“What is CLEAN Eating?” Clean eating is a lifestyle and not another fad diet that is for sure. It means that the food that I eat is not processed. By that I mean, I mostly eat fresh whole ingredients versus products that come from a factory or plant (processed). If I do buy something in a bag or box I am looking at the ingredients to make sure that 1. I can read the products and understand what they are i.e. an apple versus high fructose corn syrup and 2. that there are no more than 5 ingredients in the product. I am mostly looking for food that is naturally grown in the ground, on a tree, or vine. Now that doesn’t mean that on occasion I don’t indulge in the amazing OREO or something of the sort, because I do!
I was once told that fitness is 80% diet and 20% workout. I never truly understood that statement until I started eating clean. The difference in the way my body looked, felt, and how fast I lost weight was mind boggling compared to just exercise alone. Have you ever heard the saying, ” ABS are made in the kitchen”? This is a 100% accurate statement.
Now you might be wondering if it was hard to transition into a clean eating lifestyle. Food for me at least was like an addiction. I LOVE food! That might even be an understatement. I crave unhealthy, yet very tasty food. It is a weakness for me. However I knew I needed to make a change to get my baby weight off.
After I had my first child (who is now turning 3 in August) I was quickly reminded of the 50 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy. I had never been more depressed or disgusted with myself. I was not used to what I was staring at in the mirror. I quickly turned to a magical woman by the name of Diane Flores. She is the owner of the pole fitness studio I attend Venus Pole Fitness. She offers a 12 week bootcamp transformation program. I was ALL in. I was willing to do whatever it took to get my body back in shape. She offers an online and in class option it is fantastic. Over 12 weeks she gave us detailed diets and shopping lists so that it was easy to carry out a clean eating lifestyle. I lost 35 pounds in those 12 weeks and even more in inches. I went in weighing 179 and walked out 12 weeks later weighing 144. Check out my before and after pictures below. This is after baby number 1.
She gave me all the tools I needed to easily transition into the clean eating lifestyle. A structured 12 week program with exactly what meals to eat at what times. you can purchase her programs at Living The Goddess Life. I highly recommend it it is life changing. The problem I faced was how to maintain that lifestyle after my 12 weeks were done and I no longer had someone telling me what to eat. The thing was I was now so conscious of reading ingredients. That is the key! Taking the time to be aware of what is in your food that you are eating.
I have a few staple items that I always revert back to because they are easy to make and I can make in bulk. They are :
- chicken breasts
- ground turkey
- broccoli- fresh or frozen
- Walden Farms Maple Syrup – this is my go to on the daily. It is calorie free and sugar free. I put it in my oatmeal, on my protein waffles, etc.
- sweet potatoes
- red potatoes
- baby bell cheese
- Quest protein bars – these are the cleanest option of protein bars I have come across
- UMP protein – This is the cleanest form of protein I have come across and cookies and cream is my favorite flavor. I used to have to drink my protein in milk because stomaching protein in 8 oz of water made me want to puke. This protein I can mix in water, smoothies, oatmeal, etc and not only can i stomach the taste and texture but I enjoy eating it.
- Brown rice bowls
- honey crisp apples- your favorite type of apples will do, honey crisp is just a family favorite.
- bananas – although really high in carbs so limit to 1/2 of a medium banana a day
- oikos zero greek yogurts
- Kodiak Cakes – OMG! This is waffle mecca. I can not be without this protein pancake mix. It tastes so good. If you don’t have this you are missing out.
These are just the products that are in my fridge or pantry all the time no matter what. I frequent http://cleaneatingmagazine.com for recipes. My husband and two children have adapted this lifestyle as well. It has been great for our family to be healthier. My husband had high cholesterol levels until we switched to clean eating and now he is in perfect health.
Not every meal we eat is a clean meal. Once a week we indulge in what I call a “cheat meal”. This meal is a non guilty and over indulgent meal. My go to is Chinese food because it is my favorite type of food. Yours can be anything that you have been craving. The easiest way to go about this is to plan which day of the week you are going to have your cheat meal. This is a meal to put aside all internal voices yelling at you, or guilt you might feel about eating this meal and go for it. ENJOY IT! You do not owe anyone any sort of explanation for it either. YOU DESERVE IT! Anyone who judges you for it is jealous that they can not stick to a clean eating lifestyle. This method significantly reduces my urges to binge eat and fall off track of clean eating.
Now what if you have an event and you already had your “cheat meal” for the week? My answer is simple, you have 2 options. 1. eat what is at the event just in moderation or 2. prep your own meal and either eat before the event or take the meal with you to the event. I know that sounds embarrassing and like a lot of work but it all depends on how much it means to you and what you are willing to do to either loose weight or just maintain a clean lifestyle.
This isn’t about being ORGANIC because a lot of organic products are still processed and sometimes even more so. This is about eating food in it’s purest form and eating the simplest ingredients. The less man made things we put in our body, the better the body feels. the easier it is for our bodies to function as they are supposed to. By living a clean lifestyle I am fighting diabetes, heart disease, alzheimers, hypertension, high cholesterol, and stroke.
Anyone can live a clean lifestyle. If I can, a mother of two under 2, a full time RN, a wife, and a busy woman, than anyone can do it! Today is the day to start, take control and meet your goals. Whether it is healthy lifestyle or loose weight there are so many benefits to a clean lifestyle. I hope you find a love for the clean eating lifestyle that I have found.