Home Clean Eating Boot Camp So… Suppose I Decided To Host Clean Eating Boot Camp 2013….

So… Suppose I Decided To Host Clean Eating Boot Camp 2013….

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Alright, family, I’ve got a question for you.

Suppose I decided to host an all-new, revamped, updated version of the Clean Eating Boot Camp for 2013.


I mean, let’s face it. Everyone’s prepping for their New Year’s Resolutions, and what better way to do right by yours than with a big, helpful community of folks all wanting to ditch the processed life?

So, say I wanted to re-boot the boot camp. Complete with stories and news, but also teaching how to work with foods that some consider intimidating…

From the post, "Salmon 101"

From the upcoming post, “Salmon 101”


From the post, "How To Make Your Own Pesto"

From the upcoming post, “How To Make Your Own Pesto”

recipe walk-throughs…

Fall-spiced peaches, with cloves, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, and chili pepper. There might kinda sorta maybe be bourbon in there too... but we won't talk about that.

Fall-spiced peaches, with cloves, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, and chili pepper. There might kinda sorta maybe a little be bourbon in there too… but we won’t talk about that.

an inside look of my kitchen, which is so small that I’ve got to put my kitchen appliances in my bedroom (did I just admit that out loud? Whatever.)…

When the chef in the house cooks, this is what you get.

When the chef in the house cooks, this is what you get.

and even nightly shares of what we’re eating for dinner? I mean, I already share the details on Instagram, why not here, too?

Pizza time, baby - tomato, goat cheese, arugula. Flax-seed pizza dough.

Pizza time, baby – tomato, goat cheese, arugula. Flax-seed pizza dough.

Because recipes are a pain to write out. That’s why. But for you, and only you, I’m willing to give it a shot.

After having said all that, I wanna know. If I re-boot the boot camp, what do y’all want to see? What would you like to learn? What kinds of dishes do you want to learn how to cook? I mean, it could be as fancy as lobster bisque, or as old school as tater tots (and, if you want to learn how to make tater tots from scratch, don’t be ashamed to admit it. I just learned yesterday, and I’m low-key giddy about it.) It could be as bourgie as you want, as simplified as you like, we can re-make and revitalize soul food (just wait until you see February!) dishes, it can be whatever. If you don’t understand braising, blanching or brining, speak up. If you’re scared of every cheese that isn’t in a little yellow wrapper, tell me why! If you’re afraid to make your own macaroni and cheese without a certain block of processed cheese product, then speak on it. If you don’t think you have longer than 10 minutes to microwave your dinner, let me know! Want to go vegan, but don’t know how? Tell me. (That’s right. We’re versatile in this household.) No question is a stupid question, no one’s circumstances will be mocked, and no idea will be ridiculed. Any question you’ve ever had about learning how to cook – a cornerstone of clean eating – feel free to ask it now.

I always felt like this was the one thing missing from the boot camp, and now that I’ve spent some time working on my photography and cooking skills, I’m more comfy with sharing.

Also, I have a huge surprise for y’all, going into 2013, so I can only promise you: you’ll want to be on board when the Boot Camp starts. I swear it.

That is, if I decide to re-start it, of course… but I can’t do it without you!

So, talk to me. What are your biggest concerns, challenges and reservations about going processed-free? What can we discuss, here, to make it easier for you? Is all of this too “fancy” for you? Then, what do you like? What do you want to see?

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Keesha December 17, 2012 - 1:03 PM

I think it would be great. My only concern would be getting ready. If the first week (or pre-week) included a recommended shopping list, etc. I would be terribly interested and would absolutely participate. Thank you.

Ruth December 17, 2012 - 2:22 PM

Money? I guess this goes to the question from the person who asked about the preparation and as part of that I would like to see the cost of clean eating dinner for a week, for example, etc. Thanks.

Marcie December 17, 2012 - 2:54 PM

I definitely agree with the shopping list comment, getting prepared for the actual boot camp starts would be ideal. I personally would like to know how to keep dishes simple, yet tasty. Especially because I don’t exactly know what clean eating is. I’ve done a bit of research, but nothing extensive.

Nae December 17, 2012 - 1:11 PM

YES! YES! YES! What I’m finding most difficult right now is strategies for clean eating when out at restaurants. Knowing we can’t control how the chef prepares food, what are some questions to ask, menu items to stay away from, requests to make, etc?

TG March 7, 2013 - 9:22 PM

I have to agree when eating out it is very hard to stick with the plan.

Jenn December 17, 2012 - 1:19 PM

I second how to eat clean at restaurants. Not fast food, but sit down restaurants, pubs, bars. The only way I know how is to avoid them, but I really like going out with my friends and it’s weird to just have an iced tea and turn down everything that they offer me.

KaNesha December 17, 2012 - 1:41 PM

I just happened to come across this page on Facebook. I’m so interested in a new and improved lifestyle. What is the boot camp you speak about? I want to be healthier and could use the encouragement and sisterly love to keep me focused and motivated. I’m just looking for anything positive to help me live a longer, healthier, happier life. Thanks

Carolyn December 17, 2012 - 1:46 PM

This sounds like a great idea. Clean eating can get boring very quick which makes it harder to stick with it. I would to see new recipes!

Brooke December 17, 2012 - 1:48 PM

Items with limited amounts of ingredients/tools necessary for those of us who are in college and/or constrained on budget, space, time, and money. You are always good about that though.

Porsha December 17, 2012 - 9:15 PM

I’m wit Brooke… I wanna eat healthier but it costs… And I’m a new mom so the little money I had is now going to lil one’s needs

Erika Nicole Kendall December 18, 2012 - 9:58 AM

“…the little money I had…”

I sincerely hope you’re not formula feeding, if money is an issue. :/

Sheri December 17, 2012 - 1:52 PM

I would love this and like Keesha I would need that initial prep/shopping week. I have been over-doing the processed food and my stomach had enough this weekend. I’m in!

Anne December 17, 2012 - 1:57 PM

I’m all for it since I missed the last one! I love your recipes! It’s helping me build my collection so I don’t get bored.

Patti December 17, 2012 - 1:59 PM

i would be interested. But I want the lobster bisque recipes and the tater tots. I’m a real time foodie, but I am also a real deal fattie. I want to change that. And since I have been reading your blog for a year or two but have never done the boot camp, I am interested in learning if I can actually follow a plan for more than a minute! … and maybe just maybe see results too

Tia December 17, 2012 - 2:02 PM

I would definately be in. My concerns with clean eating are making food that’s kid friendly. I have a five year old and if he could live off peanut butter and jelly and orange slices he would.

Lawgeek December 17, 2012 - 2:12 PM

How do you start clean eating when you are allergic to raw fruits and vegetables and many cooked ones as well. The majority of your website and recipes are focused on vegetables and I understand why but what about those of us who can’t eat that. This is a true diagnosis by doctors not an I don’t like them so I won’t eat them question.

Just V December 17, 2012 - 5:17 PM

Totally feel your pain on the food allergies. For me it’s all seafood, fish, and nuts, so I get frustrated when all the health sites and recipes seem to focus on lean cuts of fish or snacking on nuts for extra protein.

Symba December 17, 2012 - 2:13 PM

Hello! I would be so excited to go on a clean eating boot camp. I would really need a shopping list before hand so that I know what ingredients I should have prepped and ready. Also, I have kids so, can some of the meals be kid friendly? We are clean eating as much as possible and it would be great to get some new recipes in the mix. Thanks again.

Te'Amo Blakely December 17, 2012 - 2:14 PM

I would love to gain more information about this boot camp. I could stand to lose 40lbs. I know eating right and exercise are key but first I have to change my mindset. I’m not a cook by any means but if it has instructions I’m game. I admit, fast foods are my friend when I’m at work or out and about. I don’t have much time after work to bake so anything quick is what’s for dinner. I have the hardest time keeping fruits and veggies fresh. They rot so fast. Knowledge is key, so I need to educate myself. This will be a HUGE transition for me. I’ve already stopped drinking soda. I mainly drink water.

A lot of the things you mentioned above had my brows furrowed in confusion. Please HELP.

Olivia December 17, 2012 - 2:14 PM

I currently live with my parents and brother so that makes for 5 adults and 1 toddler in the house. My father and I love to eat healthy different foods, my husband eats what I give him unless it’s too weird (such as eggplant and quinoa) and my mother and brother HATE just about everything but chicken and rice. And mac n cheese.
I would like to see kinda simple, kinda quick, decent priced meals that can be cooked in large amounts and frozen in advance. I like to prepare meals the night before and cook them in the oven (or crock pot) when I am at work or exercising in the morning. That is my request!

Kitty December 17, 2012 - 2:23 PM

I’d like to know how to do all this with a food stamp budget under $200 a month. How to eat cheap and healthy. Thanks!

AyeJ December 17, 2012 - 2:24 PM

I tend to be a picky eater. I love vegetables && fruit but not to big on a lot of meat. I can eat turkey sandwiches from budding(very processed I know) but other than that I eat boneless chicken breasts. Not big on seafood. I can only eat fried catfish. I like to eat those this but I find myself getting tired of eating the same old thing so I go back to bad eating habits often.

Courtney December 17, 2012 - 2:24 PM

We’ve just moved into a new place and have taken stock of all of the good things that have been in the fridge/pantry that I either haven’t eaten or has expired and had to be thrown away. I HATE being such a food waster and am ready for a fresh start. Also, I’ve had to really start sticking with being gluten-free (because I feel absolutely terrible if I don’t and swell like violet beauregarde), so I think a Clean Eating boot camp would snap me into shape.

Biolobri December 17, 2012 - 2:28 PM

I’m for this. I used to roll my eyes (hard!) at people who claimed clean eating was too much work/time/money, but I’m finding myself in that exact situation as I take on grad school, despite my focus being, well, the neuroscience of food addiction! I actually love to cook but I find myself questioning how healthy my recipes are (am I using too much oil to sauté my kale, e.g.) as well as finding it easier to just raid the free pizza from the talk than find the time to make it to the grocery store and prepare a real lunch/dinner.

I think recipes that are inexpensive, use many of the same ingredients (so we can use what’s leftover from one in another dish the next day) and involve minimal prep would be in high demand. Of course, being a foodie, I’d love more guidance on things like braising and blanching and all that for when I *do* have more time.

Chells December 17, 2012 - 2:35 PM

I vote YES! for the boot camp re boot.

I’ll admit it I fell off the wagon around Thanksgiving. Today was the first day back for me I walked 1 mile this morning and will head to the grocery store and get back to cooking on Tuesday.

I really liked your Thanksgiving dinner post about the time you cooked for your mother-in-law. I’m a pretty good cook but I still need work on the Soul Food from scratch. I look forward to your February posts.

I also have a crockpot so if you have some recipes for that I’d love to see them 🙂 A big reason I got off track was that I got very busy and grocery time and money were used on the wrong things. So if I can throw a few items in the crock pot and nosh on it for a few days that would be lovely. I’d like to see more oven-made recipes like this too.

Also, non-processed sweets and snacking ideas.

This is so exciting Erika! I can’t wait to see what’s coming for BGGTWL in 2013.

cjbrownsc December 17, 2012 - 3:15 PM

I’m interested – my 16yo just mentioned that she wants to start eating clean so this would be a great challenge for us.
My concerns:
1) eating clean at restaurants
2) how to fix clean lunches that a 16yo would like

Samantha December 17, 2012 - 3:31 PM

Yep, I would love this! I’m pretty cautious about/conscious of my eating habits, but it’s always good to get a reboot after the holiday season. I’m keeping up with my workouts (6 days/week, alternating cardio & resistance training) but I know that my eating habits over the next 2 weeks will take a detour. I’m going to enjoy it all, hopefully in moderation. And I’ll be back on the horse come January.

Under normal (non-Christmas) circumstances, the key for me is finding ways to integrate treats into my regimen, so that I can have the things I crave (dark chocolate, a really delicious burrito, etc.) without falling off a nutritional cliff and reverting to drive-through crap every day. I know better than that now, fortunately.

Rae December 17, 2012 - 4:14 PM

I’d like to see some focus on clean recipes that also freeze well. At least once a month, I end up working for 12 days straight. By day 5, I call it success if I get a pre-cooked chicken and a bag of salad from the grocery store. And by day 10, I’m usually eating whatever fast food/vending machine options I can get my hands on.

Sandra December 17, 2012 - 4:20 PM

I would love it, but what I am running into with weight loss plans and eating is a lot of items I am allergic to are big in helping you lose weight. I guess the thing I would like most are recipes for people who have several food allergies. (ex. dairy, nuts, seafood)

Erika Nicole Kendall December 17, 2012 - 4:46 PM

All you *really* need are fruits, veggies, and lean healthy sources of protein. That’s it. So… dairy, nuts, seafood… none are mandatory nor are they particularly beneficial or necessary for weight loss.

That’s all I’m sayin’.

Durkia December 17, 2012 - 4:39 PM

I am so in! My only concern is that like others have already posted about eating out with friends or even on the go. I’m a person that’s always out and about when I’m not stuck at my desk at work but I find it hard to eat when I’m on the go unless I go to the “build your own salad” spot at the mall. Suggestions on that would be great!

I usually take a piece of fruit but I can’t load a whole meal in my purse lol!

Alovelydai December 17, 2012 - 5:09 PM

Clean eating is easy for me but I admit I’m stuck in a recipe warp. I purchased & used your meal plan before and would love to see a new one or something similar.

Abunna December 17, 2012 - 5:10 PM

Keesha hit it on the head. I’d like the shopping early or a week in advance so I have time to actually shop. What I’m looking for is how to do this with little time. I’m currently in school and will be spending the next few months in projects and prepping for comprehensive exams. I know I need to make health a priority, but I’d also like to use my time wisely. I’d like both quick and smart tips for clean eating.

Tash December 17, 2012 - 5:28 PM

Hi Erika,

Long-time lurker here, I’ve been reading your blog for ages and have used it as my motivation to maintain my healthy lifestyle. Since I’ve started I’ve lost 9kgs for a starting point of 89 with a combination of weights, cardio and clean eating (btw, you are a Godsend. Seriously I was so afraid of weights before and now they’re my favourite part of going to the gym! I’m so much stronger and happier now :D)
My question is would it be possible for a few example sauces to be uploaded? My boyfriend and I eat a lot of stir fry and a lot of pasta with mince and for both of these we rely on sauces from a jar because we love variety and get bored easily. I’d love to get some simple sauces of both kinds that I can put together quickly. Maybe even ones I could jar for the boyfriend to cook with. Cooking just scares me a little, I’m time poor but I want to do the right thing by my boyfriend and my body

CJ December 17, 2012 - 5:29 PM

Cooking from scratch is very time consuming, so if you can offer tips to make eating cleaning less time consuming that would be a great help.

Jackie December 18, 2012 - 9:57 AM

Yes would like it! I am first of all concerned about cost, time, preparation, and gluten free meals. Would like to have more options for quick savory meals. I love this site and look forward to boot camp.

Karm December 17, 2012 - 5:33 PM

I’m in…my only concern is the typical one: how shall I remain consistent??? Accountability is not always my strong suit, but I’m going to try to take it day by day.

Darcenia McDowell December 17, 2012 - 5:53 PM

I’m on board too, if you should decide to host. I’d just need written recipes and a weekly grocery list.

Pat Rice December 17, 2012 - 6:02 PM

I type this with orange cheetos fingertips, my 30 y.o. cousin had a stroke yesterday, so my emotional eating is on auto-pilot!
Erica, I would love for you to do a bootcamp! Please include plenty of EASY, simple recipies that don’t take hours to prepare. I love your site and recommend it to everyone

Chandra December 17, 2012 - 6:05 PM

Hello, My name is Chandra and I’ve been reading your posts on facebook for a few weeks. I absolutely love this site! I would like to know what a boot camp is? Do you guys meet somewhere or is this all done on the your site? I would like to know more about how to start eating clean out of regular food stores such as Walmart and Krogers. Also please give me healthy options on sugar and cheese.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 18, 2012 - 10:10 AM

The boot camp basically walks you through the tenets of clean eating, as well as sharing recipes from my kitchen. Teaching how to cook, so on and so forth. It seems like people really want meal plans and the like, but I have to figure out how I’d incorporate all that.

ellebekah December 17, 2012 - 6:13 PM

I would absolutely love to join a 2013 bootcamp. I’d love to see clean eating recipes (soup bases/stocks, sauces, marinades, etc) that freeze well and could draw on simple ingredients that are easily found in a food-desert of a grocery store. I know “simple” is in the eye of the beholder, but considering that leeks are over $3/each and anything besides iceberg lettuce costs about $3 a head where I am, I need to take it to the most basic, cost effective level in order to stay on it

Elana December 17, 2012 - 6:13 PM

First off, you are AWESOME!! I would definitely be on board for a boot camp. My biggest concerns would be the time it takes to prepare the meals and having a shopping list for the all of the food we’ll need for that week. Also, I know I need help with preparing brown bag lunches for myself and a hungry hubby who wants to eat better. And as I need to lose approx. 200lbs this is a great idea. 🙂

Nneka December 17, 2012 - 6:20 PM

I would definitely participate, especially with your helpful information. I have 3 little ones and getting them to try new, different and healthy foods can be hit or miss. So, simple kid friendly recipes would be awesome. Thanks

Tarra December 17, 2012 - 6:31 PM

My biggest concern or issue is to make sure the food is delicious as well as healthy and having a variety of ways to prepare a meal so I don’t get bored with it.


Angela Myers December 17, 2012 - 7:42 PM

I think that this is a fabulous idea…I need a jump Start in cleaning up my eating….bring it on

Chaunie December 17, 2012 - 7:57 PM

I have been visiting your website almost everyday for the past few months via Facebook. I love all of your information and I eagerly want to participate in the boot camp. I need variety and affordability (single parent). I could also use some advice on prepping meals for the work week.

Kimberly December 17, 2012 - 8:24 PM

Definately interested! Eating out is a huge problem when trying to eat smart, so any strategies there would be great!

Kai December 17, 2012 - 8:24 PM

I too would like to see a starter grocery list. I think that would help me out tons!

Missie Quinn December 17, 2012 - 8:49 PM

What about sweets and desserts!?!? I’m a girl that has a big sweet tooth and a love for chocolate, so I need ways and ideas on how I can satisfy my crave and be healthy!
Thanks!! : )

Erika Nicole Kendall December 18, 2012 - 10:00 AM

Yeah, and we start with working on the sweet tooth. ROFL

NayLahKnee December 17, 2012 - 9:05 PM

Yes, I need a boot camp to counter act my prednisone treatments. God, I feel so out of control right now. BRING ON THE BOOT CAMP – LIKE SOON….CAUSE I WANT IT…..SO YOU BRING IT.

Carman2013 December 17, 2012 - 9:13 PM

Some dorm/college friendly tips every once in a while. Its hard out here for a broke, kitchenless scholar! lol!

Erika Nicole Kendall December 18, 2012 - 9:59 AM

Dorms are mad tricky. What are examples of your allowances for what you can have in there? Can you have a hot plate? Can you bring a mini-fridge? Toaster oven? Microwaving really isn’t a viable option, at least not one that *I* want to encourage, so what can you have?

Carman2013 December 18, 2012 - 11:05 AM

I keep a hot plate and george forman around. I can also have a mini fridge of my own.

Alicia December 17, 2012 - 9:21 PM

I would definitely love a shopping list and some quick clean-eating recipes. Time is always short around here, and I don’t always have time for long recipes.

Belinda December 17, 2012 - 9:23 PM

Love your site! Bring it on, I am ready! 🙂

LaWanda December 17, 2012 - 9:30 PM

I am totally interested, please do it.

Gwynn December 17, 2012 - 9:33 PM

Hey Erika! Thanks so much for creating your site!
I’d like to see a different set up of your recipes, like to subcategorize them into main dishes, desserts, snacks.
I’d love to see casserole or slow cooker recipes! I like to cook one pot meals lol!! Also, I’d like to see ways to transition from regular eating to clean eating..tips on gradually moving into clean eating.
Thanks Erika!!

Mariama December 17, 2012 - 9:52 PM

I’d love to join the challenge. My major concerns are
1) Eating clean away from home – work, travel etc.
2) Varitey – I get bored after about three weeks
3) Taste- I love food and need to experience it. Bland
food is horrible.

Tonya December 17, 2012 - 9:53 PM

I’m ready. I’m interested in going (relatively) gluten free. I’m looking at Paleo because I’ve noticed that I feel SO much better when I don’t eat grains, especially oatmeal and have better digestion minus the dairy, though eggs are fine. I have all four of your meal plans and I love them all, especially the one with all the spices. Shopping lists are on point. I’ve incorporated a few of your recipes into my standard rotation so I trust your taste buds. So I’d be interested in any clean, gluten and dairy free options.

Joy December 17, 2012 - 10:06 PM

I would love to join this! My biggest problem area is eating right. I agree with what a lot of others are saying. Getting the shopping list in advance, making quick but tasty meals, and eventually alternatives while eating out. Also, these wonderful pictures that you have above would be helpful!

AshBash December 17, 2012 - 10:12 PM

HI! I am so curious about what your daughter eats. (that sounded kinda creepy but i didnt mean it in a creepy way) I have a 6 month old son and I want him to eat clean as he grows. Can you talk about your experiences with clean eating and your daughter. Like what do you do foe her birthday? do you make her a cake? does she like cake? How does parenting and clean eating work?

Robin December 17, 2012 - 11:31 PM

Absolutely! A shopping list in advance (2 weeks). I am excited.

Aisha December 17, 2012 - 11:31 PM

To be honest I’m a lazy cook and I live alone. I would love to see (and here comes the crazy demanding strange things) easy/simple vegetarian for one/two. Is that too specific?
Anyway – love this site!!!

Erika December 18, 2012 - 12:02 AM

I would love to take part in the boot camp. I’m a commuter who works long days and by the time I get home and work-out its almost time for bed. My biggest challenges: I’m lactose-intolerant, I am single but I don’t like eating the same meal more than 2 days in a row (minimizing left-overs), time consumption, clean meals that I actually enjoy and budgeting for returning to school.

StacyWash December 18, 2012 - 1:56 AM

I would be down to try this. I would be coming off of 31 days of fitness (My December Challenge) and this would be a great January challenge (31 days of Clean Eating) for me. My biggest challenge in this area is preparation. I often purchase whole foods, but cooking in advance is really where I struggle.

Mobetta December 18, 2012 - 2:31 AM

Ok, I didn’t read any of the previous comments because I didn’t want them to keep me from being honest about what is really hindering me from eating clean. So I apologize if I’m repeating what someone else has said.

Ok, I’d like to learn how to cook. Ok, let me explain. I want to be able to cook like my grandma, you know, no measuring, just throw it in the pot and come out with goodness.

I want to learn how to cook for one. That’s one of the MAJOR reasons why it’s so hard for me to get into cooking. I’m only one person and I’m only (supposed) able to eat so much and I hate wasting food. So I either eat everything up or end up throwing food away.

I want to learn spices, and what pots and pans and kitchen utensils are staples and what they’re used for and why they’re awesomesauce!

And braising, blanching, and everything else you said, yeah, I need to know about that, too, lol.

Oh, and clearly and definitely, I vote yes for bootcamp! I’m so ready to get in there!!

Thank you!!!

Te'Amo Blakely December 18, 2012 - 3:43 PM

I 100% agree with what you posted. The only difference is that I cook for 5 instead of 1.

Nzinga Ebron December 18, 2012 - 3:05 AM

Yes!!!! to everything lol.

Brooklyn PeeWee December 18, 2012 - 8:46 AM

I second the comment about recipes that reuse products that I’ve bought. I’m really tired of wasting food. Since I’m alone with a tiny kitchen and 18″-wide frig, I have to be careful about portions.

Tiffany December 18, 2012 - 10:37 AM

I would love this!!! My biggest concern would be the preparation terms and what they mean(brining, etc.). Also portion sizes, I’m not sure how much to eat. Different breakfast ideas would be great. I love oatmeal, but After 3 days, I’m back to the b**** lol

ashley December 18, 2012 - 10:48 AM

I would love to have a grocery list with items that are not outrageous but things I can also cook for my kids without them complaining.

Tari January 3, 2013 - 6:35 PM

My sentiments, exactly.

Jessica December 18, 2012 - 11:11 AM

Good morning,

I would just like to say how much I love your website and I am so glad I found this during my google search.

Biggest Concerns: I am afraid to eat a lot of carbs because as soon as I have anything carb based (pasta, rice, bagel) it goes straight to my stomach but this also dampens my eating experience since my culture is big on carbs.

Reservations: I do not eat pork.

Challenges: I am in law school and only have about 30-45 minutes to cook typically. I am also on a tight budget (lights vs. internet battle every month). And lastly, I recently (in the past 9 months) started cooking so I do not fully understand a lot of the terminology and I do not have a good sense of when things are fully cooked or border line burnt.

Thanks again for creating this awesome website! Have a great day!

Erica December 18, 2012 - 11:44 AM

I love this and can’t wait to get started!! I agree with most everyone about the shopping list. My concerns are 1) cooking for a diabetic and 2) cooking enough for a growing teenage boy. Besides that, I am all in! So looking forward to this!!

Crystal December 18, 2012 - 12:24 PM

I would definately like to do this! When do we start?!?!?!?

Tazzee December 18, 2012 - 12:25 PM

Here’s my yes vote. I work full time and go to school 2 nights/week, so I’m hoping to see clean recipes that I can make in bulk if possible. Foods that I can make on Sunday and possibly Wednesday nights that can get me through the week.

Jennifer December 18, 2012 - 12:48 PM

You should do some homemade basics like homemade yogurt, granola, homemade breakfast foods etc.

Cari December 18, 2012 - 2:16 PM

I’m in Erika! Is it okay if I eat gluten-free/make gluten free substitutions for the recipes?

Love your blog!

Alexis December 18, 2012 - 2:43 PM

I am very interested in your boot camp. My only concern is how much time is devoted to eating clean. I do cook a few meals on my days off but its usually easy meals. as long as the meals dont take a long time to prepare and cook i am all for it. My normal meals take about 30min to make so I can make a few on my days off but any more than that and I’m concerned I won’t have the time.

JayMills December 18, 2012 - 4:05 PM

It would be amazing and incredible help if you help me out as a college student in a dorm room with a fridge and microwave. I don’t really mind food shopping and keeping basics in my room but space is limited. I’ve been wanting to get into clean eating for a while but I’ve only been able to get serious about it while I’m at home during the summer.

I’ve got Walmart, Aldis and Tops by me. Sometimes I spend time at my friend’s house off campus which helps because she has a kitchen. I’m not alone in this, my friends and I could really use the help. With more knowledge I could actually talk them into really joining me in clean eating as part of our “Spring Break body” goals.

Te'Amo Blakely December 18, 2012 - 4:27 PM

Is this boot camp something that has to be done in person or can we participate online, forums, conference call, etc? What would the cost be? That would determine if I’d be able to participate.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 18, 2012 - 5:20 PM

All hosted here, on the blog. 🙂

Claire December 18, 2012 - 5:10 PM

1. 15 minute meals- 4 or 6 people, and also just for one. I love quick bean burritos and chili with broccoli and oven tortilla chips.
2. One meal/5 ways (how to combine different spices for one set protein/starch/veggie combo so you can make it Mexican, Indian, Lebanese, whatever). I think healthy eating is important to include flexibility and it will increase people’s spice knowledge, which is important for clean eating. Add condiments that will increase the change in flavor (avocado vs. a little parm, etc)
3. Batch cooking- I noticed many people also mentioned freezer cooking. Also mentioning how the reheated item could be done with a grain, or a wrap, etc. so it doesn’t feel like leftovers if you have to eat it many days in a row.
4. How to cook whole grains, and how to freeze them.
5. How to cook beans, and how to freeze them (both are so much cheaper in bulk, and filling)
I think you could do a lot of people good! Go for it!

Chandra December 18, 2012 - 5:16 PM

Thanks Erica, I also forgot to tell you my biggest concern. As a result of reading your posts, I desired to eat more fruits and vegetables in my diet. I decided that drinking green smoothies was a good way to start. I bought spinach and frozen fruits, but ended up in the hospital because I’m on a blood thinner called coumadin. Alot of green leafy vegetables interacts with the coumadin. The doctor said I can eat them but not alot of greens. I can eat 2 to 4 small servings a week. But being consistant is very important. Now I need to find a better way to get healthy that doesn’t lead me back to the hospital.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 18, 2012 - 5:19 PM

Did you ask your doctor to suggest another blood thinner that doesn’t affect your ability to eat vegetables? If you can’t eat leafy greens, did your doctor put you on a supplement to help you get your personalized daily allowances?

What a weird thing to suggest to someone. Wow.

Chandra December 18, 2012 - 6:43 PM

Since I just got the hospital Saturday, I suppose to see the doctor in 2 weeks. I’ll ask him about a supplement to give my body the daily vitamins it needs.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 19, 2012 - 10:12 AM

If your doctor told you to stop eating leafy greens and didn’t also JOINTLY give you a supplement, I’d ask for a referral to a registered dietician. Like, and I say that with sincerity and care, mama. Wow.

Dreynolds December 23, 2012 - 10:34 PM

Hi Chandra, I am sorry for butting in on your conversation but I have a little info on the Coumadin. It is actually the vitamin K in the green leafy vegetables that interact or inactivate the Coumadin. Definately do an Internet search on foods high in vitamin k, it will help steer you in the right direction. Also like Ericka said there are other medications that will thin your blood besides the Coumadin but it all depends on the underlying medical condition that requires you to take the Coumadin. Definately have a conversation with your doctor/nutritionist. Much luck to you!

Ebony December 18, 2012 - 7:25 PM

I would like to see more gluten free recipes. I recently found out my daughter (2 years old) has to be gluten free and I am having issues being more creative with her meals. Thanks!

Lecie December 19, 2012 - 1:26 PM

I’m interested in the boot camp as well. I’d like recipes that are flavorful, have variety and don’t require gourmet ingredients. I am allergic to nuts, salmon & scallops so I would like alternatives to those foods. Advice on eating clean while away from home would be great too.

Tyj247 December 19, 2012 - 4:07 PM

I wasn’t able to read all the comments already made so I apologize if many of these are repeats. I feel like my list will be very long but you asked so here goes…

1. A weekly/biweekly shopping list. I’ve tried to do meal plans before where you weren’t given a shopping list and it makes it very difficult to keep up when it feels like everyday you have to run to the grocery store for something else.

2. Kind of in line with the shopping list, having the items on said shopping list be used multiple times in different ways in a relatively short amount of time. I hate buying novelty ingredients that go bad before I find use for them again. I’m broke and need to spend wisely and throwing out spoiled food isn’t the way to do it.

3. Be kind to/mindful of meat eaters please. I understand the benefits for going vegetarian/vegan and I’m sure someone will judge me for not wanting to sacrifice meat for the sake of my health. What can I say, I’m not there yet. So can some of your recipes include meat, or suggest meat alternatives for a recipe if possible? Please and thank you.

4. Potential kitchen appliances (and alternative methods if not possible) would also be helpful. I am not much of a cook so I tend to to buy all the latest, coolest, “must-have” kitchen items if I don’t have to.

5. I am a grad student with a job so quick, easy meals would be IDEAL. I am also not much of cook, mostly because I lack the patience for it, so this would be super helpful for me.

6. Easily transported meals and microwavable meals. sometimes I’m at work/on campus for up to 10 hours. Having meals I can throw in the work fridge and easily heat and eat would be great.

7. In line with 6, easily transported post workout snacks (that don’t require refrigeration). I’m usually going from work to the gym or vice-versa so being told I should just make a smoothie is not a realistic suggestion for post-exercise nourishment.

Again, sorry for the long list but it’s rare to get make suggestions about something like this as the “consumer”. And I hope I didn’t come off as demanding, these are just real concerns that have derailed me in the clean eating endeavor. Thanks for your posts and I look forward to this boot camp if you choose to do it after all!

kim December 20, 2012 - 11:13 AM

I would love it! i follow the meal plans in clean eating mag but community aspect is missing. A shopping list is a must!

Lori December 20, 2012 - 11:30 AM

Vegan, vegan, vegan. I, like many have severe allergies to dairy products. If you have big, swollen upper arms or constant sinus infections or drainage, you probably do too.

Valencia December 20, 2012 - 1:12 PM

One thing that intimidates me….please don’t laugh are spices and the proper combination.when I first learned of clean eating I bought tumeric , curry, corriander….etc. but I truly don’t know what’s going on or how to use them to taste good…Erika your recipes are bomb dot com so help a sista out….a tutorial or series even on how use and pair seasoning because I really need to stop reaching for the lawry’s

Sharon T December 20, 2012 - 4:49 PM

Erica, I would luv to see the new Boot Camp 2013 here are just a few thing I would like to see.

I’m interested in having you to list some clean alternatives for things such as bread and sugar etc. I thought Truvia was clean until you mentioned it in one of your articles that it wasn’t.

Also, how to setup meal plans for people like me who have problems because they work the night shift. I work from 8:30 p.m to 5 a.m. I find it hard to do the 6 meals a day thing because I’m up most of the time. I sleep 2-3 hours after I get off work and before I go to work. I workout 3 times a week around for at least 1 1/2 hours, which includes cardio and weights. I’m finding it hard to lose weight. It seems like the harder I try to lose the more I gain. That’s one reason I continue to workout and I’m going to amp that up.

Nicole December 21, 2012 - 12:11 AM

Hi Erika,
I have been lurking around a bit for a while but not ever really hanging out. I had some free time this evening and got bored with facebook so after seeing something you posted I decided to spend my time here with you, and I am glad I did! I would love to participate in the boot camp. We eat clean… kinds. I mean my hubby and I are all for avoiding processed foods, buying organic, and consuming large quantities of leafy greens but that is in addition to the junky favorites or lunch time mishaps that end in a drive through mess. 2013 is going to be different. I am watching my daughter grow quickly into the thick black girl stock she comes from (on her father’s side) and I want to help her learn to make better choices with food before she fills in all her curves like her aunts! In order to do that I have to #1 make better choices for us all at home and when we eat out and #2 model good habits myself. I am a good cook and we all love to eat so prayerfully a good kick start like your boot camp will help us get the year off to a good start.
I know this is getting long but one more thing… for the ladies who are asking for full on recipes or help with how to cook what you suggest we cook, may I suggest you simply link to those things elsewhere on your blog? A “get ready to start” post a couple days in advance my help us all prepare by shopping ahead, eating Burger King one last time, adjusting our attitude, whatever… and then I say- Bring It!

milaxx December 22, 2012 - 10:59 PM

I’m late seeing this,but I would be interested if there were vegetarian options.

Katherine December 22, 2012 - 11:52 PM

I am all about this! I have come to realize that clean eating is the way to go. I’ve done a bit of menu making myself over this year. Things that makes it hard are the fact my family is so large. I’m talking “cooking for 14 most days! It gets expensive!

Ashley December 26, 2012 - 9:02 AM

I would love to join the clean eating boot camp. I would like to see a pre boot camp shopping list and maybe some introduction posts(you could just post the original ones). Because we know diet(meaning permanenet lifestyle change not something you get mailed to you every week) and exercise go hand to hand, maybe a fitness boot camp that begins a week or month after the cleaning eating boot camp. Of course, meal plans rather free or paid or a combo of both.

Maui Mescudi December 28, 2012 - 11:09 PM

I know I’m late, but I know I’d really like to learn simple healthy dishes. I’ve never found it difficult to follow a recipe to make something fancy and different, but replacing the ingredients for something you know(KNOW) how to make can be challenging. For example, I know how to make rice… Until you ask me to make it without butter or salt. I’d also like to see some budget-friendly recipes. I love cooking, but I frequently end up buying something frozen(-_-) because purchasing all the ingredients to make it will cost more. Lastly, things that can be made without a huge time-investment, as school and work don’t leave me as much prep/cook time as I’d like.

Robin Pinchback December 28, 2012 - 11:14 PM

I’m interested! I need help with understanding and cooking “clean”. Thanks for offering to do this!

dSWEETONE December 28, 2012 - 11:14 PM

I haven’t read through the comments just yet so excuse me if this is redundant but I think I could use help in the portion size department(what they really look like), picking foods that complement/maximize the nutritional value of each other and just keeping the preparation of the meals simple. Thank you and may I add that you are doing an awesome job!

Aleshia December 28, 2012 - 11:15 PM

I’m definitely interested! My biggest concern is convenience and not getting bored. I work full-time and am in law school at night, so its super easy just to pick up fast food on the go. I’ve got to stop that, I know. Salad dressings is the specific thing that I’d like to learn to make. Overall, I just want to learn how to make a variet of good, tasty foods.

Lisa December 28, 2012 - 11:32 PM

I would love to see some vegan recipes and some great soul food recipes. I would like to cut meat out of my diet but i know that the rest of my family is not going for that.

Monisa December 28, 2012 - 11:35 PM

I would like to do something like this. I a system to start off with and a mentor of sorts. Great idea.

Josie December 29, 2012 - 12:10 AM

I’m interested in the bootcamp as well. I am interested in having a shopping list so I can get everything up front. I also would like to learn more about making foods more flavorful. I don’t eat fast foods, so that’s not an issue, but would like to learn how to eat clean when out at sit down restaurants. Thank you.

Jessica December 29, 2012 - 12:19 PM

I really want to participate in the boot camp. I’m trying to lose weight as suggested by my prosthetist and doctor, so I can have more success walking on my prosthetic legs. I’m a teacher, so I need simpler meals that are low budget and yummy! I love reading your articles and hope this can help me change my lifestyle. Thank you!

Karen G December 30, 2012 - 12:54 AM

I would like to learn which spices to use when. I have every spice known to man, but have no idea when to use them and with what type of dish.

CG December 30, 2012 - 6:54 PM

Everyone has such great suggestions! May I also request that you add a Pinterest to this site? I know many people like to bookmark all of our clean eating articles on our pinterests so we can access them quickly while shopping. Just a suggestion!

DeShantel January 3, 2013 - 5:22 PM

my problem is having my husband not have a fit because some of his favorites aren’t in the cabinet. For me in order to make Clean eating work and eat better I would have to completely abandon a lot of the food that he is use to having in the house because I know it would be hard for me to have it in the house and not eat it. I guess how do I get him on board

KiWi January 3, 2013 - 6:28 PM

I would love figuring out how to do clean when you have a poor/limited quality of produce/meat selection. I moved from a city that had several international farmers markets with fresh seafood and breads and spices, a huge selection of produce, and was set up like a grocery store, to a city that has farmers markets that are seasonal. I really miss Atlanta 🙁

Kisha January 3, 2013 - 6:44 PM

I am eager to do this, but my concerns are being able to realistic make the meals in a a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable amount of money. Cooking for my self and 4 children I need it to be realistic in my schedule and budget. A shopping list the week before is a great idea so I can be prepared for the upcoming week.

Fit freak January 4, 2013 - 2:31 PM

Where has your blog been all my life? I’m a new reader but I am in love. As a college student I wouldst like to see functional and easy but still healthymeals. I love to cook but my schedule doesn’t allow me to spend hours on dinner. Most of my slip-ups come from lack of time and preparation.

Patti January 4, 2013 - 11:39 PM

I’ve been following a Paleo plan this month and I see a benefit to eatiing this way so I would like to see portion controlled, healthy fat, high quality protein and produce option, but I am eclectiv and can eat vegetarian and omnivore. I would like nut free recipes, and maybe some fitness topics, pics and maybe an online forum. Maybe a meetup or two in the NY, Va corridor

Mika January 6, 2013 - 12:00 PM

I have a very bad relationship with breakfast. Most days I have a pop tart or nothing at all. I would love to have some recipes for things that I can take to work. Everyone suggests fruit or oatmeal but both make me super hungry after 30 minutes.

Erika Nicole Kendall January 6, 2013 - 6:25 PM

I think the kind of oatmeal makes a huge difference, though – are you eating instant oatmeal, or the regular cooked oatmeal that DOESN’T come in packets?

junglebabe January 6, 2013 - 12:15 PM

my downfalls on eating is i get too busy/tired to cook or shop. and even when i do shop and cook, i go through phases where i then look in the fridge at the food and think no i dont want to eat a thing i’ve got. i’ve tried to make the food taste good to me by spicing it up, even a little sweetener, like on baked sweet potatoes, and sometimes it helps me eat it and sometimes it doesn’t. i dont understand why i’d rather eat the same food out at a regular restaurant or at somebody else’s house. right now i’m in a good phase where i can cook and eat at home. except for eating enough green things. i love the versions of beans, brown rice, various meat or no meat, with some veggies and spices, and i still eat cheese and sour cream. i use tabasco chipotle sauce alot and other hot sauces too.

junglebabe January 6, 2013 - 12:19 PM

i also make food in quantity to freeze but i don’t have a big freezer. a big freezer in on my to-do list but not any time soon.

Rebecca Taylor April 11, 2013 - 11:20 PM

I have been sitting on the fence about this, recently starting my day with green yogurt fresh fruit a drizzle of honey and a little almond butter. yum! I havre 2 picky eater kids plus a husband who likes his junk food, so family meals are needed. I’ve been doing baked/broiled chicken w a veggie and a grain for a while, and they will even eat fish/Shrimp! Boot camp… BRING IT ON!!!

Egyirba November 2, 2013 - 11:48 AM

Thanks! Would like to see definitions and explanations of terms and such, including what clean eating is. More importantly, QuICK and EASY menus/recipes — is that possible? Pictures are great (don’t change that) but include recipes if possible would help some of us greatly. I’m a get in/get out of the kitchen fast kinda-girl and not so much interested in gourmet or involved dishes. But sure–variety is appreciated.

I make a lot of one-pot meals (chili/stew type deals with variations) because I like to keep it simple. Not vegan or vegetarian but open to those kind of meals. Ideas for tofu? I love tofu. Love Indian dals. You get the idea.

And what about for us junkfood-laden addicts? Anything to assuage the potato chip pull that I can’t seem to shake?

Again, thanks for asking. You probably got more than you really wanted! 🙂

CryLyn November 6, 2013 - 1:09 AM

Thank you so much for rebooting this. I would love to see an actual weekly meal plan as I am not very creative. Also, if we could have pork free options that would be great!!!

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