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“me”

Hey! I am Lisa.  Like all moms, I am in a constant state of trying to keep all the balls in the air without letting anything of importance come crashing down.  While in many ways women have it so much easier than our mothers, in other ways are lives are so much crazier, busier and more stressful. Our kids are in activities multiple days a week, and the activities are all over town, not just at their school. We have stressful jobs but still are carrying more than half of the load at home. We are taking care of aging parents while we are still raising our own children.   We put out the hottest fires first, which generally means we do not take care of ourselves, we skip the gym, we buy convenience foods, etc. 

I did not really start cooking until after college when I first moved out of the house.  Through my twenties I found a love of cooking not only for myself but for others. I loved having friends over for dinner parties.  I still love having people over for dinner but my meals have become so much more sophisticated than those early dinner parties. Through the years I have become quite the foodie and love playing with new flavors and food combinations. 

After the birth of my first child, I started my journey with “clean eating”.   However, my journey has been slow. Over the past ten years, I have been balancing my legal career, two kids, a husband who owns his own business, moving my family to a new state, and a host of other stressors. Early on I made small changes. But I never felt like I had the time to meal prep or the time to cook after a long day of work.  Most days my mantra was “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” 

  Today,  my family eats “cleanish,” which means we eat clean for most of our meals but we also incorporate some “worth it” foods into our lives.  That doesn’t mean I am always in the kitchen. I have learned to streamline my food shopping and cooking so that I am not constantly at the grocery store or in the kitchen. 

Welcome to my page where I will share with you my love of cooking with my pursuit to eat cleanish.

Lisa

"the cleanish life starts with breakfast: staples for your fridge and pantry"

"the cleanish life starts with breakfast: staples for your fridge and pantry"

There are certain items that are so versatile that you should always have them in your kitchen. You will use them daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.  However, there are other items that you will see all over Pinterest or Instagram that make you feel like you cannot cook without them. You can eat cleanish without every gadget or grocery item.  However, if you have the time, space and cash, there are some additional items that are nice additions to your kitchen.

The first step to eating clean is stocking your kitchen with those staple food products.  So let's start with breakfast.   Most of the items listed below are clean but there are a cleanish staples as well.

Most products that are mentioned herein by name are available at Costco, BJs Wholesale, Harris Teeter, Publix or Target but to the extent that the products are harder to find, the location of where the product is available is provided. 

Healthy Fats: They come in many forms: solid, liquid and spray. Each has a different use and purpose. Solid fats such as coconut oil are great for baking and replaces shortening for many dishes. Liquid avocado oil is great for high temperature cooking.  Spray oils are great for reducing the amount of oil you use and getting great coverage for items with lots of surface area or texture.

     Must haves: olive oil, ghee, coconut oil (solid and spray) and sesame oil

     Great Additions: Avocado oil (liquid and spray), olive oil (spray)

 
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For breakfast, olive oil and coconut oil are the most frequently used. 

Spice Rack: The key to a good spice rack is having the basics. You do not need to spend a lot of money on the already made spice blends. Most everything can be easily recreated or simulated by a couple of clicks on the internet. 

Breakfast spice essentials include sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon. Great additions include oregano, basil, paprika, smoked paprika, tumeric, cayenne, sage and fennel. 

 
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Hot sauce: If you cannot take the heat, skip this section. However, in my house heat is king. 

     Cholula Personally, I find this pairs best with breakfast foods.

     Frank’s Red Hot The original sauce has no added sugar.

     Tabasco In my mind it is the "original" hot sauce!

     Yai’s Thai Chili Sauce - This is very similar to a typical siracha but does not include any sugar. This is hard to find so I buy directly from the Yai’s Thai website. 

There are plenty of other hot sauces out there but these are sugar free and with very few ingredients. 

Pantry:  I always have a few of each of these on hand. It is a rare occurrence when I don't have a spare on hand for when we run out of the one we are using. These items are go to items for breakfast but can be used for snacks and other meals.

     Granola: Purely Elizabeth, Wildway Grainless Granola (website)

     Dried Fruit (no added sugars)

     Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin) 

     Nuts (raw or dry roasted with no sugars)

     Fruit and nut bars (RXBars, Lara bars, Made in Nature

     Jif Powdered Peanut Butter (Do not try to rehydrate with water per the instructions, instead add to yogurt or oatmeal. It gives you the peanut butter taste without all the calories!)

     Rolled oats

     Steel cut oats

     Flour (all purpose and whole wheat) 

     Black beans (I buy canned but be sure to rinse before using)

     Honey

     Nut butter (no sugar added)

     Jelly (St. Dalfour has no added sugar; Smuckers makes a kind sweetened with honey) 

     Unsweetened applesauce

     Salsa (no sugar)

     Coffee (because coffee is life)

Freezer:  The freezer is your friend. I store all sorts of things in my freezer so that I always have things on hand. 

     Bags of frozen pepper slices 

     Hashbrowns (no additives)

     Whole wheat english muffins 

     Whole wheat pita pockets 

     Ezekiel Bread (You will find in the freezer aisle. This must stay in the freezer as it will mold quickly.)

Produce:  There are certain veggies that are easier for breakfast than others. While some people can eat broccoli at 6:00 am, I am not one of them. 

     Spinach

     Tomatoes

     Zucchini

     Mini sweet peppers 

     Red Onions

     Yellow Onions

     Sweet Potatoes

     Russet Potatoes

     Fresh Fruit 

     Guacamole (Instead of buying avocados that are either not ripe when you want it or it goes ripe in an instant, I buy single serve cups of Wholly Guacamole.  It is great for making avocado toast or adding to omelettes.)  

Dairy or Dairy Substitute:

     Plain Greek Yogurt

     Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (Califia Farms)

Protein:  Personally, I try to incorporate at least 20 grams of protein into my breakfast each morning. Everyone is different here so do not use my goal as your own measurement. However, incorporating protein into each of your meals is important and most women do not incorporate enough protein into their diet. 

     Bacon (Pedersons Farms, Garrett Valley, Applegate)

     Sausage (Applegate, Bilinski’s, Jimmy Dean's turkey sausage)

     Ground turkey or chicken (Personally, I prefer turkey)

     Eggs 

     Cartons of egg whites 

     Prosciutto (This is the easiest “deli” meat to find that has no additives)

  • Now that your kitchen is prepped and stocked, breakfast can be made simple! 

 

Asian Salmon Fillet

Asian Salmon Fillet

"jar your berries"

"jar your berries"