Haley's Home Cooking: Surviving on the 21 Day Fix eating plan

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By: Haley Church
hchurch@flavor574.com

Flavor 574 photo/Haley Church

Many of you who have been reading my recipes may have noticed a trend — cheese, bread, pasta and more cheese.

Between all the baked goods and newsroom snacking, I had begun feeling a bit sluggish and out of shape.

I have generally been a “healthy” person; I have been running and practicing yoga regularly since college, and played tennis for eight years before that. But sometimes my eating habits are not the greatest, especially when I occasionally cook with processed foods full of artificial ingredients. So, I’ve made a change.

If you’re on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ve came across a few 21 Day Fix recipes. After further research, I learned that it’s a clean-eating diet based on portion control containers and several different workouts to tone your body. I thought it was worth a shot to see how I felt after eliminating all the bad-for-you foods from my diet.

The first couple days I was miserably sore from the total body cardio and struggled to find time to do all the meal prepping and dishes. But, I was never hungry, and for a foodie that is of the utmost importance, otherwise I’ll cave and go for some garlic truffle fries or newsroom pizza.

I was living off of roasted carrots and cauliflower purchased fairly inexpensive from Fresh Thyme in Mishawaka. Everything was USDA certificated organic, including some organic chicken.

I put the two seasoned chicken breasts in for a standard 40 minutes at 350 F. Yet, when I checked on it the skin of the chicken was still pink. Another 10 minutes in the oven. Still pink.

Joe, the editor of Flavor 574, said he had never heard of organic chicken keeping a pink tint after cooking. The inside was fully cooked, so I ate it anyways. Even though it was more like jerky than a juicy breast.

I also shamefully failed at roasting asparagus. It was soggy, limp and practically inedible.

I finally got the hang of cooking something flavorful and the portions on Sunday. My diet consisted of a protein shake, carrots and hummus, a bunch of grapes, roasted broccoli, whole wheat spaghetti with organic tomatoes and two garlic-seasoned pork chops sliced thin.

After a week of eating clean, I feel more energized and in control of what I’m putting into my body. The only downside is that all of the meal prepping is a bit time consuming, and pricey organic items.

But my favorite clean meal so far has been this next recipe, even my picky boyfriend ate two bowls:

TURKEY VEGETABLE SOUP

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 5

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3 baby sweet bell peppers
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 20 ounces organic crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pound ground turkey (I used Jennie-O’s, 94 percent lean, 7 percent fat)
  • 1 tablespoon organic olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, crushed
  • Garlic powder, sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated cheese, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on the stove, add the diced onion, peppers and carrots. Cook with olive oil on medium to high heat, stirring regularly.
  2. While that is cooking,cut up the potatoes and added them to the mixture, followed by the tomatoes.
  3. Add one cup of the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the second cup of broth and water. Cover with a lid and let simmer on a low-medium heat.
  4. In a separate skillet, brown the turkey. Season and drain, then add to the larger pot.
  5. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until you can pierce the potatoes easily with a fork.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy.

For people who might be interested in the 21 Day Fix portions, 1 1/2 cup of this soup is equal to one and one-half green, one red and one yellow container.

Follow Haley Church on Instagram, @HaleyDrewChurch.
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