Eating Clean & Feeling Lean…

Excuse the dreadfulness that is this photo…
it was 6.10am post workout and pre shower-sort-face-out-that-doesn’t-resemble-death-warmed-up-look. 

Since the Hubster’s pep talk, I’ve actually been trying really hard to be good.

I’ve even (stop the press) been waking up at 5.40am to complete my workout so that I don’t have to come up with excuses (you’ll see I have those in abundance) when I get in from work each night. Check me out. But aside from the regular exercise, what has really made me feel great this past week is cutting down on the carbohydrates in my diet.

I know what you’re thinking- no bread, no pasta, no potatoes…No way Jose! But ever since I first read about the Paleo Diet, over at More Than Toast, I’ve been really curious as to what a difference it would make to my super annoying digestive system and so far I’m already feeling the benefits. Don’t get me wrong, I’d chew your right arm off for a bowl of tuna pasta or a jacket potato the size of my head right now, but then I quickly remind myself that I’m actually feeling OK. Better than OK, I’m feeling great…less bloated, more energetic and I’m certainly not missing that after-meals-slump that usually makes you sleepy or reaching for the sweet stuff.

The Paleo Diet (or it’s proper term, Paleolithic) has been described as ‘The Caveman Diet’. It’s basic principles are that you can only eat foods that you could hunt for or find in the woods. Basically, if the Flintstone’s couldn’t eat it- then neither can you. That means au revoir to any processed food. But on the plus side for me, this diet is totally gluten free. However, sticking to a complete Paleo restricted diet would probably only last as long as every other sodding diet I’ve tried and tested over the years, which is why I’m not sticking to it religiously. I’m allowing myself one portion of carbohydrates per day. Oh lucky me. Then the rest of my meals have been solely based on protein, salads and vegetables with the odd bit of dairy thrown in so I’m not totally deprived. But so far, this low carbs and no processed food diet is agreeing with me.

As you know, I’m not great in the kitchen (see here) and there is still beetroot appearing in the most random places in my kitchen from a Valentine’s Day meal that I haven’t yet had a chance to share. But I do want to eat healthier and that’s not going to happen unless I make the effort. Or I win the lottery, in that case I’d have my body re-sculpted with dramatic surgery (don’t judge me) and then I’d hire a chef for the rest of my life. Oh a girl can dream. So I thought I would share a couple of recipes that I’ve had success with over the last week using the Paleo Diet for Brit’s cookbook. The recipes seem easy enough to follow, however the downside is that there are no photos, so who knows what the outcome is meant to look like, so I’ve basically had to wing it…

Egg, Bacon & Spinach salad

2 Eggs
4 Rashers of Bacon
Fresh Spinach
1/2 Onion
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
1 x Garlic Clove crushed
Salt & Pepper

This was a really easy ‘knock up’ for a meal for one and portion size wise I had plenty left over for lunch the next day. Place the eggs in a pan, cover with cold water, then bring to the boil, remove from heat and stand for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile cut and cook the bacon then mix this in a bowl with the spinach, onion and the eggs chopped. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper and pour all over the salad. Done. Aside from being quite a dry dish (I drank about two pints of water throughout the meal…no wonder I was full!) it was quite a tasty dish, bit too salty, but not a bad attempt for my first Paleo dish.

Garlic Lime Glazed Chicken

Olive Oil
3 x Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 x Garlic cloves, crushed
Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
Salt & pepper
Raw Honey

Now if I thought the salad was easy, then this was even easier. Simply heat the oil in a pan, cut the chicken and fry in the oil for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, lime zest, lime juice, coriander, honey, salt and pepper and stir for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with a side of steamed vegetables. As I didn’t want the Hubster passing out at work from starvation, I served his with new potatoes, which surprisingly didn’t leave me drooling over his plate.

So far, so good…

The key with any diet, but particularly the Paelo, is to plan ahead. If you’re anything like me then you’ll unlikely have a ton of fresh herbs and unusual vegetables kicking about in the kitchen (I haven’t got the foggiest idea of what to do with an aubergine and don’t even get me started on butternut squash),  so I’ve had to research and plan my meals in advance. It sounds like a lot of effort to start, but as with all new healthy plans, you have to make some changes and put in a little effort. Of course, being the normal person that I am, I’ve still allowed myself a few treats here and there. My chocolate Easter eggs went down a dream knowing that I’d at least done some exercise and eaten well throughout the day.

Who knows how long this latest new wave of positive eating and exercising will last, but with only six weeks to go until our holiday I can only hope that this cave woman doesn’t cave in before its time to hit the beach. Oh god. Now there’s the motivation I need…eugh bikini season…! 

Have you tried and tested any new diets or healthy meals lately?

Until next time,

With Love & Eating Clean,

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