FYI, yes we do know this person :)

I am ready to keep learning!!! My biggest problem is clean sides other then veggies! I spent a ton of money on education and I lost 42 lbs! I love eating clean and I do well but I could use some tips! You guys are awesome!!!

Congrats on such a huge weight loss!  You look amazing!!!  I’m sure you know we’re foodies, so eating clean should be just as enjoyable as when you loved a side of fries….bet no one gets tired of those :)

I can’t replace veg with other sides, but I can give you ways to make them more interesting. Always choose veg that’s in season, that way you’re paying less & your options are always changing.  Methods of cooking also give you options.  To me there’s nothing better than a warm cherry tomato that pops when you eat it.  You can grill & roast anything that you can make stovetop, it just imparts more flavor.  Fresh or dried herbs & good EVOO change the dynamics of your veg without empty calories.  In our house we have a few favorites, using whatever you have in the fridge keeps things interesting & cost effective.

The first one we call crack:  golden beets, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, asparagus, red onion, brussel sprouts; again whatever you have, acorn & butternut squash are nice winter additions

leave the skin on the beets, it’s easier to remove after cooking

2nd toss some veg with EVOO, sea salt & black pepper, skewer & grill (again get creative, we even grill potatoes) add to quinoa, brown rice or farro pasta (a whole wheat pasta) this can be your whole meal.  If you’re using quinoa you can skip the protein as quinoa is a stand alone protein or you can add your favorite protein to the rice or pasta.

3rd make a pizza on your grill using whole wheat dough, add your favorite toppings.  A few favorites here are brie & apple or pear, arugula spinach & goat cheese, arugula proscuitto & gorgonzola, the possibilities are endless

4th make your salads interesting:  we use arugula as a salad foundation for it’s peppery bite.

5th on your stovetop toss any type of your favorite bean with cherry tomatoes, red onion EVOO, sea salt, black pepper and chopped basil.  Heat until your tomatoes are soft, makes a great side or a meal.

Lastly make an egg white frittata, my fav is made with spinach, roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella (part skim of course)  & brown rice. This is great straight from the oven or right out of the fridge.

Any of the above can be topped with your favorite protein to make a meal, just remember to always have a complex carb as well to keep you sustained.

I hope this helps a little bit.  Any of the ingredients mentioned can be used in a myriad of ways.  When you’re shopping think about how far you can make that item go.  Spinach & arugula are great with pasta, citrus is great with your water, fruits go well with oatmeal & cereals, well cheese is just great on anything :)