Now that the Christmas holidays are over, I am back from vacation in Ireland, and I have a few days off of blogger events, our focus has turned a little more to “clean” eating. I sometimes wonder, when I am writing a lot about wine, big meals, events, and baked goods, if people think I am just on one big unhealthy eating spree after another.
In reality, about 90% of our diet is pretty healthy, but there are definitely those times we overindulge and don’t feel great as a result. My renewed focus is on eating foods that provide us with tons of energy; I do have the Napa Marathon in less than a month, in addition to a few exciting work-related things keeping me busy.
For me, clean eating is not about choosing the foods lowest in fat or calories, but it is about adding as many nutrients as possible into what we eat for each meal while also making sure things taste delicious.
Most days, though I don’t photograph it I eat oatmeal for breakfast. I have many variations, but it usually starts with a fantastic Trader Joe’s mix of barley, oats, and rye, mixed in with Silk Vanilla Almond Milk (the only almond milk I can drink on its own, SO good!) and topped with some sort of fruit and/or peanut butter. Part of my clean eating goals is adding antioxidant-rich foods into the mix, so we stocked up on frozen blueberries this week. Oh, how I long for fresh blueberry season!
Breakfast is usually a one-two punch. I follow my oatmeal, maybe an hour later, with a green smoothie. Depending on the day’s activities, I may or may not add almond butter and oats to the smoothie, but a typical day includes almond milk, banana, microwaved spinach, a little bit of water, and a glug of flax seed oil.
My favorite peanut butter is from Trader Joe’s. Their Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds is roasty and a little bit salty, making it perfect for my smoothies but also an AWESOME topping for vegetables, along with some sriracha.
And speaking of Trader Joe’s favorites, their Organic Flax Seed Oil is, as I have mentioned above, is not only a key ingredient in my smoothies for those Omega 3’s, but it has become my all time favorite moisturizer. My skin is AWFUL in the winter, extremely dry and dull, and putting this oil on twice daily, including on my face, has made my skin feel so much better. I swear by it.
Lunch can be pretty random. In the case of yesterday, which is when I photographed all of these meals, I went for a 20 mile run. After I run, I am often nauseous, and eating can be difficult. Yesterday, all I wanted were nachos, so I whipped up some healthy ones using Trader Joe’s flaxseed tortilla chips (seeing a trend here with TJ’s and flax?!), a bit of shredded Kerrygold cheese, Greek yogurt, homemade salsa, jalapenos, and hot sauce. the nachos didn’t stand a chance and sadly did not make it into a photo I was just happy to have an appetite after running for so long!
For dinner, I always try to have a good mix of vegetables and protein. I don’t always succeed; there are definitely nights where roasted potato wedges and ketchup are all I can muster. But with the warm weather we have been having, and inspired by all of the gorgeous salmon we ate in Ireland, last night’s dinner was a super energy salad, dubbed such because of all of the healthy fats in it.
This beauty featured baby spinach, avocado, red onion, and smoked salmon, topped with a lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt dressing.
It was delightful. When it is warm enough out, clean eating means lots of salads with great, varied toppings so they never get boring. I can not wait until salad season!
And what would a great, healthy dinner be without an antioxidant-packed glass of red wine? I love Pinot Noir with salmon, and a small glass of Michel-Schlumberger Dry Creek Valley Pinot Noir was just the thing to pair with the meal.
What is clean eating to you? Did you make any changes to your eating habits at the New Year, and have you continued them?
Tags: antioxidants, blueberries, clean eating, flax, flaxseed oil, Food, green smoothies, healthy eating, healthy food, healthy recipes, oatmeal, Pinot Noir, recipes, salad, smoked salmon, spinach, Trader Joe's, wine