What’s for Dinner? (and is it clean??)

I feel like everywhere I turn recently I’m hearing about different diets or “eating lifestyles”.

I have to admit before I started running food was…well, just food.  I ate what I liked and I didn’t think too much about it other than that.  Now I find myself thinking things like: “what’s going to give me the most energy for my long run?”, “what will give me some good post-workout protein?” and “what snack might help avoid muscle soreness and inflammation?”

Now, food is fuel.  Food is medicine.  And while I am only beginning to understand all there is to learn about nutrition, I find myself really only paying attention to it on a part-time basis and I want to do better than that.

I think I’ve always been a naturally pretty healthy eater, I’ve loved vegetables since I was a kid and never really had much of a sweet tooth.  By definition I would be called a “pescetarian” – basically a vegetarian, but I eat seafood.


Some typical dinners at my house!

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about “clean eating” and eating vegan.  If you’re not familiar with either of these I’ve provided short explanations below:

Clean Eating:  While there’s no hard and fast definition, clean eating is all about consuming only whole foods (think: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), while avoiding processed and fast foods at all costs. The idea is to promote health and encourage individuals to become aware of what they are eating (not to mention the benefits of lowering sugar, sodium, and artificial ingredient intake). (This explanation was taken from an article on Greatist.com, you can view the article in it’s entirety HERE.)

Vegan:  A vegan is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs.  (This definition is from Vegan.org)

While I’m interested in experimenting with both of these, I also know myself well enough to know that I am NOT the type of person that can stick to a strict diet…

Cape Cod Foods

Let’s face it, I can’t go a summer at Cape Cod without
my favorite lobster roll and peanut butter chip ice cream!

…but that doesn’t mean that I can’t start to make small changes and eliminate certain things that aren’t good for me and start working towards a cleaner healthier way of eating.

What I’ve decided to do it keep a food journal.  For the next week I am going to be eating as I normally would and writing everything down I eat, noting whether it does or doesn’t fall into the clean eating or vegan category so I can assess where I am starting from.

Example:  Coffee – ok, sugar – not clean eating, half & half – not vegan, not clean eating

In 1 week after reviewing where I am now I’ll decide what my next step is and sharing some of the resources that I’ve found helpful so far.

A couple of quick questions:

Do you follow an eating lifestyle?  And do you see benefits from it?

Anyone interested in joining me in the food journaling experiment?  

Let me know and I’d be happy to link to your posts as well!

16 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner? (and is it clean??)

  1. My sister actually shared with me a whole bunch of Vegan recipes. Doug even wants to try some of them. I’m going to try to make the pumpkin gnocchi this weekend. Point of this ramble, if you want to swap vegan (and, with the exception of the chocolate peanut butter squares, clean eating) recipes, let me know!

    • Haha, looks like my dad is interested in that pumpkin gnocchi recipe! I’m not big on pumpkin, but I did just find a sweet potato gnocchi one I want to try! I’d love to swap some recipe’s, I’ve been looking for some on pinterest recently too.

      If you don’t mind can you send me the pumpkin one when you have time??

      • Hi Dani’s dad!

        I actually have 3 different recipes for the pumpkin, I’ll send them all to you for your dad. I also have a peanut stew, a carrot-matzo soup and a watermelon curry, just putting it out there lol.

        Doug (and I) love sweet potatoes, would you mind sharing your recipe with me too? 🙂

  2. I have lots of room for improvement on food. I go through phases of eating pretty clean and then eating junk. I’m in a junk phase now…gotta get better once I start marathon training 🙂

    PS Love a lobstah roll! 😉

    • Oh my goodness, that is the BEST lobstah roll EVER! Honestly, the picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s HUGE…my husband and I split that and I bowl of chowdah and we’re good to go!

  3. I try to eat pretty healthy foods, but sometimes it’s hard to get in lots of vegetables. I want to make more stir fry ( love adding beans as a protein source), and a little less dairy. I definitely pay more attention to when I eat what since becoming a runner. Carbs before, protein right after, and things like that.

    • From what it looks like on your blog you’re always eating so healthy! I’m really into stir fry’s recently because they’re just so easy and you can use anything in them!

  4. I’m trying to focus on lowering my refined flour and sugar intake. When I was training for NYCM and following this thoroughly, I was losing 2 pds a week and I felt amazing. I really need to get back to that.

    • Wow, it sounds like you saw a big difference when eating cleaner! I’m definitely going to have to try it, I’m just so not self disciplined with stuff like that!

  5. I’ll get on kicks where I’m eating mostly healthy foods, but right now I’m in a place where I can’t seem to stop eating junk / fast food. I know a lot of it has to do with stress but I’m trying to get back to more of clean eating. Not all the time though because I do have a serious sweet tooth!! 🙂 I would love it if you would share any good “clean” recipes you come across. I think part of my problem is trying to figure out what to eat. I’ve been trying to do more food planning at the beginning of the week to help with that.

  6. I find that moderation is my key to eating well. I try to eat foods that are not heavily processed, but there is hardly a day that goes by that I do not enjoy my after dinner ice cream! I buy the good stuff, but it still has sugar! Eating well does make a difference with my training so I make an effort when the mileage increases to include many varieties of fruits vergetables and carbs. Good luck with Vegan, I could never eliminate eggs and dairy…probably the meat as well.

    • Yeah, I’d have trouble without eggs, cheese & ice cream! If anything I may try a one month experiment of eating vegan, but I don’t think it would become a regular lifestyle for me, if anything I’ll just focus on more clean eating probably.

  7. As you probably know by following my blog, I am following the paleo lifestyle now and more specifically the Whole30 program. I have found eating clean to be an amazing light bulb moment in my life. It has not only changed my relationship with food, but it has made me fitter and stronger and much more healthier on the inside. I think your journaling is a great idea and I wish you luck with your vegan lifestyle. I have to admit that icecream looks mighty fine though! – Simone

    • To be honest, I’m not sure eating vegan is going to work for me, there are a lot of things I think I’d have trouble not eating. I think I am going to start with eating more clean and if I want to experiment with vegan eventually maybe I’ll try it for a month and see how it goes…still trying to decide!

      So glad to hear clean eating and paleo have made such an huge difference for you!

      • Yeah I could never be a vegan, I love my chicken and fish too much, eating paleo as a vegetarian is very difficult too as the protein sources other than meat are eliminated. I think if you look at cutting out sugar and processed foods you are well on your way to a healthy lifestyle! Good luck with it all!! – Simone 🙂

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