Saturday, August 23, 2014

Learning To "Eat Clean"

Thinking About Trying Clean Eating? 

Have you been thinking about giving a clean eating lifestyle a try or curious about what all the hype is around this trend? I would like to take the time to educate you just a bit on what it is and why you may want to consider this for your own lifestyle. I have been on my “clean eating” journey now for seven months and I have no intention on ever going back to my old lifestyle. While I will be honest and say that I do occasionally get off track I am much more conscious about what I am feeding my family and myself.  The information that I will share with you is simply information that I have picked up and learned along the way myself. There are certainly other perspectives and approaches but the information below is in alignment with my own personal practices.

You will hear many people who practice this say that it is a lifestyle not a diet. I whole heartily agree. A diet has a date when you plan to stop doing it. Most who practice clean eating will plan to change their entire lifestyle for good. I can say though that if you want to lose any weight at all this is a great starting point. I tell my challengers it is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. You can work out all you want but if you are eating like crap you are wasting your time. You need to fuel your body with whole foods not processed junk. That is a problem I see sometimes – I have people who are working out often and enjoy it but they can’t figure out why they are not losing weight. When I ask them about their habits I quickly learn most are still eating whatever they want whenever they want because they think they can since they exercise. Guess what… all that work in the gym is worthless if you do that and are hoping to slim down. You have to focus on both nutrition and a solid 30 + minutes of exercise per day.

Here is how you can start practicing this by following these simple steps

1.  Clean eating means that you are trying to eat foods in their most natural state. I try to avoid processed foods when possible. If I buy something that is processed I am very conscious about the label and strive to have 5 ingredients or less on the label. If I cannot pronounce it or know it is a chemical it does not make it into our home. I do a lot of cooking and prepping things from scratch but let me tell you what a difference it makes. Everything tastes so much more fresh and delicious. As you transition into a “clean eating lifestyle” you will notice your taste buds actually change.

2. I try to eat a protein with all of my meals to keep me feeling full longer. My “diet” consists of fruits, veggies, carbs, healthy fats, proteins and oils such as coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. When you practice clean eating you tend to eat 5 – 6 small meals during the day every 2 – 3 hrs to keep your metabolism up and running all day long.

3. Cut out your consumption of processed sugar as well as salt. When I want to sweeten things I often use honey or pure maple syrup instead of actual sugar. When seasoning my foods I use sea salt when needed but mostly stick to fresh herbs and spices. Basil is one of my all time favorite dish enhancers. Love the flavor and freshness. What you will find is that the less you consume sugar or processed foods the less you will crave or even enjoy them.

4.  I strive to drink half of my weight everyday in ounces of water. In addition I often have a nightly cup of hot green tea to detox my body from the day.

5. Plan ahead – Every single week I take time on Saturdays to meal plan, write my grocery list and get to the store to shop. I spend Sunday afternoon prepping the foods for the week. I portion them out grill or bake proteins, wash and cut fruits and veggies. Whatever I need to do because I know as well as you do. Fruits and veggies that are not prepped and ready to go are less likely to get eating because it’s a chore to do before you can have it. While the planning and prep are time consuming it does help you to be prepared and also save you money because you are only buying what you need as well as not spending money on take out foods. Which by the way, when did take out get so expensive??? Yikes!!!

6. While clean eating focuses on nutrition I will also mention that each day I make a point to get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in addition to my eating habits.

If you would like more support with your clean eating journey please message me and I will gladly introduce you to a clean eating education group. In this group I will further your understanding of clean eating and how to implement it. Please email me today for more information 

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