Clean Eating Reboot- Help a Hippie Out

There are two things I learned about clean eating the last time I tried it: it works, and it’s expensive.

It’s also time consuming, but I knew that going in. Not so much a learned thing.

How do you people do this and make ends meet? I need some suggestions from folks on a budget who are making this a lifestyle.

It’s the ‘because it works’ part that I’m going back in. I’m tired of being overweight and unhealthy and I’m tired of my teenage girls feeling the same way. Time for a reboot. Beginning again isn’t going to be easy. I remember how hard it was to give up all the things that made this south Louisiana girl’s heart and tummy happy. My challenge will be finding ways to make those things clean. This could be tough.

Baking is the other tough one. Not so much that I love to bake. I actually don’t like it at all. What I like are baked goods that someone else made. And raw cookie dough. Baking seems to be where the major expense comes in as far as clean eating goes (other than meats). I mean, I can grill some veggies pretty cheap, but if I want a clean baked thing, there’s all sorts of odd and expensive flours and sugars that you need. Let’s face it, coconut sugar and almond flour aren’t cheap like white sugar and white flour are. I know why that’s true, but it doesn’t make the fact or the cookies any easier to swallow.

We are the family that processed foods were made for and clean eating laughs in the face of. We are broke and busy. Why is it that I can buy frozen pizzas for a little over a dollar each, but to cook a healthy clean meal for 4 people it may as well be a restaurant sit down dinner someone else does the work and dishes for? Why is that the way of the American grocery industry? Sure, I could grow my own food, and I do to some extent, but it’s going to be a long time before this container garden is adding anything to our meals.

Don’t misunderstand this to be a rant against clean healthy eating. It’s not that at all. My reboot, and the numbers on my scale, have just brought glaringly to mind the problems with clean eating that shouldn’t exist, because they are really problems with the American processed food industry and the other parts of feeding the American people that make healthy food out of the budget of the majority of Americans. That’s so wrong. It makes me wonder what countries in Europe are doing that we aren’t, and how we follow their example. They don’t have the land and resources we do, and yet, they eat much better than us. Processed food is rare. I remember coming back from trips abroad and wanting to keep eating the way I did in Europe. But somewhere along the way, I slipped back into the rhythm of convenience with processed food. I felt worse, but less broke.

Meal prep is a big thing with clean eating, too, and I get that it’s a good way to save some time over the course of the week, but what do people whose weekends are as busy as their weeks? I don’t have an entire day to cook and, frankly, I don’t want to eat the same thing day after day. Too easy to say, “I’m sick of burrito bowls. I’m just going to pick up something on the way home.”

So, another suggestion I need is quick and easy weeknight meals that don’t require spending a weekend doing meal prepping when there are ballgames and rehearsals that must be done. And variety. That would be good. There are tons of variations on cilantro lime chicken. I got that one down.

Cheap and quick clean meal suggestions. On your mark, get set, GO! Help a hippie out, please!

Much love!



Clean Eating Meal Idea: Spinach Tomato Parmesan Crustless Mini-Quiches

Or teeny frittatas. A rose by any other name and all that jazz.

Packed with protein, eggs are a great base for so many things including veggies.  This particular variation combines eggs with baby spinach, vine-ripened tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Of course this is by no means the end all be all of these little gems. Like an omelette, the sky is the limit (well, really the size of the muffin tin is the limit, but you get the gist. )

You will need:

1 dozen eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan (off the block, not the green can stuff)

Seasonings of your choice. I used salt, pepper, garlic, and creole spices.

1 cup baby spinach chopped

1 tomato chopped

(Look at me doing an actual recipe!). Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, scramble a dozen eggs.

Add milk and seasonings. Mix well.

Shred in Parmesan cheese and mix in.

Pour into muffin cups. I suck at this so I put the mixture into a large measuring cup and poured it in. I’m told you don’t have to grease silicone cups, but I’m old school.

Chop your spinach and tomato into a medium dice.

Add veggies to the egg mixture to evenly distribute.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, they will be puffed up like little popovers. As they cool, they will deflate. These make a great clean eating lunch, breakfast, or part of a delicious dinner.

I served them up with some zucchini noodles with avocado pesto and big ripe strawberries.  So good!  I’m loving all the fresh summer fruits and veggies to cook with!

I’d love to hear what mix ins you try with these delightful little mini-quiches (frittatas).

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Much love and light!


Combining All My Hippie Happies: Gardening, Clean Eating, and Yoga

Let me just start by saying that I haven’t done yoga in ages. A friend of mine threw down the gauntlet to a 30 day yoga challenge to get me back into it, so here I am after years of not doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I love yoga and used to do it regularly. Then, with kids and a busy schedule, never made the time for it. Big mistake.

So, to take back my practice and the time to do a little self-love, I brought my yoga outside to my deck sanctuary. It’s the place that makes me happy, so it seemed like the natural spot to renew my yoga practice. The container garden plants are growing, and so am I.

Notice the iPad mini propped up on the smoker side of the grill.  The same friend who challenged me introduced me to Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube. It’s free and Adrienne is encouraging and laid back- perfect for any level, but especially unintimidating for those new to the practice.  Go check out her channel and give it a try.

It was nice to be outside with the breeze and the birds, but it was definitely warmer than indoors. It gives new meaning to the term “hot yoga.”  Of course, this meant ending my session with something cold and fruity.  Peach water today. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest an infuser cup.

Do something good for yourself today. Something uplifting for your body, mind, and spirit.  Then, share your experience in the comments to inspire others.

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Much love and light!


Coconut Lime Chicken Quinoa Clean Eating Meal

I really wish I was a recipe writer and actually wrote down the things I put into all of my meals. This clean eating meal was yummy and simple. Here’s what I did:

Cut 2-3 chicken breasts into bite size pieces and brown in a nonstick skillet in a few tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil. (This adds a hint of coconut flavor.  Refined coconut oil has no coconut taste.)

Once the chicken is browned, season to taste and add the juice and zest of 1 lime.  Then stir in 1/4 cup cream.  The idea is to coat the chicken, not make a sauce. Add more if you want it saucier. Heat through over low heat to keep cream from breaking.   Serve over prepared quinoa and (optional) garnish with shredded coconut.  Add a simple veggie side and some fresh fruit for a fabulous summer meal.

Hopefully this clean eating idea will spark some of your own creativity with summer flavors.

I tend to make stuff up out of whatever I have in the kitchen rather than following recipes. My grandmother taught me to cook and that’s how she did it. My mom (her daughter) didn’t learn from her and now uses the smoke alarm as a kitchen timer.

Happy clean eating!  Please like, share, comment, and follow!

Much love and light!


Clean Eating Summer Lunch Menu


As you know, my back deck is my outdoor sanctuary, even in the middle of the day if I can stand the heat.  It stays shaded by the house for a lot of the day, which makes it the perfect spot for lunch.  This is one of my favorite clean lunch menu ideas.  Grilled summer squash and zucchini over quinoa, strawberry spinach salad, and fresh fruit.  Of course, a refreshing glass of ice water with lemon is perfect all the time.

For the grilled vegetables, I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of cayenne, then tossed them in olive oil.  Then, on my counter top grill made by the boxer guy who gave all his kids the same name, I cooked the veggies while the quinoa was bubbling away.  You could also do them on an outdoor grill, but I suggest long thicker slices that are easier to manipulate and keep from falling through the grill grates.

Quinoa is my new favorite thing!  So versatile and easy.  If you want to add a little savory-ness to this dish, sub out the water for chicken stock.

(I cook like my grandmother.  No measurements but my eyeballs.  Therefore, there won’t be much in the way of actual recipes here.)

The strawberry spinach salad is so refreshing and perfect for summer, but, to be honest, I eat it year round.  I tear up some baby spinach leaves, then top it with chopped strawberries, raw walnuts, feta cheese, and some raspberry vinaigrette.

Seriously, I could eat this for lunch every day.  It’s actually a great dinner with the addition of some grilled meat of your choice.  A deliciously simple clean meal menu.

I will keep sharing clean menu ideas that I make, and would love for you to share some of yours!

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Much love and light!


Clean Eating Begining

Starting clean eating has been a great experience for me.  I am getting healthier and losing the weight I vowed to do at the start of the summer.  I don’t see it as a clean eating diet as much as a lifestyle change.  However, I don’t live alone and it has been an adjustment for my kids.  My teenage daughter opened the fridge, stared inside, then said, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat. Where’s the real food?”  Totally my fault and bad parenting that she didn’t recognize this as real food:

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(Yeah, the leftover boxes weren’t as clean as the rest but did contain a salad and quinoa. And the condiments hadn’t been extricated from the door yet.  Also, I decided I didn’t like the Chobani Greek yogurt , but am IN LOVE with Fage 2%.)  Won’t take long and she will understand how much better real real food is.

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Much love and light!