I’m falling in love with eating this way. Even just 5 days in I’m starting to worry what am I gonna do when the meal plan runs out!
Challenge Tip: If you need to pack your lunches and snacks as well as make dinner, at first be prepared to spend about 2 hours prepping food at night… make this a week you don’t have plans! It get’s faster but unless you are already a pro at this be prepared to spend time on it. You can find the Challenge details here, and here is a link to the printable version of the full challenge instructions and recipes (I found it helpful to print it out and put in a binder. You can read more here about my prep). Links to each day’s menu and recipe are included in the title, “Day #” below.
*Review Key: Eat it= Delicious. Skip it= you guessed it, I don’t prefer this item.
Other than the morning shake, all of the meals seemed more bland than I would have hoped. I could definitely feel myself detoxing from sugar and coffee. The Asparagus salad tasted a bit gross after being in the fridge overnight (Skip it). Perhaps my lemon was too big and made it too “lemony”. Since this is supposed to be a Sunday meal I’m guessing it’s not meant to be made in advance. Dinner wasn’t bad, just nothing to write home about. I think this is really the “cleanse” day… if you know what I mean. I felt great the next day and was all cleared out. I definitely recommend starting Day 1 on Sunday not Monday to see if these meals are better fresh.
- Overnight oats with blueberries and chia seeds– Eat it. This is a huge breakfast portion! I kept double checking that I hadn’t over done the ingredients (when I usually make it it’s about half as much). After the light meals of yesterday this seemed like a TON. It was good too. I would absolutely make all three meals again. So satisfying.
- Kale, Chickpea, and fennel salad with orange Vinaigrette– Eat it. hearty and tasty. I was totally satisfied.
- Sliced tomato with basil, feta, and balsamic– Eat it. Who doesn’t like a caprese type salad? With just 1 ounce of feta, this is still a filling and yummy snack.
- Napa Cabbage wraps with chicken, mango, and avocado and lime-basil vinaigrette– Eat it. I was skeptical about dinner, lettuce wraps can be bland, but this was DELICIOUS! The basil and mango and avocado were a great mix of flavors and balanced well with the crisp napa cabbage wrap.
Lunch was easy to prep in advance. I was worried about not prepping breakfast in advance since I can be slow in the mornings… I managed to get it all prepped in time, though the traffic still made me late :-(.
- Blackberry-Yogurt Parfait-Skip it. The parfait was alright. Only alright. The ground flax seed flavor was a bit over powering and I decided to “cheat” and add a pack of Stevia sweetener. After that cheat and a long drive to work, I found we were out of green tea at the office, so I cheated again with a mug of decaff coffee. It didn’t taste very good though, so it wasn’t worth the cheat.
Both lunch and dinner on day 3 are SO GOOD.
- Asian Chicken Salad with Tamari-Lime Vinaigrette– Eat it. I would absolutely make this salad again. The Napa cabbage from Whole Foods was flavorful and crisp and the dressing was perfect.
Last night we went to a free, preview showing of the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie Blended. They are always a cute pair and the film was funnier than I had expected. We got home really late but I was determined to stick to the challenge! I whipped up the Big Batch Cooked Lentils and Cauliflower steaks as swiftly as I could
- Cauliflower Steaks with Lentils– Eat it. The lentils. OMG, the lentils. I have made lentil soup before, but other than that I don’t usually work much with lentils. THIS RECIPE is AMAZING. I used red lentils (that’s what I had in the house already), and the paprika and Tamari seasoning are a perfect combo with the shallots and garlic. I can’t wait to eat this again. The cauliflower steak is good, but I could have skipped it for more lentils (I didn’t). I was so full from the lentils and cauliflower that I wasn’t even hungry for the night time snack (and I figured chocolate that close to bedtime was a bad plan). My cauliflower head must be bigger than theirs though, cause there was enough left over for 3 omelets, not just the 1 we make on day 5.
- Scallion, Feta Omelette– Eat it. It’s worth it. Again, super flavorful and filling. I’m definitely liking this meal plan despite the work. I wouldn’t have known to cook the white part of the scallion first and then add the green part. This method cooked it up perfectly and the salty creamy feta just topped it off.
- Greek Salad with Lentils and Lime Vinaigrette– Eat it. It’s very good. I’m adding this salad to my lunch repertoire. I don’t prefer red bell peppers so I swapped it out for an orange one, it still worked with the flavors and the lentils. I could see making a big batch of these lentils regularly to eat with many meals. I was skeptical about adding it to the salad, but it really works with the other flavors.
- Mango-Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds– Eat it. This is a really great combination for a smoothie. I will definitely make it again. The chia seeds completely break down and make it a thick smoothie full of flavor. I’d use a more-ripe banana though. Mine were pretty greenish-yellow when I put the smoothie mix in the freezer and I think that effected the flavor. I had to add a little bit of Stevia to sweeten it up.
- Roasted Chicken Breast with Fennel and Spinach– Eat it. Fennel is my new favorite vegetable. I am going to be cooking with fennel regularly from now on. Seriously, roasted fennel is absolutely incredible. It almost didn’t mater what was in the salad with it, the fennel stole my heart and tummy. I can’t wait to eat the rest on day 5.
Challenge Tip: If you need to eat dinner later like I do (because of my commute I can’t start prepping dinners until about 7pm most nights), you might want to consider taking your night time snack as an afternoon snack for between lunch and dinner. I’ve found that I’m really hungry around 3-4pm and need something to hold me over so I’m eating my morning snack