I always have a great time visiting the coast and it’s not uncommon to feel a bit of remorse when I have to leave it behind yet again. This weekend was definitely no exception. One day I’ll move there permanently. I have a stronger connection to the Mendocino coast and the entirety of the northern Hwy 101 corridor than I do to anywhere else on this planet. I must go where I belong! But first…working all the kinks out of life as it currently exists. Bah humbug.
The weekend kicked off with an overnight stay in Cloverdale, which I admit I mostly love because it means I get to visit Plank the next day at the end of our morning walk. They make the best almond milk chai latte I’ve ever tasted in my white American life. With fresh nutmeg grated across the top for good measure. If I lived in Cloverdale, this is where I’d be every single morning. They also make a mean scone (so far I’ve tried their bacon cheddar and their cheddar green onion scones) and their daily shrub is so refreshing, it makes me sad I can’t get it on eternal tap in my home. I’ve successfully tracked down some pretty good shrub recipes so perhaps I’ll take that on in the coming weeks, especially considering there is currently a glut of apple cider vinegar chilling in my pantry, taking up a lot of precious beer storage space.
The salmon barbecue itself was a lot of fun as always, with nice warm sun, cool breeze, and delicious food to make pretty much any person happy. I started my day with a morning training run of 75 minutes. I was on track to complete a 10K, but The Boyfriend decided to join me and he cramped up at about 3 miles out, so we had to turn around and head back, putting us at almost exactly six miles. Apparently the gym he goes to says that RUNNING IS BAD, MMMKAY? and he has zero muscle stamina/endurance even though they’re constantly working out. This frustrates me because even bodybuilders and Crossfitters do some running as part of their routines, so clearly it’s not a useless exercise. However, his gym is built around that whole “we’ll help you lose X amount of inches in X amount of time!” gimmick, and running is NOT a weight loss endeavor. So of course to them, time spent running is wasted when the person could be doing yet another 100 burpees. I can’t be completely mad because for their gimmick and their purposes, it works. But for long-term health, it is flawed from end to end. But that’s another rant for another day.
The funny thing about the barbecue is that we tend to go around 2pm, so we’re eating a late lunch/super early dinner, and our bodies get all weirded out by this and don’t know how to behave. So we end up taking sudden naps as soon as we get back to our hotel rooms, followed by waking up craving more food even though we’d eaten only a couple hours before! We satisfied ourselves with really good clam chowder from The Q, one of the places we loved during the Clam Chowder Tasting back in March. Totally hit the spot and got us warmed up for fireworks (but also kind of made me want to take another nap. Damn comfort food!). I meant to get up this morning and go for a walk with mom to work off all this eating, but that didn’t happen in the least bit. I hit the snooze button, rolled over, and snuggled back to sleep. Eh, I’ll work it off in the gym tomorrow, right?
Clean Eating Challenge Prep
Tomorrow is the big day! Usually I would spend the day before doing a ton of prep – chopping veggies, separating out ingredients into freezer bags, etc. – but since I just got home from an extended holiday weekend, and I’m working from home tomorrow, I’m saving the physical prep until then. But today I’ve firmed up the menu and guidelines prep so I’m ready to roll!
I’ve made a couple of substitutions for ingredients and meals on the menu for a couple of reasons I’ll explain here, but they’re all still done in the spirit of clean eating and so they stick as close to calorie and clean eating requirements as possible.
- During Week One, there are several mornings where chia puddings are called for. Because I have a partial container of Greek yogurt in the fridge and I hate being a food waster, I’m substituting in Greek yogurt and a homemade quick granola on those days. Week Two will still have all its breakfasts intact. I’ll circle back and do the Week One chia pudding recipes after the challenge is over so I can give you an honest opinion of them.
- Any place in the menu that calls for butternut squash has been replaced by sweet potatoes because the price of butternut squash was ridiculous this week and I don’t think we should be breaking the damn bank when we can keep with the vibe of clean eating for a little less scratch.
- Any place in the menu that calls for spaghetti squash has been replaced by actual whole wheat pasta because I have a race Saturday evening and I need the complex carbs of the whole wheat pasta. While pasta doesn’t directly qualify as true clean eating, it is still pretty damn close. Plus if Buzzfeed can consider sliced cheddar clean eating, then goddammit I’m calling pasta clean eating. SO THERE.
- All portobellos have been henceforth stricken from the menu because fuck no. Take that shit and shove it. There is nothing more disgusting on this planet than portobellos masquerading as bread or meat. Go away. I’ve substituted lettuce leaves for bread and just eliminated portobellos from one recipe entirely, no substitution (wasn’t necessary).
- I’m using kale and spinach interchangeably on a few recipes because I have several bags of frozen spinach that really ought to be utilized before I start bringing in other stuff, so for some of the “serve over kale” recipes, I’m using spinach as a pinch hitter. This falls completely in line with clean eating, and although kale is more of a big league leafy green than spinach, I’m still getting many of the same vitamin and mineral benefits. And I’m cleaning out my freezer at the same time!
My goal is to have pictures for you each day, but you’ll have to forgive me if that doesn’t happen. I’m pretty sure by the end of week two it’s going to be a lot of “I ATE IT AND IT WAS FINE. TRUST ME.” Not to mention that you can only see so many photos of smoothies before you’re like WE GET THE PICTURE, ASSHOLE.
If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail. I’m always happy to jam on this subject.