Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Post - Clean Eating Challenge and a Recipe!

I'm happy to have a guest post from my friend Laura this week.  Laura is a child of God, wife of Aaron, mama of 3 girls, homeschool teacher, hospice RN and lover of all things simple.  You can read more about her family here.

Two weeks ago my dear friend, Joanna, gave a challenge to me and two other friends.  She challenged us to eat “clean” for one week.  Clean basically means no flour, no sugar, no processed foods, no fast food, and no pre-packaged food.  Since I love a good challenge I jumped right in learning as much about clean eating as I could. 

It turns out there is a lot of information out there about the clean eating lifestyle.  I learned about symptoms the body may go through as it “detoxes” from the man made components in our food.  I read about cravings for complex carbohydrates and how they tend to subside after a week.  I read about the health benefits—weight loss and improved mood and energy being only a few.   

I was skeptical but decided to give it a try and I was amazed at the results.  After just a week of eating mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meat and limited dairy products I lost almost 6 pounds, noticed a significant improvement in my skin and felt the best emotionally that I had felt in a long time!  I’m a believer in clean eating!

If you are skeptical like I was then I urge you to give it a try just for one week and see if you notice any positive benefits.  Once you learn a few tips and tricks (for example, plain Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream  and honey is a clean food and is a great sweetener for pretty much anything) then it’s fairly easy to eat clean.  

This is an example of a clean recipe that I found in Clean Eating magazine (which I highly recommend—both the recipe and the magazine).  I made this a few nights ago and it was easy, simple and delicious and I had all the ingredients on hand. 

Orange Chipotle Chicken
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
1 tsp safflower (or sunflower, or corn) oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, patted dry and pounded 1/2 –inch thick
Juice of 1 medium orange
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tsp orange zest

Combine chile powder, cumin and tsp salt in small bowl.  Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and medium-high.  Season both sides of each chicken breast with chile-cumin mixture and cook for 3 minutes per side (or until no longer pink in middle).  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add orange juice and maple syrup to juice and bits left in skillet and cook for 1 minute to thicken slightly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in chipotle chiles and orange zest.  Add chicken back to skillet, return to heat and cook for 1 minute on medium-high turning constantly. 

I omitted the chiles from the recipe and it was still delicious!  Next time I’ll be sure to have them on hand.  You can serve this over brown rice or put it on a bed of lettuce like a salad.  The sauce can then be drizzled over it like salad dressing. 

Calorie count for 3 ounce chicken breast and a 1/2 cup of rice would be just 283 calories.

A few online resources I found:

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