This is something I’m asked often – “What is clean eating?” “How do you do it?”
Eating clean is about hitting refresh on your eating habits – eating more of the healthiest options in each food group and less of the not-so-healthy. Eating clean means you’ll finally understand why your Mom always told you to eat your greens: because they’re good for you!
It’s about paying attention to what’s going into your body and how your food affects you!
Here’s the simple answer to these questions – clean eating is eliminating (or trying to) the processed foods from your diet. It’s about making healthy and informed choices.
I say “try to” eliminate processed food because, let’s face it, we’re all busy. We’re all running from point A to point B at a million miles per hour; we all need food that’s convenient and fast. But that doesn’t mean the food needs to come from a vending machine or drive-thru window. With a little bit of know-how and preparation, we can all eat cleaner and live healthier lives.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Limit processed foods: Most processed foods are full of unnecessary ingredients like sodium, sugar and fat. There’s a reason why that bag of candy is two servings and a reason for why you eat it all at once!
Simple tip: If the list of ingredients is long and unpronounceable, chances are that “food” contains A TON of processed junk!
- Eat more vegetables: Vegetables are high in vitamins, fiber, low in calories and just all around good for you! The recommended daily amount for most adults is 2 ½ to 3 cups.
Simple tip: Squeeze your veggies into a morning omelet, have them as a midday snack or incorporate some into a healthy smoothie!
- Last call for alcohol: Eating clean also includes cleaning up what you drink. Staying within the recommended amounts per day is a safer way to some spirits without breaking the scale the next day.
- Lose the sugar: Reducing your added sugar intake is one of the easiest ways to jumpstart a path toward a healthier diet. Sure, it’s hard and yes, you will have withdrawal symptoms – headache, grogginess, mood swings; but it’s also worth it. Eliminating sodas, candy and baked goods is a good place to start.
- More fruit, please: Fruit – or “nature’s candy” – is naturally sweet and delicious. If you’re over indulging in processed sweets, you just might not be able to notice it! Rich in vitamins, fruit is a great way to round out a healthy eating plan.
Buyer beware! If you’re not buying fresh fruit, frozen, canned and dried fruit is minimally processed and are all great options. Make sure you read the ingredients list – look for no added sugar and fruit canned in its own juice.
Here’s a look at the fresh fruit/veggie market I go to:
It seriously has some of the best tasting food for REALLY good prices! Spent $20 on groceries that would have easily cost $50 at a regular store! #EatClean #BuyLocal
I’m putting this here so I’ll always remember – the DOs outweigh the DON’Ts.
Why I DON’T want to lose weight…
- I like food…greasy, carb-y, so-not-good-for-you food…smothered in gravy.
- I don’t have time to workout. I mean, I have TV to watch, Netflix to binge on and LOTS of eating to do!
- Changing my diet is way TOO hard! And expensive! I just bought 10 boxes of mac n’ cheese on BOGO – I can’t just throw it all away!
Why I DO want to lose weight…
- I need to LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE. Find out what the risks of fat are, here.
- I want to TAKE CHARGE. I’m tired of being a backseat driver – I want to live my life without feeling limited by my size!
- I want to LOOK & FEEL better – inside and out. Health starts from the inside, out – can you imagine what that must feel like? To accept yourself and heal from within??
- I want to FEEL BEAUTIFUL and COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN.
There are like 1,000+ more reasons that could placed in either category…these are just a few that are circling around in my head.
*Opinions expressed above are solely my own and in no way represent the opinions or viewpoints of others. No harm is intended by this post – everyone’s weight loss journey is different and stems from different motivators! 🙂
So, here’s the thing about diets – as a follow-up to my previous posts on dieting and gluten free – they’re HARD. And I mean, really, really hard. Especially when you grew in the South (or, as southern as Florida can get) and are used to your Momma making enough food to feed a household of 10.
I’m sure you can all guess how “well” I’ve been on my diet – have I been sticking to the “approved” foods? Following my exercise plan?
The answer is no – and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it either.
I have a confession…
I “steal” sugar packets from restaurants. All the time.
I look at is as a way to be frugal and save money by not having to buy my own sugar. Others see it as stealing and think that the restaurant provides condiments for their patrons to use while dining and not as a take home souvenir.
Does anyone else share my compulsion? Or, do you think this is stealing?
Recently my boyfriend and I have transitioned into a gluten free lifestyle. Recently, the production of gluten free products has skyrocketed; or, at least the promotion of them has increased.
To me, going gluten free is the latest “fad diet.” (Much like Atkins and the South Beach Diet.)
I know quite a few people who have jumped on various diet bandwagons, only to succumb to temptation a few months later. Initially they feel great – rejuvenated, born again, so to speak. And then reality kicks in – extreme fad diets are hard to follow and frequently unsuccessful.
A mere 77% of people who pledged to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution maintained their pledges for 1 week but only 19% for 2 years.
That’s a lot of determination gone down the drain and even worse is the failed diet rebound. Nearly 65% of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years.
Photo source: poconohealthsystem.org. Check out their PowerPoint for good and bad advantages of the different types of diets!
Do you have any tips for sticking to a diet and staying on track with an exercise regimen? I’d love any advice!
Now, to get back to this delicious sandwich…don’t judge…it’s Day 2 of the Gluten Free Diet. Let’s just say I’m taking it slow.