I have a love/hate relationship with food. I LOVE it, but what I LOVE my body hates. So now I’m learning to love the things that my body really needs, wants and loves too. I have done tons of diets before- Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Low Cal, Low Fat, eat whatever the heck I want.
And while I was able to successfully lose weight with different diets that I have done, one thing that I have failed at is really maintaining my diet as a lifestyle. Now I am by no means saying that we should remaining on a restricted diet for the rest of our lives. But it is so very important to find balance with what we eat, including the amount of cheat meals.
So for me, the best way to do that is to try to eat truly REAL foods. It is so important to read labels and know what I am putting in my body. And I have FINALLY truly made a lifestyle change! I follow an 80/20 system where 80% of the time I eat eating completely clean, and 20% of the time I realize I live in the real world where I don’t want to go without pizza, fries, cupcakes, and restaurant Mexican favorites (on occasion!!).
The basic principle of Clean Eating is to consume food the way it is naturally delivered. It is NOT a diet, rather a lifestyle approach to the way you prepare and eat your food.
- Eat 5 to six times a day– three meals and 2-3 small snacks
- Include lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This will keep your body energized and burning calories all day!
- Choose organic whenever possible
- Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water a day (If you weigh 150 pounds, then drink 75 ounces of water)
- READ labels. Any product with a long list of human made ingredients is not natural.
- Avoid processed and refined foods– like white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Instead, enjoy whole grains.
- Steer clear of trans fats and things high in sugar
- Consume healthy fats
- Be aware of your portion sizes
I challenge you to give it a try, eat CLEAN for a week and see how much better you feel. Some of the benefits of Clean Eating are:
- Weight loss
- Fat loss
- Shinier hair
- Clearer skin
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
- Reduced cravings
When starting something new, it can often be overwhelming to figure out exactly what to do! So I have prepared a Clean Eating Meal plan for you to create a week’s worth of menu ideas!
Breakfast—Pick ONE each day
- 2 eggs (prepare how you like- I like scrambled and hard boiled) with 1 piece of whole wheat toast and 1 cup berries
- Whole wheat English muffin with 2 tsp natural peanut butter and ½ a banana
- ½ cup cooked old fashioned oats, sliced apple, 2 eggs
- 2 egg omelet with onions and peppers and 1 cup fruit or a small apple
- Greek Yogurt Blender Muffins
- 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt (Chobani is my favorite brand)
- French Toast
- Strawberry Blueberry Whole Wheat Banana Bread
- Banana Oat Pancakes
Snacks – Pick 2-3 each day
- 1 cup of sliced fruit
- ¼ cup Hummus with cucumbers or sliced bell pepper
- 10 Baby Carrots with 2-3 tsp of natural peanut butter
- 1 small apple cubed with 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon
- 1 whole wheat waffle (toasted is best) with 2 tsp natural peanut butter, topped with ½ sliced banana or a few sliced strawberries
- 1 small apple with 1 mozzarella string cheese stick
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt with 2 tsp honey, ½ banana sliced and cinnamon
- Nuts—(in these amounts) 12 almonds, 8 cashews, 14 peanuts, 20 pistachios, 10 pecan halves
- Special Treats– Twice this week you can have one treat from this list as one of your snacks!
Lunch—Pick 1 each day
- Leftovers from dinner the night before
- Grilled chicken (seasoned with sea salt and pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder) with ¼ sliced avocado, 1 whole wheat tortilla
- Grilled chicken (seasoned with sea salt and pepper, ground mustard, onion powder and garlic powder) spinach salad, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and organic salad dressing (or a homemade option like these)
- Creamy Chicken Salad on a bed of greens or in a whole wheat tortilla Need to make this and do blog then put the link
- Skinny burrito in a Jar
- Turkey Burger with spinach and tomatoes and baked sweet potato (about ½ mashed) with cinnamon
- Buffalo Chicken Bowl
- Dinner— Pick 1 each day
For some of these dinners, if it doesn’t include enough veggies already, you may want to add a small side salad or vegetable of your choice (i.e. roasted broccoli, grilled asparagus, zucchini, green beans)
- Baked General Tso’s Chicken with Roasted Broccoli
- Honey Garlic Chicken with ½ cup whole wheat rice and grilled zucchini
- Chicken Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Ground turkey taco meat (season with taco sauce, ground cumin, ground red pepper, chili powder, garlic powder) with 1 whole wheat tortilla, ¼ cup cheese, grilled peppers and onions
- Fish tacos
- Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches
- Honey Sriracha Chicken
- Parmesan Chicken
- Turkey Meatballs with organic no sugar added tomato sauce (or a homemade one like this) and zoodles
Give it a try and you will be amazed at one week of eating clean can do to you!!
My next Challenge Group will be starting soon. Whether you need to lose weight, get toned, or just adopt a healthier lifestyle and relationship with food, then you would be perfect for my group. If you’re interested, fill out this application!