Guest Post: A Journey to Clean Eating

A Journey To Clean Eating- by Carolyn from Girl Meets Happy

I adore Bobbi’s blog and love how she balances her busy schedule with her commitment to herself and her family. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to guest blog while you are cruising!

In 2001, I battled with severe stomach pains. My stomach constantly hurt and was always distended. I felt miserable ALL THE TIME. A family member urged me to see a doctor, and in the mean time suggested I try to eat a bland diet involving a lot of white pasta and breads.

I was one of the lucky ones. I only was miserable for a few short months before the doctor ran a battery of tests and quickly put me on steroids to control Crohn’s Disease, a medication called MP3 to manage the symptoms going forward, and recommended a gluten free diet for the additional bonus illness: Celiac.

The first few years were difficult. Being young, I struggled with eating different foods than my friends, planning portable gluten-free foods to bring class, and the constant pill popping. At every follow up appointment I told my doctor the pills made me feel better initially but I never felt like they were the right long-term solution.

In the summer of 2009, I went to a new doctor who after reading my chart was anxious to see me due to the rarity of the disease combination. As I explained my symptoms to him and my concern that the pills I was constantly taking never felt “right,” he advised a complete redo of all of the tests, along with a few new ones. The outcome: there never was Crohn’s Disease but I definitely was a Celiac.

I knew this was the right diagnosis and the gluten free diet finally clicked. I started reading a lot about clean eating and started researching how to happily blend a gluten-free diet with clean eats. Thankfully, gluten free and clean eats are a perfect match.

I find people often over-think both of these eating plans and as a result make it more difficult on themselves. With both meal plans, it is easier to start with the foods that naturally fit into the plan before trying to complicate it with modifications of favorite recipes. The core of both these plans includes eating foods that are naturally clean, whole foods, which luckily for me happen to be gluten free!
My diet definitely isn’t perfect, I feel we all need an occasional cheat/treat and if that cheat happens to be healthier than our old habits, we are in pretty darn good shape!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

– Ground Turkey Skillet (4 servings) –
1 pound ground turkey (or sub: chicken or beef)
1 purple onion
2-4 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
Salt, pepper, homemade taco seasoning
½ avocado
1 tsp sour cream or Greek yogurt

Start by browning the onion and garlic, add in the turkey, drain the liquid, add in vegetables and seasoning and cook in pan until warm and veggies are softened to your liking. Top with avocado and sour cream or Greek yogurt.

– Chocolate Banana Coconut Pancake (1 serving) –
½ banana
1 egg white
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup almond milk
1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ teaspoon vanilla

In a small bowl, mash banana and then stir in remaining ingredients. Pour onto oiled, warmed skillet and cook like any other pancake.

– Crustless Quiche (3 servings) –
3 large eggs
2 egg whites
1 red pepper, chopped
½ cup milk or milk substitute
2 cups cleaned and chopped kale
1 purple onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
½ tbsp sea salt
Optional: ¼ – ½ cup cheddar cheese, ½ cup crumbled bacon

Combine eggs, egg whites, and milk in a bowl, next stir in the seasonings, then add the vegetables and combine thoroughly. Pour into pie pan and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350* or until the eggs set up.

– Protein Chocolate Cake (1 serving) –
3 tbsp protein powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp Stevia in the raw
¼ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk (milk substitute)
¼ tsp vanilla
1 tbsp applesauce

Combine all dry ingredients and then mix in the wet ingredients. Microwave in a small oiled ramekin for 60-90 seconds.

Occasionally I will make a frosting by combining: 1 tsp Earth Balance, 1/8 cup chocolate chips, a splash of vanilla, and enough milk (milk substitute) to thin it out after microwaving until the chocolate chips melt. Cool in freezer before spreading on cake.


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