21 days of mindful eating: Figuring out my intentions

I survived my first week of mindful eating! So, how did I do? Well, I’d say it was a success, but I’m kinda being flexible with my definition of success some of you might think.

Actually, it has come to my attention that I need to really define what I am doing. And why I am doing it. Perhaps, I didn’t really know last week when I put this challenge in motion. And now, after a week, my purpose, my focus has emerged. While it may not be optimal to start a challenge without a well-defined purpose, I am my own person. And what works for others may not work for me.

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is to embrace who I am + how I am. And I am not your average, competitive, well-planned, routine-based person. I can be disciplined (meditation, reading, yoga in the mornings). Blogging consistently for the past 6 years. But, I cannot be put into a box. I need to let things unfold. I need for all processes to be more naturally aligned. Organic. Flowing. Cyclical.

Therefore, starting a challenge with an intention is right up my alley. No need for some 21 day strict day by day, instruction-filled, routine-based plan for me. Like I said, just let me cast a vision, set an intention, and trust the process to unfold exactly as it should.

And that’s exactly what I did this week.

So, let’s break it down a bit. What I did. What I learned. And what I’m changing up.


my corn + zucchini pie. it was sooooo good.

What I did:

→ Smoothies for breakfast + lunch. ⊕

I rocked this to pieces. Like I kicked some smoothie ass. And, I loved it. LOOOOOVED it. Plus, I feel g-o-o-d good inside. So much fresh fruit and spinach. And I cut out a lot of dairy, only using greek yogurt 3 of the 7 days. The other days I used almond milk. It feels clean and healthy and light, and yet I was filled. I didn’t really follow any of the recipes, but instead just threw a smoothie together every day. A base of almond milk or greek yogurt. Spinach every day. Avocado most days. Frozen berries. Fresh fruit. And boom. My smoothie heaven. I did get a bit hungry by lunch time, and again by dinner. But, I curbed the hunger with bananas, apples, or nuts.

→ A meal plan for 7 dinners. ⊗

Ok. This was a fail in the sense that I did not follow my plan. I did not prepare 7 different meals. But, that was due to the fact that I planned 7 meals without looking at my calendar. Folks, part of planning involves looking at your calendar. Duh, right?

Anyhoo. I made two of the recipes and I had leftovers galore both times, so we ate the leftovers for a few days after each meal. Here’s how it went:

Monday: We ordered take out to be delivered. Not on the plan, but we had a coupon good for only one more day. So, halloumi burgers it was. Most people would call that a fail on the first day, but not me! Hehe.

Tuesday: Corn + zucchini pie. It was amazing. Delicious. Go make this right now!

Wednesday: Leftover pie

Thursday: Lina had a work party. I made Black bean + quinoa enchiladas. I discovered that I didn’t have quinoa, so I used rice. No biggie for me. This, too, was mmm… mmm… good. I ate it with a few corn nacho chips.

Friday: Dinner out at a pub with a friend. Lina had enchilada leftovers.

Saturday: Enchilada leftovers.

Sunday: Yep. Enchilada leftovers.

→ No rules. ⊕

Snacking intentions: I ate only fruit and nuts during the day. Yesssss. I did make some homemade popcorn (as in not microwave movie theatre butter popcorn) a few evenings. The ultimate habit I am trying to break is my near-addition to chips. And I have to say, I nailed this one. I haven’t had chips in over a week. And it feels so good. I’m not even craving them. We will see how next week goes.

About eating out: I did eat pub food Friday night, but I am not trying to not eat certain foods, I am just trying be more aware and balance out how I eat. I am not eliminating any food from my life (except my chips embargo right now), just trying to be a bit more healthy + mindful.

→ It’s all about hydration. ⊕

I have downed water. And peed like a crazy person. I’m drinking an even bigger glass in the morning and multiple more throughout the day. Though I’m not keeping count. And, yes, I am craving water now, It’s so good that it’s soooo good. Also, I had a couple of glasses of wine after dinner two times and beer at the pub on Friday night. And without even thinking about it, I’ve cut my coffee intake in half I think. Two cups in the morning and that’s it!


What I learned:

I’m doing the smoothie thing again this week. It’s a good routine. It’s summer and I’ve got fresh fruit available, so why not?!

My sleep has been so much better. And so has my energy level/attitude. Don’t know if that’s hormones, the fact that I’m going on vacation soon, the bright daylight of Sweden in the summer, or my eating habits. Give me another week and let’s see how I feel.

Having no rules does not give me permission to just do whatever. Rules are confining. Box-y. And can lead to restrictions, which can lead to eating disorders. I don’t need rules to stay on track. I need intentions. Having intentions keeps me focused. It makes my “goal”, or purpose, something that comes from deep within me. An intrinsic motivation. And, so far, this works fabulously for me.

My main intention is to break some habits + feel more healthy.

For god’s sake, Liz, look at your freaking calendar when you plan your meals.

I’m 100% vegetarian again during this challenge. I didn’t consciously think about that, but when I was out and ordered food, I ordered vegetarian. So, yay for me. I need to be vegetarian. And that’s a long story, but it’s in the interest of my health (medically) to be vegetarian. In fact, I was vegan before vegan was a thing. When I was born, it was absolutely necessary for my parents to basically raise me as a vegan. No meat. Fish. Or dairy.

Unexpected, unplanned surprise: I don’t need milk in my life. I did use cheese in the enchiladas and greek yogurt in smoothies, but I’ve switched to an oat drink for my coffee. And then there’s the almond milk. It feels like a great step. Maybe soon I’ll be able to eliminate most dairy. It’s not something I’m aiming for. But reducing the use of certain types of food is something I’ve started thinking about more + more this week. Dairy is only one thing. In any case, that’s a more long-term kind of thought. But, the fact that I’m thinking about it excites me. (Am I gonna go vegan?!).


What I’m changing (or not) up:

→ Smoothies for breakfast + lunch.

No changes here! Like I said above, I am keeping with this. I love it. I think I’m gonna use the same ingredients that I used this past week… mostly because that’s what’s in my fridge. We will see when and if I switch it up. Check back next week!

→ A meal plan for 7 dinners… adapted because I checked my calendar! 

Monday: Black bean tacos with roasted tomato salsa

Tuesday: Smokey BBQ sweet potato chickpea burgers. Happy 4th of July!!

Wednesday: Wine with a friend: Unclear about dinner, so leftovers will be available.

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

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

Saturday: Dinner out! A friend is coming to town!

Sunday: Sweet potato chickpea bowl

→ 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 is strong. So, I’m just gonna keep on keeping on with it. Perhaps I’ll try to do a big ass glass of water right before I go to bed now too. Speaking of water… time to refill my glass again.

Well, that’s my mindful eating plan for this week! I’m feeling good about it. And, I’m quite proud of myself, actually, for what I learned from this past week. Improving my eating habits is something that I’ve been thinking about since the beginning of the year. And it finally just felt like the time just was right. Apparently, it was!

As last week, all of my dishes are pinned to my eats + drinks board on Pinterest.  Check it out right here, if you want. Plus, I’ve linked each of the dishes separately. Enjoy!

And, thanks to those of you who shared some recipes + tips. I’d love to hear more!

Happy eating this week, lovely people! xoxo. liz.

2 thoughts on “21 days of mindful eating: Figuring out my intentions

  1. I’ve always loved your ‘go with the flow’ attitude. I can be like that but I can always be a very intense person.

    This first week sounds like a success to me. Gradual changes are how I prefer most things. I too eat mostly vegan now. I am not forbidding myself from meat or other animal products because forbidding myself just makes me want it. Mostly, I only eat vegan foods with an occasional cheese added in. I’d use greek yogurt too if I had it. Congrats! I always feel healthier when I eat this way.

    1. It has been a long journey for me, learning how to approach life with a glow with the flow attitude. Part of it is my personality, but to really sink into it, I have had to consciously work on being in the present moment and trusting the process.

      It really feels like a success to me actually. 🙂 Thanks so much! Glad to hear that you get what I’m saying. xx

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