Sunday, January 31, 2016

Healthy Eating: The Good, The Bad, and the Fruity

So I am now wrapping up my eat clean week and I must say what a week its been-- full of tears, tupperware, and tribulations. One thing it was not full of was hunger! I must say the entire week I felt pretty great energy wise, and when I finally did have some starch (in the form of toast) I was pretty meh about it. However, it was when I had a beigel on Friday that I truly understood the necessity of starch ^_^

Having meat (chicken or beef) was more of a treat as I didn't eat it every day. Friday's Korean BBQ Steak bowl was my first beef in a week so it was fantastic!

So let's break it down:

Sunday
Dinner -> Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan Mushrooms

This was a pretty fantastic dish. I wish I had the right kind of mushrooms (baby bella) as they would have been able to hold their own much better than the button ones. I also wanted to add more Parmesan cheese to it but held out, which turned out OK as once incorporated you could really taste it. Easy to make (thanks to Tesco having pre-made spiralised spaghetti squash) and trust me, you don't miss the meat at all!

Monday
Dinner -> Drunken Zucchini Noodles with Honey Chicken

Even after the Great Sweet Potato Debacle where I thought "I don't have a spiraliser, but don't worry grating should be fine" turned out to be disastrous in the kitchen, I found the sweet potato dish to be very delicious. I added some raisins into it as well, and thought it was a great addition to the dish, providing little bursts of sweetness. I don't think I made enough sauce, but that was my own fault as I did not know how much grated sweet potato I would have (and I had a ton leftover). Never one to just throw out food, I made some pancakes (utterly fantastic with maple syrup) and a smoothie (would not make again, no flavour) with the extra.

Dinner was pretty delicious, and I remember thinking how sad I was I did not have leftovers. Just be careful as the zucchini (courgette) gets very watery and I had a wonderful accident with most of the liquid on my work trousers. YAY MONDAY. I also could eat roasted peanuts every day. So. Fantastic.

This dish probably had the most "ugh will I ever use this again ingredients associated with it". But if you enjoy Thai/Indian cooking you should have no issues here!



Tuesday
Breakfast -> Breakfast Burrito
Dinner -> Healthy Chicken Parm

I do not have a photo of the breakfast burrito but let me tell you it was quite fantastic. Just enough cheese to pass muster (you can always add more) and the egg whites help to bulk it up without add too much fat. I almost wanted to add olives to it, but had none on hand. I still have a burrito wrapped in the freezer for next week!

Again the courgettes get very watery when you cook them (this should not be surprising to me, buy hey ho) so either quickly flash cook them or take it into account when cooking with them. I would almost have left 'raw' and let the chicken 'cook' them on the plate. The chicken cooked up beautifully and the breadcrumbs did not fall off, and the mixture of panko and normal with some Parmesan cheese worked beautifully. Could have really gone nuts with the mozzarella but maintained discipline. This dish does NOT make good leftovers!

I also tried one of my cashew/date energy bites and ooohhhh mama these things are fabulous! Just the right amount of sweet to satisfy your craving and if you portion them right, makes a lovely elevenses treat. Also great if you have a morning run but want something to nibble on beforehand! I was thinking how amazing this would be substituting coconut for cacao nibs and orange flavouring. The possibilities could be endless (guess that's what Bounce thought as well!)

Thursday (cheat day)
I had Pokē for lunch (raw fish salad) and curry with coworkers at a restaurant in the City for dinner. Tried to be good and only had naan rather than naan + rice. Had pancakes for breakfast- was a good day.

Friday
Breakfast -> Salmon + Cream Cheese Beigel
Lunch + Dinner -> Korean BBQ Steak Bowl

I am trying to make it a habit of running with the Advent Running crew who do a Beigel Run every Friday morning. This requires me waking up about 2 hours earlier than I normally would to get up to Brick Lane, run about a 10k, and then get back to the office for a shower around 0830. However, the reward is a sweet sweet Beigel from Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. AND the smug satisfaction of having a great run in before people even are getting into the office. WIN.

I bulked up the steak bowl with some spiralised carrots and this really took the dish to a whole new level. It was fabulous. Good amount of heat and was incredibly filling, yet still left you wanting more. Hence why I had it for dinner as well. I was pleasantly surprised that the amount of beef I used was so satisfying. I cut most pieces down to smaller portions, so I had some tasty beef with almost every bite. Much better than having only a few larger pieces and then being left with nothing.

What a way to end the work week!



Looking Ahead
I felt like Sunday was just full of prep for the entire week, it was very tiring. I couldn't make everything as I was running out of tupperware and fridge space so I needed to make some lunches during the week as well. However it was mostly over with by Tuesday so Wednesday onward was smooth sailing. I doff my cap to people who can plan meals for the entire week in advance, it took a lot of effort. 

I may try and do a starchless dinner 3x a week and meatless days 2x a week. Its doable but it requires more planning than I normally put into food prep. Challenges are fun but its also good to be spontaneous too!

I can already say I have eat more carbs this weekend than I have all week. I don't think that is good. So there is still some work to do. Just because its the weekend does not mean I should go all out-- couple of treat here and there but no need to ruin the hard work of the last few days. 

Of course the pizza I ordered today at NY Fold after my race was 100% me. I have no regrets.







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