Clean Eating Challenge – Day 4 – Holly’s Turn!

 Holly’s Day of Clean Eating

Today is Holly’s day, and we have another lover of quinoa!  I think I’ve found a first that I’m going to have to do in the next couple of weeks for an I Dare Allie entry – I’m going to make quinoa.  I’ve eaten before and loved it, but have never prepared it. 

Holly, based on what I’ve read on her awesome blog, Desert Momma, recently became vegan.  I’m intrigued, because I was a vegetarian for almost five years, and tried the vegan thing a few times, but couldn’t give up cheese.  Interestingly, I’ve recently tried going dairy free for a couple of week-long intervals and felt really good.  So who knows – maybe one day I’ll walk on the wild side again and try to be a vegan.  Did you hear that?  That was my family screaming “Noooooo!”  As for why I’m no longer a vegetarian, well that would take another blog to explain – and today is Holly’s day.

Reading about Holly’s day made me long for summer and fresh fruit.  Vegas appears to have plenty of organic fruit choices for late March.  Holly’s fruit salad almost looks too pretty to eat!  I can’t wait to hear about her dinner out at a vegan restaurant, either.  Holly was nice enough to get me a preview of her day, so I could post it the night before because as you read this, I’m on a 12-hour drive with my four children, to Michigan, for a very cold spring break.  Maybe I should turn left and head out west to the desert…

By the evening, I will have the last part of Holly’s day posted (because she’s in Vegas baby, and I’m in the EST zone and she hasn’t had dinner yet!).  But if you anxious to finish reading, click here, to get to her blog.


Ok, so I would just like to begin by saying that this has been harder than I thought it would be. I’ve definitely learned some things along the way though…like…

1. I must learn how to make my own tortillas. I love tortillas. They are so great for so many things (breakfast burritos, salad wraps, etc, etc). But the ones on the grocery store shelf have things in them I don’t like. For example, mono- and diglycerides, which I have no way of knowing whether or not have come from animal or plant sources. :( This very much saddens my newly vegan self. Also, I just know I should be able to enjoy the soft goodness of tortillas without extra processed crap I don’t need in them.

2. Oats and fruit are my friends. Oh, how we have grown closer this week. :)

3. Bread…UGH…bread is going to be the death of me. I LOVE bread. I miss bread. I want to make my own bread, but I don’t want to make my own bread. Everything is so processed and hard to tell if it is vegan-friendly at a typical grocery store. But I don’t know if we can afford a bread machine…or simply the time to make our own sandwich bread every week. Sigh…

4. It’s really interesting to see all the differing perspectives on what is and what is not considered “clean eating” on the interwebs. I wasn’t super sure about almond milk, but considering how often I use it since I don’t consume dairy anymore, I left it in this week. I do purchase unsweetened organic almond milk. I was really questioning my use of a commercially sold Vegetable Broth, but decided it was reasonable considering the fact that I could easily identify/understand all of the ingredients on the label and it was USDA Certified Organic. Also, dried fruit is another contentious one – personally, I feel like as long as there is no added sugar, it is fine. I definitely had some dried granny smith apple slices and pineapple slices from our Nature Box snacks this week (both products list only one ingredient each – dried apples or dried pineapples, respectively).

Anywho, on to the important stuff! What did I eat today?!

Clean Eating Breakfast

I told you oats and fruit have been my friends lately! I made a simple and delicious Cinnamon Blueberry Oatmeal topped with fresh berries. I also had a wonderfully comforting caffeine-free hot Raspberry Tea to accompany it.

 Cinnamon Blueberry Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp agave sweetener

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Cook oats according to package directions. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and agave. Fold in blueberries. Serve warm and top with fresh strawberries. Easy and yummy!

 Clean Eating Morning Snack

Fruit Salad. Did I mention that I love fruit? Honestly, I just cut up a whole bunch of fruits we had in the house and tossed them with 1/4 cup of organic apple juice. Use whatever fruits you want, but just for your inventory, I used 6 kiwis, 1 apple, 1 orange, 1 mango, about a 1/2 cup of blackberries and 1 cup of red seedless grapes. I just loved all the colors! Pretty and delicious!

 Clean Eating Lunch

I have truly learned to love cooking with quinoa over the last couple of months. I had been missing out on this fantastic and healthy rice/pasta alternative for too many years! So for lunch I made a simple quinoa with vegetables that even the kids loved – score!

 Garlic Vegetable Quinoa

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, diced

4 tsp minced garlic

1 large zucchini, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 head fresh broccoli, chopped

1 1/2 cups quinoa

3 cups organic vegetable broth

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook 2-4 minutes, until onions are soft. Add in vegetables and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

2. Stir in quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Stir in sea salt and nutritional yeast. Allow to stand for 10-15 more minutes, then serve warm in bowls.


Clean Eating Afternoon Snack

A banana and a 1/4 cup raw cashews. Sometimes short and sweet is the way to go. I’ve been in the kitchen an awful lot this week and even though I enjoy cooking now, I was pleased to just grab something quick and easy! Added bonus – this really did fill me up until dinner time.

 Clean Eating Dinner

I had a dinner date planned with an old friend all week at one of the restaurants in town that caters to vegans so I was very excited to go enjoy some great company and healthy vegan food out and about. We met at the local Red Velvet Cafe and below is what I ordered. I did my best to choose healthy, clean options from their menu.


In closing, I didn’t have much trouble staying away from coffee or even my beloved wine today, and I drank a ton of water, but I really can’t lie – I could not give up my Diet Coke. It’s my one big vice and I couldn’t let it go. Oh, well. Overall, I feel pretty good that I have been a part of this challenge and hopefully this will lead to some more permanent changes for me in the long run. :)



So what do you think? Do you think I did well overall? Tips, questions, suggestions, support? Let me know! And join us on Twitter with hashtag #cleaneatingchallenge!


2 thoughts on “Clean Eating Challenge – Day 4 – Holly’s Turn!”

  1. You should totally drop your kids off in Michigan and then drive down here to me in Vegas!! Haha!! Yes, one of the greatest things about living here is that our farmer’s markets are already carrying a ton of fresh fruits and veggies, not to mention that getting enough Vitamin D will never really be an issue (thank you sunshine!). :)

    1. I wish. I literally crave sun! I spent 20 years in south Florida, and after a winter like we’ve had, I’ve been asking myself why I ever left! I need to find a local farmer’s market! Whole foods is quite far from us and our local grocery store doesn’t have a great organic section.

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