Sunday, April 10, 2011

lighter on my feet + avocado salad and week 2-approved marinated chicken

I am totally hooked. 11 days in to my gift to myself I feel amazing. (The icing on the cake...or lime on the jicama as the case may be when we're talking treats these day... is that when I went to JCREW for some new white jeans, I had to go down 2 sizes. In 10 days. Really, who wouldn't be smitten with themselves?!) And the impact on my family is pretty darn fabulous too. You all know that we always ate relatively healthfully, but since I am following Tracy's Eating Plan as well, there are tons of fruits and veggies guaranteed at each meal. I know. I know. You all gave me so much flack for my uber-organized fridge in the Chicken Enchilada video, but I'm telling you: it's totally worth it to prep ahead. That pic above included some of my prepped ingredients for week 2's meals. Crunchy, colorful goodness. (Much appreciated after 7 days of purees and soups...)

As for the exercise portion, I love-- and now totally agree with-- what Tracy says: "People feel guilty about taking that time for themselves and don’t stop to realize that devoting some time each day to take care of yourself will help you in all other aspects of your life." Now, don't get me wrong. This hasn't been an easy 11 days. The "30 min" of cardio and "30 min" of toning that Tracy encourages me to do 6 days/week really takes me more like 45 minutes apiece because I have to stop to catch my breath or guzzle water. The first day I was clomping around so ridiculously ungracefully that my children came running up to see what the hell was going on above them. Nothing little ones, that's just mom trying to do some dance cardio. For someone who really hasn't danced since, oh, our wedding 10+ years ago, I am happy to report that 11 days in I am lighter on my feet. Still, no one is going to mistake my moves for Tracy's. Yet.

Then there's the food. And while I knew I would find a way to squeeze the exercise into my busy days (even if it means getting up at 5:30 am to do it before getting the kids ready for school), I wondered if I'd really be able to make her eating plan work? So far, so good. I find myself adding fresh herbs, lemon juice, and spices where I can to keep things interesting. But then there's something like these chunks of fresh kiwi and blueberries that are so perfect as is.

This week, I am having two hard boiled eggs and a cup of fresh fruit for breakfast each day. The kids are having some derivation of that too and digging it (like above with the half eaten egg). Prep is non-existent (unless you count chopping an apple and peel a banana for them) because I am boiling the eggs ahead of time.

Dinners have overlapped nicely too. I'm the only one who likes grilled tofu, so everyone else had a roasted veggie pizza at the meal pictured above. The only real difference is that I've been leaving the kid's salads "deconstructed" (as they do in some of the finest dining establishments).

Here's a "week 2-approved" recipe I came up with that was a hit with my family this weekend. Whether you are doing this 90-day gig along with me or not, I think you'll enjoy this simple meal idea:

Avocado Salad

Combine chunks of avocado, red pepper, English cucumbers, jicama and cherry tomatoes. Add the juice of a few limes (depending upon how much you're making). If you'd like, you can also add salt & pepper, to taste.

Lemon-Mustard Marinated Chicken

In a large zip-loc, combine chicken breasts or cutlets + lemon zest + lemon juice + grainy mustard + fresh rosemary + a few grinds of pepper + a few shakes of smoked paprika. Add enough water so the marinade turns to a "paste" consistency. Let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Grill over high heat so the chicken is seared. This will prevent it from sticking to the grill. Serve warm or cold.


  1. I love your blog! We started at the same time so it has been soooo helpful watching how you do things! And I was looking for a way to make the chicken interesting this week, thanks! I have to say though, I am AMAZED that you've lost two sizes so far! That's incredible, well done!

  2. thank you so much Kat. yes, i feel great. my energy is up, pants size down, and i am just smitten with myself for making this a priority. but between you and me, i'm not entirely surprised the lbs fell off that first week...when you switch from copious amounts of coffee, wine and leftovers off your children's plates to green & herbal teas, and an entirely plant based diet, something's going to give! the real test is if i can reach a comfortable size and then sustain it.

  3. I love your blog!! I have been struggling with trying to really to TAM and her diet but balancing work, life with twin toddlers and other life stuff, I really struggle. I love how organized you and your fridge is and I am taking notes!! Have to ask....did you prep all of your first week ahead of time? How much prep time did that take. Am intimidated by the prep work....need to know it is doable!! :-) Really want to start this soon love some guidance and/or time saving tips if you have any!!

  4. Hey Ella! Somehow found my way to your Youtube channel and watched you make chicken enchilladas -- AHHH they looked so delicious!! Not on my plan for Week Three dynamic eating, but I hope to have them some day. P.S. We have the exact same fridge / storage / all produce washed technique -- it cuts down your cooking time so much! Be well and I can't wait to read about this weeks food adventures with TAM ad your little ones.

  5. great minds think alike!!

    oh, and as for week 1 foods: yes, i prepped them all ahead. b/c i had everything veggie based it lasted the week (which was pretty fabulous having the cooking done!!)...that said, i just started week 3 today and that is a little trickier. week 2 was too, but in a different way. week 2, i found myself making dinner each night (the lean protein + different veggie iterations). week three was cooking in bulk again, but some things could be done at once and some i'll have to re-do part way through the week. ex: i just made the beef chili and froze containers for later in the week. but the chicken salad will have to be re-made part way through the week...

    i won't lie, this has been a TON of work. but, in my mind, totally worth it as i feel lighter, more energetic, and all around happier. do what you can. remember happy mom = happy family. so, don't burn the candle at both ends. best to be mindful about what you're eating and get the workouts in, if you do not have the time/inclination to get all of the cooking done too!


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