Well, we are a week and a half into our food cleanse for Lent. I kind of want to jump up and down and shout how much I love it!! Of course I have some weak moments where I want to shove my face with 10 of the Trader Joe’s Donut-O’s that are sitting on my counter right now, but for the most part it’s been so yummy, fun and doable.
Like I mentioned in my Lent post, we are following Drea’s cleanse e-guide. Basically it’s all vegan, no (or very little) processed and no sugar. It’s not about counting calories, or starving yourself. It’s about resetting, feeling healthy and learning about what we are putting into our bodies. Aside from the cleanse, eating clean really is something we should challenge ourselves to do more often. Start by trying to eat clean even 1 or 2 days a week.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about eating clean this past week…
1. It does not cost more to eat all whole foods.
I was sure our grocery bill was going to go through the roof. LIE. When you cut out all the other processed food you normal buy (condiments, bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc…), you really don’t spend more when just buying veggies and fruit. Especially when you are heading the the grocery store with a meal plan and a list of the exact things you need. It also helps when you try to buy local and what is in season. Which is pretty much nothing here in the northeast, but oooh I can’t wait for the summer.
2. It does take time and thought.
It’s been pretty easy to eat clean, but it does take some effort. Every Sunday I sit down, look over the recipes and browse a few blogs for ideas. Then I come up with a meal plan for the week. I’m talking breakfast, lunches and dinners. I find my weakest moments are when I am hungry, without a plan and no allowable snacks. Those are the moments that have me justifying in my head that it’s ok to eat the Inner Peas from Trader Joes that I brought with us for the girls. After I grocery shop, I spend one evening cleaning, chopping and organizing all the food. That way when I am hungry I will have some homemade hummus and carrots all ready to go. Plan ahead. Plan filling and yummy meals. Eat often.
It might be just us, but whoa baby! we have a lot more dishes. Thankful for a dishwasher and a handsome husband that willing does the dishes.
4. Overnight Oats are gross.
Ha! It might be just me but the cold texture of the oats just doesn’t work for me. I much prefer cooking them and topping them with a dash of unsweetened almond milk, some cinnamon, hemp seeds and a ton of fresh fruit. *edit: Umm I didn’t know you could heat up overnight oats. Whoops! Trying that tomorrow.
5. Be adventurous
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “well, what can I eat then?” leaving you feeling like there is nothing to eat. Truth be told, there are tons of things you can eat. Try something new, even if in the past you thought you didn’t like it. Try new vegetables and fruit you’ve never eaten before. Find some recipes that excite you. Remember you can always substitute things to make a recipe work for you. I found a soup recipe I wanted to try, but it had a few things that didn’t work with the cleanse. I added water instead of veggie broth, almond milk instead of heavy cream and cut the oil way, way down and used coconut oil instead. The soup was DELICIOUS!! We have had it twice already.
6. Habits take a while to break.
The very first day I found myself with a mouthful of waffle pieces that I ate off of Finley’s highchair. Whoops. I was so used to eating the leftover bits and pieces of what they eat all day. Over the past week I have been more conscience about what I put in my mouth (that’s what she said- sorry. had to.) Although this morning I may have licked my fingers after a drop of Rowan’s maple syrup got on them. Oooh Sugar!! Speaking of sugar… After a few days and some good mental review over why I am doing this in the first place, I can pass the bag of M&M’s a lot easier than before. It really makes you realize the lies we teach ourselves that we “need” certain things.
7. Have fun!
I am actually having a lot of fun doing this! It makes me proud at the end of the day thinking about the good things I’ve put into my body. It will most definitely be something that last much, much longer than the 40 days. Clean eating has taken a hold of me! I am looking forward to adding a few things back once this particular food cleanse is done. I miss plain greek yogurt and some bread here and there (pizza!) but overall this cleanse has already really made an impact on our household.
You can buy Drea’s 30 Day Cleanse E-Guide Here.
*For those of you that are asking the top dish is just a bowl that I put a handful of spinach in then layered on top: roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, roasted chickpeas, carrot sticks, red quinoa, avocado, some hemp seeds and then added a big ol’ dollop of homemade hummus. Let me tell you… it was DELICIOUS!
PLEASE share what/how you made that first photo dish! I am drooling!!!!
Love this post, Jen! Since being diagnosed with digestive issues/auto-immune this is how I eat everyday and I absolutely love it. I will say, that after a while the cravings totally start to go away and your brain doesn’t even register things like doughnuts, or so was the case for me! 😉 It took a few weeks though! So glad you guys are doing this, and all the food looks insanely GOOD!! Will def check out the e-guide too! xoxo Veronika
Wait, what?! We’ve been popping Overnight Oats into the microwave every morning to cook them. Granted, we add honey to sweeten them, but so far they’ve been awesome. We do cranberry-almond, banana-nut, blueberry (with almond extract) and s’mores. Maybe try eating them warm?
Go you! This is awesome. I try to eat clean too, but feel like I give into temptation a little too easily.
Love the pics/recipes too!
Great post – thanks for the information! This is something I’ve started researching for my family and wanted to start it during Lent too. My only worry is my lil lady. How are the girls adjusting? Or do they even realize what’s going on?
Awesome, Jen! Thanks for sharing this. We are trying to make some changes in our food plan and this is helpful. All the food pictures you posted look so delightful and colorful!
I never comment 😉 but enjoy your blog. I am on my third whole food cleanse and really like knowing what I am putting in my body. I didn’t read over your allowed foods, but an amazing treat I sometimes make that is compliant and have to share: it’s like a frozen yogurt:: in a food processor: one ripe banana, dash of almond or coconut milk, tbsp of almond butter and I was allowed a square of choc each week so I would add that in too. Combine until smooth and enjoy !! Seriously deelish and healthy 😉 best of luck and keep with it!!
I’m doing whole foods as well and feel really good. Made a cauliflower and leek soup the other day that was SO good and creamy… so simple but bursting with flavor. It really makes you appreciate each bite. LOVE your photos! Thanks for posting…Inspired!
Yes, I am doing a very similar cleanse! I am gluten free along with being almost vegan, I am allowed lean meats (except for one week out of the three which was completely vegan). Also, no peanuts, bananas, grapes, and soy. Phew that’s a long list, but it is easier than it sounds and I feel so much better! Keep it up Jen!
I love this! I’m on week 9 of clean eating (for health issues I’m trying to sort out) and although I haven’t been perfect, it’s been great to really take stock of what I eat and introduce new and healthy foods. Would love to see some recipes you love.
Just curious, what does this have to do with Lent? No knocking your cleanse, but how is this improving your relationship with God? Seems like a stretch…
The point of lent for me is to deny yourself to bring you closer to God. I looked around my life and pinpointed where I found the most comfort away for God. Food was one of them. When I felt stressed or upset I felt like I took comfort in sweets. I want my desires to be in God alone. I don’t know if you believe in God or not and that is totally ok. This is just what my personal journey thru the lent season is about.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25, 26 ESV)”
My husband and I are full-time vegans, but this cleanse still sounds very intriguing to me. We may have to give it a try soon. So glad yours is going well!
this looks so extraordinarily delish!!!
OMG i thought i was the only one who thought overnight oats were the grossest thing ever. i tried them once and it was one time too many. but now, i feel like an idiot. i didn’t realize you were supposed to heat them either. i thought you just ate them straight from the refrigerator.
Gorgeous food and a great review Jen! I always find that once I get past the first few days of attempting to break non-nourishing food habits, I catch my second wind. Things I used to struggle to avoid aren’t as much of a struggle as the days go by. Sounds like you’re experiencing the same sensations. Well done lady! We’ve been eating pretty clean for the last couple weeks too, in an effort to re-establish the clean eating we were relatively consistent with before our moving saga. It’s felt so good to regard and enjoy food as nourishment again. Keep up the great work!
Just found your blog, the food looks like art! 🙂
We are also eating cleaner around here. Your gorgeous pictures are giving me awesome ideas. Side note: I walked by you at Trader Joe’s the other day (day before the supposed storm), but immediately became terrifyingly starstruck (haha), and also didn’t want to intrude on your grocery shopping with your girls 🙂 So… Hi! You are all just as beautiful in person 🙂
So impressed! You rock!
wow…Your pictures make it look SO delicious! And I’m sure it is–I love it when I take time to eat clean and it’s easy b/c I actually planned and stocked up. Well done my friend!!!
I love this! Your food looks absolutely amazing – especially that top one! I tried eating clean last year but I ended up getting so bored of having salads everyday for lunch (and I seriously missed my beloved pasta hah) – how do you get past that? I’d love to see more of the recipes that you guys enjoy!
Check out Pinterest for a cauliflower pizza crust…it may be something you can make substitutions enough to enjoy a pizza night!
i love this. whole foods can be so reasonable if you skip the processed stuff, because really, processed is processed right? a diet of fruits, veggies, legumes + whole grains is good for you and your wallet! sounds like a great cleanse 🙂