cookBuzzFeed Clean Eating Challenge

From: buzzfeed

This Clean Eating Challenge is a two­week detox plan that’s all about eating real food in order to feel great and have more energy.

Everyone wants to look and feel their best in time for summer, but it's important that the food you eat leaves you feeling energized and not starving. BuzzFeed Food editors came up with a realistic, two­week detox plan.

During BuzzFeed Food’s Clean Eating Challenge, you'll eat five times a day — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks — and there's plenty of variation to keep you from getting bored.

For a word version: click here, shopping list here


1) The plan is low carb, gluten free, and low dairy, with an emphasis on lean protein and fresh produce. There's no processed food allowed; every meal is homemade.

2) Every day, you'll eat three meals and two snacks (one snack after lunch, one after dinner) for a daily total of 1300­1600 calories. Aim to eat every 3­4 hours, and try not to eat anything 2 hours before bed.

3) It's important that you follow the meal plan in the order specified, since most of the recipes call for leftovers or leftover ingredients from previous days. Each recipe is calculated for one person, as is the grocery list.

4) All of the weekday lunches and snacks are portable so you can take them to work, to class, or wherever you need to go. There are instructions with each of the lunches and snacks on how to pack them to go. There’s also a heads­up in the schedule for when to pack them (either the night before or morning of.)

5) You'll go grocery shopping twice: once on Saturday, the day before you start Week One of the challenge, and again the following Saturday before Week Two begins.

6) Every serving of protein is 4 ounces for women and 6 ounces for men (this is based on the nutritionist’s guidelines); otherwise, the recipes are the same.

7) Salt amounts are specified in the recipes. Be sure to follow them to get the full results of the detox.

8) During the challenge, you need to drink about 6 glasses of water per day. The specific amount is 60 ounces (7 1/2 cups) of water per day, but there’s no need to obsessively measure, just know that most water glasses hold about 10 ounces, so six of those will get you to your goal.

9) No coffee and no booze. If you can't go two weeks without caffeine, you can drink up to 24 ounces (3 cups) of green tea per day. Be sure to only use one teabag per cup. To be clear, alcohol is not allowed. But, if you decided to cheat, limit yourself to two glasses of wine, maximum, over the course of the two weeks.

10) If you’re packing lunches to­go and eating at work, you might want to keep salt, pepper, a paring knife and a cutting board at the office just in case, but our schedule has you prep everything at home beforehand.

11) Ideally, you'll be making all the food you eat for two weeks. But, life happens. If you find yourself having to eat out a couple of times, follow the guidelines below.


First of all, don’t cheat. But if you HAVE to, only cheat once.

Stick with lean proteins. White fish such as branzino and sea bass is your best bet, and it's available at most sit­down restaurants. Chicken or lean ground turkey are also good choices.

Also, choose grilled, roasted or steamed protein instead of sautéed or fried.

Ask for double the vegetables instead of a starch. Instead of the french fries, rice or potatoes that might come with your protein, ask for a double order of vegetables (again, choose grilled, roasted, or steamed over sautéed or fried veggies), or a salad with oil and vinegar.

If you're at an Asian restaurant, ask for wok­tossed or steamed vegetables and chicken satay, with no sauce. At a Mexican restaurant, chicken or fish fajitas with no tortillas or sour cream are a good option. At a more casual restaurant, get a green salad — make sure there are no croutons or cheese, and that the only dressing you use is oil and vinegar — with grilled chicken or a turkey burger with no bun.


Go grocery shopping for Week 1. We’ve split the grocery list into two weeks to make it more manageable. You’ll go shopping once the day before the challenge, and again on the last day of Week 1 (Saturday). Both printable grocery lists are separate PDF files in BuzzFeed Food’s Clean Eating Challenge.

There are instructions below about freezing and defrosting perishables (proteins and produce for smoothies), since you’re buying them at the beginning of the week and not using them right away. If you want, you can buy them the day you’re scheduled to use them and put them right in the fridge.


Technically this is just a prep day — the eating part of the Challenge begins tomorrow. Prepare smoothie packs and put them in the freezer. Use a pint­sized freezer bag for each, and label it with the meal, day, and week it'll be used for:

1. “Sunday, Week 1, Breakfast” = kale leaves from 1/2 bunch (about 3 cups), center ribs removed + 1 peeled banana
2. “Wednesday, Week 1, Snack” = 1/4 peeled mango + 1/2 peeled banana
3. “Friday, Week 1, Breakfast” = 1/2 mango, peeled and diced in 1/4­inch cubes
4. “Sunday, Week 2, Breakfast” = 1 cup blueberries
5. “Wednesday, Week 2, Breakfast” = 1/2 bunch kale (leaves only) + 1 peeled banana
6. “Wednesday, Week 2, Snack” = 1 peeled banana

Freeze and label your salmon and ground turkey. Instead of labeling it with when you'll be eating it, write when to defrost it:
Salmon: “Defrost Wednesday evening”;
Ground turkey: “Defrost Friday evening”

Day 1 (Sunday)

Breakfast: Kale and banana smoothie
Lunch: Shaved Asparagus salad with shallots and fried eggs
Snack: Carrots with hummus
Dinner: Quinoa in orange vinaigrette with steamed kale and roast chicken
Night snack: Pear and almond butter

Day 2 (Monday)

Breakfast: Overnight oats with blueberries and chia seeds
Lunch: Kale, Chickpea, and fennel salad with orange vinaigrette
Snack: Sliced tomato with basil, feta, and balsamic
Dinner: Napa cabbage wraps with chicken, tomato, mango and avocado in lime­basil vinaigrette
Night snack: Clementines

Day 3 (Tuesday)

Breakfast: Blackberry yogurt parfait
Lunch: Asian chicken salad with toasted almonds and tamari­lime vinaigrette
Snack: Lemony avocado
Dinner: Cauliflower steaks with lentils
Night snack: Hot chocolate

Day 4 (Wednesday)

Breakfast: Scallion and feta omelet
Lunch: Greek­style salad with lentils and lime vinaigrette
Snack: Mango, banana, and almond milk smoothie with chia seeds
Dinner: Roasted chicken breast with roasted fennel and spinach
Night snack: Dates stuffed with almonds

Day 5 (Thursday)

Breakfast: Cauliflower omelet
Lunch: Quinoa, fennel and blueberry salad with mint and lime
Snack: Carrots with hummus
Dinner: Roasted salmon with green beans and lentils
Night snack: Blueberries and almonds

Day 6 (Friday)

Breakfast: Chia seed pudding with mango and pistachios
Lunch: Arugula salad with green beans, salmon, and dijon vinaigrette
Snack: Cucumber & carrot with hummus
Dinner: Black bean chili with paprika yogurt and zucchini ribbons
Night snack: Blackberries with pistachios

Day 7 (Saturday)

Breakfast: Asparagus with poached eggs
Lunch: Kale salad with tomato, black beans, and feta
Snack: Almonds and clementine
Dinner: Turkey­basil meatballs with tomato sauce with sauteed collard greens
Night snack: Chocolate

Week 2

There are instructions below about freezing and defrosting perishables (proteins and produce for smoothies), since you’re buying them at the beginning of the week and not using them right away. If you want, you can buy them the day you’re scheduled to use them and put them right in the fridge.

Freeze and label your shrimp, cod, and chicken. Instead of labeling it with when you'll be eating it, write when to defrost it:
1/4 pound shrimp: “defrost Monday night”
Cod: “Defrost Wednesday night”
1/4 pound shrimp: “Defrost Thursday night”
Chicken breast: “Defrost Friday night”

Day 8 (Sunday)

Breakfast: Blueberry and yogurt smoothie
Lunch: Shakshuka
Snack: Strawberries with almond butter
Dinner: Eggplant with chickpeas, cauliflower, and lemon­parsley yogurt
Night snack: Dates stuffed with almonds

Day 9 (Monday)

Breakfast: Sweet and savory apple omelet
Lunch: Raw collard wraps with turkey meatballs, avocado, and dijon
Snack: Blackberries with yogurt
Dinner: Fried quinoa with snap peas, mushrooms, and scrambled eggs
Night snack: Pear with almond butter

Day 10 (Tuesday)

Breakfast: Cauliflower hash with fried eggs
Lunch: Arugula salad with eggplant, avocado, feta, and chickpeas
Snack: Red pepper with hummus
Dinner: Kale and shrimp bowl with mushrooms and sliced avocado
Night snack: Blackberries

Day 11 (Wednesday)

Breakfast: Kale and banana smoothie
Lunch: No­mayo tuna salad in romaine cups
Snack: Banana avocado pudding
Dinner: Snap pea salad with feta, radish, and hard­boiled egg
Night snack: Chocolate

Day 12 (Thursday)

Breakfast: Blackberry yogurt parfait
Lunch: Black bean chili with paprika yogurt
Snack: Pear with peanuts
Dinner: Asian­style cod in parchment with bok choy
Night snack: Hot chocolate

Day 13 (Friday)

Breakfast: Overnight oats with strawberries and chia seeds
Lunch: Snap pea and radish salad with quinoa and arugula
Snack: Carrots with hummus
Dinner: Spicy tamari shrimp lettuce cups
Night snack: Apple with honey

Day 14 (Saturday)

Breakfast: Scallion and feta omelet
Lunch: Portobello mushroom caps with feta, tomato, and mint
Snack: Apple with almond butter
Dinner: Chicken, snap pea, and mushroom stir­fry
Night snack: Chocolate


You just finished BuzzFeed Food’s Clean Eating Challenge! We know how great you must be feeling (and looking!) so hurry up and get yourself to a beach to celebrate.

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