I Tried the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge

9:29 PM

I'm always trying to improve different aspects of my lifestyle whether it be my diet, fitness, habits, learning, etc. Eating happens to be one of my favorite things to do (Who's with me?). If you read my '10 Thing You Don't Know About Me' you would know that if I could, I would have fries every single day.

However, I make the conscious decision NOT to eat fries every day because, well, I don't want to die early from a heart attack. Moving on, I tried the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge and wanted to summarize my experience for you guys.

What is the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge? 

Basically an extensive pre-planned two week diet that will expose you to more vegetables than you may have had in the past month with very minimal sugar, salt, carbs, and fats. They plan every meal for you for the next two weeks and the idea is to follow it strictly (I didn't). It's meant to also work as a sort of detox for your body. 

Some Things I Did Differently

  • I didn't eat the "night snacks" because I usually don't eat sweets/dessert so I felt that was an unnecessary component of the challenge for me. 
  • I didn't buy all of the groceries that were suggested because my budget didn't allow for it. I skimmed all the recipes before going grocery shopping to see what basics I would need. (i.e, I didn't buy things like almond butter I actually made my own, vanilla extract, dates because they didn't seem too important. Although, they probably would have made certain dishes taste a lot better) 

Here's a quick snap of what a week in the challenge looks like 

What I Learned

  • I am not a clean eater but that doesn't necessarily mean that I need to immediately switch my diet, it's definitely a process and this challenge will help you. But if you try it and are discouraged, don't worry, it's hard for EVERYBODY simply because of the foods we are exposed to on a daily basis. 
  • I love variety in my meals but want them to be easy to prepare, delicious, and quick. Some of these dishes took a lot of preparation time that I wasn't used to.  
  • I hate cauliflower rice (okay, it's not that bad. But, it definitely takes some getting used to)
  • A crockpot is a miracle worker and if you don't have one, you must get one. 
  • The best part was getting exposure to new recipes that were entirely clean and delicious! (My favorites: Slow cooker chicken, shrimp stir fry, shaved carrot salad)

What I Changed About My Eating Habits As A Result & How You Can Change Yours

  • I've taken to drinking a green smoothie every morning for breakfast. Why? It's easy to prepare and requires very little time to get ready (Leave a comment if you'd like my favorite green smoothie recipes, they are delicious!). If I get tired of that, I go for overnight oats or a variety of baked egg dishes with vegetables. 
  • I'm working on finding a balance in slowly weaning out the more "unclean" foods in my diet & incorporating more "clean" dishes. How I'm doing this? Working a balance of two "clean" meals into my day and one meal where I can cook with items I'm used to (i.e, butter, flour, pre-made sauces). 
  • I'm using the app Fooducate to log in every. single. thing. I eat. Fooducate is wonderful because it allows you to input recipes and will tell you the grade of the items you use. For example cauliflower rice is an A. But white rice is listed as B+. It helps me make better decisions on what foods to include in my diet and to look for substitutes that will give me a grade A! There's a statistic that says people who logged their food intake lost twice as much weight. 
  • I've made an attempt to eat the colors of the rainbow everyday. This infographic helps a lot and gives you great suggestions on how to get your colors. You can also follow my Food Pinterest Board for more infographics & relatively healthy and easy recipes that you can try out. 
  • When baking calls for butter, I'll try substituting it with coconut oil or an avocado. Replace salad dressing with vinaigrettes (there are amazing ones you can make with some olive oil, lime juice, mustard & vinegar). Roast vegetables, it's absolutely delicious. This past week, I opted out of getting butter, it's a sacrifice but I know I can cook without it! 
  • I'm still doing "cheat meals" which is a meal where I can eat whatever I want at least once a week. And indulging in my favorite things (aka hot chocolate seen below, especially in this season). But, I'm just opting for things like fat-free whip cream. Like I said, it's a process and you should definitely be able to enjoy what you eat while also taking care of your body! 

Have you tried any interesting "diet" challenges? I'd love to hear about them. If you have any more questions about this challenge for me, please feel free to contact me with them!

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  1. Love your feedback! I've been trying so hard to eat clean and I agree its a struggle.

  2. How awesome!
    I am hitting the whole clean eating thing hard once the new year rolls around because I have a wedding body to maintain.
    I will definitely have cheat days on weekends though because I would die going completely cold turkey from the goodness that is junk food.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  3. I love the schedule for clean eating! It looks so yummy that it looks easy to follow.
    Smitten Sophie

  4. Clean eating can be such a challenge! I used to struggle with yo-yo-ing between eating "too clean" and eating unhealthy. The solution? Balance! It seems like you know your body really well and know how to create a healthy balance between clean foods and treating yourself.


  5. I am so intrigued by the challenge! I'm definitely going to check out Fooducate to see what substitutions I can make in my diet.

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  6. I've never tried a clean eating challenge (mainly because I hate taking so much time to prep meals as you said and I am a vegetarian so a lot of the challenges are difficult for me to alter to my restrictions). I do love green smoothies though and I definitely have been trying to incorporate more veggies into my daily diet while eliminating some sugar and bad carbs.

  7. Once I graduate college and have my own apartment and kitchen I know I really need to start eating better! Like you, I think clean eating is a slow process, and not something you can always switch to 100%! This is a really interesting post, Grace!!

    xoxo A

  8. Oh man!! Just reading the list for each day makes me exhausted! I love that you listed the pros and cons. Eating the rainbow is always a good way to start.

    Sara Kate Styling

  9. It's awesome that you learned so much from this challenge. It's amazing how just changing a few things can really make a difference, and you were able to see what does and doesn't work for you. Also, I definitely need to check out that Fooducate app! It sounds awesome.

  10. That definitely looks like a challenge! I feel like I wouldn't do well because I don't eat a wide variety of food!
    with southern grace,

  11. I really need to change my eating habits but it really is such a challenge. :(
    Lauren Ashley

  12. This would be a great challenge to start during the new year. I'm always looking to try and eat more clean foods so this would really help me get a good jump start. I'd LOVE to see your recipe for a green smoothie, I hear so much about them but don't know how I would even start to make one I could actually tolerate. haha Thanks for sharing your feedback on the challenge. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

    1. My favorite green smoothie recipe is 1 cup water, juice of 1 lime, 1/2 apple, 1/2 banana, 1 cup of spinach, and 5 frozen mango chunks. You can also add some vanilla yogurt if you want the smoothie to be a little creamier. You put all of that in a blender and voila! It's so yummy!

  13. I've seen this challenge before and have been really curious. I would actually love to try this...maybe at the start of the new year!

    xo Ashley

  14. I love clean eating challanges!! Sometimes because of budget (like you said) it is hard to follow them to the T but it is good for you none the less to at least participate! Bravo for trying it!

    How 2 Wear It []

  15. I am fascinated by this, because I find trying to eat better and whatnot takes a lot more time and effort and money! I agree with you on the cauliflower! yuck!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  16. This sounds really interesting. Like you I absolutely love fries! Maybe I'll try this in the new year.

    xo Alexis |

  17. this is interesting, i try to eat as healthily as i can but i definitely slip up sometimes. this would be a cool thing to try!

    danielle | avec danielle

  18. Some of these fresh fruits and vegetables would rot before the week is up, and definitely not last into next week! Buying all at once for 6 or 7 days, not so good.

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