Home Clean Eating Boot Camp 2013 Clean Eating Boot Camp: Week 5

Clean Eating Boot Camp: Week 5

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Note: You can sign up for the Clean Eating Boot Camp here, completely free!

It’s time to start getting serious, y’all.

And by serious, I mean it’s time to start digging into some vegetables.


For previous week’s boot camp steps, click here.

For those of you keeping up, how has it been going for you? Did you struggle? Did you forget your lunch and have to buy something?

Those of us who successfully completed last week’s task… did you notice a little bit more money in your wallets?


If you fell short, just keep trying. Take a long look at what interfered with your ability to succeed, and start thinking of new ways to respond to those challenges. If you’re having a hard time figuring it out on your own, share your challenges here.

This week’s boot camp steps are two-fold. Time to get down and dirty.

1) No fast food. At all. Not for lunch, neither breakfast, nor dinner. And, for now, I don’t care what you put in its place. If that means you’ve got to buy a TV dinner, then go for it. But no fast food.

2) Pick one of the five vegetables listed here, and buy it. Pay attention to how you grocery store handles it – if it’s on a refrigerated shelf in the store, then store it in the fridge at home. If it’s not, then feel comfy storing it outside the fridge. You might even be able to find a couple of these in your frozen foods section.

To quote an ancient African-American proverb, “you gon’ learn today!”

Talk to me, y’all!

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KiWi February 4, 2013 - 12:06 PM

I have only had one of those vegetables listed 🙁 Looks like I need to get my produce game way up and google some recipes because I have never cooked any of them.

Ashley February 4, 2013 - 12:52 PM

None of those appeal to me – lol. I’m not even sure what a parsnip is. Maybe I’ll start with the butternut squash. Do you have any recipes on the site to help get started with using these veggies?

Erika Nicole Kendall February 4, 2013 - 2:00 PM

Don’t worry – choose your veggie, and hold on to it. I’m going to walk you through preparing them. 🙂

Ashley February 4, 2013 - 2:55 PM

Good deal!

Ashleigh February 4, 2013 - 1:09 PM

I’ll be honest. I’m still struggling with the food journal and that was a week 2 thing. I think I’ll start snapping a quick photo of what I’m eating throughout the day. (Isn’t that what Instagram is for anyway? lol) Something about the act of writing it down is causing me to be resistant.
I’ve been doing really well with water intake. And now I’m shocked to realize that I start to freak out if I don’t have a glass or bottle of water nearby at all times.
Fast food hasn’t been an issue. At least not for lunch. Part of the joy of being a SAHM is not really going out for lunch anyway. I think no fast food at all will be challenging though. Because now that I can’t have it, nachos at Taco Bell sound real good….or a Big Mac from McD’s or something like that.
As for this week’s task. Please tell me you have some recipes or something for these veggies. I’m only familiar with the brussells sprouts. Would it be cheating if I chose that since I know I already like them?

Chelly February 4, 2013 - 1:58 PM

I tried Brussels sprouts over the holidays, not bad. I also love beets and butternut squash. I’ve had radishes before but I’m not too familiar with parsnips. I’m looking forward to trying them.

Ericka February 4, 2013 - 2:23 PM

I bought my first Butternut squash this weekend and it was very hard to peel. Do you have any suggestions?

ab February 4, 2013 - 8:11 PM

I never peel them, just wash the outside like you would do with a potato. Don’t get rid of that lovely roughage 🙂

felicityrhode February 4, 2013 - 2:46 PM

You know, I started to buy butternut squash when I went grocery shopping, but I opted for sweet potatoes instead 🙁

Boot Camp has been going alright for me, but I still tend to go HAM on the weekends… I need self control! lol

Robin February 4, 2013 - 2:46 PM

I’m in luck. I love all of these veggies. I only juice beets but I’m going to cook some this week to give it a try. All Recipes for beets are welcomed.

Ta-Tanisha February 4, 2013 - 3:02 PM

I am waayy behind. I couldn’t find the spice list, but I have been drinking my water and stopped eating out for lunch a long time ago. I have a couple of brussel sprout recipes at home, so I think I will go with those.

Aja February 4, 2013 - 3:34 PM

I despise brussel, and really like butternut squash but I think I’m going to try beets since that’s something I like okay enough, but don’t know how to prepare at all.

Kim February 4, 2013 - 6:21 PM

Umm Okay…so fast food is defined as drive through or are we talking about resturants in general?

Water consumption has been going well.
Diary has been a hit or miss and instragram has my documentation.

I am going to try and beef up my game for all of it…

Erika Nicole Kendall February 4, 2013 - 11:22 PM

Restaurants in general. Hang it up.

Gulzilly February 4, 2013 - 7:00 PM

My favorite butternut squash recipe:
1. Take one whole squash. Wrap in foil and place in broiler for 15mins.
2. Remove squash from oven. Remove foil and slice squash in half.
3. With a spoon, remove the meat and place in deep pan(I prefer steel or cast iron).
4. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Fold squash with all ingredients.
5. Add grilled chicken breast and serve with a side of fresh fruit and roasted veggies.

Delka February 4, 2013 - 8:18 PM

I have been doing well minus the food journal. It is hard to keep up with. So I think I will go back to using my spark people so that I can log it. Everything else I am doing fine with. I love Brussels sprouts. I have a lot in my fridge right now and it is actually for lunch or dinner (maybe both) tomorrow.

Lori February 4, 2013 - 9:37 PM

Thanks for this post! I read your post while I was at work and planned to pick up some beets on my home. Got to the unpredictable produce section, saw that the beets were old and soft and opted for the parsnips instead. Came home, threw the sliced parsnips in with some sauteed curry fish, took a bite of the finished meal and the parsnips were a nice surprise! They are sweet and rich in flavor. My first time cooking them.

Shawn February 4, 2013 - 9:55 PM

I’ve done good with the water and am doing OK with the food journal. I haven’t tried any of the veggies listed, but since I like cabbage, I think I’ll try brussel sprouts.

I’ve been exercising by doing aerobics. (You Tube has some great videos.) Today I tried yoga and loved it. Is it a good way to lose weight? Thoughts and info welcome.

Erika Nicole Kendall February 4, 2013 - 11:21 PM

Yoga, most often, isn’t really for caloric burn, it’s for stress relief both mentally and physically. That being said, it can be a great tool for weight loss, just know that trying to measure it in terms of caloric output makes it look inefficient.

Tina February 5, 2013 - 12:27 AM

Don’t care for radishes, though I’ve never had black ones. Not sure what to do with parsnips (they are like carrots, right?). Love the others!

Been doing mfp diary over a year. I drink water constantly.

Suzette February 5, 2013 - 11:34 AM

I have been trying hard to stick to every step. I have to break one of the rules though this week because its my mother’s birthday and we are going to a seafood and steakhouse. Any healthy options you can suggest? Bad enough I’m breaking the rules :-/

Erika Nicole Kendall February 5, 2013 - 3:59 PM

Start here.

KANEKA February 5, 2013 - 3:32 PM

I love oven roasted squash!!! Sometimes I mix it with sweet potatoes too. They taste similar but different at the same time!

Denisha February 6, 2013 - 6:34 AM

Help Lord! Lol I too have been attempting this “clean eating” because I am tired of working out and not seeing the results that I desire..so I have been eating more veggies..lean protein and am super excited!! I purchased fresh brussal sprouts and to my surprise I am in love! Thanks for the awesome blog and wonderful insight!

Victoria February 6, 2013 - 9:45 PM

I made a pot roast on Sunday and used turnips instead of potatoes. I was going to let that count as my new root vegetable lol b/c it’s the first time I’ve cooked them. The next day I looked at rutabagas in the store, they looked similar to turnips so I decided to try brussel sprouts. I found some in a bag. I wasn’t ready to fool with the stalk. Seasoned and roasted them yesterday, they still had an unfortunate strong taste. I cooked the leftovers for add’l time tonight and they taste much better.

Valencia February 6, 2013 - 10:31 PM

To be honest the last two weeks have been an epic fail …Idk what’s wrong with me and why I lack the discipline to stay consistent…..I have found that when the stress level at my job goes up I get all out of whack in the rest of my life….I’m trying to go back to week one and mesh it all together trying not to get to far behind

Bre February 6, 2013 - 11:10 PM

Strugglinggggg with the new no-fast-food challenge.

I’m drinking nothing but water (and tea). My steel water bottle is right beside me.

I got myself a food journal; I bought a squash (the checkout lady asked me “how do you cook this?” and I laughed and said, “I don’t know yet!”) I also bought a jump rope and a fitness hula hoop, though that has nothing to do with the clean eating boot camp.

But I still work at one of the top 3 pizza chain restaurants where I make, cut, and travel in my car with pizza and breadsticks and I was not prepared for this lol!

I’ve been going hungry, though, rather than going out to the nearby McDonalds. Starving myself isn’t good, I know, but eventually it’ll motivate me to get my lazy butt up and cook something, even though I’m still in the verryyy beginning stages of learning how to cook.

This is called boot camp for a good reason lol.

Kay February 7, 2013 - 9:22 AM

Parsnip sounds like what you do to a dog when you don’t want it to make puppies. I would try this, perhaps, if given a recipe. I ‘ll steer clear of brussel sprouts…I usually cook them in bacon fat and eat them with sour cream, lol.

Erika Nicole Kendall February 7, 2013 - 11:38 AM


Aja February 7, 2013 - 1:04 PM

Erika should we buy the suggested vegetable now or wait until you tell us what to do with it? I don’t want to get it and then have it go bad before its time to use it.

Erika Nicole Kendall February 7, 2013 - 4:15 PM

Go for it now. Posting recipes as we speak.

Che February 7, 2013 - 3:04 PM

I picked parsnips because they were the only veggie I’ve never tried. I’m excited to see what you suggest for preparation. I honestly didn’t even know what a parsnip looked like!

I’m still struggling with the water intake. I’m not a big fan of drinking at all, so every hour is torture for me. I’ve gone 48 hours without drinking anything before. I understand that water is an essential nutrient but I still hate it. I’m trying though. I find that I really enjoy unsweetened hot tea and can drink 3-4 cups a day so that’s my main source of water.

Bre February 7, 2013 - 4:59 PM

Any words for me Erika?

Erika Nicole Kendall February 7, 2013 - 8:04 PM

For what?

You clearly see what your problems are; what kind of plan of attack are you going to create to solve those problems?

Bre February 7, 2013 - 8:35 PM

Didn’t mean to bother you; I’m gonna figure it out. Sorry.

Erika Nicole Kendall February 7, 2013 - 9:08 PM

It’s not bothering, but I’m curious; what specific thing did you want help with?

Sometimes, it just helps people to express and write out how things have gone for them to figure out what their next moves need to be. If you have a specific question of concern, of course I can answer, but I didn’t see a space where that was what was happening.

I mean, let me know. What are you looking for help with? You wrote out exactly what you struggled with. How do you bridge those gaps?

Bre February 9, 2013 - 1:53 PM

I have a bad habit of knowing what’s right for me, expressing it, but still wanting someone else to validate that knowledge, or usurp my opinion. So I suppose I wanted some encouraging words from you, when I already know damn well what needs to be done. I’m still working on valuing my own opinion first and foremost. I apologize for dragging you into that.

On a good note, I broiled, seasoned, then baked my squash last night after work. My first time preparing and eating it…and it tastes good 😉

Thanks for the boot camp Erika.

Erika Nicole Kendall February 11, 2013 - 3:39 PM

I understand where you’re coming from, mama. I’m glad that you said this, especially:

“I’m still working on valuing my own opinion first and foremost.”

Trust yourself more. And, if you wind up being wrong a time or two, it’s no biggie. You have to learn, somehow. 🙂

Valencia February 8, 2013 - 4:14 PM

Will the recipes be added like a post or will they be located in the Erika’s kitchen section? I see the instagram picture….I’m trying to cook some of that

Erika Nicole Kendall February 11, 2013 - 8:25 AM

Both. 🙂

Dsweetone February 9, 2013 - 3:39 PM

Hey. I got my squash and radishes!!! I’m looking at recipes now!

Valencia February 10, 2013 - 1:39 PM

Will the recipes be posted as a new article or are they located in the Erika’s Kitchen Section?

Erika Nicole Kendall February 11, 2013 - 8:24 AM

Both. 🙂

Margaret February 11, 2013 - 2:13 PM

Hi, I’m just joining but I’ve been eating fairly clean already. I working on completely clean with an occasional dinner out. However, now that my body is no longer used to “junk” I usually get headaches so eating out has lost it’s appeal.

I tried brussel sprouts for the first time this weekend. I roasted them with just a touch of olive oil and kosher salt. They were SO delicious and my family LOVED (yes I’m shouting :-)) them! I will be cooking them for sure. Next I want to try to the butternut squash. Twice I’ve purchased them but never got around to cooking them…

jewellz March 11, 2013 - 6:19 AM

Brussels and beets, I can handle. Fits right into my plan!!

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