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 🙂

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Day 1: Kale, Kale, and more Kale

Kale and Banana Smoothie

I started off the day with a banana and kale smoothie. It took about half an hour to make (it takes a long time to prepare the kale). It was my favourite meal of the day. Surprisingly you can’t really taste the kale and you’re left with an almond milk/vanilla flavour. The portion size was surprisingly large and I couldn’t finish the entire serving in one go. One of the main criticisms of this meal plan is that it’s not enough food for a whole day and I definitely did not find that to be the case. I felt like I was eating almost all day and felt full between all meals except between breakfast and lunch (probably because I am used to a snack between breakfast and lunch).

photo 2

Lunch was a salad with egg on it. It took about an hour to prepare (peeling asparagus for two people is pretty time consuming). It was probably my least favourite meal of the day. It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste especially good. It definitely didn’t
change my life,” as advertised. Note that I actually had two eggs despite the picture showing one. I couldn’t finish all of the salad so I stored some in the fridge for another day.

My first snack of the day (not pictured) was carrots and hummus. It was a great snack, but could have been made much faster if I had bought precut and prewashed baby carrots. I’m not sure why the recipe calls for full carrots.

photo 3

Dinner was a chicken, quinoa and you guessed it, kale salad. It took about an hour to prepare. It was my brother’s favourite meal of the day, although after tasting some of the chicken skin that was removed after baking the chicken (as called for by the recipe), he said that the chicken skin was the best thing he’d eaten all day, revealing the major problem with most “healthy food”; it just doesn’t taste as good as junk food.

photo 4

My night snack was pears and almond butter. I really enjoyed it and i’m still full from it at 12 am, even though i ate it around 9:45 pm.

Final thoughts: the food has been ok thus far, the major problem with this challenge is the time commitment. I spent over 3 hours preparing food. Yes, just preparing. Including eating time, it’s just way too much of a time commitment. Hopefully tomorrow’s meals will be much faster to prepare. I will be taking lunch to go tomorrow so I guess I’ll find out how portable these meals can be.