I just finished a 10-Day-Clean-Eating Challenge. I had a cold for a while, which means that I started to eat lots of unhealthy crap. So it was time to get back to better eating habits and I thought a little challenge could help me. I decided to do it only for 10 days because I wanted to keep it really easy. If you want to try it, you can of course do it for a longer period of time.
In the following blog post I want to give you a quick overview of the „rules“ of my challenge, lots of meal ideas and my personal experience with it. I hope this post will inspire you to eat a bit healthier, too! Your body deserves it 🙂
I found this simple definition online, if you have no idea what clean eating means (www.fitnessmagazine.com):
At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or „real“ foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.
My rules were: No convenience food, no white sugar, no white bread, nothing that contains preservatives or artificial flavours and instead lots of veggies, fruits, whole-grain pasta, natural rice (not the white one!), salad, agave syrup,… I think you get the idea 😉 As this way of eating includes so much healthy food, there is no need to count calories which I really like. I only weigh my carbs because I otherwise often eat too big portions. I also tried to eat more raw food to get all the healthy nutrients and as always I made sure to get enough protein. I get my protein mainly from tofu, chickpeas, lentils, beans, oats and soy milk.
Of course you always should take care about what you drink. Water and tea – without sugar – is what I prefer. I want to state that I didn´t do this for weight loss, I did it to work on my eating habits and eat more healthy. But all the healthy food can of course help you too loose weight.
To be honest I had some of these „breakfasts“ for dinner, because I just love breakfast so much. Breakfast is great all day, also as dessert or little snack.
Smoothie Bowl with frozen raspberries, bananas, some soy milk and as topping kiwi, chia seeds and quinoa.
Mixed fruits, some almond butter and green tea.
The first few days, while I was still too sick for training, I only ate fruits until lunch. I either had a smoothie bowl, fruit salad or just a banana and a apple. To make it a bit more interesting I sometimes topped my fruits with nuts, homemade almond butter or chia seeds. I was surprised how filling fruits can be.
Porridge with almond butter and fruits
As soon as I started to workout again I added some carbs. My favourite breakfast is porridge with fruits. I could eat this every day without getting bored of it. For my porridge I just mix rolled oats and soy milk, cook it and add some almond butter for a creamy taste in the end.
Porridge and cinnamon apples
I also tried a new variation: Porridge with cinnamon apples. For the cinnamon apples, I chopped an apple, roasted it in a pan and then added some agave syrup and plenty of cinnamon. Super easy and super yummy!
Chocolate Oats and banana
And of course my beloved chocolate oats must not be forgotten. I mix a half mashed banana (the other half is for the topping), rolled oats, soy milk, cacao and cooked it for a few minutes.
Even pancakes are possible if you eat clean. I used whole-grain flour, soy milk, applesauce (make sure it includes nothing but apples if you buy it), baking powder and a little bit vinegar. If you prefer it more sweet you can add some agave syrup. I also added a few blueberries.
You can eat them with peanut butter, almond butter, fruits, maple syrup or applesauce. Those were my favourites during the challenge.
This are few ideas for your lunch (or dinner) – all healthy and simple.
Whole-grain pasta, raw spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper and lentils with balsamic vinegar.
Rice, spinach, mixed salad, radishes and roasted tofu with carrots and mushrooms.
Potatoes, radishes, mixed salad, feto (fermented tofu), avocado, tomatoes and kohlrabi.
Rice with corn, beans & pepper, roasted tomatoes & asparagus and mixed salad topped with almond butter.
Buddha Bowls are just perfect for clean eating and for anyone who likes to keep things simple. That´s why I decided to finally try them after seeing them a lot on instagram lately. As basis I filled my bowl with baby spinach or salad. Then you add some carbs like rice, couscous or whatever you prefer – remember to keep an eye on your portion sizes ;), lots of veggies (roasted, baked, cooked or raw) and a source of protein like tofu, lentils or beans for example. In the end you can add a sauce, I like to keep this also simple and just topped it with some almond butter, lime juice or balsamic vinegar. Hummus or guacamole are also great topping, but I wanred to keep it as simple as possible. It was also great to just have the natural taste of the foods without all the spices you might normally add.
Other Lunch ideas
Couscous salad with carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado and mint.
Here are a few ideas if you want something different than buddha bowls.
Of course snacks can be healhty, too. Before the clean eating challenge my snacks often were sweets (especially chocolate) or other unhealthy options. During the challenge I snacked nuts, fruits or a little portion of porridge. I also once made a little cake in a cup – it was tasty but to ugly to share it with you xD
It felt great to me to know that I was eating healthy, it just feels good to treat your body good. And I had a lot more energy after eating a healthy meal compared to a more unhealthy meal. You all might know those days where you get super tired after lunch time and have a hard time getting back to work – during the challenge I had no more food-coma. I also think it is very good for you health if you eat clean for a longer period of time. As a nice little extra I even lost about 1kg in just 10 days. That´s about the same amount as when I counted calories last year to loose some weight, but this time I didn´t need to count calories at all which I definitly prefer.
Here is a little before and after photo for you. The before photo on the left side was taken after a show, when my body looks more shaped than normally, because I can´t eat much before shows and my muscles are more tensed afterwards. The after photo was taken during a normal day when I was just looking for my next show outfit and noticed my abs start to look better. It´s not a super big difference, but ten days are also not a lot of time.
Of course I don´t want to get back to my old eating habits now, but I also don´t want to eat healthy all the time. I think balance is the key. My goals is to eat only once a week whatever I want and the other days I want to eat clean.