Friday, August 1, 2014

Clean Eating and a New Recipe

Happy August 1st everybody! Today is the day I start my clean eating!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to try clean eating for a change. I have been eating horribly for the past month, and even before that my healthy eating habits needed some improvement. I have heard a lot of good things about clean eating and how it makes you feel so much better and healthier, and as an added bonus, it can help you lose weight. My weight has been a long-time struggle for me and even though I have lost weight on “diets” before, I always gained the weight back in excess. This time is going to be different.

I know “clean eating” can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, so let me tell you how I see it.

Clean Eating is:
  • Eat 3 smaller meals a day + 2-3 snacks throughout the day.
  • Eat lean meats and complex carbohydrates at every meal (no just-carb meals!).
  • Drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water each day (coffee and tea are also ok).
  • Avoid all over-processed, refined foods, particularly “white” foods: white flour, potatoes, white rice, white bread, and sugar.
  • Eat healthy fats (i.e. olive oil vs. canola oil); whole, natural full-fat foods are typically better for you than fat-free foods (read the labels - they cram so much junk into fat-free foods to make up for the fat they took out).
  • Pay attention to labels - If it has a bunch of artificial ingredients, colors, and flavors, added sugar, or other ingredients you can’t pronounce, then don’t buy it.
  • Avoid all sugary drinks - including juice, soda, and alcohol.
  • Stick to proper portion sizes (and track what you eat).

I also firmly believe in the 80/20 rule when it comes to clean eating: 80% clean eating, 20% real life. I still plan on going out to dinner with friends every once in a while. And I am definitely not going to have a whole wheat flour, applesauce, and zucchini birthday cake. I would also much rather have full fat, full sugar, homemade anything than the fake, over-processed, sugar-free, fat-free version of it.

With all of that in mind, I have another super duper easy, delicious, and clean recipe for you!

Egg, Turkey Bacon, and Spinach Quiche

As usual, I did make a few changes to the original recipe. If you want to see how the original blogger made this dish, then click here.

  • Deep casserole or baking dish (I used an 8x8 square glass dish, but you could put this in a round casserole dish or even make quiche muffins if you wanted)
  • Non-stick olive oil cooking spray (still not perfectly clean, but better for you than canola oil cooking spray)
  • 3 cups baby spinach (I may have used a little more… I really like spinach in my quiche!)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 eggs (Yes, you do use an entire carton of eggs for this recipe, but it makes a lot!)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 slices turkey bacon, diced (I found an all-natural, no added nitrate or artificial ingredient turkey bacon at my local Kroger. See, it is possible to find whole foods without spending your whole paycheck at Whole Foods!)
    • Note: You could also use ham in this recipe like in the original, however, I needed a few pieces of bacon for something else, so I used it instead of ham.
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato (My grandma gave me home-grown tomatoes before I left!)
    • There are endless combinations of vegetables for this quiche. Next time I might try green and red bell peppers, broccoli, or even asparagus.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Spray a large pan with non-stick spray, and cook spinach over medium-low heat until wilted and dark green. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and eggs, then add in the basil and pepper. Stir in the spinach, cheese, bacon, onion, and tomato.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish, and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until set (mine took the full 30 minutes). Let cool (to help it set some more) before serving. Serves 6.

This recipe probably took 15 minutes out of my night (not counting the baking time, because I could do something else while it baked), and it made enough quiche to last me a week in breakfasts. After it has cooled a night in the fridge, I’m going to cut it up into 6 portions and freeze half so I know they won’t go bad before I can eat it all. Then just pop a slice in the microwave and Presto! Breakfast is ready! Add in a slice of whole wheat toast or a piece of fruit and you’ll be good to go!

I’ll keep everyone posted on how clean eating is working for me, and maybe, just maybe, that’ll help motivate someone else to do the same. Anyone else going to join me on the clean eating bandwagon?

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