Foodie Friday: Clean Eating Resources for 2014

by Fawn Rechkemmer on January 3, 2014

Cooking Light MagazineHappy 2014, friends!

For the first Foodie Friday post of the new year, let’s talk about clean eating. There’s no better time, right?

I didn’t specifically include clean eating in my 2014 goals, but it will be a focus this year. My husband starts a community-wide weight loss challenge on January 9th. I’ll be cooking only recipes that include a nutritional analysis so that the food he eats here at home is easy to log in his calorie-tracking app.

(I’m also constantly reminding him that he’s “in it to win it!” I have a penchant for that phrase. I even bought my 8 year-old a shirt that said as much for Christmas.)

So, I have only two resources, but I’d love for you to send suggestions my way in the comments.

Cooking Light magazine

I’ve been reading this magazine for years. I come from a family of foodies, and my parents subscribe to several food and cooking magazines. They’ve been getting Cooking Light since the mid-1990s.

I still remember the first Cooking Light recipe I made: French Bread Pizza with Sausage, Clams, and Mushrooms. When I think of that recipe, I remember with startling clarity my tiny apartment kitchen, the – at the time – strange and unfamiliar feeling of cooking from a magazine, the satisfaction I felt when it turned out perfectly.

It was the beginning of a love affair with healthy cooking that has lasted 15 years.

I have several Cooking Light cookbooks, and of course, stacks of magazines. And their website and recipe database are tremendous resources. Sometimes I’ll check out their message boards to see what readers are saying about a particular recipe.

Every recipe featured in Cooking Light includes a complete nutritional analysis. Be careful on My Recipes though, as the database includes recipes from their entire family of magazines (Southern Living, Sunset, etc.) and not all are light/healthy/clean!

Weekly Menu Planning Challenge

Jill of Fitness, Health, and Happiness and Laura of Mommy Run Fast host a fantastic weekly menu plan link up.

Their link up makes my list of clean eating resources for several reasons.

First, these girls are dedicated to healthy living on all levels, and that dedication is incredibly inspiring. I feel motivated to live better every time I visit their blogs. It’s like osmosis: it just kind of rubs off on me from being in the same virtual room with them.

Second, they both link to clean recipes, and so do the participants in the link up. I always come away with at least two or three recipes I want to add to my menu plan in coming weeks. One of my favorite new recipes of 2013 came from this link up. (Hello, Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, I’m looking at you.)

Third, this link up is the motivation I need to actually make a menu plan. I make a general plan at the beginning of the month, because we do the bulk of our shopping in one fell swoop. (It’s my husband’s idea. I kind of hate it, because it’s overwhelming and exhausting and all that, but hey, marriage is about compromise, right?!)

I need to translate that monthly plan into a weekly plan to make it really work for us and to keep on track, since it’s impossible to know just how our day-to-day meals will play out a month in advance. The menu plan link up is my key motivator. (I have fellow Missouri blogger Sarah to thank for introducing me to Jill and Laura.)

Now it’s your turn: hit me up with your own clean eating resources!

Would you like to be featured on Foodie Friday? If you’d like to write a post about anything food-related – a recipe, a cookbook review, a restaurant review, anything goes! – or if you’ve already posted something along those lines on your blog and think the post would make a great feature here, let me know! Leave a comment, or email me: shananorrisblog AT gmail DOT com.

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Shana Norris is a writer, reader, runner, coffee guzzler, and chocolate inhaler who dreams of becoming an Avett Brothers groupie. You can follow her on Twitter, Google +ShanaNorris, and Pinterest or on her blog at

Mistie Thompson January 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I’m a newbie at this clean eating thing so I don’t have any resources, but I’m so glad you’re putting this out there and can’t wait to see what others suggest. Now if someone could only make veggies taste like chocolate, I’d be all set!

Shana Norris January 7, 2014 at 8:34 am

I tell myself that as long as it’s dark chocolate and as long as I eat it in moderation, it’s all good … and maybe even a little bit good for you?

Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout January 3, 2014 at 9:41 pm

I love Cooking Light! I got a really cheap subscription to Vegetarian Times a while back, so that’s been a good source for some meatless meal ideas. And you know I love that menu-planning link-up!

Shana Norris January 7, 2014 at 8:36 am

I’ve seen $4 subscriptions to VT and I’ve always wondered about it. Maybe next time I see one, I’ll give it a try. I think Weight Watchers magazine has some good recipes too, and I’ve seen it for around that price on Money Saving Mom. But I’m not sure if it’d be too heavy on non-recipe articles …

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