On Labor Day, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet with Lisa Boucher, a personal trainer and nutrition consultant in Utah. I had heard about her through several of my friends when I was living in Lehi, but I never had the opportunity to meet with her because we were supposed to be moving up to Idaho and then we finally did move! Luckily, my best friend, Abby, convinced me to see her even though I had just recently had Alex and only begun another weight loss journey. And it was even a holiday, but Lisa was more than willing to meet with me and she spent an hour teaching me a whole new outlook on nutrition that has completely changed my life.
It's called eating clean- it's not a diet to start and stop doing just to lose weight. It's a lifestyle change to continue for the rest of your life. It's been hard, but definitely worth it. I have seen and felt lots of changes- not only in losing weight, but in having more energy, feeling better overall and improving my health all around. Clean eating in a nutshell is eating only natural things- no processing, no additives, no hormones. Every week I learn something new about a food that I used to eat and how it has been part of the cause in my weight gain. Most people would disagree because I have been lucky enough to carry my weight well, but in all measurements considered by my trainer and doctor I was barely inside the lines of obesity. Learning that made me wake up to the problem that I have been avoiding for years. I gained this weight during my first year of marriage- 7 years ago! And since I have been eating clean I am currently at a weight I haven't seen since that first year of marriage. I am a little out of my healthy weight range- a goal I plan on accomplishing by the new year!
Anyway, I had made the goal that this Thanksgiving would be COMPLETELY clean for me. I usually have days where I am at least mostly clean, but it was important to me to have a day as special as this- and a day that is focused on food- devoted to my new lifestyle. It was easier than I thought- here's what we ate:Natural Turkey Breast- no dark meat, no skin, low fat, no added hormones- this was probably the JUICIEST turkey I've ever had!
Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing- I've never made my own stuffing so this was an adventure. This recipe was a bit of a risk for me because one of the ingredients was dried apricots. I was worried about how much that would change the taste, but it was fantastic! It definitely wasn't your "normal" stuffing, but I liked this sweet version even more I think.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes- this recipe was a bit bland and we ended up making clean mashed russet potatoes for dinner later.
Clean Vegetable Gravy- unfortunately, this recipe was a disaster. Something I've learned about eating clean is that some things are harder to find a cleaner version of. Gravy happens to be one of those things. I have a decent clean gravy recipe, but I wanted to try something new and we regretted it- the seasonings in this gravy were horrible! But, at least we had some clean gravy for our Thanksgiving meal- next year it'll be better.
Depending on the brand/ingredients, pickles are clean! So we had a "relish tray" with sweet & dill pickles. In the back is Ian's canned jellied cranberry sauce. I wanted to make a clean cranberry sauce, but Ian really wanted his nostalgic version. So I kept it for him and didn't eat any myself.
Whole Wheat Rolls- mmmm. These were excellent leftover used for mini sandwiches!
Serra had a mini Martinelli's, Ian had Egg Nog and Ian and I shared a peach flavored Martinelli- which surprisingly has no artificial ingredients!
And, finally, what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? But THIS pie is completely clean! I made a whole wheat pie crust- and a natural pumpkin pie filling. Ian said it was a little different in texture, but as far as taste it must have been good because 1 1/2 of my 2 pies is already gone!
And I had to include a cute picture of my little rugrat. Alex is sitting up- kind of, sometimes. THIS is why I'm learning about proper nutrition. THIS is why I'm losing any excess weight that I possibly can. THIS is why I want to be healthy- my kids are my life! I love Serra & Alex more than I could have ever imagined- and I want to be the best that I can be. Because the best "me" is the least of what my kids deserve.