Well, hello there, my Monday readers! Time flies by faster + faster, and it often seems like it’s hard to find the balance of it all, doesn’t it? I mean, seriously, it’s nearly mid-July and summer is only slowly creeping in up here in Sweden. Life is moving quickly, and yet, I’m working hard to stay present + keep my focus on living slowly, soaking up the moments as they pass by.

Of course, one of the ways that I am trying to live a bit more slowly and authentically is by changing up my eating habits. I’m trying to go more green, cook at home more, and yet, still allow myself to be spontaneous. And, I have just passed the smack dab middle of my little 3 week challenge which started in the end of June.

And, you know what I’ve discovered? I’ve come to the conclusion, that being mindful is the key to finding balance.  If I am intentional about what I do and the decisions I make, then I am more likely to find balance in the midst of it all.

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white bean tacos with roasted tomato salsa

What I did:

→ Smoothies for breakfast + lunch. ⊕

This is clearly where I have been the most “successful”. Every single day, except yesterday when we had a guest + prepared a bit more of a guest-friendly spread for breakfast, I have had smoothies in the morning. I also ate some leftovers for lunch one day, instead of a smoothie. But, other than that, it’s been two smoothies a day. And I’m quite impressed by how I have stuck with this routine. The smoothies still make me feel good… clean and light and healthy. In fact, this weekend, when I did a few things a bit differently, I felt heavier (not weight heavier, but heavier). So, this smoothie thing is something I am going to be sticking with for a while. And, if not for both breakfast + lunch, at least for lunch.

→ A meal plan for 7 dinners. ⊕

This week I planned around my calendar – and that helped out so freaking much. I planned portions much better, but I also ate out a little bit more, due to visitors and plans. We were super busy and social – and it was totally fun! But, since I had mindfully planned out everything + had set my intentions based on my plans, I felt free to just go with the flow. What I’m saying is that planning and being aware gave me the freedom to be spontaneous.

Here’s what we ate for dinners:

Monday: I made the white bean tacos with roasted tomato salsa... and it was goooood. Lina was hanging with her cousin in the evening, so she had them for leftovers on Tuesday, and they were so good that she just had to text me a pic of her eating them. Score me!

Tuesday: Smokey BBQ sweet potato chickpea burgers  for the 4th of July! The recipe made so freaking many + it was so freaking good that we still have leftovers for this week. It’s a bit of a process to make, but not hard at all. And so damn tasty.

Wednesday: Lina + I both had wine dates with friends. Lina stayed home with her friend, and I went over to my friend’s home. So we did dinner separately.

Thursday: Well, I had planned on General Tso’s cauliflower with rice, but we had guests for a fantastic long afternoon fika in the backyard, so we ate some sandwiches for dinner after they left later in the evening.

Friday: Lina + I spontaneously went to grab a beer in the afternoon, which turned into a fairy long + fabulous afternoon at the brewery. When we got home, Lina was craving spaghetti, so she prepared that and I ate another burger from Tuesday night.

Saturday: We had a friend from out of town come to visit – as planned – and we went out for tapas for dinner. Gaaaaah. I love tapas. Delish!!

Sunday: What I hadn’t planned on was that our friend would be able to stay until dinner time on Sunday! What a great surprise.We ate a big, long breakfast at home and then had a mid- afternoon lunch at a café. What that means for me is that, for dinner, I made a smoothie. Hehe.

→ No rules. ⊕

Snacking intentions: You know what, friends? I still have not had potato chips and I am so happy about that. It’s not a need that I have, and I do believe that when this challenge is over in a week, I will have broken my habit. Yessssss. That’s not to say that I have a rule against chips. If I want some, if I have a gathering and it seems like the perfect snack-y food, then I will get some.They are not forbidden from my life. But, I have needed to go cold turkey on them during this challenge to change up my routine of having them available as much as I did in the past.

About eating out: I ate out quite a bit this week, compared to the last one. And I love that. I had lunch with my boss one day and then ate out 2 times during the weekend. But, I had planned each of those instances (sort of), and I knew that I chose to eat a bit more vegetarian than usual when I eat out. I can see now that after the summer, I’m gonna challenge myself even more with how + what I eat when I eat out.

→ It’s all about hydration. ⊕

The water factor is still an important one for me. Though, I think that I drank a wee bit less this week than last, so I’ve gotta up my water game this week. Goal. Set.

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afternoon fika with homemade apple pie, coffee, and pastries

What I learned:

Smoothies are still the shit. I’m all about the fruit, almond milk, and spinach.

My thoughts that intentions are the way to go, instead of setting a bunch of rules, has been proven a very effective way to stay motivated + focused.

I feel free. Free to choose what I what, to not stick to the plan, to stick to the plan, whatever. I have my intentions and, therefore, I have a new-found sense of freedom in making decisions because I am making them mindfully.

Planning around my calendar… totally the shit.

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the café where we ate when our friend was in town this weekend

What I’m changing (or not) up:

→ Smoothies for breakfast + lunch. 

Still the way to go for me! I’ve even restocked my fridge with fruit, both frozen + fresh, spinach, and more almond milk.

→ A meal plan for 7 dinner – planned in conjunction with my calendar again. 

Monday: Halloumi burgers

Tuesday: General Tso’s cauliflower with rice (there will be leftovers… so…)

Wednesday: Sweet potato chickpea bowl

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Garlicky halloumi tacos (Pictured above. I’ve made them before)

Saturday: Eat up whatever is in the fridge because…

Sunday: We’re on our way to NYC + Asheville!

→ No rules. Only intentions.

It feels good that I’ve nailed down my intentions based on what I experienced this past week. But, also, like I said last week, I am only taking this one week at a time. So as to not overwhelm myself; and to let it unfold as it does. But, for now, I am pretty sure that I can say with certainty that this challenge is all about mindful, healthy, clean, vegetarian eating.

→ Staying hydrated.

My water game needs beefing up again. So, I’m just gonna be more mindful of it. I did, however, add in a big glass of water just before bed. Sooooo good.


And, there you have it. I’m all ready for Week 3! If you’re curious about my first 2 weeks, you can find the links below. Check them out to see my recipes, plans, and reflections!

Week one: 21 days of mindful living: A summer challenge for feeling good

Week two: 21 days of mindful living: Figuring out my intentions

So, what are you eating this week, my friends? Got any exciting plans or yummy recipes to share?! I’d love to hear.

Wishing you a happy + healthy week! xoxo. liz.