BuzzFeed Life's Clean Eating Challenge is a two-week plan that's all about eating real food in order to feel great and have more energy. The food is low-carb and gluten-free with an emphasis on lean protein, healthy fats, and lots of fresh produce. There's no processed food allowed; every meal is homemade.
It's important that you follow the meal plan in order starting with Day 1 since most of the recipes call for leftover ingredients from previous days. But you can start any time and find full instructions here. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours and try not to eat within two hours of bedtime.
Chia Pudding with Pineapple, Mint, and Coconut
Makes 1 serving
You made this last night. Just garnish with mint leaves and eat!
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup diced pineapple, in ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 tablespoon mint leaves
In a small mixing bowl, combine chia seeds, almond milk, honey, vanilla extract, pineapple, and shredded coconut. Stir everything together to combine, then transfer to a small airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
When you're ready to eat the pudding, roughly chop the mint leaves, then add them to the chia pudding and eat.
382 calories, 22 g fat (7.5 g saturated fat), 35 g carbohydrate (18.3 g dietary fiber, 14.4 g sugars), 11 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 184.4 mg sodium
Chicken and Avocado Romaine Cups
Makes 1 serving
1 small chicken thigh* (leftover from Monday's dinner), cut in ½-inch cubes
¼ avocado, cut in rough, ¼-inch cubes
¾ of one medium beefsteak tomato, cut in ¼-inch cubes (save 2 ¼-inch slices for lunch tomorrow)
1 medium carrot, grated with a box grater (if you don't have a box grater you can thinly slice with a knife or peel into ribbons)
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
4-6 large romaine leaves
squeeze of lime juice
*Men, use 1 ½ medium chicken thighs
Combine the first six ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, stirring so that everything is evenly mixed. Spoon the chicken mixture into the romaine cups to serve, then squeeze lime juice on top.
If you're packing lunch to go: Make the chicken mixture in the morning, then store in a small tupperware container. Pack romaine leaves and a lime wedge separately in a larger tupperware or ziploc bag. Refrigerate until lunch time, then spoon the chicken mixture into the romaine leaves, and squeeze on the lime juice when you're ready to eat.
302 calories, 16 g fat (4.1 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrate (5.1 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugars), 27.6 g protein, 112 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium
Paprika-Roasted Chickpeas with Crispy Kale on Cheesy Portobello Mushroom Caps
Makes 1 serving plus leftover chickpeas and mushroom caps
You will save 2 of the roasted mushroom caps for Thursday's lunch and half of the roasted chickpeas for Friday's snack.
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly dried
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
4 medium portobello mushroom caps
1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped into rough 2-inch pieces
½ ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together ½ tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the chickpeas and toss to coat. Spread the chickpeas out on the lined baking sheet, and roast until the chickpeas are browned and crispy, 30-35 minutes.
Lay the portobello mushroom caps on the second lined baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil, season with the remaining ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper, and roast until the mushroom caps are soft, 20-25 minutes. When they're cooked, take 2 mushroom caps off the sheet tray, let them cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container.
When the chickpeas are browned and crispy, toss the chopped kale with the chickpeas on the baking sheet, season with a little more pepper, then put everything back in the oven just until the kale starts to wilt, about 5 minutes. When the chickpeas are done and the kale is wilted, divide half of the kale and half of the chickpeas on top of the two mushroom cups on the sheet tray. Top with the Parmesan cheese and put everything back in the oven just to melt the cheese, about 4 minutes.
Let the remaining half of the kale and chickpeas cool completely, then store them separately in airtight containers and refrigerate.
461 calories, 20.2 g fat (4.6 g saturated fat), 52 g carbohydrate (13.2 g dietary fiber, 1.7 g sugars), 22.6 g protein, 9.6 mg cholesterol, 887 mg sodium
Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika, then spread them out over the baking sheet.
Roast in a 425°F oven until the chickpeas are crispy.
When the chickpeas are done, pile the kale on top and put the sheet tray back in the oven. Roast just until the kale is softened and slightly crispy at the edges.
While the chickpeas roast, lay the mushroom caps out over a separate sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the 425°F oven with the chickpeas until the caps are very soft.
When everything is cooked, put half the chickpeas and kale on top of two of the mushroom caps, top with parmesan, and roast just until the cheese melts.
Let the leftover kale, leftover chickpeas, and leftover mushroom caps cool completely, then store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
DAY 11 (WEDNESDAY) TOTAL NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:
1,399 calories, 69.4 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 121.6 g carbohydrate (40 g dietary fiber, 32.8 g sugars), 71.9 g protein, 321 mg cholesterol, 1551 mg sodium
Eleven down. You've totally got this.
So, you’re taking the Clean Eating Challenge? We’d love to see how it goes! Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter and tag them #BuzzFeedCleanEating
BuzzFeed Food editors tested the entire Clean Eating Challenge and can vouch for the validity and deliciousness of every recipe. If you have questions about the challenge or any of the dishes, you can email Christine Byrne.