Clean Eating Boot Camp: Week 3 | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Clean Eating Boot Camp: Week 3

Spiced Shrimp...dreaming of recipe posts to come...

Originally posted 2013-01-21 12:19:51.

So… you’ve still been shooting for drinking your water every hour on the hour… right? Have you begun to notice any of the benefits that other boot campers have shared?

And, you’ve been scribbling down everything you’ve been eating each day… do you notice any patterns?

Spiced Shrimp...dreaming of recipe posts to come...

Spiced Shrimp…dreaming of recipe posts to come…

Are you skipping breakfast at home, and eating something processed on the way out? Are you “picking up breakfast” on the way in to work? Are you eating in your car a lot because of your commute? Are you snacking a lot at your office’s vending machine? Are you going out for lunch every day? Are you eating cereal or instant oatmeal every day [and wondering why you’re sooooooooo ridiculously hungry an hour or so later]?

Do you have junk food stashed in your car? In your desk? Are you buying candy on the subway from “the guy raising money so he can go to Virginia Tech” on your way home because, hey, you’re hungry and a pre-dinner snack can’t hurt?

Do you do any of this, but still shout that “eating healthy is expensive?”

I digress.

Did you find it difficult to write down every piece of candy you put into your mouth, every sip of sodapop you drank or even every midnight snack?

Care to share any patterns you noticed or problems you’re encountering in your diary-keeping?

The more you share, the more I know what to address and the more I understand exactly what the problem is.

So… while you’re still writing down your diary (and hopefully sharing the details in the comments or using the #CEBootCamp hashtag on instagram – mention me @bgg2wl! – and twitter @bgg2wl) and still drinking water as close to once-an-hour as possible (and I still recommend this lovely little bottle), you’ll now have a new goal. This week’s goals are two fold:

1) From here on out, buy one new herb or spice each week. You know how they say that variety is the spice of life? Well, spice is the variety of clean eating! You really…. really can’t eat clean without building an adequate arsenal of herbs and spices. Not even raw foodies go herb and spiceless. It’s just… it’s a rough life. All that roughage and no spice. You can choose this one on your own, of course, but each week we’ll discuss a new herb or spice. Call it the “Sunday Spice” or something. We’ll figure it out.

If you want to do more than one, that’s fine… it’s just really not necessary.

2) No sodapop, diet or otherwise. I don’t care what else you drink. Tea, lemonade, kombucha, whatever. Just… no sodapop. Up the water intake, keep some peaches or oranges on hand if you “need” sweet… I don’t care. Just… no sodapop.

Today’s question: What’s your favorite soul food dish?

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The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.


  1. felicityrhode

    January 21, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Question: Would it be a bad idea to tweet you whenever I eat something? Or is that what we’re supposed to do? I’ve been food journaling using the MyFitnessPal app, but I wanted some added accountability.

    My favorite soul food dish? Probably greens. And cornbread. Mmmmm.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      You can tweet me, you can use the hashtag to tweet with and dialogue with others… whatever you prefer, go for it!

  2. KiWi

    January 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Now that I’m back to logging on Myfitnesspal, I am more reluctant to eat things that I know are loaded with calories. The dark chocolate strawberry krispy kreme doughnut that I justified in my head was okay because it was dark chocolate (knowing I was lying to myself) was hard to record. 345 calories for the doughnut by itself convicts me every time I look at that entry. Hard to hide from the lack of nutrition when the stats are staring you in the face. To think 2 years ago I could sit and eat 3 – 4 at a time. But I digress. I don’t know what it is about logging my food that forces the come to Jesus moment but it’s definitely brought down my calorie intake almost immediately.

  3. Chells

    January 21, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Food journals and calorie counting always overwhelm me but I have noticed some bad habits that I am sure this Boot Camp can address. I LOVE to eat in my car. It is a bad habit I’ve tried to stop several times but like you stated earlier I am often headed from work to choir practice, a workshop or some other event and I need something to hold me over until I get home, which leads me to my next issue. I usually get home around 10 p.m. each night and want to eat a good meal then it’s so late that I fall right to sleep. If I try to abstain from eating meals late I just end up going in and out of the kitchen all night snacking and thinking I should have just eaten a full dinner.
    My favorite soul food dish is baked macaroni and cheese with sweet potatoes coming in at a close second.

    • Dguy

      January 22, 2013 at 2:18 AM

      Hi everyone,
      I have the same issue with eating at night; it seems I do well when I’m at work, but once I get home for whatever reason (my mind is telling me so) LOL! I feel hungry therefore I eat a meal then snack through the night. It’s like a can’t satisfy a craving. I guess if stop being a night owl and just go to sleep it would help.

      My favorite soul food is Greens, cornbread, homemade fried chicken. I really have several others but I will only list two. :)

  4. Laetitia

    January 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Hey 😀

    Have a Question too: Is ordered Food aka Sushi, Italien Pasta in the no FastFood Challenge?

    And my favorite Soul Food would be Greek Yoghurt with Berries, Honey and Grains of Pollen. (i think that falls under the Name Soul Food, not sure xD ) Sometimes i add Amaranth Honey Cereal und toasted Sunflower Seeds, but it tastes nice anyway :)

    LG, Lae

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      I haven’t said no fast food…yet. :)

      But yes, it would count as fast food. Just because it’s not junk doesn’t mean it isn’t fast food.

      • Laetitia

        January 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        Ah, i read the post last year xD Should watch out for the date. Thanks for the answer :)

        LG, Lae

  5. Sharice

    January 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Fav soul food dish is Mac and Cheese

  6. Brittany

    January 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    My favorite soul food is I would say fried chicken. And defiantly the sweets German chicolate cake, coconut pie, pound cake. Ughhhh my mouth is salivating.

  7. FabDelka

    January 21, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    So i have stuck to my water intake and started logging my food. my question is how do you know if you are eating enough? Without snacks i barely hit 1500 calories. I am full from my 3 meals which each hold me 4-6 hours. i am 5’7″ 169 lbs. i workout 6 days a week 3 lifting 3HIIT. I don’t know if you need more information but should i eat more or am i fine? I ask because calculators say i don’t eat enough.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 22, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      If you are full, steadily losing your weight, and remaining energetic throughout the day then leave it alone for now. Besides, there are too many variables to calculating what’s probably best for you than what you’ve listed here, IMO.

  8. Ashleigh (caprimom)

    January 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I am loving this! None of these challenges seem super difficult but I know in the long run, they are the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle.
    Still drinking lots of water. Surprised that the more I drink the more I want.
    As far as the food journal, I realize that although I wake up pretty early, I don’t eat anything at all until about 11am or later. I also eat a lot of unhealthy snacks instead of real meals.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 22, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      The point is to make this as realistic and unscary as possible. Besides, there’ll be loads of time in the future to hit y’all with the tough stuff. LOL

      • Ashleigh

        January 22, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        Shoot…now I’m getting a little scared LOL

  9. sydney

    January 21, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I am addicted to caffeine, namely Dunkin Donuts’ coffee. Because I am outside for 3-4 hours walking dogs, it warms me and keeps me going. I still eat breakfast (toast, a few slices of smoked salmon, a half slice of cheese, 1 orange, lots of lemon water) but I desire something warm and rich. It’s more about warmth, comfort and caffeine since I feel satiated and energized after breakfast. I need to kick this DD habit, though, as part of my goal to loose weight. Oh and no oatmeal – it’s a texture thing. I am considering buying a french coffee press. Thoughts?

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      If you’re only “addicted” to Dunkin Donuts coffee, then that’s not a caffeine addiction.

      Fast food joints are notorious for putting “extra stuff” in the coffee there. The extra “stuff” in McDonalds coffee actually gives people the runs… but they still go back for more.

      I’d say go for it, on the french press. I’d also say that coffee won’t taste ANYTHING like what you’re buying from DD.

  10. Fitnwhole

    January 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    I see a few of you guys are on MFP. Feel free to add me as a friend (fitnwhole).

    My favorite soul food is macaroni and cheese and all desserts. smh

  11. Joy Sears

    January 22, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    I found that the cleaner I eat the harder it is to use myfitnesspal. I can journal and write everything down but logging every little thing online and weighing every little thing is beyond time consuming and a bit stressful for me. It was easier when I was eating mostly processed foods because I could just scan the box or bag. How do you ladies do it?

    • Durkia

      January 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      Joy, it is time consuming but it is definitely worth it. I never really weigh things but I do measure for the most part. It makes me feel good to know that the meal that I cooked is only a sold 400 calories and filled me up. Also, sometimes if you put the meal in the app someone else will have already cooked the same or similar thing and I just use that calorie count. I hope this helps!

    • melissa

      January 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      I use the my food/recipies section on mfp, save the foods u create so u can reuse the info again. Also sometimes it is easier to go to the mfp website to enter things than on the mobile app. Hope that helps!

  12. Aja

    January 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    ^^I know what you mean about tracking unprocessed foods, but for now I pretty much just look up the food, find something that looks similar and add it. I don’t worry too much about whether the calorie count is 100% accurate I just choose what I think is close, for instance, I know what 3 oz. of chicken should look like so instead of weighing I just find a similar size and track it.

    From this exercise I’m finding that I don’t ever eat enough for breakfast. I’m not usually turning to processed food, I’m just not eating enough food because I’m rushing, which means I’m overeating at some other point during the day.

    For the spice challenge, I already have a cabinet full of spices, because my husband buys them all the time, but I don’t know how to use any of them other than the seasoning salt and the lemon pepper. Can I just make my challenge to learn what they are? My money is very tight!

  13. Tia

    January 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I found that I am a really big emotional eater. When I have good days I have good meals. When I am stressed even if I have planned a healthy meal, I feel like I HAVE to have chips or french fries. I left my house in the middle of the night to get some chips. And immediately felt better when I ate them.

  14. junglebabe

    January 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    oooh my comfort food has always been black coffee. i love strong coffee. like starbucks. i think i’m pretty immune to caffeine since i’ve drunk so much all my life. i like dark roasts, which have less caffeine, but that’s not why i like them. what were you saying that restaurants put in black coffee that is extra??

    • Chells

      January 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Last year I set my mind to drinking coffee black and now I love it! I especially love Starbucks and Caribou.

      I would like to piggy back on the “what’s in fast food coffee?” question by asking about K-Cups. Are K-Cups considered fast food? Do they have the extra stuff in them?

      • Erika Nicole Kendall

        January 22, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        Kcups, more often than not, TOTALLY have stuff in them. If you’re wanting k-cups and coffee, you’d be better off buying a fine-ground pound, and a personal “my k-cup” to pour it in. Make your own k-cups, with your own coffee, and it BY FAR tastes better.

        This is probably a blog post. LOL

  15. Ladi T

    January 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I am very interested in participating in your clean eating boot camp but I have an issue that I would like you to elaborate on, if you don’t mind. I am divorced and have no one in my home except myself. How do I get myself into the right frame of mind to be able to cook for one person? I have this notion that is is easier and cheaper to pick up something than to try to cook for one. DO you have recipes for just one person that I can use to get myself on the right track? I eagerly await your response. Thanks and be blessed.


  16. kami

    January 22, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    I just finished making red kidney beans. Now I want to make coconut rice and sauteed kale to eat for about three days. I will making dishes from scratch and buying the ingredients from now on. During this day, I have been food journaling.

  17. Erigirl

    January 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Fried chicken and mac & cheese!

  18. Shawn

    January 22, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    I get most of the water in each day. I live alone and have a hard time cooking for one, and I’m not one for days of leftovers. Any tips or good websites for cooking for one?

    My favorite soul food would be greens, cracklin’ cornbread and pork chops.

    • Mika

      January 26, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      I am also hoping for some tips for the single gal. I definitely don’t like to eat leftovers longer than one day, but anytime I cook I make way too much food. One thing I have found is single serving chicken beasts. I just need more variety than chicken all of the time.

  19. Ke'Shana

    January 23, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    I have been reading the clean eating posts and bggwl e-mails, but I’ve never joined the conversation. I have tried losing weight 2xs before & now after 2 years I am back it. So, I am doing something different because I think that is what I need. Hence, my reply to this thread.

    1) I have been drinking more water, but I probably could drink a lot more. I am at about 4-5 glasses per day on average. I have cut out soda since new years day (along with beef). So, I am feeling okay with keeping up with that.

    2) Buy a new spice? In a bottle? Silly, I know–but I really don’t know where to begin with that one.

    3) I have been logging everything I eat for the past two weeks by using the myfitnesspal mobile app. I quickly learned that I was indulging in high calorie snacks and I am working on that now. I am also using the bodymediafit armband, which is linked to and today I learned that I was WAY OVER on my sodium intake for the day. I MEAN WAY OVER. I don’t know exactly the effects of sodium other than it retains water, but I know I need to research that more and get that under control.

    My favorite soul food is collard greens (and peach cobbler). Okay, I know that was two, but I couldn’t leave out the 2nd one.

    p.s. I enjoyed reading “The Art of Silence” e-mail that was sent out today.

    p.p.s. Sorry for the lengthy comment–I’m new at this and I know that I am probably all over the place with my attempt to participate in the conversation.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      Spices don’t always come in a bottle, but if that’s what’s near you, then go for it. I’m more of a proponent of dried herbs than fresh for beginners, because it’s not likely that you’ll know enough dishes to ensure that your herbs don’t go to waste.

      Sometimes, spices can be purchased in bulk, at which time you can just buy them in a bag.

  20. Jaida

    January 23, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    I’m still working on drinking water every hour, which I haven’t been doing. :( I started using MyFitnessPal on Monday to track what I eat + calorie intake instead of using my handwritten food journal. I think MyFitnessPal will work better for me to keep me on track.

    My favorite soul food is homemade mac & cheese and yams!

  21. Valencia

    January 24, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    My favorite soul food item is dressing…..stuffing….lawd have mercy that stuff is great…and after that anything cakey…..its something about the texture of it …weird…..u also found out that when I get stressed at work….i go get a brownie or slice of pumpkins bread…something cakey…it calms me down…..that’s so horrible to admit….but its the truth I tried replacing it with a banana or some other fruit… didn’t work

  22. Lynnette

    January 24, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Hi – I believe I drink plenty of water and wondered if Crystal Light is okay? I track in FitnessPal and have been for the last 2 weeks. I haver plenty or spices but need to learn tips that are being taught here which I beleive will allow me to know what I don’t know about eating better.

  23. Anne (@Shoeology)

    January 26, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I’ve been hitting Whole Foods and a store that’s here in the Carolinas called EarthFare for herbs and spices. They sell them in bulk. While the price per lb may be $25 or more, the spices are so lightweight that I usually don’t pay more than 50 cents per spice. Hopefully, there’s a store near you selling spices in bulk.

  24. Marquinta

    January 28, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I just found your clean living challenge and I definitely am going to update and check back. I was on track with clean living a few years ago, but failed to maintain those habits. I desperately need to be back on track and started a few weeks ago. Looking forward to your posts and support!

  25. Khalilah

    February 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Is it possible for you to provide a list of spices or herbs we should use…maybe in order of the most important or most flexible to be used and then go on from there.

    Thank you for doing all that you do to support us.

  26. Jewellz

    February 23, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Hi Erika and Everyone, sorry I posted this in the wrong box oops so here it is again. It took me a minute to catch on how this site works.(help from a friend) So now I feel better lol. I like to know what kind of spices to buy(that I will actually use) I am not a spicy person.(have to keep BP under control). How long will the Boot Cam last I was thinking I will soooo much spice in the cabinet!!! And when will the 4th week start 2/28?

  27. charlie

    February 24, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Hi – I love the website. All I can say is where have you been most of my life. The clean eating life is easy for me because I believe in “made from scratch” eating which tastes much better and is healthier. I have done all of the steps for the boot camp but I am struggling with the water – promise to do better. I am tracking calories but I have noticed that with calorie counting I have read about tracking carb, protein and fat content as well. I have noticed that I have been eating a lot of fat and not enough carb or even protein which is weird -I just dont see where I am eating so much fat especially since I am eating clean. Let me know what are your thoughts on carb, protein and fat tracking.

    I am trying not to step on scale but I am noticing not much weight loss. I feel some diffence in my clothing, I am awaiting the exercising phase of the bootcamp.

    Again, I want to say “thank you” I have seen a complete change in the way I feel – 100% better since I am no longer eating “out of the box” anymore- no more headaches, stomach aches, tiredness – i have been feeling great! Thanks for your explaining what we should eat as well as why we should eat clean. Its one thing to know what to do but its great to have some one explain why we should do it. Knowledge is power!

  28. J Sawyer

    March 4, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    OK I rediscovered this site and am late to the CE Bootcamp for 2013…trying to get in where I fit in anyway…motivated and doing the steps so far…

  29. KL

    March 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    I’ve been doing a food journal for the past two years through myfitnesspal. The challenge for me is the spices/herbs. I’m a very picky person. I chose cumin for my first spice because it said it’s used in Caribbean dishes(which I love). I used it for the first time last night and it was delicious! I used it in a beef stew. Any other suggestions for using cumin?

  30. Vonda

    January 11, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Okay, I really needed to see your post. I had every intention to join in on the boot camp, but I started a new job, after being out of work since 2004. Having to get up at 4:30am after being used to getting up whenever I felt like it and staying awake and alert during my 5 week training class has been really hard, so some of my past bad habits have been slipping back in…ugh! I started drinking Mountain Dew just to stay alert during training class, and that started an avalanche of bad habits to come rushing back in…like eating unhealthy snacks in the vending machine, and eating breakfast on the road. After reading this post and some of your past posts, I am committing to join you all starting on Monday morning. I refuse to go back to revisit the 101lbs that I have lost. It’s crazy how fast you can gain back pounds, but how slow it is to lose them. So I’m putting it out there….I’m going back to my healthy lifestyle of clean eating and working out starting on Monday morning. Shoot, why wait until Monday, I’m starting right now! Thank You Erika!!

  31. Evelyn N. Alfred

    January 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    I’m normally not hungry during breakfast, but now I do at least eat cereal or oatmeal.

  32. Mandi

    January 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I’ve been doing well with logging what I eat and I’m definitely seeing some patterns in my eating habits that could use some work. I eat a LOT of bread. Didn’t really notice it before. Also, drinking water hourly has been more of a struggle than I anticipated. Either I forget or for some reason if I’m not actually thirsty I find myself not wanting to drink anything lol. Going to try to work on it this week for sure. Also going to work on adding some variety to my diet and cutting out some of that bread. Like maybe eggs and fruit instead of eggs and toast. A stir fry for lunch instead of a sandwich. Etc.

  33. Amy Ramos

    March 23, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    So I should probably track those 5 pieces of Easter candy I had the other night, huh?
    Dang it. My sweet tooth seems to be in full effect and I just do not know how to kick it.

  34. Tanisha Watson

    May 1, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I have been doing a LOT yet not until #CEBootCamp did I realize how much was second nature to me & a lot of traits I can cut out with minimal effort. If I take accountability. I see that I will be abusing the hashtags as they help me to stay on target. It also helps me to not care so much about what others are doing, since I realize I am doing what works for me.

  35. Tammy

    June 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    What type of desserts do you suggest? (If any???)

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      June 21, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      If you join the boot camp, you’ll learn how to make my favorite treats!

  36. CLP

    August 5, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    I am a dog walker so I’m either in my car or walking a dog for a good 3-4 hours a day, depending how many dogs I have that day. You suggested taking pics of what I eat (mostly junk in the car :( I’m trying) and recording it at the end of the day. I feeling good about the food diary now.
    I have a follow up Q that was too long to tweet:
    I’m used to walking most of the day because of my job but I want to up my energy output.

    Any tips on exercises to do while walking at varying speeds (again depends on the dog). I try to walk a mile with my last dog of the day or the more energetic ones if i have time. What are some good walking exercises?
    PS I hate running. I’m more of a power/speed walker.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      August 6, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      Intervals! If your dogs walk great on a lead, try training them to make sure they follow direction while running on one, as well, and after you do that then try to do intervals with them. Run for 30 seconds, walk for a minute and a half. Speed walk for a minute, slow it down for a minute. Stuff like that!

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