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As every seasoned Bright Line Eater knows, sometimes our program gets a little sloppy and we need to take some time to focus on and polish up our precious bright lines. This re-boot process is part of the normal rhythm of this lifestyle in the long run.

It’s a perfectly natural cycle. We get curious about the boundaries of our bright lines and start to loosen our program in small ways, getting closer to those boundaries. Then at some point we realize our peace is slipping and we’ve strayed a little bit too far. Then we re-commit to our bright lines and re-connect to the mothership, simplify our food, and return to the basics. Susan makes an analogy to bright line eating in the long-term being like the waves of the sea, going out, and coming back in. Right now I’m in the process of coming back in, and shining up my quantities line in particular.

I just completed a 14-day challenge to tighten up my program and to get my quantities back in check. I had been getting a little sloppy with my weighing and measuring lately and this was starting to mess with my peace and freedom. (Although not my weight, which is why it’s so easy to “get away” with!)

I decided to document my 2-weeks of immaculate meals, because making my food public on this site adds a layer of external accountability that really serves me. Also who knows, maybe someone could benefit from using some or all of this meal plan for their own 14-day challenge!

Since my sabby had such strong ammo on me at this point, I decided to take out the big guns. I tried out a commitment contract on stickk.com, because I needed that level of accountability to really clean up those little behaviors with my food that haven’t had any major consequences but were causing my integrity to slip and could easily become a slippery slope. For these two weeks, I had $200 at stake to an anti-charity, which was amazingly helpful for keeping me accountable for the following behaviors:

  • I wrote down my food last night.
  • I ate only and exactly what I wrote down last night.
  • I ate simple, easily measurable foods today.
  • Today I weighed and measured every bite, to the ounce.
  • Today I did not allow any wiggle room, not even 1/8 oz for veggies and fruits.
  • I did not drink any kombucha or alcohol today. (I’ve been carefully experimenting with this but decided to resume my bright line around it for these 2 weeks)
  • I did not drink any caffeine or decaf unless it has been at least 2 full days since I last drank some.

A Note About My Meal Plan: I have a slightly modified food plan from the weight loss food plan. I eat 10 oz of veggies at both lunch and dinner, rather than 6 and 14 as laid out in the weight loss plan. Many Bright Line Eaters do this during either the weight loss and maintenance phase. I am also several months into maintenance and have extra breakfast protein and grain, as well as grains at lunch and dinner. My maintenance quantities are reflected in the photos, but not in the written amounts below. If you use this menu for your own purposes, please adjust these quantities for your own individual food plan. 


14-Day Challenge Meal Plan

I’ve also color coded my menu to make it easier to read, because I’m a dork like that. Here is the color key:

  • Veggies
  • Protein
  • Fruit
  • Fat
  • Grain 
  • Condiments

Day One

Breakfast:

Lunch: 

  • 10 oz sliced raw veggies
  • 4 oz hummus
  • 0.5 oz dry roasted hazelnuts
  • 6 oz sliced apples
  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread

Dinner: 

  • 6 oz zucchini, onions, garlic, and marinara sauce, 4 oz steamed spaghetti squash
  • 4 oz edamame 
  • 0.5 oz olive oil (added at the end)
  • 4 oz cooked rice
  • Nutritional yeast, Italian herbs, salt, pepper

Day Two

 

Breakfast: Peanut Butter Swirl

  • 1 oz dry oatmeal
  • 6 oz diced apples
  • 4 oz yogurt (1/2 protein)
  • 1 oz peanut butter (1/2 protein)
  • Apple pie spice

Lunch: 

  • 10 oz sliced raw veggies,
  • 4 oz hummus
  • 0.5 oz dry roasted hazelnuts
  • 6 oz sliced apples
  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread

Dinner:

  • 10 oz steamed broccoli & shredded cabbage
  • 1 serving peanut sauce (1/2 protein, fat omitted)
  • 2 oz edamame (1/2 protein)
  • 0.5 oz roasted peanuts
  • 4 oz cooked rice
  • Cilantro

Day Three

 

Breakfast: Overnight Breakfast Porridge

  • 1 oz dry rolled oats
  • 4 oz yogurt (1/2 protein)
  • 0.5 oz hemp/flax/chia seed mix (1/4 protein) 
  • 0.5 oz pecans (1/4 protein)
  • 6 oz banana & blueberries
  • Cinnamon

Lunch: (Leftovers from last night’s dinner)

  • 10 oz steamed broccoli & shredded cabbage
  • 0.5 oz roasted peanuts
  • 1 serving peanut sauce (1/2 protein, fat omitted)
  • 2 oz edamame (1/2 protein)
  • 4 oz cooked rice
  • Cilantro

Dinner: (Leftovers from dinner day one)

  • 10 oz chunky marinara sauce & spaghetti squash
  • 4 oz Tofurky Italian veggie sausage 
  • 0.5 oz olive oil
  • 4 oz cooked quinoa
  • Nutritional yeast, Italian herbs, salt, pepper

Day Four

 

 

Breakfast:

  • 1 oz dry puffed rice cereal
  • 4 oz yogurt (1/2 protein), 
  • 1 oz hazelnuts & pecans (1/2 protein)
  • 6 oz nectarines & blueberries
  • Cinnamon

Lunch: (Still using leftovers)

  • 10 oz chunky marinara sauce & spaghetti squash
  • 4 oz Tofurky Italian veggie sausage
  • 0.5 oz olive oil
  • 4 oz cooked quinoa
  • 2 nectarines
  • Nutritional yeast, Italian herbs, salt, pepper

Dinner:

  • 10 oz cooked zucchini, mushrooms, red onion (12 oz raw)
  • 4 oz soy curls
  • 0.5 oz dark sesame oil
  • 4 oz cooked rice
  • Soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic 

Day Five

 

Breakfast: 

  • 1 oz dry puffed rice cereal
  • 4 oz yogurt (1/2 protein), 
  • 1 oz sliced almonds (1/2 protein)
  • 6 oz strawberries & blueberries
  • Cinnamon

Lunch: 

  • 10 oz cooked zucchini, mushrooms, red onion
  • 4 oz edamame
  • 0.5 oz dark sesame oil
  • 4 oz cooked rice
  • Soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic 
  • 6 oz berries 

Dinner: BBQ Soy Curls, Slaw, & Corn

  • 1 ear of corn (1/2 veg), 5 oz kale slaw (1/2 veg)
  • 4 oz hydrated soy curls
  • 0.5 oz olive oil (for kale slaw)
  • 4 oz cooked quinoa
  • BBQ sauce (for soy curls)
  • Apple cider vinegar, mustard, cilantro, lime juice (for kale slaw)

Day Six

 

Breakfast: (Airplane meal on the way to BLE Reunion)

Lunch: (Packed lunch for San Diego)

  • 10 oz kale slaw
  • 4 oz baked BBQ tempeh
  • 0.5 oz olive oil (for kale slaw)
  • 6.6 oz cherries (pits/stems included)
  • 4 oz cooked quinoa
  • BBQ sauce (for tempeh)
  • Apple cider vinegar, mustard, cilantro, lime juice (for kale slaw)

Dinner (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 10 oz steamed veggies & greens
  • 2 oz seasoned & baked tofu (1/2 protein)
  • 3 oz pinto beans (1/2 protein)
  • 2 oz avocado
  • 4 oz wild rice 

Day Seven

Breakfast (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 4 oz cooked oatmeal
  • 4 oz unsweetened soy milk (1/2 protein)
  • 0.5 oz combination of ground flax seeds and nuts (1/2 protein)
  • 6 oz fruit salad
  • Cinnamon 

Lunch: (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 10 oz salad bar veggies
  • 3 oz chickpeas (1/2 protein)
  • 1 oz nuts (1/2 protein)
  • 0.25 oz olive oil (1/2 fat)
  • 1 oz avocado (1/2 fat)
  • 4 oz yams
  • 6 oz fruit salad

Dinner (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 10 oz combination of steamed veggies, cooked greens, & raw salad veggies
  • 3 oz spiced lentils (1/2 protein)
  • 2 oz tofu (1/2 protein)
  • 2 oz avocado
  • 4 oz baked potatoes 
  • 2 oz salsa & nutritional yeast

Day Eight

Breakfast (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 4 oz cooked oatmeal
  • 4 oz unsweetened soy milk (1/2 protein)
  • 0.5 oz combination of ground flax seeds and nuts (1/2 protein)
  • 6 oz banana
  • Cinnamon 

Lunch (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 10 oz cooked & raw veggies including greens & beets
  • 4 oz tofu
  • 2 oz avocado
  • 4 oz rice
  • 6 oz apple

Dinner (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion):

  • 10 oz cooked & raw veggies
  • 2 oz black bean burger (1/2 protein)
  • 3 oz pinto beans (1/2 protein)
  • 2 oz avocado
  • 4 oz cooked sweet potato
  • Salsa, lime

Day Nine – (I forgot to photograph my meals today)

Breakfast (Buffet at BLE Family Reunion)

  • 1 oz packed dry cereal
  • 4 oz unsweetened soy milk (1/2 protein)
  • 0.5 oz combination of ground flax seeds and nuts (1/2 protein)
  • 6 oz banana
  • Cinnamon

Lunch (Restaurant Meal):

(Note: I brought my digital food scale to the restaurant and weighed everything)

  • 10 oz salad (plain mixed greens and veggies)
  • 2 oz nuts (brought pre-weighed in a baggie)
  • 0.5 oz oil (w/ vinegar) (on the side and weighed at table)
  • 4 oz rice (on the side and weighed at table)
  • 6 oz apple (packed)

Dinner (Plane meal, packed from previous day’s lunch buffet):

  • 10 oz salad veggies
  • 2 oz mixed nuts
  • 0.5 oz mixed nuts
  • 4 oz sweet potato

Day Ten (Re-Entry!)

Breakfast: 

  • 1 oz dry puffed rice cereal
  • 4 oz hemp milk (1/2 protein)
  • 1 oz nut & seed breakfast topping (1/2 protein)
  • 6 oz strawberries & bananas
  • Cinnamon

Lunch: 

Dinner (Spontaneous Thai food date):

(Note: I brought my digital food scale to the restaurant and weighed everything except for the oil)

  • 10 oz cooked stir fried veggies w/ cashews (asked for no sugar in the sauce)
  • 4 oz steamed tofu (asked for steamed, not breaded)
  • Counted the minimal oil and cashews from stir fried veggies as a fat serving 
  • 4 oz rice

Day Eleven

Breakfast:

Lunch: 

  • 10 oz stir fried veggies (leftover Thai food from last night)
  • 2 oz dry roasted cashews
  • 0.5 oz sesame oil (added to veggies)
  • 4 oz rice
  • 6 oz strawberries & blueberries

Dinner: 

  • 10 oz curry roasted cauliflower & carrots
  • 6 oz cooked spiced lentils
  • 0.5 oz coconut oil (for roasting veggies, per serving)
  • 4 oz cooked brown rice
  • Curry powder, turmeric, salt, pepper (for cauliflower)
  • Garam masala, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic (for lentils)

Day Twelve

Breakfast: 

  • 1 oz rice cakes
  • 1.5 oz peanut butter
  • 0.5 oz ground flax & nuts
  • 6 oz sliced melon

Lunch: (Leftovers from last night’s dinner)

  • 10 oz curry roasted cauliflower & carrots
  • 6 oz cooked spiced lentils
  • 0.5 oz coconut oil (in roasted veggies, per serving)
  • 4 oz cooked brown rice
  • 6 oz melon

Dinner: 

  • 1 ear of corn (1/2 veggie)
  • 5 oz brussels sprouts (1/2 veggie)
  • 2 oz avocado
  • 1 oz Mary’s crackers 
  • 6 oz cooked navy beans
  • 2 oz BBQ sauce (for beans)

Day Thirteen

Breakfast: 

  • 1 oz rice cakes
  • 1.5 oz peanut butter
  • 0.5 oz ground flax & nuts
  • 6 oz sliced melon

Lunch: (Still rockin’ the leftovers)

  • 10 oz curry roasted cauliflower & carrots
  • 6 oz cooked spiced lentils
  • 0.5 oz coconut oil (in roasted veggies, per serving)
  • 4 oz cooked brown rice
  • 6 oz melon

Dinner:

  • 5-Minute Kale Slaw (contains fat serving)
  • 6 oz cooked navy beans
  • 2 oz BBQ sauce (for beans)
  • 4 oz cooked sweet potatoes
  • 2 oz kimchi 

Day Fourteen

Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal

  • 1 oz dry rolled oats
  • 4 oz unsweetened hemp milk (1/2 protein)
  • 0.5 oz ground flax seeds (1/4 protein)
  • 0.5 oz hazelnuts (1/4 protein)
  • 6 oz banana & strawberries
  • Cinnamon

Lunch:

  • 5-Minute Kale Slaw (contains fat serving)
  • 6 oz cooked navy beans
  • 2 oz BBQ sauce (for beans)
  • 4 oz cooked sweet potatoes
  • 6 oz melon

Dinner: 

  • 10 oz steamed brussels sprouts & cruciferous greens mix
  • 6 oz curried lentils 
  • 2 oz avocado
  • 4 oz cooked rice

What I Learned from 14-Days of Squeaky Clean Meals:

Even at this point in my BLE journey, at goal weight, on maintenance, with 250-something days under my belt, I learned a lot from polishing up my bright lines for these two weeks.

Some questions I (or my sabetour) had been asking me prior to this challenge were: how much does precise weighing and measuring actually serve me? Is there wiggle room with veggies? Is my food plan adequate? If I am more precise with my quantities what will happen with my weight?

When I stopped giving myself those little 1/8 allowances of wiggle room here and there and stuck to my bright lines without exception, I found out that my food plan was in fact not adequate, and this was probably the reason that I was messing with my quantities in the first place. I lost 2-3 pounds during these 14 days, and by day 10 I was HUNGRY! I barely made it through day 14 without breaking my quantities lines.

With coaching and the approval of the BLE gods above, I have happily added in some more protein to breakfast and an extra fat to dinner, and am looking forward to settling into and surrendering to this food plan. There’s nothing better for food-serenity than a solid, trustworthy BLE food plan.

I found out that precise weighing and measuring DOES serve me, really well. I didn’t realize how loud my mental food chatter had gotten until I turned down the volume. The peace is really so worth it, and not worth those little mini-deviations that I’d been playing around with.

I commit to you all to continue experimenting in the kitchen, continue sharing delicious meal ideas and recipes, AND to keep the measuring/weighing aspect of things straightforward. Getting too fancy doesn’t serve any of us.

What have been your experiences with re-boots, 14-day challenges, or bright line polishing in general? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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