In this post I want to share with you my personal philosophy on what is called "clean eating." A few years ago I embarked on a 5 week health journey on a clean-eating plan with a health coach. I learned so much from that journey and learned a lot of great nutrition habits. However, I soon began to slip back into old habits because they were much more familiar to me.
This year, in 2017, beginning on January 1st with the help of The Freedom Journal I decided to take a similar health journey, but for a 100 days and really cement those habits I had learned in the shorter program to really make them part of my permanent lifestyle and not a short "diet" plan or something I only did "sometimes."
My personal 100 day goal is to lose 15 pounds and get back to my ideal weight by eating clean, following a 20 minute workout plan 6 days a week and consistently drinking 6 or more large glasses of water per day. This plan is also to reach the goal of having more energy throughout the day to work on my business, help my family and have fun! I am already seeing great results! I have lost 7.5 pounds so far and I feel much more energetic.
I want to share with all of you my personal thoughts on eating, and finding out what works for you. I believe that there are basic guidelines, but you need to experiment and tailor ideas to fit how your body works.
Here are my basic guidelines:
1. Eating clean can be for omnivores or for vegetarians alike.
2. Eating clean means including:
- lean meats and seafood
- whole grains (you may choose to go gluten free or have whole wheat or other whole grains)
- lots of vegetables
- fresh fruits
- cutting back on dairy but I choose to have whole milk Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. You may choose to go dairy free and have alternatives there. I have dairy maybe 1-2 times a day.
- choosing small amounts of honey or maple syrup as sweeteners
- cutting back on large amounts of starches such as bread, pasta and potatoes. I choose to have small amounts of those- perhaps only a 1/2 serving a day. I do however, have small amounts of brown rice with dinner or oatmeal for breakfast.
- choosing healthy snacks such as apples/nut butter
- drinking lots of water and tea without sweetener
I have found this plan to really work for me and it has so many possibilities! I do love fruit, but I have found that it is best to reduce fruit to maybe 1-2 small servings a day and concentrate more on vegetables.
Also, on the 5 week plan that I was on, by week #4 once a week you chose a "cheat" meal. I actually like to call it a "fun meal" or "celebration meal" instead. I like to keep it positive! It is very interesting how this time around I am really cutting back so much on refined grains and sugar that they do not tempt me as much as before because I feel so great when I am eating lots of whole foods! It is amazing what your body will do! I do always choose a "celebration meal" once a week and it's fun! Last week I had a pasta dish, one breadstick and salad at a restaurant. It was so yummy! I really enjoyed it very much and really took the time to notice that.
Sometimes you will be in a situation where you are a guest, or you are in a situation where there are not a lot of whole food offerings. Not to worry! Just make the best choices that you can and don't fret about it. It's all about an overall healthy lifestyle and not about perfection. I absolutely love to try new foods and go out to eat on the weekends, so there may be some extras thrown in, but it's all in moderation. When you make the best choices 80-90% of the time, you are doing awesome!
I have noticed how much more energy I have had since I started to once again focus on eating as clean as possible, even at restaurants, parties and buffets. It's all about balance and living our best lives. I really want that for you too, and I am always here to support you on every step of your journey. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.