***I posted this and thought I should explain- my meals are pretty low in carb servings like rice, beans, etc. because I have a carb-sensitive metabolism- no kidding I eat 1/2c rice and I gain 1lb (true- it happens!). I have a fantastic nutritionist who can let you know what is best for you-only follow the advice of a professional nutritionist (and that I am not!). I only post to give you an idea of the mechanics behind eating clean.
Clean Eating takes a lot of preparation and planning, and that ever elusive thing none of us really have- time. Sitting here planning my menu for the next week and making my shopping list takes a lot of brain capacity! I've been doing this for months now, so I can't imagine how it is for those who are just beginning to tighten up their meal planning. Here is what I have done for next week, to give you a sample of what I go through every week. It's become a habit now, and without question- TOTALLY worth it. Yes, you'll be paying more $$ for fresh lean protein as well as veggies, but how much do you put towards junk food?
I always start with a weekly menu- yes I eat the same basics every day for a week, but don't get bored...you'll see why.
June 9-14, 2008 Menu
Meal 1:1/2c oatmeal with cinnamon and sugar substitue; add 1T ground flax, 1T chia seeds; 6 egg whites, 1/2c veggies in omlette, 1 cup black coffee
Meal 2: Tuna salad; tuna, apple, celery, beets, black beans (only 1/2c black beans and 1/2 apple in each serving, so i'll make the salad, portion it and then add the beans and apple to each individual container). I top with a small amount of any condiment except mayo that I want (see why I don't get bored- my fridge is loaded with snazzy condiments)
Meal 3: Chicken, lettuce, misc. veg -Can make this into a salad, or use lettuce leaves for a wrap, again any condiment (i.e. salsa, bbq, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing)
Meal 4: Chicken, veg stix (this meal usually hits in the middle of an afternoon meeting, it must be quick and portable). Any condiment
Meal 5: Turkey meatballs in a vegetable soup or on a salad
Meal 6: 1/2c plain, non-fat yogurt mixed with 2 scoops chocolate or vanilla protein powder (usually around 9pm)
From there I make my shopping list: Anything on my list that isn't on my meal plan is for my partner's meal plan. He eats more rice and red meat than I do.
Costco: black beans, brown rice (my partner's meal plan uses about 2c rice a day!), ground turkey, Romaine lettuce, Asparagus, Yellow and Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Chicken breasts (fresh), Steak, Gr. Hamburger, Milk, Tuna, 3 doz eggs, 2.5L egg whites (come in 500ml containers), Chia seeds
Coop: Creamy Rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, celery, apples, broccoli, yogurt, cottage cheese (I like putting a Tbs on salads instead of goat or other higher-fat cheese), ground flax
And finally a timeline for cooking/freezing/chopping/portioning
Friday- hit up the grocery stores- no one goes shopping on fri nights, soak the dry black beans overnight
Saturday- grill the chicken plain so it can be snazzed up by different condiments each day of the week, make the turkey meatballs, boil the beans. Basically- cook all your meat, dice it up and weigh it into portions. Freeze some for the latter half of the week, but keep some fresh.
Sunday- Cut veg stix, throw some into a pot of soup base for soup, portion the rest into containers (i usually pack 2c of veg sticks a day), make tuna salad using the beans I boiled on Saturday
It's so much easier than it looks, just throw your meat in to cook and you have free time while it cooks. Then just spend about 45min on Sunday chopping veggies and you're done. You'll thank yourself during the week, when healthy choices are already for you in YOUR fridge- well done!