Final Thoughts on the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge

When I started this challenge, my goals were to:

1. lose a little weight

2. try out a “detox plan”

3. learn new recipes and try out new foods

4. increase my energy levels

2 weeks later,

1. I lost 2 pounds (negligible)

2. I don’t really feel detoxified

3. I did learn a lot of new recipes and try out a lot of new foods. I will be trying out a bunch of recipes from the challenge in the future and look forward to incorporating new foods like kale, almond butter, collard greens, and fennel into my diet.

4. I surprisingly did have more energy and felt more focused despite not having any caffeine.

Everything considered though, I didn’t enjoy the majority of meals each day, and it was incredibly time consuming to prepare all of the meals. In addition a lot of recipes (7+) had errors making it a little hard to follow and the grocery lists also had some inaccuracies so some ingredients were lacking and I have a lot of leftover produce. Therefore, I wouldn’t do this challenge again, nor would I recommend it to anyone.

I would however try out the following recipes again:

1. Kale and Banana Smoothie

2. Kale, Chickpea, and Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

3. Sliced Tomatoes with Feta and Basil

4. Cauliflower Steaks with Lentils

5. Napa Cabbage Wraps with Chicken, Tomatoes, Mango, and Avocado

6. Scallion and Feta Omelet

7. Mango-Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds

8. Quinoa-Fennel-Blueberry Salad with Mint and Lime

9. Roasted Salmon with Green Beans and Lentils

10. Arugula Salad with Salmon, Green Beans, and Dijon Vinaigrette

11. Turkey-Basil Meatballs with Collard Greens

12. Apple Omelet

13. Arugula Salad with Eggplant, Avocado, Feta, and Chickpeas

That’s all for now, no more challenges for the next while 🙂

Day 14: It’s Over!

IMG_2207

Breakfast was a scallion and feta omelet. I liked it, but not as much as last time. This time around I managed to flip it without breaking up the entire omelet 🙂

photo

Lunch was mushroom caps with tomato and feta. I didn’t like it at all. More importantly, my stomach didn’t like it at all. In addition, it was very messy to eat.

IMG_2209

The afternoon snack was apple slices with almond butter. I liked it, but I like pears and almond butter better.

IMG_2213

Dinner was a chicken stir fry. I didn’t like it that much, but I don’t generally like stir fry.

The night snack was dark chocolate and I love my dark chocolate.

Final thoughts: I’m so glad this is over!

Day 13: A Confession

IMG_2199

Breakfast was strawberry overnight oats. I liked them better than the overnight oats from last week + I added a little extra honey and some vanilla essence to the yogurt. Even so, I don’t think I would make this again because the oats are still a little too bland for me.

Confession time: this morning I may have stopped by a hot fries stand. I only had one fry, but the entire time I was thinking about the roasted eggplant/chickpea salad that I had a few days ago. I love fries, but the one fry wasn’t really THAT good. One thing this challenge has shown me is that there are a few foods that taste really good (roasted eggplant) and happen to be good for you. Key word: FEW. I’m determined to find these foods so that I can enjoy delicious food guilt free 🙂

IMG_2202

Lunch was a quinoa, beet, and arugula salad. I didn’t really like it. The only good thing about this salad was the balsamic vinegar. It kind of reminded me of the roasted eggplant/chickpea salad from a few days ago.

IMG_2203

The afternoon snack was carrots and hummus. I always like carrots and hummus.

photo

Dinner was lettuce wraps. I didn’t really like them. The shrimp and tamari sauce were good, but it was a little hard to eat and just wasn’t worth it for me.

The afternoon snack was apples and honey (not pictured). Who doesn’t like apples and honey?

Final thoughts: One more day of this! I’m planning on making my own meal plan for the next week starting Sunday. It’ll incorporate some of the recipes I liked from this challenge and other healthy recipes that I’ve come across.

Day 12: Peanut Day

IMG_2195

Breakfast was a yogurt parfait. I made it once before last week, but this time I added some honey and vanilla extract to the yogurt to sweeten it up a bit. This time around, it tasted much better (mostly because of the sweetened yogurt, but also because I remembered to layer it this time).

IMG_2196

Lunch was leftover chilli. Like most chilli, leftover chilli > freshly made chilli. I still probably wouldn’t make it again though because it wasn’t rich enough (I think that there were too many vegetables in it).

The afternoon snack was pears and peanuts (not pictured). I liked it, but I like pears and almond butter better.

IMG_2198

Dinner was fish with bok choy and peanuts. I didn’t particularly like it. First of all, the recipe had some mistakes. The pictures showed lemons, but the recipe didn’t mention anything about lemon. I added some lemon slices as shown in the picture. In addition, it took more like 30 minutes, not 18 minutes, to cook the fish and steam the vegetables. The tamari sauce was good, but I didn’t think there was enough of it.

The night snack was hot chocolate (not pictured). I decided to make it using a different recipe. I liked it a little better than the buzzfeed version because it’s a bit sweeter. It has about the same amount of calories.

Final thoughts: I probably wouldn’t make any of today’s dishes again. 2 more days of the challenge! All I can think of is what I’m going to eat on Sunday 🙂

Day 11: The Baby Food Diet

IMG_2186

Breakfast was a kale and banana smoothie. I didn’t like it as much as last time, but once again, it was my favourite meal of the day.

IMG_2187

Lunch was tuna salad wraps. I didn’t really like them and it wasn’t the most portable meal of all time since the lettuce had to be stored separately until lunch time.

The afternoon snack was a banana and avocado “pudding.” I might have liked it more if I hadn’t eaten a smoothie for breakfast. It tasted like baby food; pretty bland, a little sweet.

photo

Dinner was a salad. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I wasn’t very hungry tonight, but i wouldn’t choose to eat this as a dinner meal. It seemed more like an appetizer salad; maybe a lunch salad but even that is pushing it.

The night snack was dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate, but there has been a lot of sweet food today, so it wasn’t especially exciting.

Final thoughts: I’m kind of getting tired of this whole challenge… 3 more days…

Day 10: Hot Sauce and Chickpeas

IMG_2179

Breakfast was “fried eggs” and “hash.” I like my eggs fried so that the yolk turns a little pink on top, and cracking some eggs on a nonstick pan with barely any oil doesn’t really provide that effect. I didn’t really like the hash because it was too onion heavy for my taste. I would have preferred more cauliflower and half the onion. The only thing that made that hash somewhat ok was hot sauce.

IMG_2180

Lunch was a roasted eggplant, chickpea, and arugula salad. It was the best meal of the day. The roasted eggplant and chickpeas still taste amazing and I enjoyed them much more in this salad than in the previous dish. I usually don’t like arugula, but the balsamic vinegar really masked the bitterness of it.

photo 1

The afternoon snack was hummus and red pepper. I like hummus better with carrots, and after having chickpeas for lunch, I would have preferred a sweeter afternoon snack.

photo 2

Dinner was shrimp on a kale and collard green salad with mushrooms. I didn’t really like it. The shrimp were good, but the wilted vegetables tasted pretty gross. The only thing that made me finish it was the hot sauce flavour.

The night snack was blackberries (not pictured). I like plain  fresh fruit as a snack.It’s much easier to prepare than some of the other snacks in the challenge, and it’s delicious.

Final thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by today’s lunch meal. I never realized how delicious roasted eggplant was. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s smoothies and perhaps one of the other meals will pleasantly surprise me like today.