Clean eating is not a fad or a “diet”. It is a way of life that supports health and wellbeing by avoiding overly processed foods with hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, added sugars, and anything else that unnatural.
*Start Reading labels: Avoid foods with white flour, sugar & sugar substitutes, saturated fats & trans-fats.
*What you should be eating:
–Complex carbs with 100% whole grains. Don’t be tricked into buying “multi-grain” as it is NOT interchangeable with whole grains. Good site for more info on this: http://nutritionmythbusters.blogspot.com/2011/01/myth-multi-grain-and-whole-grain.html
–Fresh fruits and vegetables (I’ll tell you how to make this cheaper).
–Lean meats: chicken & fish whenever possible (not fried). Staying away from processed fatty meats (NoNos: spam, Vienna sausages, mystery meat, etc).
*The Big Purge: Get rid of “Dirty” foods: Adopt a no junk food allowed policy. If it’s not in your house, you are less likely to eat it. Parents, remember that you are not “punishing” your child by decreasing their access to foods that predispose them to diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity. I’ll avoid my soapbox, but if your 3 year old is crying for McDonalds it’s because you have been taking them there…jus sayin’.
*Any lifestyle change takes time, so be patient with yourself and with your family. It’s perfectly normal to slip up sometimes (i.e office parties, birthday). The longer and more committed you become to health and clean eating the less slip ups you will have.
Slip ups can be discouraging. Here are few ways to stay on track….
# 1 Tip: NEVER EVER be caught hungry and without healthy options. This is achieved by always carrying a snack: keep a bag of almonds in your purse or car, have fruit (fresh or dried) available, take a sandwich with you.
#2: Extension of #1: Become a Snack believer. And EAT BREAKFAST. When you are hungry, you become preoccupied with EATING (clean or dirty…who cares? I’m starving). STOP SAVING YOUR APPETITE. What exactly are you “saving it for”? It’s food, not a pot of gold. You’re probably hard to get along with when you’re hungry anyway. When you go into an “eating situation” you are more likely to make healthy choices when you are not starving. That is what to-go boxes are made for.
#3: Ignore Diet sabatogers: Diet sabatogers are not necessarily evil people. They are your coworkers, your parents, your friends. Remember that your body is a temple (I Corinthians 16:9…if getting biblical helps you). If they choose to put hydrogenated oils and trans fats in their temples, that is up to them. But, they should not be allowed to force them in yours. You have chosen a lifestyle that supports vitality and health. You can NOT be a people pleaser with your health. So… if you choose to eat a slither of birthday cake, make sure it’s what you want, not because you are concerned with what others think. Good article on Diet sabatoge: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52366. Good blog on saying NO to food pushers: http://www.shakebaby.com/healthy-eating-peer-pressure/.
#4: Be cautious about broadcasting your lifestyle change. This can sometimes put the aforementioned diet sabatogers and health haters in full gear. Some people are just jealous in advance. They can already see you looking and feeling better.
#5: Change the way you think about food. You should eat to live not live to eat. Stop striving to be FULL!! Stop eating when you are no longer hungry. That “full” feeling means you have eaten too much. Eat slowly, drink sips of water between every few bites, and enjoy your food, don’t inhale it.
Examples of ways to avoid close calls and health sabatogers.
1. Unfortunately most of the best social experiences have the “best” food. You can still enjoy cookouts, parties, and other gatherings with food (GWF) while avoiding slip-ups.
a. Eat before you go. Doesn’t have to be a full meal. I always have a bowl of oatmeal before GWF. If you do this, you can focus on the people not the food. And…if you choose to eat there, you are less likely to overindulge…think 2 chicken wings, not 5.
b. Okay you were in a hurry and didn’t eat beforehand (tisk tisk). Start drinking water as soon as you get there. Water may take the edge off your perceived hunger, allowing you to think logically, and you probably aren’t drinking enough water anyway. Bottoms up (with water).
c. Start with a salad or fruit. Just remember that lettuce and tomatoes do not cancel out fried chicken, croutons, ranch dressing, and other calorie-rich salad toppers.
d. Put smaller portions of food on your plate. If at a restaurant with large portions, immediately put half in a to-go box. We have a tendency to want to “clean our plates”, so just have less food there.
2. Avoid alcohol when possible. Drunkà Waffle house, Krystals, and ihop. nuff said.