BuzzFeed Food’s Clean Eating Challenge is a two-week detox plan that’s all about eating real food in order to feel great and have more energy. All of the food is low carb and gluten free with an emphasis on lean protein (no red meat) and 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.
***Before you start Day 1, check this post and make sure you did the prep: Bought your groceries and put the meat and Smoothie Packs in the freezer.***
KALE AND BANANA SMOOTHIE
Makes 1 serving
If you made smoothie packs in advance, the kale and banana should be in a ziploc bag in the freezer, labeled Sunday, Week 1, Breakfast.
kale leaves from 1/2 bunch (about 3 cups), center ribs removed
1 large ripe banana, peeled then frozen
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cut the banana into 1-inch chunks, then add all ingredients to a high speed blender and puree until smooth (about 1 minute).
295 calories, 13.2 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate (9.5 g dietary fiber, 17.9 g sugars), 10 g protein, 226 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH SHALLOTS AND FRIED EGGS
Makes 1 serving
Since this is a weekend lunch it involves some cooking. Weekday lunches during this challenge are simpler and utilize leftovers so as not to require cooking.
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 bunch green asparagus (about 8 medium stalks)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 cups arugula
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 ounce feta, crumbled
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon parsley, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs for women; 3 large eggs for men
Trim an inch off the root end of the asparagus to get rid of the woody part. Using a vegetable peeler and starting from the root end, shave the asparagus into thin ribbons (6-8 large stalks should yield about a cup).
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the thinly sliced shallot. Cook for 1 minute, until shallot has softened slightly. Add asparagus ribbons, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally, until asparagus is cooked al dente (should be crunchy, not soft). Transfer asparagus mixture to a medium mixing bowl, add arugula, chopped tomato, feta, lemon juice, and parsley, and toss.
In the same nonstick skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Crack the egg into the pan, season with freshly ground pepper, and turn the heat to low. Cook the egg 2-3 minutes, until the white is completely opaque and set and the edges are starting to brown.
Transfer the asparagus salad to a bowl and top with the fried eggs.
395 calories, 26.6 g fat (7.2g saturated fat), 20.7g carbohydrate (4.3g fiber, 5.3g sugars), 20.2 g protein, 336 mg sodium, 385 mg cholesterol
To prep your asparagus, first cut about an inch off the bottom of the stalks.
Then, use a vegetable peeler to shave ribbons by laying the asparagus on the cutting board and peeling from the top to the bottom.
Then, sauté the ribbons in a hot pan for a minute. Since they’re so thin, they’ll cook to al dente quickly.
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks, with 1/4 cup hummus.
186 calories, 6.3 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat), 27.9 g carbohydrate (9.3 g fiber, 9.2 g sugars), 6.9 g protein, 374.6 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
ROAST CHICKEN BOWL WITH QUINOA AND KALE
For this dinner, you’re going to make big batches of everything but save most of it for leftovers.
Tonight’s dinner is:
1/2 cup Big Batch Cooked Quinoa (recipe below) with 1 tablespoon Big Batch Orange Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 bunch Big Batch Steamed Kale (recipe below)
4 ounces Big Batch Roast Chicken Breasts for women; 6 ounces for men (recipe below)
379 calories, 10.6 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 38.6 g carbohydrate (5 g fiber, 1.4 g sugars), 34.8 g protein, 677 mg sodium, 70 mg cholesterol
BIG BATCH ROAST CHICKEN BREASTS
Makes 4 servings
You’ll eat ¼ of the chicken tonight and the rest for dinner on Monday, lunch on Tuesday, and dinner on Wednesday.
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 pound) for women; 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds) for men
½ teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Half an hour before cooking, remove chicken breasts from the refrigerator and season them with kosher salt and pepper. Leave the seasoned chicken on the counter and let them come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Place your chicken breasts on a large rimmed baking sheet fitted with a rack (if you don’t have a rack, you can just line the baking sheet with parchment paper). Roast 15-18 minutes, until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 °F — you can check this by inserting a meat thermometer into the center of one of the breasts (if you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut into the center of one chicken breast after 15 minutes. If there’s no pink, the chicken is done). When the chicken is done, let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes.
Remove the skin and bones from the breasts, and discard. Cut each breast in half, for four portions. Let the chicken cool completely before refrigerating any leftovers.
Cooking the chicken with the bone in and the skin on will add tons of flavor without adding much fat.
Before you portion the breasts, remove the skin and bones.
BIG BATCH STEAMED KALE
Makes 2 servings
You’ll eat half of this kale tonight and the rest for lunch on Monday.
1 bunch kale
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
To prep the kale, separate the leafy green part from the fibrous rib that runs down the center of the leaf (you can use a knife, but it’s easier to just tear the leaves by hand). Then, cut or tear the leaves into large (about 3 × 3-inch) pieces.
In a large (at least 12-inch diameter) saute pan with a lid, boil ½ cup water and kosher salt. Lower heat to a simmer, add kale, cover, and steam until slightly wilted and dark green but still bright, about 3 minutes.
Cool completely before storing leftovers. Kale will keep for up to 3 days, refrigerated in an airtight container.
Don’t wilt the kale completely. Just steam it for a couple of minutes to take out the raw crunch.
BIG BATCH COOKED QUINOA
Makes 1 1/2 cups (3 servings)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained in a mesh sieve
1 1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium saucepan with a lid, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about a minute, until quinoa is completely dry and slightly toasted.
Add water and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Let quinoa cool completely before storing leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The quinoa is done as soon as all of the water has been absorbed.
BIG BATCH ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
Makes about 1/4 cup
You’ll use 1 tablespoon of this vinaigrette for dinner tonight. Save the rest for lunch on Monday.
juice of ½ large orange (about 2 tablespoons), strained
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and kosher salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while vigorously whisking the mixture with a small whisk. Whisk for an additional 30 seconds after all of the oil has been added. Add the clove of whole, crushed garlic.
Vinaigrette will keep for up to 3 days, refrigerated in an airtight container.
When you make a vinaigrette, it’s important to start with all of the ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl that’s big enough to allow for serious whisking.
Then, add the oil really slowly, while whisking as fast as possible.
All of the agitation will emulsify your vinaigrette. Translation: the oil and the liquid will mix together to create magical deliciousness, instead of being all separated and gross.
1 pear, thinly sliced and drizzled with 2 teaspoons raw almond butter
164 calories, 6.7 g fat (0.3 g saturated), 27 g carbohydrate (5 g fiber, 17.7 g sugars), 3.7 g protein, 0 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
33. DAY 1 (SUNDAY) TOTAL NUTRITIONAL INFO:
1,418 calories, 63.4 g fat (10.6 g saturated fat), 157.2 g carbohydrate (33.1 g fiber, 51.5 g sugars), 75.6 g protein, 1,614 mg sodium, 455 mg cholesterol
All nutrition is calculated for the amounts specified for women.
Before bed, prep overnight oats for tomorrow morning by mixing together all ingredients and storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
OVERNIGHT OATS WITH BLUEBERRIES AND CHIA SEEDS
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup blueberries
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
350 calories, 9.3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 53.4 g carbohydrate (11.5 g fiber, 18.3 g sugars), 20.5 g protein, 151.9 mg sodium, 5 mg cholesterol
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