Clean Eating 101 – Its a Lifestyle not a Diet!

English: Healthy eating pyramid similar to tha...

English: Healthy eating pyramid similar to that of the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. Temporary image as original is non-commercial use only. If you have a better image please replace this. Thanks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So some of you might not know what I mean when I speak of “clean eating”, so here I’m going to kind of go through what it entails and what it all means to “eat a clean diet”. (basically my diet- give or take some cheats here and their =))

What is Clean Eating??

  • Clean Eating is based off of eating whole and natural foods. It cuts out all processes man made products for the most part and focuses eating mainly things that come from the Earth to feed your body. (Nuts, Fruit, Veggies, Lean cuts of meat, and Legumes). It gives your optimal nutrition to function property and when done correctly can leave your feeling amazing!
  • Realistically there really isn’t fitness or weight loss goals that can be achieved without it. Its the basics of most nutrition and diets (with out cutting out natural sources) and it doesn’t leave you feeling deprived or hungry.
  • Feeling health, being healthy and loosing weight or maintaining a good weight is mainly based around nutrition. People seem to think that weight loss ideally comes from working out and spending hours at the gym, yes it does help but nutrition is about 80% of the battle, whereas, fitness and physical activity is 20%

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What are the basic Principles?

  • Avoid all processed food. Whole grain bread and natural cheeses are ok, its the stuff with 80 ingredients that you cant even pronounce.
  • Eat Whole Foods. Things that haven’t been messed with like veggies, fruits, grass-fed meats, natural nut butters and milk, and unsalted and processed nuts and seeds. Herbs and Spices will become your best friend, so will natural oils.
  • Get used to cooking your own food! This way you know what’s in it, how it was prepared and you don’t have to second guess whether or not its healthy or not. Makes it SO much easier! Pre-made meals does not count as “clean eating” even if its a lean cuisine meal haha.
  • Eliminate the sugar! sugar and fake sugar really isn’t good for us. You will use very little natural sugars in  this diet because you wont need them! (stevia, honey and agave nectar are some you can use)
  • Include Protein, Carbohydrate and fat within every meal- Your diet will mainly consist of lean meats, a healthy starch (such as a sweet potatoes or brown rice), a ton of veggies and fruit here and there. You’ll fell more satisfied with this way of eating because you will be eating for optimum nutrition. You’re giving your body what it needs and once you get past the food addictions (things like craving sugar and bad carbs) you wont really have any trouble eating this way for the rest of your life.
  • Eating 6 smaller meals a day! – eating 6 smaller meals revs up your metabolism because your constantly giving it healthy foods, therefore its receiving its proper nutrition, but then again your pretty much eating every 3 hours so there is either no time to even get hungry or have your body “feel” hungry because you wont be going hors without eating.
  • Drinking Calories is a Big Fat NO- sugary drinks are obviously a no-go. Make water your first choice by far (if it get boring you can add fruits to it) but you can also have unsweetened tea, and coffee with little skin milk and stevia, low-fat milk, and nut milks.
  • Physical Activity becomes apart of your day- yes just like any other diet you read or see, you have to ideally get moving. No it doesn’t have to be 3 hours at the gym everyday but even a walk around the block is better than nothing.

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What to Expect from Eating Clean:

  • More energy and alertness
  • Clearer skin, whiter eyes, and stronger hair and nails
  • Provides a natural detox
  • Weight loss (if there is weight to loose)
  • Leaner body
  • Motivation and a sped up metabolism
  • Feeling more healthy all around and more happy as well.

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Jump Start Clean Eating Meal Plan! (Month 1)

Chris Powell Stax System

Chris Powell Stax System (Photo credit: mrcd@sbcglobal.net)

This meal plan is designed to either get you accustomed to a cleaner way of eating but can also help you drop some unwanted weight as well. Since I know starting something new can be scary, I made it so you will still feel full throughout the day, and it will also be lighter on your wallet.

Before you start :

  • Make sure you drink 3-4 liters of water a day, if not more, depending on activity level! Stay hydrated!
  • Make sure your getting a good nights sleep, you cant feel healthy or be healthier when your constantly drained and tired.
  • Stay Positive!

Month 1

  • (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

Wake: Drink 8oz water!

Meal 1: Mixed Egg White Scramble!

1/2 cup egg whites, with whatever veggies you want to add! ( I like peppers, spinach, mushrooms, black olives, and Italian spices! )

Top with 2 tbsp. of Salsa (optional)

Snack: 10 Almonds (natural, unsalted), 1 low-fat string cheese

Meal 2: Grilled Chicken Salad. (can substitute for steak or fish if wanted)

Grill 3oz lean Chicken breast and serve over…

2- 3 cups of mixed greens

1/4 cup black beans

Diced tomatoes (about 1/4 cup)

Shredded carrots (1/4 cup)

Cucumber slices (6 slices)

Chopped bell peppers  (About 1/2 of a whole bell pepper)

* Feel free to substitute or add/take away any veggies, but make sure you add some in their. (Pick 3 of choice)

Top with 2 tbsp. of a oil based dressing like Balsamic Vinaigrette , or 1/2 of an avocado.

Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 large apple with 1 tbsp. of Almond or Peanut Butter. (Dip apple in butter!! YUM)

Meal 3: Clean Eating Chicken Dinner 

 6oz Lean Chicken Breast (grilled or baked with spices and olive oil)

1 Sweet potato with cinnamon sprinkled on top (cinnamon is optional)

2 cups of steamed broccoli

Snack:  Pick one!

  • Protein Shake made with 12oz Almond Milk
  • 1/2 low-fat Cottage Cheese with peach slices
  • 5 sticks of celery or bell peppers dipped in hummus
  • 1 oz Plain tuna in water (drained) with 10 unsalted almonds.

Before bed: Drink 8oz water!!

meal plan

 

 

  • ( Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

Wake: Drink 8oz water!

Meal 1:  Oatmeal Mix

1/2 cup oats (made with water) Mix in 1 tbsp. flax meal

Top with 1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar (if needed) and 1/2 cup berries.

1 hard boiled egg.

Snack:  Make a smoothie (any in my recipe index are ok) w/ 1 scoop protein powder -OR- Protein shake with 12oz Almond Milk.

Meal 2: Chicken Lunch

4oz Grilled Chicken

2 cups of steamed veggie of choice (get creative and try things you haven’t tried before)

1 cup Brown Rice or Quinoa

Snack: 1 Greek yogurt cup with 1/4 cup low-sugar granola on top.

10 strawberries

Meal 3: Fish Dinner!

5oz Fish of choice (Tilapia, Salmon, Flounder, Trout)

Steamed Green Beans

1 Sweet potato with cinnamon (cinnamon optional)

Snack: Pick One!

  • Protein Shake made with 12oz Almond Milk
  • 1/2 low-fat Cottage Cheese with peach slices
  • 5 sticks of celery or bell peppers dipped in hummus
  • 1 oz Plain tuna in water (drained) with 10 unsalted almonds.
  • Handful of nuts and seeds (unsalted)
  • 1 All natural, low sugar fruit strip

Before bed: Drink 8oz water!!

** Helps if you make meals in advance to help you stay of track. =) ***

Paleo-vs-Clean-Eating

Tip of the week #9 Prep the week Ahead of time

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When wanting to loose weight or even practice clean eating prepping meals ahead of time can make it soooo much easier to stick to your goals. So next day you have (for most people its Sunday) take a couple hours out of that day off work to prep all your meals for that week.

Whether it be for just you, you and a significant other or even a big family, meal prepping can be easy and effective. Plus it makes it super easy when you get off work and don’t really feel like preparing a meal for the family. haha.

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There are tons of resources out there (blogs, pinterist, Google, you name it) to find clean eating recipes and frozen dishes. Ideally you’ll want to do foods that don’t go bad fast and eat the ones that do sooner in the week rather than later.

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I usually just prep my dinners because that’s the hardest. (usually some form of lean meat, veggies and a sweet potato or brown rice). For breakfast its usually something simple and quick like oatmeal (I can even put that in Tupperware and eat it on the drive to work) or sometimes I’ll prepare some scrambled egg whites with mixed veggies when I’m doing the meal prep too so then ill have a little bit of a mix for my mornings.

Usually prepare my lunch (usually a salad) the night before, throw some lettuce mix in a bowl, add a shit ton of veggie and viola!

But I mean you can find healthy options that you could probably freeze (like a lasagna) and be fine too. Find out what the family would like to eat, make a plan and stick to it! =)

Happy preparing!

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How to Stop Overeating!

angel Oh yeah, that little angel and devil that sits on your shoulder when a brownie is staring at you in the face! “Eat it!” says the devil…. “No! your watching your weight!” says the angel… then your having temptations, guilty thought of devouring the entire pan and …well .. it can lead to disaster! So we have gotten really good at labeling foods good or bad… and then guilt usually follows the bad and sometimes joy follows the good but sometimes when we deprive ourselves of a treat all the time and don’t indulge every once in a while it can almost put you on a set back for weight loss too. (No, I’m not saying eat the whole pan of brownies. But sure, have one if you haven’t had sweets in like 2 weeks. But then step away from the brownies afterwards haha) Also we as humans are hardwired to eat for emotional reasons too. Bet ya didn’t know that! It has to do with the love from a mother when she breastfeeds you when your an infant, we associate food with love and comfort. So try to break free of those habits, I know its going to be a challenge at first but its do-able, also we like to talk ourselves out of certain foods too… and we try to justify what were eating. (I still do it from time to time.. not so much anymore, it was more when I was trying to give up dairy products…. damn cheese!) ***Here are some tips on how not to over eat or to take control of your overeating: And believe me we all have heard the excuses …

” Avocados and Almonds are “good fats” so therefor I can eat all I want”………

Wrong! Yes, they are very high in the good fats with their nutrients and awesome benefits. But if you have too many or consume way more than the daily amount you might as well just had the fricken brownie!!! There are 9 calories of every gram of fat and 30% of your daily calories should come from fats ( preferably the good kind) So yes your want your good fats (Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ) but lets not fill the plate with them k. Usually about 5% per small meal (if you were eating 6 small meals) or 10% per meal if your eating 3 meals.

pop fats good 1

“Popcorn is good for you! Eat it all the time”

Nope! Just because it says low fat or low carb doesn’t mean its a free food to just eat all you want. When companies remove fat to make then “low-fat” they often replace that with sugar.. and its usually fake sugar to boot… so just be careful when you start snacking. Its ok to have like a cup full but don’t inhale the entire bag.

Eating for happiness –

I mean, yes eating should make you happy, but the kinds of food that you think are making you happy are most likely only hurting you. don’t get me wrong I can enjoy a treat here and there but most people want desert every night after dinner. Or my trouble is I crave sugar at night like around 9pm… so instead of going after that sorbet like I usually would I eat a spoonful of almond butter, or snack on some fruit, yeah its still kinda high in sugar and probably not the best for right before bed, but it satisfies the craving and isn’t a blizzard from DQ.

“I have PMS and I’m going to kill someone if I don’t get my sugar and salt!!!”
HA! been there! The hormone serotonin regulates your weight and mood and is actually slowed down during this time of the month. Complex carbs and protein will inhibit the production. So snacks like oatmeal, maybe a little chicken, rice or pasta might be your best bet.

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Glued to the tube-  Don’t watch TV, sit on the computer, play on your phone or ipad…. JUST DONT. you wont realize how much your eating (this is still a habit of mine! ) If you do do this, make sure you only have the proper serving size in front of you and not the whole box! When you actually sit down at the table and enjoy your snack or craving, it will hit satisfaction a lot quicker where as if your watching TV or something its almost mindless eating because your not focused on the food your focused on the TV.

Don’t have 2nds-  If it was a good meal, sit and enjoy it. And if it was a good meal, it should have all the nutrients your body needs and is craving so you shouldn’t be even hungry for 2nds. Your meals should consist of protein, veggies and a healthy fat, possibly a starch here and there. I’ve herd of some people just skipping dinner and going straight to desert to “save calories” and … haha I just cant believe people think that’s “saving calories” . . . Yea sure your apple pie is 400 calories (just a estimate) and dinner is around 600.. but which do you think will be more satisfying to your body and health? (not satisfying to your tastes buds, I said health) Start to think about where your calories come from, what you actually putting into your body and be aware of the damages you can cause. No I’m not saying I don’t enjoy pie (actually I’m honestly not that big if a fan hah) but think of your body as a car. You wouldn’t put regular gas into a diesel truck, it wont run right, and it will most likely break down (I think…. idk I’m not a mechanic but I’m sure it wont be good ok!) That’s how your body is, if you give it the right nutrients it needs, you wont have cravings and you wont want to eat all the bad things… actually the more you change your diet to a clean eating kind of diet the less you’ll even want the crap foods. The other day someone put on their Facebook that it was 7/11 free Slurpee day and I got to thinking .. “gosh! when was the last time I had a Slurpee?? That doesn’t even sound good to me!” I honestly think it would be WAY too sweet for me now. . . and it probably would make my body ” run like crap” same as the car analogy. wow sorry kinda went of on a rant with that one…

” I ate healthy all week so I’m going to pig out over the weekend”

What?! Seriously?! You just did so well, your on the right track and now your basically going to counteract all the hard work you put into living a healthier lifestyle… I get going out and having fun, but don’t do it every weekend. Think of how depressed your going to make yourself if you did all that hard work and come time to step on the scale on Monday and your weight goes up all because of your fling with food and partying over the weekend. So with the math involved a pound of fat is 3500 calories so unless you plan ok working you ass off after your “party extravaganza” Id just focus on healthy eating around 98% of the time and indulge in maybe one drink here and there, don’t go all out and have the 3 beers with a palate of nachos and a huge hangover breakfast in the morning, you’ll regret it, trust me I know from experience. party Find supportive people- Negative people suck, that’s all I have to say. Now sometimes its not that their negative either, but maybe just not as well knowledged, or maybe they just don’t care about their health (believe it or not there are those people out there), or maybe they don’t know any better because that’s how they were raised. But I’ve seen it and I’ve heard it. “who orders a salad when they go out to eat” or maybe you want to take some healthy snacks like carrots and hummus on a road trip instead of chips and soda… So people don’t mind, some people look at it as weird. Find those people that will be proud of you for eating a healthy snack or even excited that you’re willing to share. The more healthy choices I make around my friends though, it seems to sometimes wear off on them, and that makes me happy 🙂 So far I’ve introduced things like almond butter to my boyfriend and even gotten his best friend to try some tofu, small changes… but I still love it!

Eat Often, Smaller meals – Having smaller meals more often will not only help you stay satisfied longer and fuller but it will also boost your metabolism! YAY! … Instead of 3 large meals, split it up into 6 smaller meals or even 4 or 5 meals. Find what works for you! Base your meals around every 4 hours. If you also munch on things that are full of fiber you’ll stay fuller longer as well. So pack some dried fruit, unsalted nuts or even a granola bar in your purse, glove compartment in your car, or even your desk at work. break “But I don’t eat breakfast.” Well guess what! You do now! If you want to lose weight you need to! Breakfast is like your boost for the day, would you rather have a boost or feel drained. The whole point of breakfast is to “break” your “fast” .. Break-fast from sleeping. You’ve just went (hopefully) around 8 hours without any food so your breaking your fast from the night … make sure you make the breakfast count. Think smoothie, fruit, oats, protein, ..brain food!!! None of this Denny’s grand slam with greasy bacon and 4 white flour pancakes covered in sugar laden strawberry syrup and enough whipped cream for 3 people…. (for some reason American is used to having dessert for breakfast).. But make sure you eat breakfast and make it count people.