Enough is Enough: my clean eating journey 4 weeks in

mashed garlic cauliflower recipe
A big change towards a healthier lifestyle has been a long time coming in our home. After Sawyer’s birth, meals in our family became more about convenience and indulgence rather than health.  Recently, with the encouragement of close friends, I decided that enough was enough.  This perpetual sluggish state of exhaustion I was in needed to end.  Not to mention the extra rolls around my waist have been a real blow to my self esteem.  I wasn’t looking for some quick “fad/extreme diet”, something that would only result in me returning to my old habits after the diet ended–I wanted a lifestyle change., something permanent.

This week marks my fourth week of “clean eating”. Which means eating three meals and two to three small snacks each day. Each meal includes a lean protein, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and a complex carbohydrate. It means drinking LOTS of water and no soda–ahhh, you know how hard that soda restriction is for me, and I haven’t been perfect. I eat healthy fats and lean proteins. I avoid processed foods, sugars, dairy (this means no cheese, another ahhhh!) and no gluten. And of course, organic whenever possible.

I know this sounds super restrictive, and to be honest it felt that way during the first week of the diet.  But eventually I found that my cravings subsided. I still get a hunkering for chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  And I still allow myself those “cheats” in moderation.  My motto is: Progress, not Perfection. And since I’m looking for a lifestyle change not a quick diet, I sure as hec have no intentions of cutting cookies out of my life forever.

For those who are interested, I’d love to start sharing some of my go-to meals and recipes for clean eating. This first one is a favorite of mine.  We are big fans of mashed potatoes around these parts, and this is the best, most healthy substitution I’ve made. Great served with grilled chicken and a vegetable.

Easy Garlic and Pepper Mashed Cauliflower
(no butter, no dairy, no potatoes)

mashed cauliflower ingredients

  • 2 bags of Cauliflower Florets
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Almond milk (optional–I didn’t use any)

garlic mashed cauliflowerI bought the cauliflower that can be steamed in the bag.  This recipes works fantastic if you steam your own cauliflower too. While the cauliflower was steaming I peeled the garlic cloves.  I diced one clove and set it aside. I placed the remaining four cloves in a tablespoon of water and microwaved them for 1 minute.  Steaming the garlic cloves like this cuts some of the spicy garlic taste.  I kept one clove raw to add just enough flavor.

garlic mashed cauliflower 2
Next, toss the steamed cauliflower, garlic, salt & pepper into your blender. I use a Vitamix Creation II.

vitamix cauliflower recipeBecause there is no liquid to help the ingredients blend evenly, I needed to use this handy tool that came with my blender.  It fits into the lid so you can push the ingredients down towards the blade until all is blended smoothly.

vitamix tools

vitamix mashed cauliflowerAfter blending, if it is still too thick, you can add a tablespoon of almond milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. You can serve immediately, or I like to pour the cauliflower into a baking dish and bake until piping hot and ever so slightly browned on top–about 10 minutes. You can even make in advance and throw it in the oven before dinner time.

If you have any plans to purchase a Vitamix, use this coupon code to get FREE SHIPPING ($25US/$35CN)
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Additional recipes I’ve made using my Vitamix:
Green Drink Power Smoothie
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Sneaky Kid Spaghetti Sauce
[easyrecipe id=”19252″ n=”0″]

mashed garlic cauliflower recipe
*I was given the Vitamix Creation II to review. As always, all opinions are my own and I am completely head over heels in love with my Vitamix.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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  1. Hey Ashley! Ive already commented before on how much i love you blog (and instagram!), and this post reallllly spoke to me! I’m 25 and also try to stick to a well-routined healthy diet myself…man o man is it difficult sometimes.

    I felt the need to comment today because i too have the joys of cauliflower! I recently found this recipe (link below) for cauliflower latkes! (original latkes of course containing potatoes) They are great! Perfect for children or entertaining as well, which i know you partake in both aspects haha.

    Give it a try, and enjoy!


  2. Can’t wait to see some more of your go tos! We’ve been making a lot of similar changes in our home too!

  3. Emily Meier says:

    We eat mostly clean around my house too. I have the same motto- progress not perfection! Can’t wait to see some more of your recipes! I love love love your blog and just wanted to say thanks for all the cute ideas, stories you share, and now a yummy recipe to try. :)

  4. I am slowly making this change over in our house… its very hard with the littles running around during the extra cooking time! the one that has taken to eat the easiest- my 4 year old! she even gave up her beloved ranch dressing. good luck, i love the motto!

  5. Looks delish! Try this one… even my kids like it! :)


  6. Hey girl! I encourage you to read Trim Healthy Mama! It is written by two sisters who are Christians and have 13 kiddos between the two of them. It is the most down-to-earth book on clean eating I have ever read, and has helped me and tons of others tremendously! They also have a group on Facebook where women post encouragement, befores and afters, etc. My sister recommended the book to me, and I’m so grateful she did! Blessings to you on your journey to better health :)

  7. Just curious, I know you mentioned your cravings for “junk” have subsided, but how are your energy levels? Do you feel more energized after cutting back on those other things?

  8. This sounds delicious! I am in the same position as you. I also had my youngest in 2012, and after he was born, I (we) started eating so much worse than we did before. I am also turning 30 this year, in June, and am determined to get back to being healthy and making the right choices. I am on Day 3 of my change, and am finally starting to get out of my lethargic slump that I have been in the last 1 1/2 years. Keep up the great work and I am going to add this recipe to my meal plan next week!

  9. I started clean eating about two weeks ago. I’m right there with you on the no soda or coffee…it’s been 15 days with any at all! Those first five days were a little rough trying to get rid of that caffeine headache, but now I don’t even crave it anymore and my lethargicism (that’s probably not even a word) is completely gone in the morning. I couldn’t even function without my coffee before and now I definintely a lot more energized and I do not get as tired throughout the day.

  10. I threw this vegetable soup recipe together that is Paleo friendly…minus the pasta and cannellini beans which are always optional. My daughter (2 yrs. old) took one bite and said, “mmmm.” http://behindblueeyesblog.com/vegetable-soup/

  11. Hey Ashley! What a great accomplishment! I just read your recipe for almond butter as well. I’ve been seriously contemplating switching our lifestyle to clean eating, I just have no idea where to begin. Something’s gotta give! Did you use a book or web-based resources? Thanks for the inspiration!


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