Note: You can sign up for the Clean Eating Boot Camp here, completely free!
Lots of exciting things happening this week. Starting, first and foremost, with this:
My YouTube channel goes live! Don’t you think you should subscribe and be there when the first video drops, tonight at 8PM? Hmmm?
Everything else…well, that’s a surprise. We’ll talk about that later.
How is it going, lovelies? Are you still working on your water intake? Are you avoiding the fast food? Did you try any of the recipes from last week?
Here’s the thing. Last year, when I ran the boot camp – I’m pretty sure this is my third year doing it – it felt so easy to tell you, “Hey, boo, hey… don’t eat this. It’s crap.” But, if all I’ve ever eaten is processed food, and you tell me to stop eating processed food… and I don’t know how to cook, then what am I left with, other than a new-found sense of guilt about the processed food I’m gonna eat anyway, since I can barely boil an egg?
That’s why, instead of just crapping on processed food – which still is, on a grand scale, crap – I’d much rather encourage you to get in the kitchen, develop a fearless attitude toward trying new vegetables (especially if you’re the type where every vegetable is new to you, and there’s nothing wrong with that… it’s just gonna be a rather exciting time for you!) and learn a few new cooking techniques. So, yes, processed food ain’t the move…. but let’s focus more on what we can replace it with.
Besides, since we’re moving away from winter and closer toward spring – which means spring produce, yay – it’ll be even more fun.
So, Step 7 has 3 parts:
1) Visit LocalHarvest.org and try to find the farmer’s market closest to you. Buying produce from supermarkets isn’t always the freshest, the cheapest, or sometimes even the most ethical option. Some farmers make so little, that it’s much better for them – and for the local economy – to give your $1/lb directly to them, instead of giving $2.29 to a store for the same item… when that store is only giving the farmer $0.59/lb. It’s clearly better for you and your wallet. If you are someone who has no idea how you could get to a farmer’s market, try to plot out how you can get there (Google Maps is great for public transportation, and if you’re in a rural area see if you can ask someone with a car if they’d be interested in partnering up with you and visiting a market some day) and invest in a good duffel bag. And trust me… I’ve been there.
2) Pick one:
- Ranch Dressing
- Barbecue Sauce
3) Share with us: what’s one processed food dish that you’re going to hate giving up while you’re giving up processed food? I know, for me, it was scalloped potatoes. This is also why there are several posts with me whining about scalloped potatoes. (Hey, I can be honest.) I’m just saying… you may or may not have your suggestion chosen as a shared recipe!
Erika, so step 7 is something different from the Water Challenge? I am trying to get familiar with your website, looks rewarding!!
So, when I’m picking in category 2 am I picking something I like? Something I hate? That may be a silly question…
Thankfully, there is a wonderful CSA that delivers to my job (for the free juice bar!), so a lot of times I can get fresh, locally grown organic produce on the cheap. I believe most of the farmer’s markets are closed down this time of year around here…
I actually haven’t had a hard time avoiding uber processed foods. It’s the dining out that’s tough. We’ve had a ton of ‘special occasions’, and limited time to cook on the weekends. I try to be careful about what I order, though… 🙁
I live in NC, so going to the farmers’ market is already something I do. I just have to get used to them only having what’s in season and not always having what I want at the time but it’s definitely cheaper than the supermarket when it comes to vegetables and fruits. I do have to go every week since I can only buy what I plan to eat that week or it will spoil.
I found the bootcamp about 4 weeks into it but I jumped right in; the water and soda steps were easy for me because I was already there but giving up the fast food is challenging because I do love some hot McDonald’s french fries and bacon (pork); not having a Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers meal to pop in the microwave at lunch has proven to be challenging also because now I have to cook more in order to have leftovers for lunch.
On another note, I tried a butternut squash recipe and loved it. I had never had this before and I found a recipe for herbed butternut squash that was easy and even my 5 and 8 year old nephews liked it! I have a new vegetable to add to my list of veggies 🙂
I have lost 5 lbs in the last two weeks by eating cleaner and working out 5 days a week. Every week I am excited to see what the next step will be in the bootcamp.
I’m glad I found you! Thanks so much!
Checking In! Not watching the clock but I am drinking water much more often. Aside from the occasional cup of coffee, water is all I’ve been drinking. Not doing too good on keeping a food diary, I’ve just never been good at that. Am buying, actually using and loving the new spices I’m buying on each shopping trip I’m excited because next week I’m getting Dill. Fell off on the whole no outside food or fast food and I haven’t made my parsnips yet but this week I am going to press my way and get back on track (eating my homemade stir fry and brown rice for lunch as I type). My target grain was wheatberries. I haven’t found them yet but I tried quinoa a few years ago (meh), LOVE Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Couscous (discovered it when my store was out of brown rice a few weeks before the boot camp) and I’ve had barley and wild rice in restaurants in the past hopefully that counts until I find wheatberries.
This condiment quiz is a toughie but I will choose mustard with barbecue sauce as a close second. I like barbecue sauce but I use mustard more often.
The processed food dish I’m going to hate giving up is …all things noodle-y and cheesy such as Mac and Cheese, Alfredo noodles and that yellow dipping cheese I used to drown my nacho chips in. Snack cakes too!
Still doing well with the previous steps. I found some parsnips yesterday and will be trying that recipe today for dinner. I think I live like 5 min away from a farmer’s market but I’ve never shopped there before. So this should be interesting.
Excited about those condiments we have to choose. I think I know what’s coming next with that.
As for processed food I have to give up…hmmm? I’ll say the boxed macaroni n cheese–or maybe it’s just processed cheese in general.
I don’t see any recipes on the “Clean Eating Boot Camp” posts. Am I missing something, or are they elsewhere on your blog? I’m curious about how to prepare the various veggies…
I’m going to go back and link the veggies to their recipe posts, but they’re all in the “From Erika’s Kitchen” category. If you subscribe via e-mail or to the FB page, you’ll get the links for the veggie posts there, as well. 🙂
3.) Boxed noodles and rice….you know the kind with the sauce pack that are done in like 7 min….don’t judge me
I have not made a trip to the Farmers Market yet but I will in the future. Now, my favorite places are Trader’s Joes and the Food Coops bulk sections. This month I been cooking two meals from scratch such as beans, coconut rice and purple cabbage. Now I do buy fruit and vegetable in season. I am trying to make new grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth and farro. I really just started cooking this month. The processed I gave up was Amy’s organic frozen dinners, cookies, frozen soy nuggets. Now the condiment is ketchup to put in my food. For the past month I been clean eating but need to leave the chocolate alone.
What is part 2? Are we giving it up or are we picking one and using that only? Curious. Please let me know. I’m looking forward to part 1 because it is something I have been putting off for the longest.
I don’t actually have a problem with processed food. I cook everything. I used to succumb to a cookie here and there but now I just buy cookies for my son and I don’t eat them because we don’t have the same taste buds. LOL.
Nope, mama – just pick one. That’s all. Pick one, and wait patiently. We’re gonna make ’em from scratch. 🙂
My daughter loves your ranch dressing recipe!!
Hello Erika, I just found your page & will be starting the boot camp today. I have a question regarding the water. I work with the public so it’s may be challenging to drink water every hour but I can do it on lunch/breaks. So is it okay just to get the water in or does drinking it every hour benefit the body in any way? Thanks in advance
Just get it in, mama!
I’m doing well with the steps..drinking a lot of water, even downloaded a “remind me to drink water” app for my phone. I am starting a fruits/veggie CSA delivery at my company this season. It’s the best way to explore different veggies throughout the harvesting seasons. I got some more parsnips and will try the recipe. I won’t drown them in honey this time! Processed foods are condiments? Dang it. 🙁 It’s a toss up between mayo and ketchup)
I also gotta try me some beets..I love them pickled so I need to try out your recipe because that sounds delish!
Hi Erika. I am so happy that I found your site. I’ve been having weight loss issues. I’ve tried a lot of diets and have not been successful. I need to lose quite a bit of weight. I need to get moving more (I sit at a desk all day long) and to get my water in. Thank you so much for the information you provide. I’ve already purchased one of your meal plans and will let you know how that goes. 🙂
My “pick one” is Ranch Dressing and the food I’m not liking having to give up is bread and pasta. I LOVE bread. Don’t judge me….I’m just a carb addict. 🙂
Oh, hey, I have always made mac & cheese and scalloped potato from scratch. It’s not terribly hard, and I have experimented a bit with some reduced fat options.
Tips to try: for both – use chicken stock as a base, instead of full cream milk; add lots of herbs/spices for flavour.
For mac & cheese – thicken with cornstarch instead of the butter/flour roux; use much less cheese by choosing the super strong flavoured kind. Think parmesan & extra vintage aged cheddar, not mild American.
So yeah, if you’re devoted to total scratch cooking you need to learn to make a white sauce (“bechamel”) and a chicken stock. I promise it’s not hard and worth the time!
Oh, I make everything from scratch now, but before? While I was still learning? I was CRUSHED! LMAO
Its hard for me to give up ramen noodles. I just…love them. I had given up the seasoning packets from ramen noodles a while ago and thought I was doing something by seasoning them myself and adding broccoli. But what could ever possibly take their place? Raaaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaan!
Comments are closed.