Eating Clean Meal Plan: Spring/Summer Menu

Did you all know that my post on Eating Clean – a 2 week plan is the most popular post on my blog? It didn’t take off right away but thanks to a general interest in the topic and pinterest that post invites thousands of people to this blog every day. That is awesome to me for two reason. I love page views (it’s how I get paid)!  And two, I love that people are interested in something I love to talk about.

If you missed the post the first time around it might be worth taking the time to go over. But I also thought that I’d put some of the same thoughts here. Sharing my food philosophy is something I like to do and something I want you all to know.  The difference this time around is the menu. The last post is definitely a winter menu and this is much more of a spring and summer menu (it highlights seasonal foods and lots of fruit which don’t play as big of role in the winter.)

And JUST SO YOU KNOW: I get rude comments on my past post nearly every day (which don’t get published… sorry) because people don’t agree that it’s a truly “clean” menu. Eating clean is such a fluffy term that comes with different criteria for different people. My emphasis is no sugar, no refined flours, and no processed foods. I don’t include ingredients that you can only get at a health food store because I don’t shop at the health food store. It’s very budget and family friendly because that’s where I am in life. I can’t tell people to only eat organic everything when it’s not something I do myself. I can’t afford that and it isn’t available here in the middle of no where. Instead I grow a garden, I can and bottle summer’s bounty, and I raise a bit of my own meat. Those aren’t all things others can do so it isn’t a must… let’s all just do the best that we can and be gentle with one another.

Think of this as a starting point and when you are ready to go a little more hard-core in your clean eating check out Cassie at Back to Her Roots (her way of eating is awesome!) or Emily from One Lovely Life who is eating gluten and dairy free to help her two-year-old in her battle with autism. Both women are amazing, have inspiring blogs, and eat great. So get started here and move on to them when you are ready.

eating clean menu for summer

This meal plan is something that I cycle through. We try to eat by my 80/20 rule (more on that at the bottom of the post) but when I feel like we are getting lazy or have had too many treats and cheat meals (read long weekends, holidays, vacations,and birthday parties) then I’ll stick to a super clean menu for 2 weeks to get us back on track and feeling a little more in control. I also do this pre-holiday season to gear up for the bounteous eating. That’s just how I roll, you do how you please :) If you are wanting to make some changes in your own life this is a great place to start… you can do anything for two weeks!

On to the 2 week menu for Summer Clean Eating, more of my thoughts on food and eating clean is at the bottom of the post! If you are new to this you might like my 80/20 approach; it makes things feel more manageable to me.

Eating Clean Meal Plan: Spring/Summer Menu

(Most links are to my own posts and a few are recipes from other blogs that I’ve tried and loved. If the link is sending your to another blog I’ve let you know.)

Breakfast:

Quick and Easy Egg and Potato Breakfast Casserole
Garden Vegetable Breakfast Hash from Cafe Johnsonia
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles - this is an old post but I love this recipe. Veggies with breakfast are always a plus!
Healthy Banana Waffles
Eggs in any form (we LOVE our backyard chickens)
Homemade Healthy Honey Granola
Homemade Yogurt (made in the crock pot!) with Berries and Granola
Steal Cut Oats
Raspberry Museli (One Lovely Life)

I always have a huge batch of the honey cinnamon granola on hand that way we can eat it with cold milk and frozen blueberries for day I don’t have time or don’t want to cook breakfast. You’ve got to plan on a few “convenient” things to fall back on or you’ll feel like eating this way is way too hard.

Lunch:

Egg, tuna, chicken salad, PB & honey, or lunch meat (nitrate-free) sandwiches – Plain yogurt instead of mayo is awesome in tuna, egg, and chicken salad
Nachos, taco salad, bean burritos, quesadillas (Homemade baked corn tortilla chips are just what you need!)
Green salad with lots of eggs and veggies
LEFTOVERS!! Embrace the goodness of a meal already cooked. This is definitely what we eat for lunch the most. You’ll see when you are cooking every night that you’ll have lots in the fridge!
Notes: Nachos, you say? Yes! I can read everything on the back of that bag and I understand what frying food is. Costco has a huge bag of organic tortilla chips that are only like $4 and are super tasty. I feel no guilt… don’t judge.  Melt a little cheese, throw on some fresh veggies and salsa and you have a perfect lunch. The tortilla chips are probably the biggest “cheat” for my whole foods, but we all need a little convenience. I do sometimes make my own baked corn tortilla chips which are good, too (Recipe linked above).

Dinners:

Day 1: Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Tetrazzini
Day 2: Quick and Easy 30-minute Stir-fry (use brown rice instead of white)
Day 3: Whole Wheat Over-night Pizza - Personal favorite and it’s SO good
Day 4: Perfect Baked Potatoes with Spinach Cucumber Strawberry Salad (salad from Cafe Johnsonia)
Day 5: Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Breast with Fresh Corn and Zucchini Succotash
Day 6: Burgers (elk if you have it) or black bean burgers (Back to her Roots) on whole wheat buns with perfect oven fries and/or spicy baked zucchini wedges (Cafe Johnsonia) – And grill the chicken for tomorrow night while the grill is hot tonight!
Day 7: BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad with Corn and Black Beans *replace the mayo in the dressing with sour cream
Day 8: Crock-pot Steak Carnitas in corn tortillas with all the veggies they can hold (have you ever tried cucumber on your tacos?! SO good!)
Day 9: Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers with quinoa and black beans – One Lovely Life (no quinoa? Just sub brown rice)
Day 10: Penne Rosa with shrimp - Back to Her Roots (this is the most popular recipe on her blog for a reason. It’s divine!)
Day 11: Honey Lime Tilapia served with confetti quinoa salad with lime vinaigrette (or serve the fish in fish tacos!) – both recipes from One Lovely Life
Day 12:Burrito Bowls – Heaven, in a bowl. From Back to Her Roots
Day 13: Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll-ups (look for butternut squash at the farmer’s market at the end of the summer!)
Day 14: Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries – use left-over squash from Day 13

Sides for dinner- if they aren’t included in the recipe collection then add what is on hand. I love to sauté up zucchini with a little onion and butter and a heavy hand of salt during the summer. Eat sliced garden tomatoes with salt and cottage cheese and fresh cucumbers sliced with salt and pepper. This is such a good time to eat what is available and that is fruits and vegetables. I plan on lots of corn on the cob too. Use on melons in all shapes and sizes, cherries, berries, and peaches to round out the meal. No garden? Bug your neighbor (I’m begging for people to take things off my hands in the summer and I know I’m not alone!) or hit up the farmers market. When things are in season they aren’t only fresh and super tasty but they are also cheap. Road-side stands are also good options for local produce.

Snacks:
Cheesy Chili Lime Popcorn
Whole Wheat Graham Crackers (this does have one odd ingredient to replace sugar)
Whole Peanuts (peanuts in the shell are so much more fun to eat. Trust me.)
Smoothies in all shapes and sizes.  Just don’t get tricked into using sugar if your recipe calls for yogurt. Read that label!
Popsicles – Strawberry banana are a favorite at our house, any 100% fruit juice frozen is great too (and easy)
Homemade Fudgecicles (GF, DF and no sugar added from One Lovely Life)
Sea Salt and Maple Glazed Beet and Sweet Potato Chips (Bakeaholic Mama) – These are amazingly good!
Boiled eggs
I always have a loaf or two of 100% whole wheat breadready to slice and butter. Homemade bread is always a tasty snack and something that is easy to make ahead. When I’m starving (after aerobics or a long day) I’ll toast a piece and spread peanut butter on it for a really good and filling snack.

Eating clean meal plan

Here’s a recap from the original (and more wintry) eating clean meal plan. The thoughts are the same because my philosophy hasn’t changed. It’s taken me just about 5 years to decide what eating well meant for me and my family and I’m really happy with where we are. And I feel like it’s totally attainable. You don’t need a health food store and a million dollars to eat well… making a few small changes will get you on the right track!

Eating clean to me is:

(80% of the time) Avoiding: processed foods, artificial colors/flavors/preservatives, refined flours and sugars Enjoying: whole grains, lots of protein, green vegetables, and fruit. I don’t have a pantry full of health-food-store-only-products;I tend to learn towards traditional or “old-fashioned” ingredients.

  • We eat whole wheat/grain everything (almost…). I have a wheat grinder (awesome investment…) and grind my own flour for bread, muffins, biscuits, and rolls. We always eat brown rice and whole grain pastas.
  • We aren’t afraid of fat; there are way creepier things used in fat-free foods to make them taste OK than the calorie savings are worth.
  • I know where most of our meat comes from, and we also enjoy lots of meatless meals. In fact, we are trying our hand at raising our own meat this year (!!) More on that here.
  • Buying local is more important to me than buying organic.
  • The more vegetables the merrier. Grow a garden… it’s amazing how much kids LOVE what they have invested themselves in and watched grow!
  • I’m scared of artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. I’m not kidding; avoid them like the plague!
  • If I understand what’s in it and/or how it’s made then I generally will eat it.
  • Natural sugars like honey and pure maple syrup are worth the cost and are great things to learn how to use. No need to figure out all those crazy natural sweeteners when bees and trees got us covered…
  • You don’t need a health food store to eat well… a back to basics approach goes a long long way.

The other 20% is: real life

  • I don’t want to eat whole wheat cake with zucchini and agave for my birthday. We enjoy “normal” sugary treats when we have them.
  • I’d much rather have my kids eat my butter, sugar, and white flour chocolate chip cookies than anything made with a box of sugar-free Jell-O. I’m more scared of all that fake stuff than normal old flour, sugar, chocolate, and butter.
  • I don’t tell my kids they can’t have things when they are out of our house. Fruit snacks at play group? Sure. Cheetos at Grandma’s? Share with Dad. Pop at the friend’s party? Ok. I do however try to make sure what they get in my house is good for them (80% of the time). I don’t buy otter-pops, fruit snacks, or soda. It’s never in the house and we never eat them here.
  • I don’t want kids with food issues. I am intentional in my efforts to raise well-rounded kids who will try most anything, enjoy green smoothies, and who will never say no to ring pop. Balance is key.
  • Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s something I feel passionately about and want to share with you: I want you to do it, too! Healthy, local, and sustainable food practices are good for you, your family, your community, and our world. What’s not to love?!

eating clean menu for summer recipes

This is a message that I love to tell people about and hope that the message reaches lots of ears. I’d totally love you to pin and save this post for later to help spread and share the love. Together we can all eat a little better without feeling totally crazy about the process, and I think this is a pretty great place to start!

Thank you SO much for reading. I love blogging and it’s because you all are there to love, help, support, and make my day.

So what do you think? Could you “eat clean” for two weeks to give it a try? Would your family eat the recipes I posted? Enjoy!

Comments:

  1. Pingback: eating clean meal plan - Bless This Mess

  2. AWESOME post! Thanks so much! I am jumping on the clean eating bandwagon, and I think I am like you. I don’t buy organic, mostly because I don’t trust that green logo, but I try to check ingredient and make sure I am buying whole foods and eating from scratch as much as possible. I am anti-white flour and love all your whole wheat recipes :) Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Love your posts! Going to try this with my family :) Thank you for sharing all the ideas, tips, and recipes and making them budget friendly.

  4. Love your perspective! I too cannot afford to buy much organic, but I feel like if I am making bread, muffins and cookies from scratch, that is much better than store bought products. Thank you for making me feel I am making good choices for my family.

  5. I love this and all the effort that you have put into it. I would of loved it in an ebook that I would be happy to pay money for, so that everything is all in the one, instead of having to get the recipes from different areas. (just being lazy).
    Smiles & blessings,
    Julie x

    • Best idea ever! I was up all night thinking about this now that you mentioned it :) Thanks for getting me excited!

      • I have just found you, and feeling very selfish! I too would like to have a printable copy EVERYTHING you have released to the masses (told you I was selfish)! I’m fast approaching retirement with only occasional children in the house (unless you count my husband). I think your cooking is much the way my mother’s was, before we had all the stupid additives in our food. I’m pretty sure you are an answer to prayers I’ve been sending out for quite sometime. Don’t ever let the Negative Nellies out there slow you down. I’m sure you are a keeper and a blessed rescuer for people like me! Thanks!!!!

        • Joy! Kind comments make this whole blog worth it… THANK YOU! And I think we are two peas in a pod :) And just so you know I am knee-deep in an e-book that will be full of all these recipes and a lot easier to print. Curious… what would you pay for a lot of info and maybe 30 killer healthy recipes in one place? I was thinking $4.99. It’ll be about 45 pages. Do you have any thoughts?

          • I would pay $5 for your e book! It would be awesome to have these recipes and grocery list and your comments! All in one place. Thank you for all your hard work and caring for your children and our world! :)

          • Ditto on the $5 for an ebook. My sister and I just turned 50 (twins) and we are re-committing ourselves to eating more wholesome foods. We both do gardens and my husband and I raise a couple of beef cows each year. This is the first place I have found that takes a more realistic approach to healthy eating so thank you very much for that. I have found that if no one in the house including yourself is going to eat those whole wheat, greek yogurt muffins that taste like dry cardboard, then why are you making them? HaHa. So trying to tweak my old recipes just enough to make them more healthy but still eatable.

          • Lois! Thanks for the great comment! We raised lambs last year for meat and I’m thinking about turkey this year… I might have to bug you about info on beef cows. If we get a little more land they are first on the list for sure!

  6. Hey! So do you want to come and move to the real desert and be my cook? Cause I hate cooking. It would make you my favoritest cousin in the world!
    But in seriousness, I’m going to make my creamy chicken and noodles tomorrow and we’ll see how I do with out the cream of chicken. And I’m wanting to try that whole wheat pizza dough. Funny enough it’s your mom’s recipe that I currently use for pizza dough.

  7. THANK YOU! I needed this post today after falling off my healthy eating bandwagon! This is just the thing to get me back on it :)

    • July is a hard month isn’t it?! We had so many parties and family things after the forth that we’ve been off track most of the month too! Thanks for the kind comment :)

  8. Wow. You “get” me. I think we are so similar in so many ways and I love that I found your blog!! I have 2 little kids and it’s hard to do 100% clean. Not because mine won’t eat it, but b/c of time and energy for me! We do the best we can, when we can. I love that you say you don’t want to raise kids with food issues. I agree. I want to educate them to know what is good and what is not good for you, but I always tell them that “once in awhile” treats are fine. And my son likes to use that on me when asking for doritos at the store. haha. I do try to do organic…mainly for the dirty dozen, but sometimes I can’t/won’t even do that…mainly w/ bell peppers. The price for organic is nuts!! And in this house we eat a lot of peppers! All colors. I’m loving the local farms stands right now though. I tried to grow my own in our garden, but of course, all the pepper plants died. Everything else is happy and healthy, growing strong, but every single pepper plant died! Another thing…we are getting backyard chickens soon! I think we would be friends if you lived near me. Sorry for this long post, but I just had to share. :-)

    • oh my goodness, and now I just read your “About” page. We go yard saling every weekend, most of my house is decorated w/ thrift store, yard sale or homemade stuff. :-) We do full fat everything around here. I’m obsessed w/ green smoothies. I sew. I lead the crafts at my mom’s group. Gardening, baking, etc. The only difference I’ve read so far is that I’m short. 5’3″ short. :-) lol!

    • Internet best friend!!! We are twinners. Do you blog?! I’m so with you about the dirty dozen and just trying. Perfection isn’t the key… it’s the effort and doing it well most of the time! I sure like you, let’s keep in touch.

      • I don’t blog. My hubby and friends say I should, but there are so many out there already, I don’t think I’d be doing anything new. Plus lack of time and SO many “passions” in my life to write about. IF I did though, I think my blog name would be, Sex, Food and Rock n Roll. LOL! I looked it up though and someone already has that name. haha. I’m sure I’ll be reading more on your blog. I’ll use my facebook account from now on, not the wordpress one. I just followed you on Pinterest. :-) Lisa Lexo.

      • Just an aside as I am reading more on here… I am 56 and was raised without a thought to any of today’s constraints on GMO and organic…. I am still alive and pretty well…. My Children and several whole generations of people I know we’re raised the same way without the rigid craziness of what you absolutely must eat and no eat.All are pretty well also… I am not saying that we do not have the occasional chronic illness strike ( back in the day people did too and they lived shorter lives) and I am not negating the impact of GMOs and toxic chemicals in our foods… But get real there is no way with our population numbers and living arrangements that everyone could eat perfectly…. Some are thankful to just eat… I am of the generation that was told to clean our plate , there are children starving in other countries…

        • This is so true. I love how you all think. My motto is very similar…Do the best you can with what you have and be thankful. Besides, we live not by bread alone….(Matt 4:4)

        • It’s not about eating perfectly, it is about eating smart. The truth is, with the average American diet, our children can expect to have shorter life spans than their parents. But eating smart doesnt have to be incredibly difficult or time consuming. That is why it is inspiring to see Blogs like this :-).

  9. Pingback: Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe - Bless This Mess

  10. Love your blog, and do ot be disheartened by nasty individuals who just have to be know it alls …. I have seen people who are supposed to be eating clean and healthy post toxic recipes full of pre packaged condiments etc. I also recently went to a Natural Health Food Store opening and found them stocking Atkins products among other pre packaged food products(it is all about money.)
    People should do the best they can , eat as much whole food as they can and in the end as my father used to say when we were kids as he farmed for the property owners, “spread your poisons around ” … Too much of one thing is not a good thing….

  11. I bet people don’t think these are “clean” recipes because they sound like they are delicious! I just got done yummy ideas for recipes. Thank you!

  12. Melissa I love this!!! I am going to look into this more as it is something I really want to do and I love that you have a meal plan figured out with the recipes – awesome!

  13. Awesome post! I just stumbled upon your blog and will definitely follow you. I love your way 80/20 philosophy, especially with the kids. This clean eating concept is relatively new to me, but I’ve realized after reading that I’ve been doing a somewhat “modified” version of it all along! Thanks again! Look forward to reading more!

    • Thanks girl! I think things would be different if I didn’t have kids, but moderation in ALL things seems to bode really well with them. What kid doesn’t want to enjoy what the neighbor kids are sharing?! Your comment made my day!

  14. You are exactly what I have been looking for! Someone who gets how I feel about artificial and processed foods. I love the news recipes that I can try and I Really like that you’re not overboard with it and understand the balance.

    • Thanks so much for the love! Positive comments rock and yours made my morning, and I haven’t even had breakfast yet!

  15. I am really enjoying your menu so far! We’ve had the tetrazzini and the stir fry, and both were delicious. I needed help incorporating more vegetables and whole grains into our meals, and your recipes do just that! I can’t wait to try more…whole wheat pizza is on the menu for tonight! :)

    • It’s so ridiculously rewarding to hear you are using the recipe and the meal plan!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and happy eating :)

  16. Thank you so much for the recipes!! I’ve been eating clean for about 2 months and am trying to integrate more into my kids’ diet as well. Thanks for being real and using real ingredients!

  17. I have three young daughters. Before I was a mother I didn’t think much about the foods I put in my body. I never knew there were so many chemicals in foods. It scares me!!! So over the past year I have been trying to get my family on a more “clean” diet. I just found your blog today and I’m hooked. I love that you are so “real” about foods your family eats. My mind set is the same as yours and now that I found your blog I have motivation to stick with clean eating. We are on a very tight budget and its crappy that the foods I want to feed my family tend to be more expensive. We do have our own garden but this is the first year and we are still learning! So anyway thanks for your blog and for being real about life!!! Sorry for the long rambling comment :-)

  18. Super post. Love the balance between green smoothies and ring pops :) all things in moderation. In trying to become more intentional with my family’s eating habits, I’m really trying to find a good substitute for processed flour and you mentioned a wheat grinder. Any particular brand you would recommend? Thanks again for the post!

  19. Should be called “common sense” right? Thanks for the post! I’m so tired of seeing people be so insanely strict about some things, you definitely have I right IMO. Balance and moderation!

  20. I really appreciate this idea of clean eating. I have thought others are just too time consuming, costly, and not practical for my family. But thinking old fashion the way grandma used to cook I can do! Thank you

  21. Thank you for all your hard work and vulnerability in putting this together and making it available to strangers on the web out of the goodness of your heart!! Thanks also for bringing grace and a budget friendly perspective to clean eating. Really appreciate! (Got here from your first post, via pinterest. =)

  22. This post is amazing. We are a family of six with 2 picky eaters in the family. I’m sure that we could get them to eat most of these foods. I just have one question for you. What is the average food bill for the two weeks? I’d love to purchase the meal plans but want to make sure it fits into our budget first.

    • I spend about $500 a month on everything “household” including food (that my soaps for dishes and laundry, any paper goods, and most other things get lumped into that). So that would put you at about $250 for the two weeks, so maybe $100 a week for just the food? We rarely eat out, so that saves a bunch of money but that also means that I’m serving 3 square meals a day. My husband works at home so he eats all meals with us and my 19 year old brother is living with us too… so really I’m feeding 3 adults (and I’m pregnant so I eat plenty) and three children 42 meals in that 2 weeks. That puts me at about $6 a meal which is only a dollar a person per meal for real food! And that isn’t even quiet right because I still make snacks, treats, and have all the living expenses tied in. It’s also a little bias because I have a huge garden and I can a lot. I never buy tomatoes but use them a lot (I have them on the shelf from last year’s garden!) and I grind my own wheat berries for flour… and on the opposite end I live in a tiny town and the food prices are quiet high. I don’t shop around or “hit the sales” because there aren’t any sales really and theirs only one store. So I think in the end it all comes out in the wash. What do you think? Was too much info :) Thanks for asking though, it was great to hear from you!

  23. Thank you and congratulations on the pregnancy. It wasn’t to much info at all. Its actually perfect. With 6 of us and a budget of $600 a month this fits perfect. I too include all my cleaing supplies in my “food” budget. Can’t wait to see your Fall/Winter menu. :)

    • No… it’s not something I’ve done. It’s a hard on for me because I can a lot and and try to have lots of stuff in my freezer from sales or from my garden! I might make a list one day though and if I do I’ll email you!

  24. Pingback: Clean Eating | la bella vita de micaela.

  25. Great post. As a full time working mom I try to do the best i can. I like your 80/20 rule. that is about where we are most of the time. Some time the ratio is higher on the not so good end but that is okay. If it isn’t in the house the kids dont ask for it nor to they realize they are missing anything. My freezer is my friend–along with the garden, grandmas’ apple trees, and the farmers market. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

  26. Hi Melissa. I’m loving your philosophy on “clean” eating. Your 100% whole wheat bread link seems to be broken. I would like to start grinding my own flour and making bread at home. Is this the recipe you always use? Do you have a link? Thanks!

  27. Love your blog. Found it on Pinterest when looking for clean eating recipes. I also have a lot of game meat in my freezer and plan on trying your chili recipe. Im super excited I found your site.
    Thanks

    • Woohoo for game meat! If the recipe calls for any type of beef (ground or steak) on my blog from the last 2 years then I made it with game… I just don’t call for it because it’s not common. So there should be some other recipes for you too. We love our elk :) So glad you stopped in!

  28. Pingback: 2 weeks of eating clean plan | Edible Crafts | CraftGossip.com

  29. I’ve eaten like this my whole life. You won’t be sorry. BUT I wish they would stop calling it ‘clean eating’ as if the other were dirty? And truth be told, most people won’t make 1 week let alone an entire lifetime. It takes dedication, planning and home cooking.

  30. I really like your approach to eating healthy with kids. My dad decided I needed to lose weight when I was a kid and he refused to buy peanut butter. So now to this day I look to peanut butter for comfort and feel a tad panicked when I don’t have any in the house. I won’t get started on the host of other food issues I have but I know when they developed. So thank you for sharing how you balance and shape healthy eating habits.

  31. I love your 80/20 approach!! It is absolutely impossible to have a child and not allow for junk. Thank you soooo much for your post!!!

  32. Thank you for this post! I am almost 8 months pregnant and I never cook! The thought of raising my kid on McDonald’s and frozen dinners (as I was) scares me and I have began researching easy clean food. I’m not a cook so complicated instructions and ridiculously long lists of ingredients immediately make me shut down. Your recipes are nice and easy to follow! I cannot wait to begin trying these and sharing with my husband!

  33. Pingback: How to Eat Clean- Most of the time

  34. Love your philosophy. I do try to buy organic (especially with the recommended produce, meat and dairy). However, I think your 80/20 philosophy is totally doable and more flexible – which usually means people can stick to it better. I’m not looking for fads, I’m looking for a lifestyle change. This works. I’m on board with the ebook idea. :)

  35. Thank you thank you thank you for these meal plans! I love that you plan healthy meals, and I love the 80/20 rule. I think that’s something I can do! This is a great start to eating clean; something I have wanted to do, but haven’t felt like I could go all out (plus, I live in a small town and it is next to impossible to buy organic produce…not to mention terribly expensive!) Thank you for these meal ideas and encouraging posts!

    • We are so in the same boat! I can’t even buy cilantro in our store and there is zero organic anything… that’s why we garden and I can lots of our own stuff! You just have to do the best you can where you are and it sounds like you are doing just that! Thanks so much for the kind comment, it made my morning!

    • Great idea! We love fish but have access to so little in the middle of the dessert… I’d buy some at Costco but we are a full 2 hours from any kind of large grocery store and I get nervous about packing fish that far out of the refrigeration. Everyone else… BUY FISH :)

  36. What is your weekly or biweekly budget? 80/20 fits my family to a T. I love this blog. Aksi did you ever get the grocery list done?

  37. A woman after my own heart! I don’t do well with tons of rules and can’t do this scenarios. I feel like those things make me destined for failure or feeling bad about myself. I am excited to try your plan AND eat real cake on my birthday!

  38. Thank you so much for your post. I love the 80/20 rule as well as your meal plans and recipes.

    For my family this is something that can be totally attainable. Kudos to those that can go hardcore on 100%. I just know that this will work for my family much better than trying to go cold turkey. Life with a two year old doesn’t always go according to schedule. I need backup meals and snacks ready.

    I’m so excited to start this. Thanks again and happy 2014!

  39. I appreciate all the effort that you shared with us. Hard to imagine people wasting time leaving rude comments. If I disagree with blogs, I just close the browser and move on. Keep on doing your good work and know many are thankful for your gift

  40. I am looking for something other than sugar to cook with. I have tried Agave and Coconut sugar.
    But, it doesn’t set things like cookies and Brittles like regular sugar does. Any suggestions?

    • When it comes to candy making I’ve seen a few recipe for maple and honey candy that use those things but I think most recipes just won’t work without traditional granulated sugar. As far as cookies go I’ve tried a few recipes with honey in them and they were ok… you’ll have to look around! Or just save cookies and candy for a special treat :)

  41. Hey, I just found your blog via Pinterest and it really intreages me. My son was diagnosed with type one diabetes last year and I am always looking for a better way to feed my family. I love your 80/20 philosophy because even with a diabetic baby( well he’ll be 3 next month but still my baby lol) there is really no way to keep all processed foods and sugars out of our lives.

  42. I am so happy I found this! Easy and budget friendly recipes that my whole family can enjoy. I think I would always tend to “cheat” a little bit because my three year old is ridiculously picky but these recipes are definitely something that I can tweak just a little for my little one and keep it clean for me & my hubby! Thank you!!! Do you have a fall/winter meal plan??

  43. Pingback: 14 Day Clean Eating Challenge | Me & My House

  44. Thanks for having a “what works for you” approach. I feel like people get so wrapped up in what they believe about food that reading posts like this is often unpleasant but yours is realistic and welcoming. Its nice to find blogs like this.

  45. Pingback: My 10 Blogger Favorites of 2013 | Cafe JohnsoniaCafe Johnsonia

  46. Thank you so much for sharing all this information! I too would love a grocery list mailed to me please :) Thank you

  47. There is no way eating clean involves eating any form of product that comes from an animal!!!!!!! Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30gEiweaAVQ. Dr Michael Greger clearly explains, with scientific research to back him up all the way, in his talk ‘Uprooting the leading causes of Death’, that eating animals or their by products are not only unnecessary but harmful! Thank you :)

  48. So excited I found your page!!-Thanks to pinterest!! My husband and I try to eat healthy but it’s drives my boys nuts (13 & 15.) I can’t wait to try your recipes! I’m always looking for good practical recipes! We live in western KS so not many health stores and what we do have is very expensive!!

  49. Hi Melissa,

    Just popping in to say how much I love your blog. I have tried some of your receipes and they are great. Sometimes I have to ‘google’ something to know what it means because I live in South Africa and we use different words to describe things. For exapmle ‘Zucchini’ is called ‘baby marrow’ here. But just love the fact that we are such a ‘global villiage’ now and inspiration can come from someone who lives thousands of kilometres away and across the ocean!

    God bless.

    Janine
    Xxx

    • Janine! Your comment totally made my day… I called my husband just to tell him about it! Thanks so much for taking the time and being a friend :)

      • Just came across your blog and wanting to get into eating clean and would love also to have the grocery list emailed. Thank you for putting this all out there!

  50. I can’t begin to emphasize how much I adore you and love your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to type this out for other mommies who want to feed their families whole, natural, and yummy meals. I know I really appreciate it!! Take Care and God Bless!

  51. I can’t wait to try all of your recipes and believe me that even at the age of 57 you CAN teach an old girl new tricks! I’ve always wanted to try clean cooking and now here’s my chance! Thanks for all of your hard work of putting together these recipes for all to consume and enjoy!

  52. You might want to read the Wheat Belly Cookbook, it seems that whole wheat is not as good as we all thought. Will try some of your recipes that are wheat free though. Thanks for sharing.

  53. I’m so excited to find this!

    However, I was wondering if there was a good shopping list for all this? I want to try it, and would be fine with searching through to find all the ingredients needed, but calculations are hard and it would be a ton of tabs.
    Also, it’s cooking for just me and me alone, so if you had a shopping list, that would be amazing!

  54. All this looks so amazing, but what do you do when you have a super picky husband that doesn’t like a ton of stuff?

  55. Thank you for sharing. We raise pigs, rabbits, and even had two emu we raised and butchered up. Raising your own meat is great and taste so much better than store bought. Can’t wait to get chickens.

  56. Thanks so much for all your suggestions and encouragement, for a beginner at eating clean. Three months in and I am a little weary. Your blog really gave me a pick up and offered hope.

  57. I’m excited to find this on pinterest today. I have been feeling like my family needs to eat healthier for so long and I’ve been scared to try. My husband and I have four children, two boys, two girls. The boys both have autism- one very high functioning and one low functioning. The behaviors are what get us, and I hear just cutting out all the junk really helps with that. So, I’m going to be a copy cat and go by your guidelines above to really get us started. I’m going to do my very best to get us started and ignore the comments of “its all or nothing” I’ve heard for years. Its intimidating to think my kids can never have certain things again- I don’t know how I would make it work, but for now, your ideas are way less scary. Thanks!

  58. Hi I saw your 2 weeks clean eating plan. And I find it interesting. Can I have you a copy of the grocery list pls? I am new to all this and I need some guidance to start cos I am so clueless. I want to start eating clean and staying healthy. My email address is cosyice@yahoo.com. And thank you for your time, hard work and for posting to help people like me eat clean.

  59. LOVE this! Started out looking to incorporate more veggies and have started moving toward clean eating/real food. Have got my husband on board with the theory, now to get him to stop buying junk food when I don’t!

  60. I would love a list of shopping items. New to this, and going to try to get my family into it. DM has food intolerance’s. Thanks much!

  61. I absolutely love your philosophy on food. I agree with everything here, and it’s nice to see it in words by some one else- I’m far too much of a mess myself to have written it out so perfectly! (we certainly share a fear of “fat free” foods and artificial sweeteners!) Thank you for all the fantastic looking recipes that i absolutely cannot wait to try! I have been meaning to try a clean meal plan and you have so kindly laid it out for all.

  62. Great meal plan. Can’t wait to try it! Would you mind also emailing me your grocery list? goddelights @ gmail dot com

  63. I just wanted to say thank you for the awesome ideas, I will be making more then a few of these recipes! Secondly, it is mind blowing that people feel the need to send you nasty comments regarding the clean eating part of your post. Whoooooooo gives a shit. Pardon my language ;) if you don’t like the ideas she has, then move on with your rude self. Your intent I am sure is to help those who need it and give a few of your ideas. What is wrong with that? Keep going girl, thanks for the recipes!

  64. Thanks to Pinterest I stumbled on your blog. I just started a business 2 weeks ago called Clean Bites and like you I promote clean and practical eating. I make meals for my customers who do not have the time to make clean meals. I don’t shop at health food stores either . I make everything from scratch if possible. The meals you share here is a big help in my meal planning.

  65. Thank you so much for sharing! Just tried Paleo and it was next to impossible. It was definitely an eye opening experience, and I am ready to change my eating habits, but going to such an extreme with Paleo just don’t seem like the right way to go about it. Clean eating and this plan specifically seems more of a lifestyle change vs a 30 day crash diet. Thank you again! If you have a grocery list I’d love a copy! I’ll absolutely be sharing this with friends and fam! Great job and again thank you!

  66. If you don’t mind me asking how many people are you shopping for and how much do you typically spend for two weeks worth of clean groceries? By the way, I LOVE your blog. It’s adorable and is very helpful for those just starting out.

  67. What a pleasant surprise! I saw this post on Pinterest and just pulled it up while doing my menu planning. And couldn’t believe what adorable person I saw on the right side of the page! It’s been a very long time, but glad to see life is treating you well!! Love this blog and can’t wait to add your blog to my regular stops! xoxo- Emily (Ingram)

  68. Thank you for sharing! These recipes look great and my new years resolution was to try to eat clean without being crazy about it. I love your philosophy :-)

  69. Thank you, thank you thank you for posting this! I am new to clean eating (as well as starting/managing a family) and this post is very helpful and informative. I look forward to reading more of your blog & recipes. Can I please have the grocery list for this & your Fall/Winter plan if available? Thank you! krista.kepler@gmail.com

  70. I absolutely loved this post. I’m a recent college grad who just officially move out on her own. My interest in eating healthy is a result of my desperation to find an ease to both my crazy digestive system and my bad skin. I have a love for herbal medicine for preventative measures.

    I can honestly say that I live by your 80/20 rule. I do my best when I can, but what’s most efficient and convenient usually takes precedence. I try to do my best with organic and local and I don’t EVER buy GMO.
    I’m also only 22 and will not restrict myself in a social setting. Obviously always looking for the best option,(and to be honest I’ve been doing that more subconsciously lately) but I never refrain from living and enjoying.

    I want to teach my children that someday, too. Like you said, everything with a balance. Love your blog, keep doing what you’re doing!

  71. I love your philosophy. Some people go overboard and its just not practical for most families. Sounds like you are doing a great job. I’m lucky to cook some nights so growing your own meat is heads above most of us. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  72. Just found you through pinterest and I super excited to give this a try. I feel like we are on the same page with our thoughts on eating clean. I’m excited to have some new recipes to try. Thanks for both of your posts. ☺