The best part about discovering clean eating and working out correctly is that you get to eat, A LOT. I spent years trying to eat “healthy” , when really all I was doing was keeping my body in starvation mode. Being ever so dedicated to keeping me alive, my body would then hang on to any fat I had to sustain itself. Realizing that your body needs a large amount of nutritious foods is the first step. Isn’t it great to get quality AND quantity? 🙂 Typically, people think that all I eat is boiled chicken and steamed broccoli. While I would never turn down a big plate of broccoli, my diet is actually pretty flavorful and quite exciting! I’m definitely someone who can go weeks eating the same thing every single day, but lately I’ve been trying to spice up my menus to keep myself from veering off my plan.
When eating clean, it’s important to be aware of how food is prepared. This way of cooking and eating is simple and most often involves minimal ingredients that carry a lot of flavor. That’s why it’s so easy to stick with it! Some random staples that I have come to use almost daily are:
Don’t underestimate this spice! I’m kind of a cinnamon freak and throw it on everything from overnight oats to toast to protein shakes to chicken. I try to make it pretty versatile:) Cinnamon can also lower your blood sugar and is a great antioxidant.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
This stuff is AWESOME. I recently started using it to sauté veggies and once to fry up some clean chicken fried steak (recipe here). It gives whatever you’re making a sort of nutty-sweet flavor. Olive oil is still a great choice, but the benefit of coconut oil is that a little bit of it goes a long way so you don’t have to use as much of it.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am addicted to peanut butter. I’m not proud of it (okay maybe a little bit), but I do absolutely love natural peanut butter. I’ve been known to grab a tablespoon or two from the cafeteria at my school and eat it straight with a little jam:) Fortunately for PB freaks like me, there is PB2!! At the height of modernization, man has finally invented a low cal/low fat peanut butter option. The cool part is that it’s powdered so it’s easily added in to shakes or oatmeal or anything to peanut butter-ize it!
I first looked in to flaxseeds when I was a vegetarian and didn’t want to cave in to taking fish oil pills. Flax oil seemed like a better option, but I wanted to try the whole foods version first. Now, I love sprinkling a tsp or two on to salads, eggs, sandwiches, or in recipes that don’t require cooking. Cooking the flaxseeds diminishes the nutrients and that would be kind of pointless.
There are obviously a ton more that my fridge has to be stocked with weekly-egg whites, almond milk, oats, spinach, lean chicken, ezekial bread, and of course lots of fresh veggies!
One of the new components of the program that I just started is a late night meal, about 30 minutes before I go to sleep. Since I work out in the morning, I try to avoid carbs later in the day which rules out my very favorite: overnight oats:( If I had to eat one meal for the rest of my life, it would definitely be peanut butter overnight oats! Anyways, I’ve been trying to make different variations of protein ice cream (since the whey protein that I use has more carbs than I need), and finally found a winner! It involves cottage cheese and I usually have to balance out the disgusting flavor/texture of cottage cheese with whey so I was a bit skeptical. It turned out great, however, and you don’t even know it’s protein packed from the cottage cheese!
Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream
Makes 1 serving:
1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 of one small banana, sliced
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 packet of Stevia
1/2 Tbs. of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs. PB2 or Natural Peanut butter
The makings of a delicious nighttime snack!
- In a blender combine the cottage cheese, banana, vanilla extract, and almond milk until the cottage cheese is smooth.
- Then add the Stevia, cocoa, and PB and blend until smooth.
- Freeze for 1-2 hours, stirring every half hour to make it creamier.
- Heat an extra Tbs. of natural peanut butter in the microwave for about 10 seconds and drizzle over ice cream once frozen.
I know it’s not chocolate cake or a banana split, but trust me you will enjoy it! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the kid with the insatiable sweet tooth. I really don’t think I’ve ever uttered the words “that’s too sweet” or “that’s too rich”. So if I, the Queen of Sugar, can do this then so can you.