Clean Eating Magazine, courtesy of Robert Kennedy Publishing

One of the first things I read when I switched to a healthy eating lifestyle was Clean Eating Magazine.  I LOVE the magazine and all the delicious recipes and articles.  Then I got to their 30 day menu planner.  Here they give you a 4 week breakdown of daily meals to eat throughout the day.  Although I LOVE the meal ideas that they layout for you, the realistic part of their plans seem to be lacking for those that don’t have tons of time to spend in the kitchen.  Everyday you make a different breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner.  The time required to shop, purchase, put away, prepare, bake, eat and clean up for the plan is a little more time consuming than what fits in my life!  They do state that you may want to take a week that you like and just repeat it until you get the hang of it.  But for those that don’t read the fine print, seeing something like this may just scare you away from clean eating all together.  Personally, I spend very little time on my breakfast, snacks and lunch.  I save my efforts for making delicious dinners!  Here’s a sample menu of my typical day - as you will see, I keep it simple and easy!



By the time I wake up in the morning, get my kids up and dressed and head downstairs I’m starving!  So for me, breakfast needs to be quick and simple.  In the warmer months I tend to use fresh seasonal fruits to make a smoothie with.  On colder days I’ll often pop a piece of whole grain bread (Food For Life Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread works great!) into the toaster and top with 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter.  My kids and I also love having Protein Pancakes for breakfast.  I make a big batch of them and freeze them in freezer safe baggies and warm them up in the microwave anytime we’re craving pancakes.  Most days I tend to go the cereal route.  Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin or Almond Sprouted Grain Cereal are my favorites.    I’ll topped my cereal with either fresh seasonal fruit or I use frozen when fresh fruits are not available.  A healthy almond or oat milk works great with both my smoothies and cereal.  And for those mornings when I’m literally running out the door, I grab an apple and a peanut butter protein bar.


My lunches usually reflect the types of food that are in season.  Whether it’s from the local farmer’s market or CSA (Community Supported Argiculture) I almost always have some type of salad (like the delicious Peanutty Brussel Slaw above) with an assortment of locally grown organic veggies - top with a little Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO and you can’t lose! Here in Southern California the winters tend to be cool and I crave soup almost daily!  When I make soup I always make a double batch and freeze the leftovers in single serving containers.   Popping them in the microwave for a super easy meal and healthy meal makes lunch a cinch.  I’m also a fan of leftovers!  Dinners are usually so good that having them a second time around is no problem at all!


I love dinner!  My whole family sits down for dinner together every night.  Our favorite meals are fried rice, pizzaburgers, pasta, tacos and lentil pie.  I often do roasted veggies 3-4 times a week as it’s one of my personal favorite meals.  Each recipe that you see on this blog has been made and taste tested by my family so you pretty much see the things we have for dinner already.


I always fit one snack in per day - usually between breakfast and lunch.  If I get hungry later in the day I will have an additional snack but I listen to my body for cues as to when it’s hungry and not.  I don’t eat just because it’s ‘time’ to eat.  Like clockwork, every 2-3 hours I am hungry and I will eat.  Snacks in my house are almost always ready to grab and go.  Apples and bananas are always on hand.  Grapes are washed and bagged and ready to eat.  Nuts and trail mix are already sorted into individual baggies and contain a single serving.  Granola bars are also one of our favorite snacks.


I drink water and tons of it.  Each person in my family has a reusable cup and we constantly refill it with water throughout the day.  Now, I’ve never been a big fan of water and I’m still not.  I flavor my water with a splash of lemon juice and it’s much better!  I’m not a fan of coffee but I do love apple cider and in fall I will often have a glass with my snack or lunch.


Each night my family walks around 3 miles.  On weekends we walk more - around 5-6 miles daily and will often bike along the trails by our house.  We exercise for the enjoyment of it.  It’s never something that feels like a chore to us.  We know that exercise is good for our overall health and just as we put good food choices in our body so do we walk for the benefits it gives to us.


Here’s a breakdown of my eating times:

Breakfast - 9-10am (We are not morning people! We only wake up around 8am)

Snack - 11am-1pm

Lunch - 1-3pm

Snack - 4-5pm (I usually skip this snack but if I’m feeling hungry I will often grab something small to tide me over til dinner)

Dinner - 6-7pm

My daily meals end up being around 1600-1800 calories per day.  I do not count calories but because I factor in nutritional information for my blog posts I’m pretty much aware of how many calories I take in each day.  I’m also at my ideal weight so I’m not restricting my calorie intake at all.  If you are trying to lose weight or are still getting used to portion control then I recommend counting your calories per day.   Healthy eating is not an excuse to ’pig out’ on healthy food.  You need to practice portion control and listen to your body for cues to when you are hungry and full.    And don’t forget to drink your water!

For even more menu planning check out our meal plans!

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  1. susan says:

    Really good blog, I saw your link on the Clean Eating Facebook site, I’m going to keep reading your blog for inspiration, recipes and learning more about clean eating.

  2. Keri says:

    Wow, thanks for a glimpse into your healthy lifestyle and clean eating. Doesn’t seem as daunting when you lay it out like that. Thank you! Today is my first time visiting your site and I love it.

    • Sarah says:

      We’re glad to have you with us Keri. Eating clean isn’t any more difficult than any other type of lifestyle. Once you get the hang of it you’ll see how easy and simple it is. Let us know if you have any questions!



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