How to Eat During a Clean Eating Challenge

I barely wanted to share with y’all that I’m doing a clean eating challenge and now look at me putting up the second post in the same week about the topic. Yep, that sounds like me…

This first week was rough! After Friday, I can eat anything that isn’t processed, but this week is supposed to just be fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds. Monday I did well. Two huge salads and smoothies, a couple homemade Larabars, and a ton of water kept me full. Then Tuesday rolled around and I could barely stomach the thought of another green salad or smoothie. I still had one of each, but that was about it. When you tell me I can only eat roughage, I’m not that hungry all of a sudden.

I spoke with my coach Tuesday night, who suggested I just try a vegan diet for the rest of the week to ensure I got enough calories. On Wednesday, I had a lunch of quinoa, corn, tomatoes and basil and holy Christmas, was it delicious. Hot food is amazing after two days without it!!

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more of these as the summer wears on, but to get us started, here are four tips I suggest if you’re trying to keep healthy AND full.

Maggie’s Tips for a Clean Eating Challenge

Four tips for eating clean

1. Keep cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and fruits and veggies you can eat by the handful washed and ready to go for snacking. It’s harder to reach for the crackers if you have a better option available.

2. We aren’t even supposed to use dressings on our salads this week. Instead, the coaches suggested salsa, a squeeze of lemon or a scoop of guacamole. I tried all that, but it didn’t give me the same mouth feel as my beloved ranch. Instead, I blended leftover fruit salad down to a similar consistency. Since I normally go for all things sweet, this was a delicious “dressing” for Monday’s salads. Easy and pretty darn near calorie-free!

3. I’ve talked at length about the chocolate smoothies I have every morning on a normal basis, so I thought that adding a few more (fruit-based, of course) to the daily routine wouldn’t be that big a deal. Then I made my first one without the typical addition of yogurt. ***Record screeches.*** Fruit and water mashed up is just as “eh” as it sounds. I needed something to smooth out the texture. (Sidebar – looks like I really do have texture issues when it comes to food!) Instead of yogurt, folks in our private Facebook group suggested a half of an avocado. It works! Just like the spinach I normally add, you can’t taste it at all, but the consistency is back to milkshake-like.

4. I don’t have to go without ice cream this summer and neither do you! I’m going to try this chocolate coconut “ice cream” tonight. Yum! Dessert for vegans, who knew?!?

Those are my tips, but I need your help, too.

What are you best tricks to cut out the bad stuff?


  1. I’m on day 29 of Whole30 and they have a lot of great ideas for ways to keep clean foods accessible. I have historically had a very hard time sticking with any eating program, and this one has worked will for me because the rules are very clear. I loved their shopping list because I also used it for inspiration when I couldn’t figure out just what to eat. Good luck with your clean eating!

    Whole30 link:
    Whole30 Lifesaver Shopping list:

    • Holy cats! That’s pretty strict. What have you been eating for the last month, Meghan? Since I’m not supposed to eat dairy or meat this week, of course that’s all I think about. That shopping list is a good reminder when you need inspiration.

      • The hardest meal for me has been breakfast because that one’s always hard for me (I’m not a morning eater and I don’t eat eggs on their own). I’ve tried many different proteins… Favorite by far is chicken “breaded” with unsweetened coconut. I’ve become wild about cauliflower rice. A lot of salad and fruit salad (I’ve mixed fruit with celery and carrots, mint, and dressed with lemon as a breakfast salad). Really I ate whatever I wanted while following the plan. The hardest part for me was when I became ill and all I wanted were crackers and sprite, but I made it through with rutabaga in broth and club soda/seltzer water. Happy to share recipes or anything, just let me know.

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