So, I have been eating clean for just over two weeks now and I can’t recommend it enough. I made the change because of the chronic illnesses I suffer from and I can’t believe the difference in how I feel. I haven’t had any stomach pain, which was a daily issue for me. I’ve had no headaches, which were a regular problem and I used to feel sick from tiredness and exhaustion at the end of nearly every day but now I feel great and have restarted Freeletics. Because of all of this I’ve had a new positive outlook in other areas of my life. I’ve sorted out kitchen cupboards that have annoyed me for ages. I’ve started growing my own veg, planting the seeds with one of my sons. My moods have been much more even so I’ve been a better Mummy, with more patience. I had a medical reason for doing it but surely everyone would benefit from making this kind of change to their diet.
I told one of my friends that I would put together a meal plan once I had been eating only natural foods for two weeks and share it with her but then I thought, why don’t I share it with everyone (at least the handful of people who read this!) and so here it is. I’m not a dietician or medically trained in anyway. I’m literally sharing what I eat and you can do what you like with this information, it isn’t advice. I have read around the subject on various blogs, in some books and although a lot of advice, if you suffer from autoimmune conditions, suggests going for a completely plant based diet, I haven’t done this. One of the conditions I have is an over-active thyroid. I struggle to keep weight on and I thought cutting out all dairy and meat would make this even harder. My main aim was to cut out all processed foods and refined sugar, especially as refined sugar causes inflammation. Just doing this seems to have worked for me. My joint pain hasn’t completely gone yet but it is greatly reduced. I may decide in the future I need to be even more strict with my diet to eliminate the joint pain completely but this is where I’m at, at the moment. So here is what I’ve been eating over the last couple of weeks.
100% wholegrain oats porridge made with whole milk with a mashed banana or raisins.
Winner’s Protein Pancakes, Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 recipe but I leave out the protein powder and serve with fresh berries, Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.
Muesli base (Waitrose) with whole milk and whatever fruit I fancy eg. raspberries and blueberries or raisins and soft apricots.
100% wholegrain oats with Greek yoghurt, fresh berries and honey.
I have a glass of orange juice with breakfast.
Morning Snack (see list below)
Superfood bread, Deliciously Ella recipe, topped with avocado and tomato, with vegetable soup made from the veg left over from the Deliciously Ella Easy Vegetable Stock recipe, which can be found in her book.
Cous Cous salad with spinach, chic peas, bell pepper, grated carrot or cubes of cooked sweet potato, onion and mozzarella.
Quinoa salad with the same selection of veg as above with split red lentils instead of mozzarella.
Tuna salad – spinach, asparagus, boiled egg, small tin of tuna.
Vegetable soup (as before) with a side plate of wholewheat pasta drizzled with olive oil.
I often have a piece of fruit after lunch.
Afternoon Snack (see list below)
Vegetable lasagne. Bolognese made with two tins of chopped tomatoes, one onion, two large handfuls of spinach, two courgettes, 8 medium mushrooms, 1 aubergine, black pepper and mixed herbs. I slow cook it before using it in the lasagne. This makes enough to serve 6 people. I freeze half.
Pasta bolognese. Bolognese made with two tons of chopped tomatoes, 500g very lean minced beef, one onion, two large handfuls of spinach, 8 medium mushrooms, black pepper and mixed herbs. This makes enough for 6 people. I freeze half.
Salmon spaghetti. Here’s the recipe I don’t use paprika because of a food intolerance my husband has and I substitute the chicken stock of the Deliciously Ella Easy Vegetable Stock and I use Salmon instead of seafood mix.
Very veggie pizza. Homemade pizza base for which there are loads of great healthy recipes out there, try them out and see what you like best. I personally use a scone base and wholewheat flour is best. I top with fresh tomatoes (chopped), mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, asparagus, black pepper, mixed herbs and a very light sprinkling of cheddar or mozzarella.
Roast chicken breasts with sweet potato wedges and peas, green beans and broccoli.
Fish pie. Salmon and basa fillets in a white sauce topped with mashed potato served with wilted spinach and broccoli.
Risotto. With whatever you fancy, chicken, mushrooms, salmon, mixed veg. I make it with the Deliciously Ella Easy Vegetable Stock.
Baked Potato served with the amazing Deliciously Ella baked beans. They taste so good. I never thought I’d see the day when I made my own baked beans but now I wish I had made them years ago. I used mixed beans in mine and only used three table spoons of tomato puree and it worked really well. These are baked beans I’m happy to give my children.
I often have Greek yoghurt with fruit after dinner or just a piece of fruit, whatever I fancy.
Evening snack (see list below)
Handful of cashew nuts
Handful of pistachios
Plain popcorn popped in olive oil
Deliciously Ella Raw Chocolate Brownies (I don’t use maple syrup)
Deliciously Ella Sweet Potato Brownies (I don’t add salt)
Deliciously Ella Choc Chia Cookies
Banana ice cream (I refreeze after blending before serving)
No Sugar Banana and Blueberry Muffins
I use wholewheat pasta and only have chicken and red meat each once a week.
I have cashews at least once a day as they are high in iron and I will often have some nuts with one of the other snacks.
I batch cook meals and snacks. My freezer is full and then on those days when making a meal seems impossible because everything that could go wrong has, it’s ok because I have a healthy pasta sauce or soup and superfood bread, easily defrostable (is that a word?!) and ready to go. If I fancy a treat then there’s always a brownie, cookie or muffin within easy reach.
I drink a lot of water throughout the day and have three cups of decaf tea during the day.
If you do decide to give this healthy, Mediterranean based diet ready to go then I’d be really interested to hear how it goes and share any fab recipes you find.