Maria here (on the left), I am the co-founder of the blog Spinach for Breakfast with my sister Alyssa. Here’s my story in a nutshell. I developed some serious stomach issues in college that no GI doctor could seem to solve. I decided to do some of my own detective work and came across the Clean Program. I learned (with some accompanying blood work) that I didn’t tolerate gluten. I also discovered cutting out dairy, processed ingredients and refined sugars kept me feeling my absolute best. The feeling is truly addicting! This is why I practice clean eating every day. Ok, so maybe not every day! I’m 26 and I live a very social life in NYC, so realistically it doesn’t work all the time. My sister and I created Spinach for Breakfast not only to provide readers with clean recipes, but also to share how we fit clean eating into our “real lives” in hopes to inspire others! Here’s a peek into 3 days of my life – My Way.
Monday through Thursday I try to practice the actual 21-Day Cleanse routine of a smoothie/juice for breakfast, solid meal for lunch and soup/smoothie for dinner. I find eating this way provides me with the most energy and improved digestion to look and feel my best.
7:00 am: I made a smoothie for my boyfriend Lou and myself. He doesn’t eat clean like I do, but is a huge supporter, which is all that counts. Today we had my Cucumber Pear Smoothie. I also paired my smoothie with digestion supplements (probiotics and digestive enzymes by Renew Life) that I began taking while participating in Clean Gut.
Off to work! I’m a speech-language pathologist and I love my job. I currently work for both a special needs pre-school in NYC and privately with children in their homes.
12:00 pm: For lunch I brought Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese made with brown rice pasta. It’s also one of my co-worker’s birthday today and there’s cake (ah!). This is where life can get hard. I know gluten makes me feel the worst, so I tell the girls I’m skipping the cake today. They know I eat clean, and of course they don’t care. Don’t be afraid to have confidence in your eating choices! Good people will support you. Because I knew about this birthday ahead of time, I made my Pecan Pumpkin Cookies for everyone so I could participate in the dessert eating. And what do you know; my cookies are gone.
7:30 pm: For dinner I had left over Chipotle and Black Bean Bisque, one of my favorite recipes from the Clean Cleanse. I can’t get sick of this one! I tend to make a big soup in the beginning of the week and eat it for a few nights. Makes life easier!
7:00 am: By Friday my groceries tend to get pretty slim. I grabbed some almond milk, spinach, vanilla protein, frozen mango and chia seeds and threw it into my blender. Lou gave it a “7” – fair judgment.
Friday night Lou and I went to a wedding for one of his hometown friends. I have a rule that there is no use stressing myself out at social functions to stay strictly clean; stress only does your body worse. We get to cocktail hour (Lou loves two events – Giants games and cocktail hours) and his plate is piled high. I went for the turkey at the carving station, raw veggies and a dirty martini. Which one doesn’t belong?
9:00 am: Post-wedding. Instead of having a cup of coffee the size of my head, I made a Matcha tea smoothie for clean, natural energy.
10:00 am: Alyssa and I took a spin class at Equinox for some serious cardio and then hit the sauna to sweat out built up toxins (including the dirty martinis from the night before).
1.00 pm: We spent the first part of our afternoon at Chelsea Market, one of my favorite places to go in NYC. It is made up of shops and small restaurants that provide organic and natural foods from local vendors.
We first made a stop in Anthropology (a food bloggers heaven!) and bought some new bowls and plates for picture staging. For lunch we went to the vegan sushi restaurant, Beyond Sushi, and ordered a few gluten-free Green Machine rolls, made with a six-grain rice blend, asparagus, cucumber, basil marinated veggies and a jalapeno wasabi. Everything was fresh and delicious! Our last stop was Spices and Tease to check out a variety of imported spices and herbs from around the world. We rely on spices instead of processed ingredients for rich flavoring in our clean dishes.
Saturdays also tend to be our “blogging days”. We spent the later part of the afternoon cooking up clean recipes and praying at least some of them were good! Then we moved the dishes to our “photo studio”, aka “my kitchen table” and said another set of prayers that the pictures came out the way we wanted. Having this blog keeps us motivated to maintain a clean eating lifestyle. However, we also go to happy hours, brunches and other social events where we allow ourselves to stray from clean eating. We believe it is all about realistic balance.