My Menu Plan – And A Personal Challenge
I have been “talking about” cleaning up my diet for a long time now.
A lot of talking, not a lot of doing.
Weight loss is certainly a key motivator; while I am probably more fit than I have been in a while thanks to my dedication to The Dailey Method and a generally healthier approach to daily exercise and an active lifestyle, I am still battling those last few post-baby pounds that don’t want to budge.
Health is a bigger motivator, though. I have struggled with a chronic cough for many years, my digestive system has been up in arms lately (though probiotics are helping with that), and the truth is: my name is Raluca and I am a sugar addict.
So it is time for a little less talking and a lot more doing.
Starting next Monday, May 5, I am embarking on a 30-day clean eating challenge with The 30 Clean. It will be two days into my 36th year and I want to start it feeling better than ever. The 30 Clean is similar to The Whole 30 which I have been stalking online for months now, but I chose to go this route because the amazing women at my Dailey Method studio pulled together a group to do the challenge and frankly, I will need the help.
So what does it entail? Real, whole food. Nothing else. Which means no gluten, dairy, sugar, artificial anything. I am doing the novice program which will allow me exactly one glass of wine per week as well as a square of dark chocolate here and there.
For 30 days.
What do I hope to gain from it? A little weight loss, a lot more energy, and frankly, a sense of commitment and confidence. That I focused on something and saw it through. That I put an effort to make my health a true priority. That I stopped giving in to stress, cravings, and outside factors that do nothing but tear up the inside. That I am investing in me.
So this week’s menu plan is filled with many of my favorites and lots of pre-birthday treats. And then the next four (hopefully!) will be The 30 Clean focused. You may get some inspiration from it, you may want to skip it and come back when pizza and muffins are back on the menu, but either way, I hope you will support me in this HUGE challenge as I go into it with an open heart.
And a craving for pain au chocolat.
Here is our menu for the week:
Sunday – my husband is getting back this evening from a business trip and a roasted chicken sounds like the perfect, comfortable homecoming. Hope you saw my five fave chicken recipes from earlier in the week – if not, they are here.
Monday – not going meatless this week. Homemade burgers with Alexia onion rings and corn on the cob (topped with Old Bay seasoning – another Gwyneth Paltrow recommendation that is yum!).
Tuesday – Tilapia Taco Tuesday.
Wednesday – some sort of pasta. This easy lasagna looks good. Did I mention no dairy or gluten for 30 days?!? Sigh.
Thursday – Giada’s pork tenderloin with honey mustard sauce. So good, need to make it again. Have included recipe below.
Friday – homemade pizza. Oh pizza…I think I am going to miss you the most.
Saturday – it’s my birthday, we may pop out for something special. And there will be cake. And there will be wine. And then there may be more cake after that.
Have a great week!
*image above via here
Giada’s Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Mustard Sauce from Giada’s Feel Good Food:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons safflower or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons safflower or grapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, chopped
½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
½ cup honey
½ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Season the pork with the salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to the prepared baking sheet and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 160ºF, about 30 minutes. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices.
In the same skillet used for browning the pork, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 1 minute. Whisk in the honey, mustard, vinegar, and thyme. Simmer until thickened, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth.
Top the pork slices with the honey mustard sauce and serve.