Lets Talk Clean Eats!
When I first started Coaching, I had no idea what “clean eating” was. I thought I ate pretty healthy, not counting my treats. Then I heard about a clean eating group my Coach was hosting. So of course wanting to know everything Coaching, I jumped right in. Boy, was I shocked. The food I was eating was no where near approved for the meal plan. I take that back, I have always liked oatmeal for breakfast and that was allowed 🙂 I didn’t realized how much sugar is in our day to day foods. I don’t mean fruits, I mean things like ketchup, yogurt and low fat foods. Then I got Insanity Max:30 as my second workout program to complete, the meal plan was amazing! It came with a legit guide on what to eat to fuel my body and help me on my mission to drop fat. Food is the most important factor in weight loss, in fitness and every day life. If you’re eating bad, chances are you are feeling bad. Have you ever heard the saying,
Abs are made in the kitchen.
Well, true story bro! Every time I’m doing a new workout program and I’m not seeing the results I want, I know it’s because my nutrition is off.
So, what is clean eating?
Glad you asked 😉
Clean eating is super simple, and when I mean simple, I mean limited ingredients or limited processing. Think fresh salads, fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, organic meats… I’ve got a few tips to help you succeed below, there’s even a clean eating grocery list to get you started on the right foot.
1. Read the label
I try to follow the rule of not more than 5 ingredients.
Eating clean is about getting good whole nutrition. So knowing how much sugar or salt is a big deal. Did you know that 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar? I try to visualize putting the sugar serving listed in a product in a cup of tea(I drink mine unsweetened) and if I feel like it’s too much I definitely don’t get it. If I don’t know what an ingredient is I put it back on the shelf, chances are if it’s a weird word it’s something crazy processed or chemical. I try like crazy to avoid high fructose corn syrup because the process of how they make that is just yucky!
Low-fat? Don’t do it. Next time you’re in the grocery store compare the low fat version with the regular and tell me which has the most sugar. Not all fats are bad for you, for instance avocado is really good for you. Chances are, if the food is trying to convince you it’s healthy, it’s probably not….
Always compare labels of canned foods and check the sugar and sodium content of the nutrition labels. Eating clean doesn’t require perfection but making a conscious decision of what you put into your body is key. Food is fuel, why choose the lower quality ingredient when you could have something that is really going to benefit you?
2. Prepare to succeed
Meal planning is the best way to start your new health habits. Going out to eat makes it hard to tell what it is you’re eating. For all you know your favorite lasagna is actually a frozen dish they are warming up for you, just saying(I’ve worked at a few restaurants in my day.)
Don’t stress yourself out with the unknown. I like to prepare my snacks and things I use as staples in my meals or snacks during the week. For instance, I buy my broccoli and chop it up so all I have to grab it and go. Don’t be afraid to try new veggies and fruits. It took me a while to adapt but I eat more veggies than just broccoli now. I never really appreciated making dinners until I started trying new recipes, now it’s fun to see what mixing and matching foods can do.
3. Don’t be afraid of carbs
Carbs really aren’t the enemy. Our body needs carbs for quick energy. I mean think about it, does that steak digest fast and make you feel like you could bust out 30 burpees? Best pre-workout food is a little bit of carb. Try a banana or a slice of whole grain bread with your favorite natural nut butter.
If carbs are good does that mean to load up on burger buns and white bread? No. They shouldn’t be the largest portion on your plate but they shouldn’t be missed. Try getting a seeded bread or whole wheat buns for those patties. If you love rice like I do, skip the white stuff and try a little bit of wild rice instead or a brown rice. My current carb obsession is lentils, may have something to do with my new found love of Indian cuisine and the fact that they are loaded with protein.
4. Stick to the outer isles of the grocery store
In the outer isles you tend to find all the fresh produce, meats, eggs and even the bulk section(I love bulk because it’s cheaper.) I try to avoid the cereal isles, the baking isles and the frozen food section because I know I will find sugar or salt loaded temptations there. If you can, I recommend buying your produce organic and make sure you are washing off those fruits and veggies before you eat them(you never know where peoples hands have been.)
5. Water, water and more water, maybe with a bit of tea!
We tend to take in way more calories than we realize with our beverage habits. Did you know a 20 oz bottle of soda has approximately 16 grams of sugar? “On average, a can of non-diet cola contains about 135 calories. If you drink three cans a day, you’re getting roughly 405 daily calories from soft drinks. A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so if all other things in your diet are equal, cutting out soda spares you more than a pound of fat every 10 days.” Cutting that alone is a huge deal for your waistline.
What about Juice? If you want to drink juices, try making your own juice. Homemade is always best. But don’t drink a whole lot of fruit juice because juicing takes out the natural fiber that helps your body digest that sugar to prevent big peaks of sugar in your blood stream.
Coffee or tea? If you can drink those unsweetened and with out milk, more power to ya! But I recommend keeping both of those to a minimum just because caffeine is a natural diuretic.
So what am I getting at? Water is really the best option. If you can drink filtered water, even better. Some bottled waters have a pH that is hard on your system. Avoid the additives of when getting your hydration on!
I guess what I’m getting at here is food from a box is not the way to go. Fresh or an even better clean eating option, home grown food! If you have space for a garden, grow it up. No space for a garden, grow veggies in a big pot on your patio! If there’s a will there’s a way. I have no doubt you will find a way to make better choices in your diet. Happy eating!
Which one is better for you?
If you’re still wanting some support on getting started with clean eating, please fill out the form and I will be in touch with you shortly. I host clean eating support groups once a month, they include a 7 day clean eating meal plan and the shopping list to make it a no brainer.