When you hear about clean eating, you might be confused due to all the definitions out there. I just want to share with you what I have learned about it, and how I choose the foods I eat. In a nutshell, eating clean means choosing foods that do not contain a laundry list of unpronounceable ingredients and are not overly processed. Much of the food we eat everyday have been processed to some degree, meaning they have undergone some sort of processing from their original form.. However, the less processed the better because the more foods are processed, the more nutrients they lose along the way. One of the best ways to avoid overly processed foods, is to replace store-bought, packaged items with homemade ones. Another good rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the middle aisles as much as possible. Around the perimeter you will find fresh produce, meats and seafood, dairy, and frozen foods. Try and avoid the chips, cookie, and junk food aisles.
So my goal has been for the last year and a half to concentrate on choosing to enjoy the following foods:
Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats, raw or dry-roasted nuts, dry or canned beans, lean proteins ( skinless chicken breasts or thighs, lean beef, lamb, or pork, eggs, fish and seafood), low-fat or non-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, part-skim mozzarella, etc.),healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, or peanut oil. I have avoided added sugar, fried foods, processed meats, sweets and sodas.
With some planning, (we will get into more detail in later posts), you can have meals ready for the week and you can avoid going through the drive-thru or grabbing something unhealthy to snack on. I try to plan my meals out each week, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks and make a grocery list and go to the store once a week if possible. With a little planning, it becomes the new normal to eat real, wholesome food and start reaping the rewards! Rewards! Yes, that's the part I am excited to talk about! By cutting out the foods that were making me feel fatigued and making me put on some pounds, I now feel the best I have in years! I have the energy to go to the gym in the mornings and I even started going to a weight lifting class! ( again, details to come later on workouts). Exercise is definitely important to health and fitness, but if you are putting the wrong food in your body, you could be spinning your wheels. Fueling your body with the most nutritious food possible and avoiding the stuff that is keeping you from reaching your goals, is key! No magic pills, just real GOOD food!
So instead of talking about being on a diet, let's concentrate together on nourishing our bodies! Fueling our energy and keeping our minds sharp. A great by-product of doing this is your workouts will start working and you will see yourself getting in shape and you won't be hungry! I eat more now than I ever did, but it is the right stuff! I grow a vegetable garden so I have plenty of fresh veggies on hand. I have to say, my skin even looks better! My recipes will follow the guidelines I talked bout earlier and I can guarantee, they will be delicious! I am excited to share my health and fitness journey with you!
Keep checking my blog for recipes and meal planning ideas and motivation for staying active! Let's do this!!