flavorings help the CE profile.)
     These crackers are gluten and wheat free as well. Nice crunch, and would be terrific with salsa, guacamole, or  that raita recipe I published a few days ago.

And while I'm at it, here's a link to get a .50 / 1 coupon  for any Blue Diamond product!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Clean Condiments

Condiments can really liven up a meal, but if you are using too much or the wrong ones, you can be unclean in a heartbeat.

Mustards - the king on clean condiments. Check the ingredient list, but 99% of the commercially available mustards are clean with a capital C.
Vinegars ( balsamic, etc ) - clean
low sodium soy sauce - the lower the better - clean
Worcestershire - clean-ish. Look for the lowest sodium content you can find.

Dirty Birdies if you don't really watch the ingredient list!
Most ketchups - added sugar and salt. Try organic ketchups if you must; look for no salt added, no sugar added. Warning, these will not taste like that red stuff you used to smear on french fries - organic / natural ketchup is an aqcuired taste.
Mayonnaise - *sigh* My favorite. I love Hellmann's, but sadly, it does not love me back. Mayo itself is clean - veg oil and egg...Clean. However, the fat content just takes it off the menu. It's not right to eat whipped oil. :-(
BBQ sauce - most commercial sauces are essentially liquid sugar and salt. Avoid! Try a Carolina vinegar based BBQ sauce.

Some alternates to condiments:
lemon and lime juices - awesome on fish and vegetables
Try experimenting with a favorite seasoning mixed in a vinegar base. You might be surprised!
Salsa - again with the sodium content, but homemade or those refrigerated salsas can be surprisingly healthy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Importance of a Food Diary

It’s important to track your food intake not only to track the non CE items that may trickle in, but to make sure you are getting a balanced, healthy diet. I feel strongly that when you write down your daily intake, you also hold yourself more mentally accountable for what you consume. Journaling your food make take some time to get used to, but it is a worthwhile habit.

Recording what you eat in a small handheld journal like this Moleskine is important – you can pick one up like this at Office Depot or Staples.

I write everything down – food, water, everything – so I can really pinpoint what I’m doing and where my nutrition can be improved. I hate having to record something that isn’t as CE as I’d like *averts eyes* , so knowing I’ll have to write it down makes me less likely to eat it.

Keeping a food journal will help keep you on a healthy CE path. You’ll track trends, and be able to see “the big picture” – look at what you consume in a 24 hour period – a few days – over the course of the week. You may think you are eating enough fruit, but maybe you’ll discover what you think and what is actually occurring are 2 different things.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2 Sauces based on Yogurt

While looking for a CE recipe for Tziki, I found another recipe for Indian Raita. Here are both.


1 1/2 c plain low fat yogurt
3/4 c chopped seeded peeled cucumber
3/4 c chopped seeded tomato
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon garam masala spice

Mix and chill before serving

Greek Tziki

1 c plain Greek yogurt
3/4 c finely chopped seeded cucumber'
1 tsp chopped mint
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper

Mix and chill before serving

Safeway Better Oats Deal - 2 boxes free!

If you have a Safeway near you, I'd suggest you print out this coupon here: Better Oats on Facebook You do not need a Facebook account to get this coupon!

Better Oats Naturals are on sale this week Buy 1, Get 1 free. If you bring the coupon linked above, you will get BOTH boxes for free!

These will be great for the cold winter mornings ahead, and nice to keep in your desk at work for your mid-morning boost before lunch!

Update on Last Night's Christmas Party

     We had a lovely time at the Christmas party last night, despite a cold persistent rain all evening. I'm happy to report I did very well CE wise - I started with a lobster and avocado over field greens salad ( delicious! ) and had my "pre-scoped out" dish as my entree - the pepita encrusted salmon with sauteed spinach and roasted potatoes. I also ordered a side of grilled asparagus and I was not disappointed - crisp and amazing - perhaps the best asparagus I've ever had. No bread to start when all around me gulped slices, and no dessert. I was very pleased with myself ( sounds corny, huh? ) 

     My boss is quite the host, and he kept worrying that I was drinking iced tea ( I'm a Southerner - iced tea is good all year 'round! ). Alcohol is not Clean Eats and I don't drink much anyway, so it's no big deal to shy away from it for me. However, my boss kept prodding ( Beer? Wine? Martini? ) until a co-worker kindly ( ! ) offered up that I do have a taste for whisky. The restaurant we were at has a famous selection of whisky, and my boss wasted no time ordering a very expensive glass ( behind my back ) for me : a 25 year old Glenfarclas. My jaw dropped as it was handed to me; It's an expensive single malt and I'm sure my boss paid at least $40-50 for the glass that was handed to me. It was delicious, and I was stunned at his generosity and the head and shoulders above any other whisky I've ever had ( sorry Laphroaig! ) of the yumminess of the Glenfarclas. *sigh*

A small 3 fingers of indulgence - now, back to your regularly scheduled CE. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cooking Light December 2010: Draining and Rinsing Beans to Reduce Sodium , Whole Grain vs Whole Wheat

From this month's issue of Cooking Light:

1. Draining a typical can of cooked beans can reduce the sodium content by 36% according to a study by the University of Tennessee. They also found a combination of draining AND rinsing the beans before use reduces the sodium content another 5%.

Drain those beans AND rinse them. Canned beans are darn convenient - but not CE if they are like a salt lick!

2. What is the difference between whole grain and whole wheat? ( Awesome question! )

"Whole grain" refers to a category of of foods that contain the entire grain kernel - bran, germ, and endosperm - and all of the nutritional goodies therein, like fiber and antioxidants. A whole grain can be a whole food, like brown rice, popcorn, oatmeal. It gets confusing when it comes to food packaging. If the front of the package says "100% whole grain" then all of the grain listed in the package must be whole. If the package just says "whole grain" than at least 51% of the grains on the ingredient list must be whole.
"Whole wheat" simply means that the wheat component is whole. It doesn't speak to other refined or processed grains.

If you buy breads or other foods made outside of the house, , make sure it is 100% whole grain, and not whole wheat. Whole wheat is clearly not the CE choice!

Planning Ahead To Make a Smart Choice

This evening, we'll be attending my company's Christmas get together at a local nice restaurant.
Isn't it pretty? A local historic house turned into a gorgeous restaurant:

I haven't been to this restaurant in years, but their specialty is seafood, so I have a good chance to stay on track and enjoy myself as well. I went online and downloaded their "core" menu - 20+ items they always serve, regardless of season. Rather than get carried away in the moment and allow my judgment to lapse in the party atmosphere, I picked 2 "go to" dinner choices that will be on my mind as we order our dinners. I have a tendency to have a "Oh, this is a special occasion, it doesn't count / I'll make up for it tomorrow" mentality - so being forearmed with a smart CE choice is a smart move for me. I looked ahead and planned ahead - try to keep this technique in mind as you go forth this Holiday season.  You'll look back the day after and be proud of yourself, I promise!

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Fuel Up to Fight Moodiness"

Found this little blurb in last weekend's USA Today Sunday insert:

"Today, too many people skip breakfast, have a light lunch, then eat a heavy dinner - a recipe for moodiness and exhaustion says Liz Vaccariello, author of 400 Calorie Fix, Eating meals at regular intervals keeps blood sugar and energy levels balanced and metabolism high. Vaccariello recommends three to five 400 calorie meals a day to stave off hunger, with foods proven to increase satierty, including fruits and vegetables, nuts, prtein rich foods, and high fiber foods. "

Sounds familiar, huh? Part of CE is keeping your hunger level just below the surface by eating foods on a regular time table so you don't have hunger pangs which prompt eating without thought or eating foods that simply are convenient and not necessarily good for you.

The idea that eating in this manner can also affect your mood is something to think about. If you suffer from depression and/or exhaustion, it could be not what you are eating - but when and how you are eating.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

.55 off 2 dozen eggs

Getting a coupon for a staple item is just wonderful!

.55 off 2 one dozen carton of eggs

Buy 24 eggs, get .55 off - $1.10 if your store doubles.

Product Review: Garden Lites Souffles

I found this product in my grocery store's frozen section where the organic and natural frozen foods live. The packaging caught my eye, and I was looking for something different - so I decided to give one a whirl.
The ingredient list on these souffles is short - for example, the spinach flavor contains: spinach, potatoes, egg whites, whole eggs, onions, brown sugar, rice flour, sea salt, and spices. That's it - nothing unpronounceable, nothing weird. I was duly impressed.

Out of the package, the product is small , it's a single serving so keep that in mind - you won't be sharing it with anyone! The souffles are best when microwaved - the top has a nice firm crust like appearance, and the souffle is actually smooth and eggy. They really are quite tasty. The only downside is the price - normally these are $4 each in my local grocery stores. If you find them on sale, by all means, pick one up and try one. Excellent to keep in the freezer to grab to take to work for lunch, or as a veggy side when you need a smackerel more. At about 140 calories each - no problem! Just be sure to keep your water intake up - they have about 350-400 mg of sodium each which make them a little "un" CE, but...*hides package quickly* You didn't see anything, did you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The New Issue of Clean Eating Is Out! The New Issue of Clean Eating Is Out!

I'm so easily amused.

Highlights from this issue:

1. Very tasty looking stuffed portobello recipe on page 22

2.  Tosca's article on page 23 about alternatives to peanut butter is interesting ( However, I take a little exception to her claim that commercial peanut butters are "all" loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. I examined every jar of commercial and organic / natural peanut butters when I was in the store the other day, and other than more salt in most commercial, the ingredient lists were almost identical. Not saying eat spoonfuls of Skippy , but in the whole scheme of things, I think there are bigger fish to fry, know what I mean?)

3.. Great article about cooking for one on page 43

4.. I know one man who will really like reading the soup and stew recipes starting on page 58

5. The 14 day meal plan on page 73 is a great start for new Clean Eaters! Even using some of the days when you first start of will really be a help and give you a gentle introduction to your new lifestyle.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Clean Up Your Act!

Making small changes to your diet and exchanging your small dirty choices for cleaner ones will really make a difference! Finding "this for that" tweaks will really help you stay on the path which will get you where you want to be.

1. Your morning coffee - exchange packet sweeteners for cubes or granules of demarara sugar ( a raw, unrefined sugar with a pale yellowish cast to it due to the natural cane juices left in the crystals ), exchange creamers ( powdered or liquid - unclean! ) for regular, every day milk.
2. Breakfast - exchange bread for whole grains like oatmeal ( steel cut over rolled "quick" kind ), wheatena, etc , exchange sugary smears of jam or fatty butter for a protein packed smear of natural or organic peanut butter. Exchange that extra piece of toast for a piece of fruit.
3. Lunch - exchange that lunch grabbed on the run with one that you packed from home containing a healthy sandwich wrap or salad in a portable salad container, a few cubes of organic or artisnal cheese, fruit, edamame, etc. Exchange your single cup of water with lunch with a reusable water bottle you refill multiples times per day.
4. Snack times:  Exchange man made but "clean" snacks - organic cookies, pretzels, etc - with nuts, fruit cubes, cheese cubes, a hard boiled egg, a handful of organic raisins.
5. Dinner - Exchange man made bottled marinades and sauces with simpler marinades made at home - mustard sauces, soy sauce based marinades ( no, not made at home but low sodium soy sauce is a clean choice ). Exchange regular potato for sweet potato. Exchange a starch ( rice, polenta, couscous ) for a starchy vegetable choice ( potato, corn, beans ) or an organic or homemade soup.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

$1 / 1 McCann Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut outs are preferable to regular oatmeal- Steel-cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into only two or three pieces by steel rather than being rolled. Quaker oats, and other oats, are rolled and are not whole with the nutritious groat. And, unfortunately, steel cut oats are more expensive.

$1 off 1 McCann's Irish Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut takes longer to cook that those quick rolled oats, but they are good!

CE Breakfast : The Spinach Frittata

If you are starting CE and are looking for food choices that are both clean for you AND will be accepted by your non CE family, look no further than the familiar frittata. It's packed with nutrition to start the day, it's warm, home cooked, and very CE friendly.
It's a simple omelet, started on the stove and finished in the oven. A cast iron skillet works best, but if you have an oven friendly pan, that will work too.

Spinach Frittata 



  • 1 lb spinach leaves (about 2 bunches), cleaned, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, about 2 Tbsp chopped - note , make sure there are no weird preservatives!
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 oz goat cheese, organic


1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Cook spinach in 1/4 cup of water in a covered saucepan until just wilted, a couple minutes. Drain water and set aside.
3 In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Add in chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4 Sauté onions in olive oil in an oven-proof, stick-free skillet, until translucent, about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and cook a minute further. Add cooked spinach and mix in with onions and garlic.
5 Spread out spinach mixture evenly on bottom of skillet. Pour egg mixture over spinach mixture. Use a spatula to lift up the spinach mixture along the sides of the pan to let egg mixture flow underneath.
6 Sprinkle bits of goat cheese over the top of the frittata mixture. When the mixture is about half set, put the whole pan in the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until frittata is puffy and golden. Remove from oven with oven mitts and let cool for several minutes. 
Cut into quarters to serve. Serves four.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Assorted CE and Organic Coupons

Always welcome to find coupons to make CE a little less expensive...

 $1 / 1 any Horizon Organic Milk - coupon expires 30 days from print

$1 / 1 Silk Soy Milk  ( I have to admit, not my favorite, but some people love the stuff )

Sign up now for a future coupon for Cuties Clementines - the kind most stores sell in a wooden crate this time of year: Cuties Citrus Coupon - Just register with the site; I've heard people in their datebase will get a coupon for Clementines soon.

Assorted Organic Valley Coupons  ( the .75 / 1 eggs is great if your store doubles! )

 $5 off a Brita Water Pitcher

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Clean Eating At Work

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome when making the switch from regular to Clean Eating is figuring out what to eat once you are away from your own kitchen. For example, the work place can be a difficult place to stick to the path you've chosen.

1. Plan ahead - it is key. Using the evenings and weekends to prepare your meals for the upcoming week is essential. Pre-pack fruit, vegetables, nuts, a sandwich - whatever you are bringing to work. Otherwise you might find yourself out of time in the morning and out of luck...foodless and looking at the local deli with $10 in your hand.
2. Make sure your co-workers know and understand what you are doing. They might see your diet and your habits change drastically, and wonder what is going on. Share CE with them, and ask for their support. No, you don't want a piece of birthday cake ( but you will be happy to sing with everyone! ). No, you don't want some of their kid's Halloween candy, thankyouverymuch.
3. Keep CE friendly snacks at work. On Mondays, bring a small bag of fruit in that will last the week. Keep some canned tuna, nuts, and such in your desk.
4. Pack leftovers from last night's dinner for us as today's lunch. A leftover chicken breast can be easily cut up and put over lettuce and some veggies for a quick chicken salad. That single turkey burger you were too full to eat last night is today's reheated burger in a wrap.

The best advice I can give is to be prepared. Put a piece of fruit, some hard boiled eggs, a cup of yogurt, and your other usual CE suspects in a bag in the fridge for easy grabbing the next morning. Some time that afternoon, you'll be thanking yourself for the effort the night before.